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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  • Ishmael


    10 Dec, 2015 – 10:24 am

    No, I see no cordradiction as I distiguish between thoes on board and thoes trying to subvert, destory etc.

    Node 12:35

    What a stupid comment, post’s are removed all the time, it’s a private blog, Craig can do what he want’s, makes rules as he wants. I really dont know how you can be so distant from reality. geez, talk about neo-con ideolagy. Cheack your own.

    I totlay don’t respect him atm. We are dirt to him… And why should I not second guess him. I know why you creeps creep, no reason for self respecting people to.

  • giyane

    Well Heebijeeb, he’d have more chance from us than from the shameless trolls. We would not be so thinly spaced on the blog if you stopped trundling down to GCHQ from Wolverhampton and pretending to have ideas. Did you know that the mauve pipe in the M5 central barrier carries chocolate from Cadburys to a chocolate gnome factory in Worcestershire?
    Oh you did know… you are one … you’re scared of being eaten by the dog .. not the dog, the chocolate bear with silver foil on.

  • giyane


    “We are dirt to him”

    So that’s rather nice of him to give us a free, open and uncensored space to post our views on.
    Have you tried posting anything on the Guardian? You called yourself dirt, not him.

  • Ishmael

    “So that’s rather nice of him to give us a free, open and uncensored space”..

    It’s much easyer to make a comment after you wake Giyane.

  • Ishmael

    I actully belived there was some method to his madness. But no…

    So that’s it then, he’s said his bit, and my conclusion, An Extraordinary Lack of Humility..

  • Alcyone

    Ishmael have you forgotten the time when Craig was concerned for you and asked if you were in trouble? I recall it being quite compassionate of him.

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    Ishmael 3.23 : Node 12:35 What a stupid comment, post’s are removed all the time, it’s a private blog, Craig can do what he want’s, makes rules as he wants. I really dont know how you can be so distant from reality. geez, talk about neo-con ideolagy. Cheack your own. …… I know why you creeps creep, no reason for self respecting people to.

    I didn’t mention posts being removed so your abusive comment makes no sense. Apology?

  • Ishmael

    Alcyone, No I havent…Nore do I make that wider judment on that partular isolated event. The Guardian run some good articals.

  • Ishmael

    “I know why you creeps creep, no reason for self respecting people to.”

    Apology? No because the fist part of that post was not adressed to you, or the last…..You joined them together yoursef.

    Any more?

  • fred


    As you are in a generous mood today I wonder if I might bring to your attention a worthy cause. Four people in Orkney need to raise £150,000 to pay Alistair Carmichael’s legal expenses. Egged on by Nationalists they stuck their necks out and brought the case against him and they are liable, he is pursuing them. They are afraid that all those eager to contribute to Carmichael’s downfall might not be so keen to give money for a case already lost. They could well lose their houses.

  • Habbabkuk (combat the dingbats)

    Nice one, Fred.

    This is literally a case of people putting their MONEY where their MOUTH was/is.

    Except that they won’t.

  • Habbabkuk (combat the dingbats)

    Ishmael, Node and Giyane

    Please stop squabbling. You are giving new readers of the blog a bad impression.

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    Sorry, Fred, that was my last tenner, but if you want to lend me another I’d be delighted to donate it to such a good cause. Tell you what, you’re nearer to Orkney than me, why don’t we cut out the middle man and you just donate it directly to those Nationalists yourself. I’ll pay you back later, honest.

  • Mary

    Mod A final word if I may to correct some disinformation. I have not left Craig’s blog ‘seven times’ as stated. Once when I did not support Craig’s endorsement of the LDs. We ended up with Clegg and the coalition in 2010 and without them, we would not have had the Health and Social Care Act in 2012 enabling the privatisation of our NHS.

    I changed my name to April Showers in a vain attempt to avoid vicious and sordid trolling from Habbabkuk which left me in a dark place as I have said before. To go to bed in tears some nights was the result.

    Last year I was absent for periods when I was in hospital for surgery, for radiotherapy and in A&E thereafter on five occasions. I plead no special case.

    Alcyone/Villager displays his lack of sincerity by firstly making a pretence of sympathy and later today, jeering at the name change I made, referred to above. He speaks of my anger. No. Not anger, just sadness at what has happened to the country I love and to the Palestinians whom I support in their struggle.


  • Mary


    Lastly, I note that an insulting comment left by Resident Dissident on the Sadly, Terrorism is Easy thread where he referred to David Halpin (whom I admire for his actions for the Palestinians, against the destruction of the NHS and for truth and justice) as a ‘cretin’. Vile.

    Moderation on here is indiscriminate and arbitrary.

    PS Somewhere in my e-mail wayback is one from Craig asking me not to leave.

    This comment will be most probably be deleted. Best wishes.

  • Phil

    Mary, people are allowed to have opinions. Just because it is contrary to yours doesn’t mean it should be removed.

  • Ishmael

    Mary, iv watched this for long enough, you really don’t deserve this constant attack, and the truth is Craig let’s it go on. You’ve no need to defend yourself. They are the ones who are shamed.

    After all you’ve added, it’s unbelievable you are treated like those who deserve every contempt. Such is the nature of those in positions of privilege and power, who make their rules that others must suffer. It gives them warm fuzzy feelings of authority.

    Leave him with his supports of human right atrocity’s, racists and bigots, he’s not so different. And how others defend him and these positions so carelessly. Hearts of stone. Stone.

    And yes I also tried to change my id once, and they make it out like its a game, a deceptive act, when I was just trying to protect myself, he reacts just the same as them. We are his play things. As is his own family.

    let’s see if this opinion stays phil…

  • Ishmael

    Birds of a feather, let em flock together..

    If you have anything else you work on, or may do, let us know, i’d be happy to help if I could..

    Craig has milked the last if his credible act. He’s a bad influence. Just see how most his followers behave, stuck up and conceited. The nicety’s are just that.

  • Resident Dissident

    Yes Mary I should have said “cretinous” rather than “cretin” – as my remark was clearly addressed to his comment – a fact that you conveniently ignore. Perhaps I had been wound up by nameless people making references to leaders wishing Jews a happy Hannukah – whose motivation clearly was not one of promoting religious tolerance.

    I could of course whinge about some of the comments that I receive – but I’m afraid that just goes with the territory here.

  • Pan

    Phil (to Mary)

    “Because there’s nothing harder than copying and pasting random articles is there.”

    The fact that you think Mary’s choice of articles (which she condenses to include just the salient points) is ‘random’, merely reveals your lack of comprehension and obliviousness to context.

  • Pan

    Mary –

    “The trolls will be hoisted by their own petards eventually. Why they have been allowed to run amok here for so long has bothered and mystified me.”

    If only Craig knew how much the image of his blog has been degraded in the eyes of potentially valuable contributors, who steer clear as a consequence of the appallingly arbitrary and laisser-faire attitude of the so-called ‘moderators’.

    Why a man so apparently devoted to trying to raise people’s awareness of serious matters concerning everyone, would wish to allow his efforts to be so diluted and defiled is incomprehensible to me.

    (Sorry, Craig, but I’m just saying it as I see it).

  • glenn_uk

    Pan: Even Mary’s most vicious critics have to admit, however grudgingly, to her sheer doggedness, in providing that information publicity, putting it on our record, and denying us the excuse that “We didn’t know!”

    I wish her a very good Xmas and NY if she’s not coming back before then, together with all people of good will, and Anon1 too. After all, there’s always a chance that a person’s conscience might fire up at some point.

  • glenn_uk

    Pan: I must take issue with this. CM surely knows the force of his detractors here. The fact that he allows them to remain – for years – and challenge him frequently, can only speak to his commitment to freedom of speech. Anyone with such a high profile blog would surely want to eliminate the hardline dissenters, if that commitment was not there.

    From time to time, there have been clear rules set for posting here (which is done on an honours basis btw, no registering, no pre-mod, etc.) – nobody respected it. It said that mods aren’t even allowed to discuss it, and bickering with mods will result in deleted posts. Nobody respected that either.

    The blog host and the mods get kicked up and down, even after they’ve quit their role – see Clark’s thankless example. And still everyone hates them, despite no order without them.

    This is no grovel-up – I’ve had posts deleted too, and was subject to an extensive pre-mod at one time. But it is a thankless job, without which the blog would become a love-fest of nuts, freaks, “truthers” of all varieties, anti-Semites, white power nationalists, Zionists, you name it.

    I think you’re being rather unfair to the host and the mods.

    Just sayin’ 😉

  • Pan

    “I think you’re being rather unfair to the host and the mods.”

    I have the UTMOST respect for Craig (I hope to shake his hand one day and tell him so, face to face) and I credit him with more than enough insight to know in the meantime, that I genuinely mean that.

    I should add that FEW men (or women, for that matter) who I come across have what it takes to earn the kind of respect I have for Craig Murray.

    I know there are people here (perhaps you are one of them) who have been contributing to this blog for many years, and that that makes me a ‘whippersnapper newcomer’.

    I’m afraid I stand by what I said, though, regarding how this blog is SERIOUSLY let down by LACK of moderation.

    You cannot play the ‘freedom of speech’ card. If that truly applied then it would be a total free-for-all.

    Clearly, SOME kind of ‘censorship’ takes place, therefore true freedom of speech can NOT be said to exist here, as things are.

    The way I see it, Craig is acting a bit like Putin did with regard to the way the latter ‘tolerated’ CIA-funded ‘NGOs’ in Russia, despite knowing full well the damage they were doing, and were being PAID BY THE ENEMY to do!

    I was incredulous that it took Putin so many years to finally DO something about it (which, as I’m sure you know, he has finally done). I strongly suspect Putin does NOT regret his having finally acted!).

  • Pan

    This was supposed to be at the beginning of my comment above…

    Glenn –

    “After all, there’s always a chance that a person’s conscience might fire up at some point.”

    Have you SEEN Anon1’s gravatar ?


    “This is no grovel-up – I’ve had posts deleted too”

    I know. I read your comment last night re RoS/me/Islam etc. before it suddenly vanished!

    I’ve also seen Mary’s comments edited and deleted for no apparent reason.

  • Alcyone

    “If only Craig knew how much the image of his blog has been degraded in the eyes of potentially valuable contributors, who steer clear as a consequence of the appallingly arbitrary and laisser-faire attitude of the so-called ‘moderators’.”
    In FACT I have observed quite a few new commenters plunge in, including you. Have you any evidence for your assertion? A market survey? Is there a club of such reluctant commenters running in parallel to this blog? How do you know what CM and we don’t know?
    ” so-called ‘moderators’’

    Isn’t that rude, to use that term ‘so-called’, when we are openly discussing moderation and the Mods are not directly part of it? Youe so-called ‘respect’ for Craig, I believe is therefore questionable. Or you haven’t thought things through.
    ” I’ve also seen Mary’s comments edited and deleted for no apparent reason.”

    What part of ‘no OT’s on a current thread especially still at the (new) page 1’, don’t you understand?

  • Alcyone

    Pan at 03h39, exactly an hour after his previous post comes up with:

    ” And now Mary’s gone.

    Does that really tell you NOTHING ??”
    Did you chew the cud for a whole hour, before coming up with that?

    I mistrust the balance of insomniac posters.

  • Alcyone

    The FACT remains that as Craig has said scores of comments were deleted in recent days and Mary was not singled out.

  • Clydebuilt

    Ian Bell the journalist has died, aged 59. Had an article in Sunday herald . BBC reported the death, no comment on his health.

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