My Friend Alistair Carmichael 433

It is no secret that Alistair Carmichael is a friend of mine. Not least because he told parliament so in 2005:

“The Government’s signals to the Uzbek regime have not always been helpful. I am thinking especially of their treatment of my old friend, the former ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, who has done us all a great service in graphically highlighting the appalling human rights record of the Uzbekistan Government.”

Alistair was one of very few MPs who raised the dreadful human rights abuses in Uzbekistan even before I got there. He has a genuine interest in human rights worldwide, and had a much better motivation in going into politics than the large majority of politicians. He was never anything like a diehard unionist in personal conviction. I felt quite proud for him when he was asked during the campaign what would his role be in negotiating for the UK the conditions of separation after a Yes vote. He replied that he was Scottish, and he would be on the Scottish, not the UK side.

I have never chosen my friends by my politics, and I am not one of those people who is only happy in the company of those who agree with me. I am happiest with a few drinks and a good argument in intellectually challenging company. I also do know that all human beings are flawed, and I don’t expect perfection. So I have no intention of ending friendship with Alistair.

All of which makes it hard, but I have to say that I really do think he needs to resign as an MP, and to do so immediately.

It was not just a mistake to leak that memo, it was wrong. It was even more wrong because he himself believed it was written in error and did not give Nicola Sturgeon’s true opinion. But in an election in which the Scottish Lib Dems faced wipeout, he saw the advantage of playing this trick. That was wrong on many levels. I would add that I feel very confident that Alistair would never have done it without consulting Clegg first. Clegg should resign too. And instead of the usual Cabinet Office stitch-up, there needs to be a real inquiry into the whole history and production of that extraordinary minute, and whether Alistair was set up to do it. The Scottish Government needs to be an equal partner in constituting that inquiry.

Alistair has no alternative but to resign because he then repeatedly lied about what he had done. It is much better that he goes now with a full and frank apology to everyone, especially his constituents. When you have blatantly and repeatedly lied about something, you cannot expect people to give you their trust again. That it even seems a possibility is an example of the erosion of ethical standards, of which Tony Blair is of course the greatest example as liar, mass murderer and multi-millionaire.

But we should not lose sight of the real lesson. The corrupt and rotten structures of the UK state are so insidious that they can take a fundamentally decent man like Alistair and lead him to behave so badly. There is something within the rotting organisms of UK institutions in their decline from Imperial power and dependence on corrupt banking and corporate systems, that infects almost all who enter them. While I worked for the FCO I saw really nice colleagues, decent men and women I worked with, go along with organising what they knew to be illegal war in Iraq, and with facilitating the torture and extraordinary rendition programmes. Because that was what paid their mortgage, looked after their children, and above all gave them social status as high British diplomats.

Westminster gives untramelled executive power to a party with just 23% of the support of the registered electorate. The majority of parliamentarians are unelected Lords a great many of whom are themselves mired in corruption – and some much worse. The organs of state power are used to facilitate the flow of money from the poor to the very wealthy, which is the actual cause of the deficit in public finances. The rewards of being on the inside are sweet; those outside are measurably dispossessed of wealth, and measurably alienated in politics. The media is controlled by this corporate state.

Alistair Carmichael’s story is not the story of a bad man. It is the story of what happens to a good man who buys in to UK power structures. The real lesson of the sad story of this period in Alistair’s life is that the UK is evil, corrupt and corrupting, and that the UK state needs swiftly to be broken up.

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433 thoughts on “My Friend Alistair Carmichael

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  • Ba'al Zevul

    The oligarch owned media keep perpetuating the myth of “peace envoy”.

    They do, and they did, from the start. ‘Peace’ wasm’t in the job description or the job title though.

    June 27, 2007 – Tenders his resignation to Queen Elizabeth. Gordon Brown becomes prime minister of the United Kingdom. Hours later, Blair is appointed by the Quartet (the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations) as special envoy to the Middle East. His job will require he “mobilize international assistance to the Palestinians;” help gain support in addressing the Palestinians’ governance needs; create plans to help Palestinians develop economically; and work with other countries “as appropriate in support of the agreed Quartet objectives.”

    As to mobilising international assistance, he fucked that up too. Most spectacularly as far as Gaza’s concerned:

    ‘Peace’ was pure spin, then. Smileyface Tony with olive branch in shiny teeth. Why be pedantic if the lazy Press (who love a snappy title) called him a peace envoy?

  • lysias

    When our troll quoted a French article (only in French) about the Politico article about the forthcoming release of U.S. government files about the JFK assassination, he didn’t quote this from the Politico article:

    Adam Walinsky, who worked in the Kennedy Justice Department, believes that the mounting evidence over the years of a purposely botched autopsy of the president and the multiple “suicides” of so many figures connected to the events strongly suggests such a coverup from high levels.

    Walinsky suspects that the documents could reveal more about “the role of the FBI, under the direction of President [Lyndon] Johnson and Director [J. Edgar} Hoover, in preventing any serious investigation of the assassination at the time.”

    “That is still capable of being considered a smoking gun,” he added.

    I don’t think that suggests complicity in the assassination of the USSR or of Castro’s government.

  • lysias

    Blair was as much of a “peace envoy” as the process was a “peace process”.

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    “World Cups to stay in Russia and Qatar for now, says Fifa on day of biggest crisis.
    Can somebody explain why the U.S. has jurisdiction in this case?”

    Those words “for now” are the significant ones. The narrative must be developed. First establish the motivation as one of fighting corruption. Then, as juicy details emerge of brown paper envelopes and dodgy delegates, sporting pundits will begin to question the legality of tainted decisions. By the time bribery is proved in court, orchestrated public opinion will be demanding Russia is stripped of the event. Qatar might also fall in the cross-fire.

    As to why the U.S. has jurisdiction when FIFA’s headquarters are in Zurich and the USA is one of the least football-enthusiastic nations on Earth —- so they can appoint the judges.

  • lysias

    Sens. Menendez, McCain Call on FIFA Congress to Elect New FIFA President that Would Deny Russia 2018 World Cup (May 26, 2015):

    NEWARK, NJ – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and John McCain (R- Ariz.) sent a letter encouraging Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Congress to reconsider its support for President Sepp Blatter’s fifth term as FIFA President in light of his continued support for Russia’s hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

    In the letter, the Senators note the economic support that hosting the World Cup would provide President Putin in contravention of multilateral sanctions that have been imposed against Russia for Putin’s continued aggression in Ukraine.

    They call for a president that will instead uphold FIFA’s mission and deny Russia the 2018 World Cup, writing: “The next president of FIFA has a responsibility to ensure not only a safe and successful 2018 World Cup, but the endurance of the FIFA mission that claims to promote football “globally in the light of its unifying, educational, cultural and humanitarian values.” We strongly encourage you to elect a president who will uphold these values and work to deny the Putin regime the privilege of hosting the 2018 World Cup.”

  • Anon1


    “A betting double then.

    I bet Israel isn’t expelled from FIFA and that hosting the World Cup is taken away from Russia.”


    I’ll leave the former but take you up on the latter, if you like.

    A word of caution, however. I did correctly forecast the betting treble of a UKIP win at the euros, a Scotch No vote, and a Tory majority at the GE. Craig still owes the Palestinians a hundred quid, the poor bastards, so I’m offering you the chance to make amends for Craig’s sins by giving my winnings to the same cause.

    Are you on?

  • Anon1

    Komodo, re all posts passim — latest: Blair’s “snappy” MSM title…

    Yes, we all know Blair is a spectacular piece of shit. Do you think you are on to some great investigative triumph by highlighting this fact, repeatedly? Virtually every media organization ridicules him (see C4 News tonight, eg), so either you are quite dim in not recognising the obvious and deliberate irony of referring to him as “peace envoy”, or, more worryingly, you really do believe, like most here, that the MSM is so compromised as to be unable to report the Truths that only you and a select few other internet warriors are privy to and able to share with us, despite all evidence pointing to the contrary.

    It’s like the world thought that Tony was the Messiah until Komodo broke the MSM propaganda stranglehold and gave us the Truth.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Don’t like it, don’t read it, Anal1. My philosophy re you, most of the time, but that is largely because you don’t actually do anything but follow Buggalugs round being unpleasant to people for shitz’n’gigglez.

    I’m glad you realise Blair is a spectacular piece of shit. I have no objection to agreeing with you on this single point.

  • Becky Cohen

    Talking of MSM mis-reprensentation: an interesting article in the Independent the other day by Max Benwell about the sexist and racist demonization of Goldsmith’s College lecturer Bahar Mustafa:

    She has since been judged innocent of any of the lurid accusations thrown at her, but of course the mainstream media won’t be saturating news coverage with that.

  • Anon1

    Anal1 is good effort, better than Aknob1 which didn’t really work because of the k.

  • Becky Cohen

    “Alistair Carmichael’s story is not the story of a bad man. It is the story of what happens to a good man who buys in to UK power structures. The real lesson of the sad story of this period in Alistair’s life is that the UK is evil, corrupt and corrupting, and that the UK state needs swiftly to be broken up.”

    Perhaps it’s more that the white male power stranglehold needs to be broken up. Would he dare have done this to a male politician as a pose to Nicola Sturgeon who is a woman? The above quote from your post is a good example of how society subconsciously still talks in terms of politics being a male-only activity. You say “the good man” instead of “the good man or woman” or better still you should be saying “the good person” as this also encompasses those people who identify outside of the gender binary. Not meant to be having a go at you but just a pointer in the right direction for the next time you’d like to have a go at commenting on political issues. Also a prime example of the point that Bahar Mustafa as gender diversity officer was trying to make.

  • Becky Cohen

    “While I worked for the FCO I saw really nice colleagues, decent men and women…”

    For instance, replace “men and women” with “people” as I’m sure there are employees in the FCO who identify outside of the gender binary. Not getting at you Craig, just trying to educate…:)

  • technicolour

    The bells of hell go tingalingaling
    For you and not for me
    For me the angels singalingaling
    They’ve got the goods on me
    Oh death, where is thy stingalingaling?
    Though grave thy victory
    The bells of hell go tingalingaling
    For you and not for me!

  • giyane


    Long may your lum reik

    Sorry to rock your little boat. You may not be a Nonce1 or a BabyBugger but you can at least aspire to their Zionist warped view of the world, such as their defence of paedophile Lord Janner.

    I award you the title of Pillock, or if you like, Pillager. Sorry to leave you out.

  • technicolour

    Ach, it’s not ‘Zionists’, that nonsense is utterly reductive and inflammatory.

  • BrianFujisan

    Lysias, and Node.

    cheers for the fifa updates. ANOTHER U.S Bully mission.

    The Queens Yapping – Tears Laughing at Chunky Mark – at 8 mins in – Terrorism, and human rights… And Barking Mad at fox the end 11 mins.. Whada guy –

  • technicolour

    Sorry, not inflammatory, confusing. What is your definition of a Zionist, please, Giyane? Glad you are recovering, thank heaven and the NHS.

  • Evgueni

    John Goss 26 May, 2015 – 9:28 am

    was upset about the protests in Kiev against utility price rises not having widespread coverage in the western media, unlike the Euromaidan protests during which peaceful protesters got beaten and shot at. I decided to investigate, curious how I also missed these reports.. The World Socialists’ article sited by John Goss mentions the date – 16 May and the place – Kiev. The results of google search terms in Ukrainian акція протесту києві 16 травня at first looked unpromising, but then – I found a credible-looking report. Sympathetic to the cause of the protesters, siting Russia 24 TV channel as a source. They even had a photo of the ‘mock gallows’ referred to in WSWS article.

    Happily, it is now clear why these protests are not drawing the same attention from western media as Euromaidan.

    Unhappily for John Goss, he has posted nonsense again. Also, last I heard the investigation into Odessa tragedy is on-going, any comment a la “t’was fascists whodunnit” is just predudice. Still, communist prejudice is not really prejudice, it’s conviction isn’t it 🙂

    Original дезинформация from comrade Goss:
    Protests in Kiev go unreported by our media which were reporting almost daily on Maidan protests a year ago in order to enact regime-change with the removal of Yakunovich. The country is in so much trouble since then with no industry, utility bills quadrupled, mines closed, pensions reduced and not surprisingly a people-led protest is taking place – unlike the Nuland-led protests that created the chaos. I wonder whether Evgueni’s friends in Odessa, who never heard of any right-wing factions there when at least 42 people were burnt to death by fascists, have heard anything about these protests. Or are they too wealthy to be affected?

  • Evgueni

    prejudice, sorry. Apologies also for the preposition at the end of a sentence 🙂

  • giyane


    Pillager was criticising me for my adherence to a Book. But my Book enshrines all of the essential human rights that powerful people, when they get powerful enough relative to others, tend to say are now so relatively insignificant, therefore no longer exist.

    One example of this is Saudi and Qatar, where the wealthy are now so relatively powerful over domestic servants that they belive they can invoke slave rights over them, fuck them at their whim and fuck them off.

    Another example of this was the gross acceleration of banking power in recent years whereupon they became so powereful that we the citizens of this country might just as well get lost.

    The fact that we now have Fascist regimes in and around Europe is an indication of this.

    The fact that a Takfiri state sponsoring total destruction of Syria can get a world cup event in 50C is an indication of this.

    The fact that the British Empire at its peak could instigate a hate sect, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and the US at the height of its empire can create a hate state in the heart of the MiddleEsat is an indication of this.

    So what is the definition of Zionism. According to the above it is a condition of life, not usually applying to inhabitants of that place,but in the case of Israel and previously South Africa, co-existing in an Apartheid, in which the relative power of a minority have resulted in the proposal that the less powerful are now so relatively weak that they might as well give up all aspirations to their rights.

    Zionist power inside the UK and US has caused the destruction of Israel’s neighbour states, markedly Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya in the South. This is not apartheid, this is you’re far enough away from my mansion in leafy Surrey that I don’t give a fuck. chocks away.

    In all cases the would-be totalitarians delegate totalitarian ideology for lower ranks to implement, like Abdulhakim Belhadj in Libya, a trained and faithful slave of the CIA.

    In all cases my Book states that the totalitarians do not have the right to their ideology nor to appoint totalitarian ideology to be executed by others.

    That’s my Book and I love it.

  • Anon1

    I see that the left have been out on parade again, chanting their usual refrain of “scum, scum, scum, scum”, at Douglas Carswell this time, who said that had it not been for the presence of police officers to escort him through the lynch mob he would genuinely have feared for his life, such was the level of violent hatred etched on the scowling faces of the anti-cuts protestors.

  • John Goss

    Evgueni 28 May, 2015 – 12:55 am

    Thank you for your contribution. It amuses me that my sources are judged by you to be inaccurate while any site you choose to link is the gospel truth. It is typical of disinformation specialists that they take one aspect of an article and try and discredit the whole article from it, in this case a piece of theatre, which, because of the new ‘iron laws’ is dangerous, so only a handful took part in the gallows action. But ‘Financial Maidan’ has been going on for some time since at least December, with thousands protesting. And as I wrote unreported in our media.

    It’s a bit harsh to dub me as a Commie because I can only find reports about what is currently happening in Kiev on Socialist sites. All the evidence I come across strongly endorses the fact that the Ukrainian economy is going down the pan. Quite naturally ordinary Ukrainians are concerned about this. Those who do not believe that there are unreported protests going on and ordinary individuals have tried to break into Verkhovna Rada only need to search on the phrase “Financial Maidan” and it will pull up many sites the MSM media would rather you did not know about.

    I thought about Evgueni yesterday when I read an article by Eric Draitser about fascism in the Ukraine which concentrates on Odessa and also documents some of the journalists prevented from speaking under the new “iron laws”. Anybody who cannot see the similarity of Poroshenko’s Ukraine with Nazi Germany needs to visit an optician. Eric Draitser, like Evgueni, was born in Odessa and now lives in the United States. What made me think of Evgueni was the writing. I am full of admiration for people who can master a foreign language and write better than many natives. What puzzles me is how can two citizens of Odessa have such opposing views about what is happening there and has happened there.

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