Carmichael: An Extraordinary Lack of Humility 240

Given that the election court had just found that he told a “Blatant lie”, Alistair Carmichael struck absolutely the wrong note in his statement after the case. He could have said:

“I did tell a lie, and it is something I deeply regret. I apologise to my constituents, to my family and to the people of Scotland for all the trouble my lie has caused. I have learned from it. I am grateful to the court for giving me aother chance, and I have now learned never to indulge in that kind of bad behaviour again.”

Instead, with extraordinary arrogance, Alistair said this:

“I am pleased with the decision of the court.

Although I was always confident of winning the last few months have been a difficult and stressful time for me and my family.

We have been enormously grateful for the tremendous levels of support received from local people, in both Orkney and Shetland, regardless of which political party they normally support…

This case was politically motivated. It was a deliberate attempt by nationalists to remove the last Scottish Liberal voice at Westminster, and is a mark of the unhealthy polarisation of Scottish politics since the referendum.”

Co-ordinated statements were put out by Willie Rennie and “Bomber” Tim Farron saying much the same thing. So the utter lack of any humility must have been deliberate. This is an orchestrated act of arrogance.

You will recall that I predicted that there was no way that Scotland’s deeply conservative and unionist judiciary would find against Carmichael. The reasoning behind their judgement is intellectually risible. They say that Carmichael only lied in denying a specific leak; he was therefore not making a false claim about his general character. If he had specifically stated that he never leaked he would have been making a false claim and disqualified.

Here is the pathetic “reasoning” of the judge Lady Paton:

They explained that if a candidate made a false statement that he would never leak an internal confidential memo, no matter how helpful that might be to his party, as he regarded the practice of leaking confidential information as dishonest and morally reprehensible, and he would not stoop to such tactics, when in fact that candidate had leaked an internal confidential memo containing material which was inaccurate and highly damaging to an opponent, they would be likely to conclude that the candidate had given a false statement “’in relation to [his] personal character or conduct” because he would be falsely holding himself out as being of such a standard of honesty, honour, trustworthiness and integrity that, in contrast with what others in Westminster might do, he would never be involved in such a leaking exercise.

“In the present case, when speaking to the Channel 4 interviewer, the first respondent did not make such an express statement about his personal character or conduct,” Lady Paton continued. “We are not persuaded that the false statement proved to have been made was in relation to anything other than the first respondent’s awareness (or lack of awareness) of a political machination. Accordingly we are not satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the words used by the first respondent amounted to a ‘false statement of fact in relation to [his] personal character or conduct’. It follows that we are not satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that an essential element of section 106 has been proved.

There are several glaring errors in this reasoning. The first is that if I denied knowledge of a murder I had in fact committed, I would be making a false statement about my general character whether or not I had added a condemnation of the morality of murder.

The second is that Lady Paton ignores the “conduct” in “false statement in relation to his character or conduct.” In denying knowledge of a leak he had in fact made himself. Carmichael was beyond any reasonable doubt making a false statement as to his conduct, even if we accept Paton’s argument it did not go to his character. Note that there is no reference to his “general” or “usual” conduct.

This is the judgement of a woman justifying a pre-determined stitch-up.

Despite al this, I would not be tremendously concerned about the result if Alistair had the decency to be a bit chastened by it. It is only because of our ridiculously undemocratic electoral system that representation is so skewed. You didn’t ought to get over 95% of the seats on 52% of the votes, and I am not sure what is gained by magnifying that other wrong. But any mixed feelings I have on those grounds are dispelled by the utterly inappropriate triumphalism the Lib Dems are displaying, as though to be found a blatant liar by a court is something to be proud of. The brass neck of it all is sickening.

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240 thoughts on “Carmichael: An Extraordinary Lack of Humility

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  • fred

    “My calculator says that 100% of $40 per barrel is still worth four times more than 8% of $120.”

    $39 and falling fast.

    Boy did we dodge a bullet.

  • Pan

    Alcy1 –

    “I mistrust the balance of insomniac posters.”

    I suppose you’ve never heard of night-workers.

    And when, pray tell, did you EVER post something constructive here?

    As for me not “haven’t thought things through” – since when has your department had anything to do with ‘thinking’?


    The moderators have apparently had their say by leaving your bilge in place.

    That’s fine. I just wish they would come out of the shadows and EXPLAIN their policy, the same as virtually ALL other blog moderators do.

    And if I were to have offended Craig, I am sure he would have given me a tongue-lashing by now! (Perhaps he still will. If he does, then I will eat humble pie).

  • Pan

    “I think “flounced” might be a better description.”

    That says more about you, Fred, than it does about Mary.

  • Habbabkuk (combat the dingbats)


    ““I think “flounced” might be a better description.”

    That says more about you, Fred, than it does about Mary.”

    Flounced is exactly the right word, Pan.

    She’s done it, or threatened to do it, several times before.

    Usually when she gets frustrated that the Mods don’t leap to her orders (ban him! ban him!) or when she gets told off or when a few of her copy-and-pastes get deleted.

  • Habbabkuk (combat the dingbats)


    And as for bringing this blog into disrepute, Pan, you need to look no further than those:

    – who incessantly propound an anti-West message, even when that means expressing support for disgusting creatures like Mr Putin, the Iranian ayatollahs, etc….

    – who have a fixation with the Jews although they always claim it’s Zionism they’re really talking about (the frequent references to people’s possible J***sh ancestry, the Rothschilds controlling the world, etc, refer…)

    – who incessantly hawk conspiracy theories, large and small (latest example, yet again: the independence referendum was lost because of mqssive electoral fraud…).

    Those are the people who are destroying this blog.

    Not because they want to, of course, but because, lacking any sense of decency, they are cuckoos – squatters – on Craig’s blog, which is a convenient vehicle for them to be able to vent their obsessions to a wider audience. It bears mi-uttering in the aisles of their local supermarket.

    If I were Craig, I would be happy if they fell silent.

  • Alcyone

    11 Dec, 2015 – 12:19 pm
    “I think “flounced” might be a better description.”

    That says more about you, Fred, than it does about Mary
    It definitely says that Fred’s english is more nuanced and of a higher standard than yours, Pan.

  • Alcyone

    Pan, so you still insist on calling them ‘so-called moderators’?

    ” That’s fine. I just wish they would come out of the shadows and EXPLAIN their policy, the same as virtually ALL other blog moderators do. ”

    Good point, so you are saying as a newbie you’re not familiar with the moderation policy. The policy is documented somewhere within the site, I believe in one of Craig’s posts, so I would request the Moderators to copy you the link . In the meantime, maybe someone else, more technically competent than me can direct you?

    I’m sure you’ll get to it, all you have to do is ask, rather than being rude to the Moderators.

  • Alcyone

    “You forgot the capital ‘E’ in English.”

    Yes, deliberately to see whether you were a Nitpicker. We don’t do much of that around here.

  • Macky

    @Pan, I hope you are enjoying the delicious humour of being lectured by somebody to respect the moderation here, when that person has at least twice been permanently banned under both of his known monikers, but still is here posting his unwanted hypocritical nonsense ! 😀

  • glenn_uk

    Pan: ” I just wish they would come out of the shadows and EXPLAIN their policy, the same as virtually ALL other blog moderators do.

    Here you go, Pan:

    You’ll notice it says (my emphasis) that mods are precluded from explaining decisions online – so your demands that they explain themselves would go against the orders they’ve explicitly been given.

    The rest of the rules are fairly self explanatory, it looks like they’ve been doing what they’ve been told to do, more or less.

  • Alcyone

    Thank you Glenn and yes agree the regimen is not only being applied, but I believe has been working. Except of course for Mary.

    For those who are familiar, I thing the blog is much better now than previously. Although no slight meant whatsoever on Jon, who is indeed a very nice guy who had to deal with a very difficult period, especially with his (virtual)identity being known.
    Compliments to Jon and present Moderators. And to you Glenn.

  • glenn_uk

    Thanks, Alcyone – and you’re right. That person got nothing but grief all round for his thankless (and entirely unpaid) job of tryng to moderate here. He took it all very personally too, because at the end of the day, he was (and remains) a very intellectually honest individual, who was way too sensitive to the conflicting demands.

    As mentioned in the rules post above, it is a demanding job and takes an emotional toll. Every time some poster gives them grief, or feels in incumbent upon themselves to announce what a crap job they’re doing, it adds to it.

  • lysias

    No, first page was not the reason for the moderator misconduct on this thread. My comments that were deleted or put on moderation were all on the second page.

  • lysias

    The Resident Inquisitor complains about critics of Israel posting here. When his own postings on this thread exhibit an irrational and unjustified animus against Ireland and the Irish.

    Why are his comments not put on moderation and/or deleted?

  • lysias

    For an example of a comment that was quite unreasonably put on moderation, I invite readers to look at my comment from 9 Dec. 11:41 PM. It was on the second page.

  • lysias

    Well, it was put on moderation again, so curious readers will have to go back to page two. Once again, it was my comment of 9 Dec. 11:41 PM. It merely states some documented historical facts.

    Observe, by the way, that this new example of a comment being unreasonably put on moderation is on page 3.

  • lysias

    For the convenience of readers, I will now cut and paste that comment here, so that readers do not have to go back to the second page (always provided that this one is not put on moderation):

    In 1933, the incipient worldwide Jewish boycott of Nazi Germany, which could have brought down the Nazi government before it consolidated its power, so parlous was the state of the German economy, suffering especially from a shortage of foreign exchange, was sabotaged by the Transfer Agreement between Nazi Germany and the Jewish colony in Palestine (the Yishuv), under which large numbers of German Jews were allowed to emigrate to Palestine in return for surrendering the bulk of their assets to the German state.

  • Habbabkuk (combat the dingbats)


    “Even in her absence the Mary-hating hyenas can’t stop yapping away ! :D”


    If you brushed up your counting skills, Macky, you might notice that there have been far more posts on Mary from the Eminences and Old Trolls (plus various hangers-on) than from the true dissenters.

  • Alcyone

    Lysias my friend you really are on a whining trip.

    Have you considered stuff being caught in a spam filter–the moderator can’t be expected to sit at his keyboard 24-7. In fact the fact that time delays are few and far between is a credit to them.

    I myself have had innocuous stuff held up in pre-moderaation only to realise its a technical glitch; machines, afterall.

    I truly concur with Glenn, for God’s sake we should thank the Moderators for all they are doing–sifting through other people’s nonsense, at no pay and doing a huge service to Craig, us all and the lurkers!

    Its so easy to nitpick and we should stop talking as if they are our natural-right servants. All good wishes to them and whoever else wants them.

  • Macky

    @Lysias, your post contain the J word which seems to be an automatic trigger for pre-moderation, which is a rather absurd overreaction to possibe anti-semitic comments, and a positive hinderance to posting comments in a political blog with all that is happening in the ME !

    Notice that this offensive Islamophobic comment is sill up;

    @Alcyone/Villager, it’s truely a wonder that you don’t choke on your own hypocrisy, as you were personally the most insulting & offensive poster towards Jon the Mod, giving him more grief than all the other posters combined !

    @Pam, the Posting Guidelines that Glenn linked to, seem to be just for show, as many, including even Craig himself, regulary break them.

  • fedup

    and this “contribution” in the next thread stays put;

    Britain would be a better and cleaner place if every Muslim could be successfully encouraged to travel to the Islamic shithole of his/her choice and stay there.

    by Billy Corr

    Also note the side kick who was kicked out and banned and now is back and as ever is playing the fawning guard (part of the “community trust” remit) to the old fuckwit who has messiah complex and self aggrandisement complex, there again diabetes plays all sorts of trick on the brain.

  • K.A.Mylchreest

    Thinking through the logic, and it certainly needs a very clear head, I agree with you that the judges missed a trick on the ‘conduct’ issue.

    Carmichael may have known about the leak and not himself authorised it, but if he did in fact authorise it, then he simply cannot not have known about it. That is any authorisation scenario fits within the subset of “knowing about it” scenarios. It follows by basic logic, something judges are supposed to be well versed in, than NOT knowing implies not authorising. Thus falsely claiming he didn’t know of the leak means amongst other things that he by implication claimed that he did not authorise. Which of course is a statement as to his conduct. He therefore by implication lied about his conduct with a view to enhancing his chances of election, in contravention of the statute in question. Which should have meant, “Gotcha!”

  • Leslie

    Of course, humility, and fidelity to the facts are two of your great attributes Craig – er, no. At times Craig, you are nothing better than an abusive humbug.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    I just told my daughter the full story what happened when I was in holiday on the River Thames when I was 15 years old.

    I said I had to cope with THAT – alone.

    She said ‘shit’

    So I had to grow up quick…

    I also said – your Mum – is not only My Best Friend…She is Also My Wife.

    And you are telling Me about all Your Problems..Still..O.K. Fine.

    What more can I do?

    I am always here for you…but you really do need to get yourself a job..and be proud and look after yourself.

    Then you will find the Love of Your Life.

    Maybe eventually get married and maybe make Babies too (she always like to compete with her older brother – its a natural thing to do)


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