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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  • Alcyone


    “It befits the blog, as do contrary ideas, and below the line AT LEAST we should all be valued for what we bring to it.”


    “Some clearly have no place on this blog. Craig wants you here that your strange ideas are shown. There is nobody who undermines you more than you.”
    Aren’t you rather contradicting yourself?

    Also, I wouldn’t second-guess Craig.

  • nevermind, Lord Feldmann keeps the nasty party in the news.

    Thanks for that excellent link, Ian Orr, it had to be said. Today I went on radio and lambasted those who dare to compare Corbyn with Trump, anything to avoid talking about the misgivings of this murderous Tory bunch.

    Mary, sadly, wrote

    “It was deleted. Therefore I take the hint. I have had enough of it and I am just wasting my time so bid farewell and wish friends here a Happy Christmas and all the best for the New Year.”

    thats followed with this
    “If one reads Mary’s recent posts carefully one gets the impression that’s she’s “going” this time (it must be about the seventh time) not because of the presence of dissidents she mistakenly calls trolls but because of what she considers to be unfair moderation (ie, deletions of some of her stuff.”

    and then this, berating Bevin about his understanding of Irish history, in his usual patronising schoolmasterly ways

    “Well, that’s you taken care of once again. Run along, sonny.”

    One thing is for sure, you have never been a diplomat, because your abilities are condescending, ignorant and rude, you would have ended up being beaten up,shot or in jail, Habby.

    Thanks to Alcy anonymous and her master Habby, this ‘get Mary’ campaign has finally taken its toll.

    Anybody feel like joining here? I bet there are, maybe the moderator would like a break as well.

  • Macky

    Ken; “Mary goes so does other folk. Collective”

    Even better, and something which a few are doing already, is not to engage with the habby clown troll as if he is here in good faith; alas several commentators seem to be very slow learners, or perhaps just like any chance to pontificate.

  • Alcyone


    ” That’s a tad curious given that she has frequently called – implicitly – for the banning of certain commenters (“Why does Ceaig allow the trolls (sic) to post on here?”).”

    Good point Habby. In fact she is even now and its explicit enough for me:

    ” “Why they have been allowed to run amok here for so long has bothered and mystified me.”

    Further, on the mistakenly called trolls busines, I offered here very recently that we drop this word altogether. No answer was forthcoming.

  • Ishmael

    yea, I just don’t think the argument adds up, Craig gets to write exactly what he wants, within other limits but relatively uncensored and free.

    And people (most) would not be here if they did not respect that. But we all have our own agenda’s, probabilities and restrictions. He’d do well to ponder on this IMO. If those ideas presented are in fact his reasonings.

    Myself I think you actually produce less backing the more you try and control, + you just get yes men. What is an opinion worth if it’s externally promoted.

    Most do make some remarks about the articles, do we need total conformity at a certain time? It’s ridiculous. There is all sorts going on worthy of focus. And i’d rather see that than people picking over stupid nuances, or simply agreeing.

    The world moves pretty fast nowadays.

  • Briar

    The simple rule is: don’t feed the trolls. Like 14 year old adolescents out to wind up the teacher and derail the lesson (though often their motivation is darker and more sinister), they get their kicks from making people lose the thread and get upset. I have been online for years. I always ignore them. They are there to divide, distract, disinform, libel, harass and generally prevent reasoned debate. They generally succeed too. But why help them achieve their purpose?

  • nevermind, Lord Feldmann keeps the nasty party in the news.

    11 refugees drowned, 5 of them children the youngest 6 weeks old, a baby.

    Thanks to those who have destabilised Syria and bombed the fkcu out of it, since old Assad’s death, even before his son took over.

    And more thanks to Cameron for not doing his job in opposition and agreeing to bomb Iraq, creating the first IS stone that rolled down the hill.

    And thanks to NATO for turning Libya into the new home for ISIL and its DAEShing friends. Wondered why we don’t make any headways, still?

    Its because we are not interfering with their satellite communications, we are not interfering with their finances, we are not stopping our NATO partner Turkey from collaborating with/training/ equipping murderous terrorist, we are playing ‘mafia’ games, keeping organised criminal groups to do the dirty work for us.

    if you don’t like the links, don’t click on them

  • nevermind, Lord Feldmann keeps the nasty party in the news.

    And now the dirty filthy lot is goading her, just in case she is still reading here.

  • Ken

    Years of Westminster rule of Ireland by unelected individuals. Including 1820 to 1922. Left Ireland depressed.

    1930’s Britain (the world) a depressed Establishment/kingdom. State of Nazi sympathisers and religious bigots. Universal suffrage 1928. A World War 1914-18 caused by European rulers. Intermarried rulers. ‘Divine right of Kings’ British Royal cousins – Victoria’s grandchildren. Czar. An expanding population of starving people. Serfs. 1917 Russian Revolution. Russia defeated Hitler 11WW.

  • Ishmael

    ‘just in case she is still reading here’.

    I hope she’s having a break, at least, I mostly don’t read their stuff anyway, it’s nice imagining them talking to nobody, or it seems fitting, just.

    But it’s not easy to ignore if your here a lot.

  • Alcyone

    Nebelmind stop creating mischief. You’re not helping Craig here at all.

    Read Mary’s comment–she’s upset about certain deletions of her comments. The Moderator is Craig’s moderator and he/she has a job to do.

    She would’ve probably been fine if she were posting on the penultimate thread. Its that simple. Grow up.

  • Phil

    On the point of moderators. Don’t take it personally if something you post is removed, there’s obviously a reason. It would be nice to be told why something was removed but the mods obviously don’t have all day to spend on here. There’s no reason to get upset and leave just because a post was removed, its not a personal attack, they’re just doing a job and a thankless one at that.

  • Alcyone

    One has to ask the question why is it that it is only Mary who feels she’s being picked on?

    After all, we have all had deletions at one point or another?

  • glenn_uk

    It would be pretty bad if off-topic posts were restored for people who just complain the loudest, or think they are more important than anyone else here. Particularly when 90% of the posts are actually allowed to stay, and there were some rather clear rules set out from time to time – no abuse, keep on topic for the top post, and so on.

    To be completely honest, I do get a bit tired of the “news digest” and “breaking news” posts, as if everyone else was too stupid to get news themselves.

    I might have skimmed that post of Mary’s from yesterday that’s being complained about. Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t it contain all the verses of some song, plus something about lib dems at the bottom, on a post which is supposed to be about Alistair Carmichael and the associated court case? How was that song relevant – did they all sing it in court or something?

  • Alcyone

    “did they all sing it in court or something?”

    LOL Glenn, you can always be relied upon as a sane voice.

  • Macky

    How perverse that on World Human Rights Day, it’s reported in the news that Israel has just announced a total ban on cement entering Gaza, a place of ruin & utter devastation thanks to recent Israeli attacks; no Human Rights in Gaza, to have place to live, to have a roof over your head, to have shelter from the cold of winter, to have schools to go to, to have hospitals, etc ;

  • nevermind, Lord Feldmann keeps the nasty party in the news.

    Nebelmind stop creating mischief. You’re not helping Craig here at all.

    look Alcy, trouble stirrer, i’m not here to help anyone whatever gave you that servile impression.

    why don’t you take yourself away from here villager, your cult advertisement here is not required or asked for, there’s a good girl.

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    Mary : Why they have been allowed to run amok here for so long has bothered and mystified me

    It’s no mystery. They are ‘allowed’ to post here because they can’t be stopped. Not requiring a subscription to post here makes it virtually impossible to enforce a ban. The mods are helpless therefore only well-meaning posters can improve the situation. We have to self-police, use restraint, and STOP FEEDING THE TROLLS.

    Maybe Glenn_uk can be bothered to scan the last few threads with one of his analytical scripts. I GUARANTEE the statistics will show that the more you reply to the trolls, the more you are trolled. The trolls are powerless if you ignore them, they look stupid when their childish provocations are left hanging, tumbleweed blowing through the empty space which they hoped would be filled by someone rising to the bait (to mix several metaphors).

    I add my voice to those who don’t want you to leave, Mary. You’re one of the reasons I was first attracted to this blog and one of its most valuable contributors. That’s why you are subjected to some of the worst and most vicious trolling, but THE ONLY SOLUTION is to ignore it, and I mean ignore it, not just refer to the perpetrators in the third person, which encourages them.

    Ignore them and you will cure the problem AND piss them off. Double whammy. Simples.

  • Miss Castello

    S Jackson @6:30 am; “Mary I’m so sorry that the trolls have won.”

    They haven’t won; Mary has. By ‘leaving,’ it’s ‘THE TROLLS’ who have lost out – big time. Mary (no disrespect to the many other worthy contributors here) was the mainstay of this blog, providing links / evidence /data, around the clock. Probably why she attracted the contemptible abuse she did, from those who knew full well her dire state of health. Together with her unwavering support for the Palestinian cause, no doubt. Without Mary to mock and and torment, starved of their poisonous fix, these twisted misfits will shrivel up and rot away. Good riddance.

    Thank you Mary – Fare thee Well. x

  • Habbabkuk

    The adulation directed at a certain poster called Mary is very fitting given the time of year it is and the date we are approaching…

  • Habbabkuk


    “One thing is for sure, you have never been a diplomat, because your abilities are condescending, ignorant and rude, you would have ended up being beaten up,shot or in jail, Habby.”


    You appear to like the idea of people being beaten up, Ingo. Did you not offer to beat me up a couple of times in the past (example: if I turned up at Doune the Rabbit Hole)?

  • Habbabkuk


    “That includes Habba, who began this diversion into the byways of Irish history..”


    If you will go back to yesterday and the first page of this thread I think you’ll find that it was our Transatlantic Friend “Lysias” who introduced Ireland into the conversation at 15h07. A post followed in quick succession by another three posts from the same person and all talking about Ireland.

    Do keep up.

  • giyane

    Who is saying Mary’s comment was deleted for being off topic? At a time that arch zionists Obama Hollande Cameron, Erdogan are playing war games with extended billiard cues on a map of the ME, everything Mary has contributed about Israel IS the topic in question. At a moment of time when Russia and the aforementioned war criminals are engaged in shooting down eachothers’ warplanes, passenger planes even, if you forget about Israel, you can’t make head or tail out of any of what is going on.

    Mary didn’t say she was going permanently, just that she didn’t have time when she was preparing for christmas to see her contributions zapped. All a troll has to do to prepare for Xmas is hang him/herself – by the neck preferably – by a piece of gold=coloured braid from a branch of a christmas tree, thus serving 2 purposes, , decorative and dumb.

    My father always used to ask me, when I caught up with him at festive occasions and relayed to him a summary of my problems and concerns about the world, what i was going to do about them. It’s no good just talking about them, what are you going to do about them? And so it is with Craig. He posts his analysis on a particular topic, hoping that somebody out there will furnish him with solutions or trails towards them.

    That’s Craig. My dad used to say to me he’d already given me a full 3 minutes of his total concentration and that was enough. Craig is already stressed out of his mind because his pet hate topic, religion, has become the main mover and decider in current affairs. Zapping us is a visible manifestation of that personal frustration. Mary keeps putting her finger on the nub of the problem:Israel. You’re going to get zapped if you keep on pushing the dad’s buttons. Especially at christmas family occasions!

    Mary, even Alcyone is asking you not to go. Who will Habba have to stalk? and what how is he going to be able to stalk you when internet stalking becomes an imprisonable crime?

  • BrianFujisan

    Strange how certain Souls – Unseen.. never having met – can become an important part of ones life… as Mary has for me.

    Stay Strong My Friend… DO NOT Let them weaken you X

  • Alcyone

    10 Dec, 2015 – 1:08 pm
    The adulation directed at a certain poster called Mary is very fitting given the time of year it is and the date we are approaching…”
    Remember April Showers?

    What will it be this time?

    Immaculate December? It still doesn’t beat my ‘Hotter than July’ number, though that’s a long time to wait.

    Time to lighten up!

  • glenn_uk

    “Immaculate December? It still doesn’t beat my ‘Hotter than July’ number, though that’s a long time to wait.

    Is this next year’s Playboy calendar we’re talking about here? Can hardly wait!

  • Habbabkuk


    “It’s no good just talking about them, what are you going to do about them? And so it is with Craig. He posts his analysis on a particular topic, hoping that somebody out there will furnish him with solutions or trails towards them.”

    The above would be sad if it wasn’t so laughable.

    Craig has occasionally asked people for technical advice or to fins out something for him.

    I very much doubt if he posts in order to receive “solutions” from his readers. That doubt is based on the quality and intent of much that appears on here.

  • Alcyone

    LOL Glenn, I’m feeling a little blue today so that was an especially good laugh!

    With all the talk here about visualising, I’m thinking of Hot August Night. Anybody with any offers for titles of the missing months?

    Stay well!

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