Sunday, May 24, 2015

Lib Dem efforts to save Carmichael descend into farce, as they insist he must stay because "rehabilitation is part of our core values"

You really know that Alistair Carmichael's political future is hanging by a thread when quite literally the only reason the Lib Dems can think of for him still being an MP is that "we must show forgiveness". Here's a selection of today's splendidly comical comments from the bunker over at Liberal Democrat Voice -

Willie Rennie : "As a liberal I believe that people deserve a second chance. I hope fair minded people would agree that Alistair Carmichael should be given that second chance."

Caron Lindsay : "...part of our core values is a commitment to rehabilitation."

Alex Lewis : "Fully agree with Caron. We should practice what we preach and give everyone a second chance."

Yes, you read that last one right - it's not "we should practice what we preach and not lie to the electorate", or "we should practice what we preach and not smear our opponents", or "we should practice what we preach and not breach strict ministerial protocols", or even "we should practice what we preach and admit to wrongdoing without waiting to see if we get caught". No, apparently Lib Dems should only practice what they preach when it means that a Lib Dem MP is allowed to commit wrongdoing without it having any negative impact at all on his career or on the party.

Oh, such a noble sentiment. Give me a moment while I have a Lib Dem nobility swoon.


On the subject of "rehabilitation", I believe in rehabilitation too, but Caron seems to be redefining that word as meaning "committing an offence and then being allowed to carry on as before, as if nothing has happened". That's not how it works. Some rehabilitation takes place inside prison, for example, or it could take place alongside a community sentence. Rehabilitation for Carmichael would look something like this : Admit you were re-elected earlier this month on false pretences, resign your seat, don't stand in the by-election, go away and do something else for a few years to re-establish your integrity, and only then consider standing again for public office.

If we follow the Caron Lindsay model of "rehabilitation", we might as well abolish the criminal justice system altogether, and just make sure everyone issues a half-hearted apology when they do something seriously wrong.

What I find intriguing about this display of utter desperation from the Lib Dems is that, on the face of it, their own interests would be best served by having Carmichael stand down. There would be no inevitability about the SNP winning the subsequent by-election - the Northern Isles have the strongest Liberal tradition in the whole of Scotland, and if the party made a fresh start with a new candidate they would have a fighting chance. Even if they lost, they would draw a line under the affair, and prevent damage being done to their hopes of holding the Holyrood constituency seats next year. So why are they trying to cling on to the discredited Carmichael for dear life?

I think part of the answer might lie in an Ofcom ruling a few months ago, which stated that the Lib Dems still warrant major party status in Scotland, but only because of their performance in the 2010 general election - they were deemed to have fallen short in every subsequent election. Now that they've been reduced to just one Westminster seat, the case for them being included in the main leaders' debates for next year's Holyrood contest is extremely tenuous, and it will be non-existent if they lose Orkney & Shetland as well. Call me cynical, but I'd suggest Rennie's gospel of "we must give people a second chance" is code for "HELP ME! THIS ISN'T HAPPENING!"


  1. The long list of MPs who have had to resign because of their malpractice must be kicking themselves for having joined the wrong party.
    In future,any MP caught breaking the rules will need to jump ship and join the rehabilitation party who will ensure that they continue in the life style they have become accustomed to.
    Are they really saying that they want their candidates in future to be people of low moral fibre so that they can pay their penance to the electorate by serving at Westminster?
    What's new I suppose.

    1. Well here's a hilarious reminder of Clegg's ostrich faction/the rehabilitation party thrusting their 'core principles' into the limelight and demanding everyone 'practice what they preach'.

      "The right to freedom of speech is a fundamental one but it does bring a responsibility with it to tell the truth. The right to smear an opponent is not one we should be defending."

      Wise, wise words indeed.

      But WHO could have said them??

      Who indeed.

      ROFL :-D

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  3. Seems more pertinent to this thread James so I'll do a precis of my previous comments if you don't mind. :-)

    Astonishingly, Rennie STILL hasn't apologised for his smearing and lies in the Torygraph.

    So the idea that Rennie can absolve the disgraced Carmichael with an arrogant wave of his hand is complete and utter lunacy!! It was Rennie who Carmichael and the Torygraph both used to smear Nicola in the first place with their dirty tricks and lies.

    You clearly need to answer for your own part in this dirty tricks scandal Rennie since you are self-evidently the very LAST person to even think about excusing anyone else.

    As for (what remains of) the scottish lib dems taking leave of their senses and endorsing Carmichael's conduct of dirty tricks, lying and smearing by supporting him..

    It's not actually that clever an idea to have a pair of disgraced liars/smearers like Carmichael and Rennie as the public face of your party in scotland.

    All the more so after you the voter has just told you precisely where to go and you desperately need to rebuild shattered trust.

    Also for the yellow tory spinners bleating about Carmichael's 'selfless giving up' (LOL) of £17,000 he clearly isn't entitled to.

    Carmichael took £350,000 in salary and expenses as Sec of State for Scotland last year.

    I'll just let that sink in while you all search for the world's smallest violin. ;-D

    The disgraced liar Carmichael also has quite a bit of form on the subject of expenses and looking after number one.

    So much for that 'noble' sacrifice.

    Perhaps these delusional unprincipled liars might also like to remind themselves that dirty tricks, smearing scotland's first minister then lying though your teeth about it to try and cover it up doesn't make YOU the victim. Quite the reverse.

    But by all means keep shrieking 'Cybernats!!' because you have sunk to the level of the Damien McBride's of this world.

    We do actually know precisely what a witch hunt looks like because it was instigated by Carmichael, Rennie and the Torygraph across every newspaper and TV broadcaster in the land.

    A somewhat stark contrast to the weak shamefaced response now from the unionist dominated media (since they all jumped on and endorsed the Carmichael/Rennie smears when they first appeared) to Carmichael now being caught red-handed as the lib dem leadership, Rennie and their spinners desperately try to cover it all up and pretend it's none of the voters business.

    I think you'll find that the voters might, just might, take the completely opposite view. In 2016 for starters and in Orkney and Shetland from here on in.

    1. Rennie still hasn't apologised for deliberately misleading Radio Scotland listeners (and MSM followers who were subsequently fed the story) a couple of years ago when he contacted them and claimed an 'academic study' showed attacks on 'English people' living in Scotland had increased.

      'Call Kaye' went to town - it was all the SNP's fault - and it wasn't until the dying minutes of the programme that someone got through and told the truth - that the word 'English' didn't figure in the report at all.

      I've still got the email from a Radio Scotland producer apologising (yes - really), and admitting they should have looked at the report rather than taking Rennie at his word.

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  5. Funny

    The First Minister of Scotland wasn't even given a first chance,right of reply,never mind 2nd.

    Alistair Carmichael Secretary of State Scotland never had 2nd thoughts on his mobile call to the telegraph

  6. We STILL don't know how a totally inaccurate minute was produced containing complete fabrications, under Carmichael's watch.

    Did Carmichael issue a document he knew was fake? Who faked it?

    1. I've heard a few people remarking on that, and it's a good point.

      There has been speculation that the memo was deliberately faked to bring Sturgeon down, but nobody bargained for the French becoming involved and sticking up for her. If it had just been her word against the memo with the French doing the "no comment" thing, she'd have been in a much worse position.

      The theory goes on to suggest that Carmichael and his LibDem aide were manoeuvred into doing the dirty work, because as LibDems they were expendable and could be cut loose. However, the speculation lays the blame for the main hatching of the plot on Tories, including Mundell but also including people a fir bit smarter than Mundell.

      Eric Joyce says this doesn't really fly because at this stage the LibDem aide would have blown the whistle and taken the Tories down too. I don't really understand these things so I don't know if that's a valid objection.

    2. Who says the Lib Dem spad knew it was a faked document though? He would not have had access to government documents, it would be somebody in government who has fished it out, doctored it, and showed it to the spad to leak.

    3. "including Mundell but also including people a fair bit smarter than Mundell."

      So, that narrows it down to the whole of Scotland then?

    4. I think he means Cameron or some Whitehall bod.

    5. I know. I was being facetious.

  7. I am pretty sure the memo was faked. I think an expert would be able to conclude that the final paragraphs were not written by the same person as the first few paragraphs.

    I work with French people and there is no possibility whatsoever that a French diplomat talk about the former First Minister being 'mischievous' to the current FM.

    I reckon the civil service are covering up - the Scottish Affairs committee should call Mandela et al to give evidence and get to the bottom of it.

  8. Mundell autocorrects to Mandela how bizarre

    1. Autocorrect. That's your problem right there. Don't use it.

  9. I would agree with you James. The smart play would be to ditch Carmichael. Put a clear blue ocean between themselves and the last 5 years. Do some serious soul searching. Decide where you went wrong, decide not to do it again. Pursue policies that might actually win back trust. The best place to do it would be from Holyrood.

    The desperation to hold on to that MP seat could cost them MSP seats, including Rennie. It could go on to cost them MEPs and Councillors. All to protect a dis-credited MP. It is astonishing that they are willing to risk all this for the "status" of being a major player in Scottish politics. They have to concede that they lost that argument on May 7th. Painful though it is, it would be better for them to do that, rather than be the hostages to fortune that they now are.

  10. The Labour guy, Duncan Hothersall, was pursuing a similar line in that SNP was too unforgiving on this.
    Sounds like a co-ordinated campaign underway.

  11. The libdems are evil. Any party who covers up child abuse and protects the abusers deserves to be thrown into the sea with a millstone round their neck.

    Caron Lindsay is just JillStephenson, EffieDeans, IanSmart or Drunken Hovercraft with a yellow paint job. She hates being Scottish, the idea that Scotland exists and of course everything the SNP does no matter whether it's good, bad or LibDem policy.

    She is the libdem voice Admin. A Clegg lickspittle apologist who bans anybody who dares question her version of the truth.

  12. I agree. Even if it was right for him to stay (and it surely cannot be), we'll take less damage in the long run if we cut him now.

    But even if that was not the case, the principle is clear and he needs to go. I take some small comfort that while LDV and Rennie seems to be backing him, general LD members are showing a clear preference for withdrawing the whip.

    1. "I take some small comfort that while LDV and Rennie seems to be backing him, general LD members are showing a clear preference for withdrawing the whip."

      That gets to the nub of some of this. I do agree with James that there will be an element of the lib dem leadership desperately wanting to cling to Major Party Status even though the facts simply do not back them up.

      There will also be some who will point to Carmichael's many examples of arrogant boorish behaviour before (in front of Holyrood committees for example and during his tenure as lib dem chief whip) as a big reason behind his massive sense of entitlement and refusal to accept the blame and take responsibility for his own despicable actions.

      But let's not discount what is a power structure at the top of the lib dems and in it's backrooms which has not really changed one iota since their election calamity.

      Clegg might have quit as leader but his ostrich faction are still there and still clinging on to power for all they are worth. They clearly grew very fond of the 'perks' and power afforded to them as part of 'team Clegg' and were given a very wide remit to attack and discredit anyone they and Clegg saw as 'a threat'. Be it political opponents (like Nicola) or indeed just those in the lib dems who were unhappy with Clegg's catastrophic incompetence and duplicity.

      The lib dems have absolutely zero chance of turning anything around with all the same people who made such a gigantic mess of things when Clegg was in power. That's just a statement of the bleeding obvious. (They lied to their membership time and again when the facts were they knew perfectly well just how apocalyptic and toxic Clegg was to their electoral chances. Everyone knew it.) So if anything all this does is highlight that the Clegg 'old guard' want to keep things precisely as they are and to hell with anyone with the bare-faced cheek to question their arrogant entitled attitude and dirty tricks 'strategy'.

      Carmichael, Rennie, Clegg and their repulsive spinners are part of the problem every bit as much as Murphy was part of the problem for Labour.

      Whether the lid dems can actually take their party back from the huge lurch to the right under Clegg's ostrich faction remains to be seen.

      It is however, massively unlikely when the same utterly delusional 'thinking' that saw them annihilated in scotland and everywhere else is quite clearly still in place at the top of their party. Their leadership contenders are already looking like an irrelevance by going along with the omerta Carmichael, Rennie and Clegg's spinners have demanded from them on the scottish lib dem dirty tricks scandal.

    2. Tavish Scott and Liam Macarthur have been quiet. They are likely to take a hit next year if Carmichael doesn't go and LD brand in Scotland becomes totally toxic.

    3. It's very surprising devorgilla as you are quite correct and they will likely be first (but certainly not the last) ones to 'benefit' from Carmichael and Rennie's 'generosity'.

      All the more surprising considering what happened to Tavish after the 2011 landslide in contrast to Rennie clinging on to power and supporting Carmichael's lies and dirty tricks.

      It might be that Tavish and his allies are waiting till after the leadership contest is over. Which would be a very risky way to proceed since they have no guarantee the next lib dem leader will have the stomach or indeed desire to tackle the smearers who are being backed right now by lid dem HQ and those at the top of their party.

  13. Carmichael made a big play of the fact that had he still been a government minister, he would have considered this matter a resigning offence and to that end he did not except his ministers severance entitlement.

    Now call me a cynic, but was this Carmichael sending out warning type, smoke signals to those 'in the know' who are still ministers? people like Mundell perhaps?

    He certainly wasn't acting alone, and the fact that Labour in particular were all over this story and had a video advertisement prepared so soon after the story broke, telling the world that Nicola wanted the Tories elected, stinks to high heaven.

    This is why neither Labour nor the Tories are trying to make political capital from this.

    The Lib Dems are their political opponents yet they are practically silent about it, why?

    You can bet that Westminster will try to ride this out, and they will be aided by the MSM to do this, but we must be as equally determined to send the clear message to Westminster/MSM that we Scots are sick of being lied to and we wont put up with it any longer.

    I remember reading somewhere that rogue politicians will often try to ride out a storm and will have the support of some colleagues to do so, but should the story rumble on for a certain number of days this is taken as evidence that the voters are still angry.

    At this point the support begins to drift away, as the voters anger will begin to be directed at any MP/MSP who is seen to support the rogue MP/MSP.

    So let's keep this going, and show them all we will not be the pushovers they want us to be.

  14. Surely he blew his second chance when he lied on national TV about his knowledge of the incident and his third chance when he allowed an inquiry to to be initiated rather than come clean and admit his part in a mess that he created. You could also say that he has blown his fourth chance to dreamed himself by not resigning at the same time as his half hearted "I've been caught so here is a grudging written piece of lip service" apology.

    How many more chances should he be given to show that he can't be trusted.

  15. I think he will resign, the MSM cannot protect him any more than they could prevent a SNP landslide. It would be better if he stays because Lib Dems credibility would be completely shot - I'd like to see that sanctimonious git Ashdown defend him. The UK government smearing the First Minister of Scotland, lying about a diplomatic conversation, during an election period and they think they can bury this.

    I know people are angry but just think 'does this advance the cause of independence?' of course it does harhar

  16. Carmichael is a gaping hole in the hull of the good ship LibDem and he is going to drag the whole lot of them to the bottom in 2016. Cap'n Willie, First Mate Tavish, the entire motley crew. From then on they'll be a rusting hulk on the seabed of Scottish politics. Ah! I feel much better after getting that metaphor out!

    Hello Denise! How is "What the SNP did right" coming along?!

  17. The real test of LibDem "rehabilitation" would be what if this had been an SNP politician caught with his pants round his ankles? Would they be preaching forgiveness then?

    I suppose the upside is no more tedious calls for Scottish Government ministers to lose their jobs over trivial nonsense from Wee Willie Rennie. He would never be a hypocrite after all, would he?

  18. "So why are they trying to cling on to the discredited Carmichael for dear life?"

    I imagine it boils down to him having more dirt on them then they have on him. It nearly always does.

    1. Carmichael did show a sort of low cunning by directly involving Willie Rennie in the dirty tricks and smearing. That's almost certainly why the 'scottish' lib dems have backed Rennie in supporting what Carmichael did even though it quite obviously is complete and utter madness for them and Rennie to be endorsing Carmichael's behaviour less than a year from Holyrood elections.

      Carmichael is an arrogant, bullying twat who very likely demanded wee Wullie back him or Carmichael would threaten to take him down with him.

      It's not as if the Scottish Liberal Democrat Party Executive have ever been in any danger of representing the rank and file lib dems instead of the likes of Rennie and Carmichael anyway.

      The entire Clegg catastrophe was meekly backed by them from the star and every single step of the way even when became more and more obvious the scottish lib dems were heading for oblivion.

      Clegg's ostrich faction at lib dem HQ have long had zero tolerance for 'insubordination', dissenting views and criticism of either themselves or their strategy.

      Even answering back to their spinners and flunkies on the lib dem blogs and social media was used as an excuse to go after those Clegg and his ostrich faction deemed 'fair game'.

      That more than anything else needs to be understood as the mindset behind this whole smearing, dirty tricks scandal.

      Far from it being an "aberration", (as fellow liar and smearer wee Willie Rennie ludicrously claimed) this is entirely consistent with the behaviour of senior lib dems and those still clinging to power at their party HQ.

      Fact is everyone who opposed Clegg's ostrich faction or even simply disagreed with them have felt the full force of this type of smearing and dirty tricks.

      It's certainly not just Nicola and SNP supporters, far from it.

      Farron was personally attacked by them. (the gay rights issue was one used against Farron by Clegg's ostrich faction whenever Farron was looking 'dangerously' popular) Vince Cable was attacked by them and briefed against in the papers multiple times. Same with Simon Hughes.

      Look at the entire Huhne scandal because you can see the hand of Clegg's ostrich faction in using that to bolster Clegg and further attempt to discredit anyone who opposed them.

      Then have a LONG hard look at the entire Rennard scandal and see the hand of lid dem HQ and Clegg's spinners desperately trying to discredit anyone who questioned the official line in that.

      The lid dem leadership is rotten and corrupt. They were seduced by power and under Clegg used any means necessary to keep the tory lid dem coalition going and stamp on dissent.

      That's why this lib dem dirty tricks scandal shouldn't really be that much of a surprise to anyone.

    2. "Carmichael is an arrogant, bullying twat who very likely demanded wee Wullie back him or Carmichael would threaten to take him down with him."

      I hope the people of Orkney and Shetland do that for him in 2016.

  19. James,

    Thanks for this OP. It, kind of, ties in with my own thoughts.

    We, as an electorate, should not be subject to lies by politicians. We should at a base level expect honesty. I know, I know, that is ridiculous. However lies build on lies, it becomes easier, most of the time. At least until it becomes unsustainable, what may become known as the 'Murphy Moment'.

    But it is serious what they try to hide. You and I may, or may not be, under an existentialist threat to our continued existence over the Trident revelations.

    Who do you trust in that situation? A bloated state and an entire arm of the Navy that earn a living off boats that we already know have had fires on board? Or what?

    It seems to me that the sooner the entire structure of respect for authority is ripped apart and decent people are put into positions of power, and as long as they deal straight with us, the better.

    I want people to take responsibility for themselves and not believe in the artifice of power that we had up until recently. We have a new group of MP's. I think they go in there honest and honourable. It is up to them and the electorate to keep them that way.

    I think we can do it.

  20. I'm reading in the Herald that Westminster is going down the ethnic nationalism route for the EU iref. Now we see which is the the real xenophobic, anti-others government, and it's not the SNP.

  21. "Fully agree with Caron. We should practice what we preach and give everyone a second chance."

    Including the electorate of Shetland and Orkney.

    1. Derek Bateman is floating the idea that Carmichael will fall on hos sword to protect Mundell.! If Mundell is involved, his resignation would surely finish the Scottish Office off.

    2. Ruthie-baby says Mundell isn't involved because she asked him and he said he knew nothing about it. "Well, he would say that, wouldn't he."

      Marginally more checking than she did about the "burly men at Annan" story.

  22. Confirmed: Scottish independence referendum to be re-run with only ethnic Scots (those who have a Scottish birth certificate or Scottish parents) to get a vote this time. English, Welsh, N. Irish to be excluded from voting. Will yield a Yes vote, as would have been the case if applied in September 2014.

    (Can you imagine the screams of 'Blood and soil Nazi nationalists' if this was the case? Ok, Alistair Darling et al. said that anyway, but you know what I mean).

    1. Seems like an inconsistent and morally ambiguous stance to take.
      Given EU nationals who live in the UK would arguably be the ones most affected by a Brexit result, surely they should have a vote?

      And taking a more cynical view, surely these people would be damned near 100% in favour of staying in, which seems to be the 'desired' result for most of the mainstream parties?

    2. "Seems like an inconsistent and morally ambiguous stance to take."

      Best get used to it because the razor thin 'John Major' line Cameron will have to try and walk will be to try to keep appeasing his lunatic backbenchers while still trying to win a pro-European yes vote.

      All those tory backbenchers who live to bang on about immigrants, muslims, asylum seekers and the 'evils' of Europe had better get it out of their system NOW. Because there won't be any room for that kind of talk when Cameron leads the IN campaign. Not for those who support the party line anyway and plan to vote IN anyway.

    3. I made a similar point in Wings, SS, and I don't see any reason why we shouldn't do this.

      I fully understand that English people as well as others are very much part of Scotland (and I welcome them) and many support the Yes campaign, but for purely political reasons the SNP must look at excluding them as the majority voted NO.

      If it means we get our prize of independence, I am prepared to put up with the MSM/Labour Party squealing that would be the inevitable reaction to this.

    4. That's a very worrying statement you're making.

      I may not agree with excluding EU nationals from the vote (stupid idea), but all that's happening there is the current, pre-existing legal principle for UK general elections is being extended to the referendum.
      It flies in the face of common sense to me, but it's at least somewhat consistent in legal terms.

      You however, are talking about deliberately changing future referendums to deny the vote of a group of people who previously had it, purely because they didn't vote the 'right' way last time.

      Maybe you could disenfranchise the elderly at the same time, just to make sure you get the 'right' result?

    5. "You however, are talking about deliberately changing future referendums to deny the vote of a group of people who previously had it, purely because they didn't vote the 'right' way last time."

      What's the difference? Cameron is doing precisely that - I personally know EU citizens who are baffled and angry that they're being denied a vote in the next constitutional referendum when they had a vote in the last one.

      I disagree with Patrick, not least because it's not actually feasible to do the same thing in an independence referendum - there's no such thing as Scottish citizenship, so there's no fair or practical way of making an equivalent distinction. But I don't see how he can now be criticised for espousing the principle - the only reason non-Commonwealth citizens are being denied a vote in the EU referendum is that everyone knows they would vote to stay in.

    6. I think the first major point would be that it makes a mockery of the concept that you want to get away from Westminster because it's corrupt and undemocratic.

      If anyone is willing to deliberately and cynically (and Patrick is quite clear on why he wants this change) find a group of people who voted the 'wrong' way and take that vote away from them, then that person is the opposite of any kind of progressive democrat. That's the kind of voting I used to see in Africa, not Britain.

      I voted No, as I've made clear before. But one of the major arguments of independence that really did resonate with me was the idea of 'we can be better than this'. I'm not blind to the failings of Westminster, and there's a great deal of appeal in the idea of admitting it's no longer fit and creating something new and more democratic.

      But Patrick's comment shoots that idea out of the water, and it's especially disappointing to see that in a thread where we are talking about someone who should resign his MP's post because winning should not be more important than principle.

      Clearly that's not a view shared by everyone here, which is sad.

      Secondly, while I don't agree with Cameron's position here, they are taking the criteria for a UK-wide election and applying to a UK-wide referendum. I can at least appreciate the legal logic, while disagreeing with the principle.

      I'd much rather see them apply the local election criteria, because anyone with half an ounce of sense must see that disenfranchising EU citizens on a vote that will have a massive effect on them is just as ridiculous as disenfranching English citizens who live in Scotland.

      Thirdly, any referendum vote is by design supposed to carry the concept of a popular mandate on a specific, important issue. That mandate needs to be as broad as possible, and once again Patrick's comments make it clear that he doesn't care about legitimacy, just about winning the vote.

      If you do want to just fiddle the result, why not invite non-resident Scots into your next referendum? They'll vote the 'right' way, and it's a lot more democratic that disenfranchising your neighbours for political gain.

      So in summary, if you are better than 'them', do that. Be better. You'll get more respect and more votes.
      Otherwise we're just swapping one set of cynical opportunists for another, and that's not the kind of thing that gets people like me to vote for change.

    7. You do seem to be holding Cameron to a lesser standard here, which I don't think is helping your argument. EU citizens denied a vote on their own future aren't going to be impressed by legal technicalities, any more than English people living in Scotland would have been impressed by any excuse that might have been dreamed up for denying them a vote in the indyref.

    8. Oh, I fully agree with you about Cameron. To be honest, I'm bemused why he's even gone this route.

      If the general scuttlebutt is to believed, he's in favour of an 'In' vote. So why exclude EU citizens? They get to vote in local elections, so we have some precendent here, and even the most EU-phobic person surely has to admit they have WAY more of a stake in the outcome than any of the rest of us.

      In fact I think there is another point that you have touched upon which should be raised further.

      While we haven't had a UK referendum in a *very* long time (early 70's?), we had a referendum in Scotland last year.

      I would encourage Nicola Sturgeon to claim there is some legal precendent in that referendum for not disenfranchising the EU residents of Scotland (and by extension the UK).

    9. Even more nonsensical (morally if not legally), we're allowing Commonwealth citizens to vote.

      So someone from Malaysia is welcome to vote, while someone from France is not.

      It's a bit weird.

    10. Oh, FFS, it's the old "do as I say, not as I do" rubbish again!

      Independence for Scotland = bad
      Independence for UK = good (Farage)

      Non-Brits can't vote in European referendum = good
      Non-Scots can't vote in Scottish referendum = bad

      How much longer are we going to put up with this BS?

  23. This was all Euan Roddins handiwork, which Carmichael signed off.

    The Lib Dems are the nastiest, scummiest party there is going.

    1. No. Carmichael is already trying to deflect the blame onto his Spad by pretending all he did was sign off on the leak. Simply not possible. There's no way on earth his Spad has better access to private documents than Carmichael does.

      Carmichael had to have been the one who not only first saw the document but hatched up this incompetent smearing 'plan'.

      Only someone as arrogant and bumptious as Carmichael could have dreamed up draughting in wee Wullie Rennnie to use as the Telegraph's mouthpiece to smear Nicola.

      Which is precisely why Rennie has ludicrously emerged from hiding just long enough to 'forgive' Carmichael despite it being bloody obvious Rennie has almost as much to answer for since he is self-evidently neck deep in this dirty tricks scandal.

      You can also see Carmichael arrogantly bullying civil servants and 'underlings' in his pompous testimony to Holyrood so it's not as if it's remotely believable that Carmichael was meekly sitting in his office doing as his Spad tells him.

      The very idea is utterly preposterous. This was the lid dems chief whip we are talking about and someone with a history of arrogant, bullying and entitled behaviour. Carmichael's spad did as he is telt, not the other way around.

    2. Actually, when the spad is working in the same office as Carmichael, for Carmichael, he has access to certain things and no offence, but when you say 'better access', access to what? Making up something?

      Anyone can do that, but it came from Euan Roddin and Carmichael is guilty as he went along with it.It still means he should resign though so I'm not sure why you are arguing about it.

      Spads are told everything that goes on and then give 'advice' on what to do with things.

    3. I'm not arguing about anything I'm simply informing you that a mere Spad is not senior to Carmichael, does not get to see diplomatic documents first like the one Carmichael used and would never have been employed by the likes of Carmichael in the first place unless he was totally loyal and submissive to Carmichael.

      As I said, this was the lib dem's former chief whip with a history of arrogant entitled behaviour. Carmichael is still an incompetent lying dipshit but this was the "bruiser" Clegg boasted about not some meek wallflower serving at the beck and call of his spad and doing his bidding.

      Carmichael was caught red-handed. There was no question of him being able to blame it all on his spad but that won't stop him trying now.

    4. His spads phone was used to deliver everything. People spoke to him as well, so I guess you are wrong and he saw the document.

    5. "so I guess you are wrong and he saw the document."

      Then I guess you can't read because I clearly said.

      " does not get to see diplomatic documents first "

      I have no idea what you think you are accomplishing by trying to paint Carmichael's spad as some kind of mastermind behind all this, but rest assured, that train has left the station long, long ago.

      Carmichael OWNS this. He is a proven liar and a smearer and that's not about to change.

      If Carmichael told his Spad to jump, he jumped. Carmichael got the big bucks and lofty position and it was he who ordered his civil servants around. Roddin is just some careerist numpty who did as he was telt.

    6. Spads get paid handsomely as well....I do not see your point on whether Carmichael saw it first or not, it doesn't matter when the person handing over the information was Roddin...they both saw it, both had a hand in it, so the fact Carmichael gets access to these things first is meaningless, Roddin had to have his story straight when speaking to his journo mates as well, which also implies that he read it and had access to it.

      It's funny that you seem to think a Special Adviser is somehow not guilty of an offence because of the fact he is a Special Adviser and worked for Carmichael.

      Both are guilty, both have admitted it, I'm saying however, that Roddin would have suggested it as Carmichael is too fkn stupid to do it.

      Roddin is a scumbag.

    7. "so the fact Carmichael gets access to these things first is meaningless"

      Again, no. Carmichael tried to lie his way out this thing for weeks by trying to claim he hadn't seen it. It is not peripheral but central to the complete failure of Carmichael's incompetent attempt to cover up his dirty tricks and smearing.

      His dirty tricks and smearing were a resigning issue for Carmichael to begin with, but then you add the constant blatant lying and the cover up to that then Carmichael's complete culpability and total responsibility for the lib dem dirty tricks scandal is put utterly beyond question.

      I knew Roddin was involved on day 1 of the story and there's no way on earth he get's out of this one without a bucket of shit on his name forever after. However, minimising Carmichael's part in this by trying to pretend he was some easily led naive callow young minister led up the garden path by an evil mastermind Spad is a complete fucking joke.

      Carmichael is totally responsible as he even said himself during the scandal. End of story.

      Only someone as out of touch with the real world as Clegg's ostrich faction could possibly believe it's a good idea for the disrgaced Liar and smearer Carmichael to cling on for five years as the face of the Lib Dems in scotland.

      They do seem dumb enough to believe that this will somehow all blow over and the voters and everyone else will forget about it and have their memories erased.

      I've got news for them. Not a fucking chance.

      This is Clegg level stuff for the scottish lib dems from now on in.

  24. Carmichael has done sterling work as a local MP and has been a man of the highest integrity for 30 years. We should give him a chance to redeem himself.

    1. AHAHAHA

      He can redeem himself by resigning.

    2. His previous work as an MP was duly compensated at the time, it does not offer him any guarantee of a future position. Also, any comments about the height of his past integrity are badly undermined by the fact he's just been caught lying to his electorate.

      If his constituents feel his past work and character has earned him a chance at redemption, they can vote accordingly. Currently that decision is not being offered to them, nor were they given the facts about his deception before the election to take it into account at the vote.

      Regrettably (and I speak as a LD voter), Carmichael has chosen to leak documents, attempt to discredit a political opponent, and worst of all, directly lied to his constituents, on camera, when confronted.

      Redemption is not something that is taken, it is something that is given. And if AC wants it, he needs to ask his constituents in a by-election.

    3. "Carmichael has done sterling work as a local MP and has been a man of the highest integrity for 30 years. "


      "What Sir Thomas Legg concluded:

      Mr Carmichael was asked to pay back £480.78 and has not yet done so.

      Sir Thomas Legg found he was paid a total of £243.90 twice for three items - phone bill in September 2005, £70.12; phone bill in December 2005, £42.28; and TV licence in July 2006, £131.50.

      He was also paid £90 for legal costs associated with non-payment of council tax in 2007-08 and £146.88 legal fees due to late payment of service charge/ground rent in May 2007.

      These costs, totalling £236.88, were not allowable under the Green Book rules.

      The scandal that just won't die: MPs' expenses increase yet again

      The largest individual claim was from North Antrim MP Ian Paisley, who topped six figures with his total request for £100,204.

      Liberal Democrat chief whip Alistair Carmichael, who represents the Orkneys and Shetlands, was second with £82,878 while Conservative MP David Morris, representing Morecambe and Lunesdale, was third.

      The 2009 expenses scandal continues to have a damaging effect on public trust in Britain's politicians.

    4. Thanks Wullie..

      but if I robed a bank and was caught, I don't think the defence of 'I'm sorry you honour, I've been an honest chap for the past 30 years so give me another chance' would result in the judge saying, 'ok Patrick I will let you off Scot Free.

      He may take my previous good record into consideration, and I'd probably get less time than a known bank robber, but I'd still get time.

      What is making people angry is that Carmichaels behaviour is a continuation of the 'politician gets caught then apologises (but only after getting caught) and tells everyone they should just forget it since they have apologised'

      We saw this sense of entitlement with the expenses scandal, we have saw it several times since, and we are all heartily sick of it.

      It comes down to the fact that Scots will no longer put up with people like Carmichael treating us like idiots.

      He must go.

  25. What about the people that voted for him don't they deserve a second chance as being "As a liberal I believe that people deserve a second chance. I hope fair minded people would agree that people that voted for Alistair Carmichael should be given that second chance.".

  26. Although this was an all out attack on our FM, it also attacked Milliband as someone she didn't consider suitable to be PM. That was something being used by the Tories and the right wing press, so added further 'confirmation' to their claims. Carmichael might also have thought it might help his re-election chances as rumours were coming from the northern isles about him not being secure. So the smear seems designed to help Carmichael personally, give further credence to the Tory campaign, as well as smearing our FM and undermining the Scottish Government and democracy in Scotland.

    Must have seemed lil quite a good days work to all involved whether LD or Tory.

    There has also been some uncertainty as to who the French consul was talking to. In some reports it was a friend (so could well have been speaking in French). Which begs the question - was the recording of the conversation unauthorised?

    Lots of questions still without satisfactory answers. I don't think the SG can afford to let this be. Otherwise the smears and undermining will just gather pace. The SG needs to make it clear it will not stand for more of the same.

  27. Presumably Carmichael knows where the bodies are buried and so can't be asked to do the decent thing for fear f taking others with him.

  28. Let's help these people on Orkney raise the cash they need to throw the liar out:
    Please post the link all over the internet. Thanks.

  29. Someone from "Lawyers for Yes" should step in and offer their services for free to help these people.

  30. James Cook@BBCJamesCook · 1 hour ago
    Police on Alistair Carmichael: "A complaint has been received and inquiries are ongoing to establish if there is criminality."