A Small Merci

Is there another layer to the Frenchgate saga, one that carries much more danger for the British government and the credibility of the state? Politically, the defenestration of Carmichael costs the current government nothing, but if it were the new Scottish Secretary dangling from an open window, the Tory mandate in Scotland really would be threatened.

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David Mundell, still the sole Conservative member, was deputy to Carmichael at the time. There are only two of them in the Scotland Office and in the absence of colleagues, they necessarily spend a lot of time together sharing office accommodation in Melville Crescent in Edinburgh and at Dover House in London as well as the Commons.

Do they communicate? Of course they do. They fought together during the indyref and their parties combined to form the Coalition. Apart from normal professional exchanges, they were pulled together by their beleaguered status in Scotland. They have an amicable relationship.

You see where I’m going…is it credible that Mundell was kept in ignorance of the memo and the leak and can therefore be absolved of all culpability? I’m not asking for the usual partisan get-into-them approach but a detached rational perusal of events.

The FM met the Ambassador in February. The leak occurred at the beginning of April, a period of at least five or six weeks – allowing a few days for the memo to be compiled – in which the toxic package was kept locked in a government safe (at least metaphorically).

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Carmichael, and the Civil Servant who wrote it, as well as the special adviser, all knew this. Did Mundell? Or did all three deliberately keep him out of the loop for weeks on end, even as the intrigue of the election gripped them and dominated their departmental discussions? In a moment over coffee or on the flight south, did Carmichael never reveal anything and instead bite his lip to keep secret his plot to release the memo during the actual campaign? If so, why? If it was a damning blow against the SNP, why not share the contents? Indeed, how likely is it that a report on a fairly important issue of SNP relations with a foreign government wouldn’t naturally cross Mundell’s desk as a matter of course? What else is there for them to do all day?

It is to me inconceivable that the only two politicians in the Scotland Office didn’t share this crucial piece of political intelligence since it suited them both to a tee. It is my firm belief that for the last five years the source of leaks to the Scottish media from ‘government sources’ has been David Mundell, so he is well versed in the dark arts of feeding out material to the Press. He may even have advised using the Telegraph whose Scottish political correspondent Simon Johnson is the classic London toady (so much so that, like his boss Cochrane, he didn’t exercise basic journalistic practice by checking with the principals for their reaction).

At the very least, knowing of the memo, if he was unaware of the plan to leak, Mundell would most certainly have known the source once it appeared in the Telegraph. Yet he did, and said, nothing. That is complicity.

The role of Mundell is ignored in the Heywood inquiry and probably for a very good reason – he is guilty of being party to the leak. If his thumbprints were discovered, he would be toast…the last Tory MP and the only credible candidate for Scottish Secretary discredited and facing political ruin…a calamitous event for a government already devoid of mandate in Scotland. An English Tory might stand in or perhaps the newly ennobled Thatcherite chancer Dunlop could step in – both ruinous moves for the British credibility.

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Carmichael of course will know how much of this is true and keeping it confidential may be his price for retaining broad official support. Don’t think the Civil Service won’t work a deal to keep Mundell in the clear – after all it took until after the election to reveal the truth (at Carmichael’s insistence?) and it came out on Bank Holiday Friday. And here’s another thought, supposing the leak hadn’t caused an international incident in which a friend and ally had to be appeased with a body…would the entire incident have been elided away by official obfuscation?

Carmichael may be forming a human shield for Mundell and what remains of the Union.

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76 thoughts on “A Small Merci

  1. It is, at the very least, highly possible. The whole management of the admission, its long delay – ludicrous, since Carmichael knew he was the guilty party all along, the confession that Carmichael would have had to resign as a Minister and the phoney ‘penalty’ of not getting his severance payment all seem to point to a very carefully stage-managed operation. Assuming Sir Jeremy Heywood still demands some semblance of going by the book, perhaps his ‘price’ for this charade was to insist on the ‘would have had to resign’ and no cash element. The latter is feeble compared with the investigation’s costs and the former about as logically and politically damaging as it could be, raising immediately the question of ‘if then, why not now?’. Let us ask not only whether Carmichael bought his own election with the establishment’s convenient and mendacious silence – but whether Mundell did too? Their combined majorities were reduced by 89% without their voters knowing the truth. It seems most unlikely that either would have survived had the truth come out. I think, as they say, we should be told.

  2. Agree with this 100%, the lack of reference to Mundell throughout all this is startling and frankly any suggestion that he was ignorant of this smear is simply not believable

  3. Just put this up on twitter a wee while ago:

    Carmichael gets memo from Euan Roddin.

    Shows memo to Mundell.

    Mundell scuttles back to tory HQ and tells them.

    Someone (Cameron himself?) tells Mundell to get Carmichael to leak memo. No doubt offering Carmichael some payback; cabinet seat in next coalition or ermine?

    Mundell convinces or bribes Carmichael into getting Roddin to leak to the torygraph (the fact that it was to the torygraph is what makes me think something like this happenned).

    If I’m anywhere close then Carmichael is protecting the tories. Why? If Mundell knew then he is conmplicit and cannot remain as Secretary of State for Scotland.

  4. The publication was an act of skullduggery but what Carmichael is guilty of is lying to everyone (including his constituency) about his part in it.
    Blundell hasn’t,to my knowledge,been accused of anything so hasn’t had to lie….yet.
    The big question is,did this play any part in voters minds when they re-elected him ?

  5. An excellent reason for pressing for the abolition of the Secretary of State for Scotland and his office. After all, didn’t the LibDems call for this at one time. Instead of being useful for Scotland, the SoS has been proved to be working against Scotland’s best interests. Therefore Carmichael should go, Mundell should go, and so should the Scottish Office.

  6. Couldn’t agree more Derek. In fact I’d go a little farther than that, I’d say Mundell was the likely instigator and an over eager Carmichael dumb enough to collude and eventually carry the can. But with a lack of any evidence Mr Carmichael it is and there is no denying that he was a central player in an effort to subvert a democratic process, defame a fellow politician, misuse his government offices and pertinent staff and bring the whole steaming edifice into disrepute.

    Either way the Scotland office has gone beyond simply being tarnished over this whole affair and gone straight to government liability. Then we have the apparently well briefed secondary villains in the shape of the now silent Willie Rennie, the over zealous Ms Dugdale (branch manager elect) and her ex boss Mr Milliband who spent some considerable time on air beating this drum quite loudly. The speed of prepared releases and speeches from all concerned at the time was quite breath taking to say the least. One last hurrah for Better Together in order to damage those bolshie Scots?

    Certainly I think someone had a quiet word in their shell like that something was in the wind.

    This one isn’t going to go away any time soon for either those involved and their offices or the Scottish electorate, no matter how quickly it disappears from the pages of the UK dailies. We’ll remember what was attempted, by whom and why. We’ll also make sure to remind others on a daily basis if necessary. Even if the government, the Lib dems as a party or Mr Carmichael himself sees fit to ignore his actions, they must be assured that the Scottish voting public won’t and come the next elections or indeed the next referendum we let them know loud and clear what we think of those in government who seek to deceive and manipulate for personal or party gain.

    • I too thought the perfectly designed plan was shrouded in a Better Together fog……down to Cameron virtually clearing the Tories and Ed immediately picking up the ball and running with it. Nicola was doing too well in England and had to be stopped at all costs.
      But WE must keep pushing till the complete dark story hits the sunlight.

      • Agree totally Jan. Many at the time concluded that Carmichael was not only up to his pompous neck in it, but that he would make the perfect fall guy.

        Now either Cameron is responsible for the actions of his ministers and their offices or they are out of control. He can’t have it both ways and this little car crash was obviously in the planning prior to the purdah period. So the thought that this little gem wasn’t passed through hands other than Carmichael’s is nothing short of laughable.

        As I said above though Jan, regardless of Westminster, party, personal and media inaction there is much the Scottish public can do to make itself heard. There is another two elections coming up in short order both Holyrood and council. If central government won’t clean house, then we can at the ballot.

    • Couldn’t agree more. Mundell when asked on T.V. not once but twice if he had any knowledge replied twice that the inquiry did not find that any other person was involved. To me that’s not a straight answer to what I think was a straight question. The straight answer would have been a simple NO.

  7. I agree with X Sticks. When this story broke originally, I posted on Wings that Cameron was behind the leak. It just wouldn’t have happened without his knowledge & agreement as leader of the coalition.

    Of course Mundell knew all about it. It is inconcievable that he didn’t know. WM is now circling the wagons to protect Fluffy but it won’t do any good. If you break down the sequence of events logically as you have Derek & match it up to Nicola’s activities in England, you will see that the leak happens as Nicola is making excellent progress with English & Welsh voters & the anti-austerity agenda. Cameron & his well heeled mates were threatened by her. Cameron needed her stopped in her tracks by any means possible as the government’s self serving agenda was being questioned by ordinary folk. Can’t have that can we so the leak was the answer to their prayers.

    This leak sowed the seeds of doubt amongst the electorate north & south of the border. And they wonder why Scotland wants independence from Westminster-I would say that it’s totally understandable.

  8. Like you, Derek, I’m wondering about Mundell’s possible complicity. He will say he wasn’t involved – well he would say that, wouldn’t he – but he and Carmichael worked hand in glove in the Scottish Office.

    Here’s the other thing I’m wanting to flush out. Carmichael says he knew at the time the contents were not correct; however, the person who wrote the memo is allegedly above suspicion. So how did Carmichael know that the contents were untrue at the time the memo was passed to the Telegraph?

    Was it that he checked with those who were in the meeting with the French Ambassador? If so, whose decision was it to allow the wording to stand? Was the memo “revised” before being sent out? Why and how did he know that false information was being disseminated to the media?

    Interesting to see that the MSM are going with the notion that the contents of the memo were a true reflection of the conversation, without also mentioning that Carmichael knew those contents to be false. What a viper’s pit of deceit.

    • You raise a very pertinent point.

      Perhaps he knew it was untrue because he knew the original memo had been altered, and he knew who had altered it.

      There is confusion about which civil servant and which office received the document and leaked it. This came out at the time – that Whitehall gets to view Scottish Office memos. It seems memos get shared between the Scottish Office and Whitehall.

      I am of the view that the original Scottish Office memo was accurate, but it was doctored by somebody at a high level with a high level of access. Either at Whitehall or in the Scottish Office subsequently. Then leaked.

      If you study it, it seems to be written in two halves. The first half has a professional, neutral, tone, and is wholly factual. The second part contains gossipy innuendo and is in a very different style altogether. The two halves fit poorly together. The second half includes the statement about Sturgeon preferring a Cameron victory and speculation about ‘what Alex Salmond might get up to at Westminster’. It also expresses faux surprise, that Sturgeon would offer such unguarded comments, and lamely suggests that ‘maybe something was lost in translation’.

      That’s the bit that’s the dead give-away. ALL exchange was in English, as M. Coffinnier confirmed at the time. The civil servant spoke to M. Coffinier in English, as did Sylvie Bermann to Nicola Sturgeon.

      But somebody has added this who didn’t actually know how the conversations were held and is limply trying to cover their backs for when the truth comes out.

  9. For Mundell not to know would make him the odd man out, a joke figure, not accepted by the others, not one of them, not trusted – perhaps because of his history of leaking. Not good. If he did know, he is not going to enjoy life for quite a while.

  10. It occurred to me that if a by-election in Orkney & Shetland was won by the SNP, it might propel the GE2105 SNP share over 50%. All they need is a swing of 450 or more votes from Lib to SNP.

    A similar Con to SNP swing in Mundell’s seat changes the seat from Con to SNP. That would be 58 to 1 in Scotland, and that would make the Scottish questions slot in the commons very interesting!

    • I’d dearly love a by-election in Mundell’s seat. We’d be assured of all the help we couldn’t be given in the general election and we’d get Emma over the threshhold. But I think he’s a bridge too far. It’s not at all unlikely Carmichael has had his arm twisted to cover for Mundell, and take all the rap. He may have been promised that none of the three “big” parties would seek to have him resign his seat. If the Yes movement concentrates on Carmichael they may be able to overturn that, but I don’t think spreading the effort is going to catch two for one.

      Carmichael is bang to rights by his own admission. He’s also to be seen on video lying in his teeth about it. Mundell has his head down and there’s no positive evidence against him. He didn’t go on C4 News and declare that he didn’t know anything about it. He’s undoubtedly getting high-level protection while Carmichael has been hung out to dry.

      Concentrate on dislodging Carmichael. It’s a big enough task on its own. Don’t get the hopes of those of us at the other end of the country raised uselessly.

  11. The questions that occur to me are a) why did this cost £1.4 million when everyone suspected Carmichael at the time and b) what is the Scottish/Scotland Office for if all they do is sit around making up memos about meetings they weren’t at?

  12. If Carmichael resigns, that will be the end of the matter, I suspect.

    However if he tries to brazen it out and meets with the reaction of scorn and contempt that he deserves, I wonder how much of it he will be able to take? He’s not exactly a strong character, and as the whole thing shows, he is clearly dishonourable. He might crack, and then who knows what he might say?

  13. Allan Thomson

    Let us assume for a moment this theory is right. Personally that poses me no hardship.
    Closeness of links to Mundell and common cause are powerful indicators. (not perhaps foolproof indicators when applied to principled people but Carmichael has lost any claim to that accolade)
    Are we then to assume that the same argument doesn’t apply to the leader of Carmichaels own party in Scotland. Did he confide in a Tory but not his own close party colleague of high Regional standing?
    Willie Rennie was quickly out of his trap during Memogate trying to pour media fuel on what he hoped would be the First Ministers funeral Pyre.
    The Lib Dem stance on disciplinary action in this debacle is as unsustainable as Willie Rennies remaining time in Holyrood will be uncomfortable without full disclosure.
    Either Mr Rennie has been taken for a substantial chump by his close colleague the then Secretary of State – or worse!

  14. Alasdair Macdonald

    I think that we need to be careful about what Mr Bateman is saying here and attributing guilt to Mr Mundell. Mr Bateman’s hypothesis might well be correct in most of its key propositions. There are, indeed, some things which require further investigation, such as how quickly some participants like Mr Willie Rennie were able to have soundbites for tweeting. But, it could be argued that politicians are adept at coming up with quips ad lib.

    What I am concerned about is that the pro-independence and not necessarily SNP supporters, should not take up the kind of innuendo, which we are deplored from Better Together, the unionist parties and their supporters in the media, some of whom, such as the Spectator, are still claiming that the substance of the mendacious memo is correct or at least plausible.

    Journalists have a duty to follow up on hunches, loose ends still untied and hypotheses of wider skulduggery, but let us see rigorous journalistic enquiry approaches being used. If we want a better politics and a better journalism, we must require the practitioners to behave accordingly.

    • Of course. But it smells.

      And the big question that nobody is asking is how come such a seriously inaccurate memo was produced by a professional civil servant in the first place. I mean, it’s not just a bit wrong, it is wholly and seriouslly wrong. All conversations were in English. There is no way something was ‘lost in translation’, even ‘lost in translation’ metaphorically speaking.

  15. Chris Malcolm

    Failure of normal journalistic practice by the Torygraph not to have checked sources? Was it not failure of normal civil service practice not to have rung back to check on that little detail which seemed so implausible as to suggest something might have been “lost in translation”? Were these two failures to check perhaps motivated by foreknowledge of what the result of checking would be — loss of a lovely anti-SNP scoop? Was that “lost in translation” caveat a neat career saver in case an official enquiry was forced to do the checking? “Well I did say that I thought I might be mistaken…”

  16. Yes, it so close to 50% even the MSM couldn’t bring themselves to round it down to 49%

    BTW total indy party support has been over 50% for two general elections in a row now, Holyrood and Westminster.

    • I’d also like to know what he knew about Ruth Davidson’s election day tweet re bullies at the polling station.

      Is that being investigated BTW?

  17. Sorry Derek that first was meant to be a reply to Statgeek the second to the article. I forgot how this list worked.

  18. Watergate …im reminded of Watergate …a crushing victory for Nixon followed by the total unravelling of his Presidency …. Perhaps if Carmichael is forced to quit then he might spill the beans on Mundell …and if Mundell gets cornered ..then who knows : )

  19. Bernard McGuin

    Carmichael lied that is why would have been sacked or have to resign. It does not matter if Mundell knew or not, he didn’t lie. By the way no one is now questioning the validity of the memo are they?

    • On the contrary, it matters very much if Mundell knew there was a memo kept back for leaking during the campaign. It means he was complicit in the leak which is the original crime. Carmichael lying about his knowledge is the second crime. D

      • Totally agree with your summary of this disgusting situation. Personally, I’m not that bothered about the Press role in this sorry affair, they are gutter Press, and at least half of Scotland knows that now. They are not paid by the public, we have a choice to ignore them.

        This balloon wants to insult us further by sitting on his substantial bahookie for 5 years, having just incurred rumoured costs of £1.4M for this bogus enquiry.

        He was elected on false preferences, voters were not in full possession of the facts that were pertinent about his character, and he deliberately withheld that information.

        I sincerely hope there is a valid legal action being prepared that I can contribute to.

      • Heidstaethefire

        Dead right, D, keep digging

  20. Fozzy’s gonna need a much bigger shield to stop this bombshell exploding!Maybe even a Nuclear shield?

    Remember this all happened right after Nicola brought the house down in the Leader’s debate.

    If there was a time of pure blind panic on the Better Together Ship then this was it-reaction-get something,anything damaging out there asap.

    Cue Fozzy and Mundell with their pre-set shit smear getting the ok from Cameron, and by association the whole BT/Civil Service menage,and there you have it- Frenchgate

    SNP aNd Scotland need to step up to the bar here and tell the lot of them to FCUK RIGHT OFF!

    UDI HERE WE COME.

    • UDI here we don’t come. We continue along the route we have marked out and retain the moral high ground.

  21. Derek, I think you are assuming a degree of cleverness where I doubt it exists. Let’s look at an alternative scenario. The whole LibDem election strategy was to distance themselves from the Tories so that they could put themselves up for hire by a minority Labour government (much good did it do them). There was no especial reason for them to need Tory connivance for any action they took. Indeed, the fact they leaked the memo to the Telegraph looks like a very ham-fisted attempt to fling the blame at the Tories if things went wrong….
    Your timescale makes no allowance for the consul-general’s conversation with the Scotland Office civil servant. It also makes no allowance for the fact that this was a singularly unimportant memo in the wider scale of things and was probably circulated upwards fairly slowly until it arrived on the Spad’s desk amongst a pile of other junk.
    Then – just like ‘The Thick of It’, there was a lightbulb moment in which no one bothered to think of the wider consequences beyond the wizard wheeze. The mere fact that the Telegraph deal involved getting a first comment from Willie Rennie as opposed to Ruth Davidson shows how badly thought-through the whole thing was.
    It was a classic LibDem Spad’s cock-up, and much though I would enjoy Fluffy being implicated, I doubt he was. I also suspect Alistair Carmichael, having given his OK for the leak, suddenly realised that he was not on as firm ground as he had been told. Remember that he ran for the hills as fast as he could until flushed out..

    • On the contrary. Both Mundell and Carmichael must have known their seats were on the line. They both scraped in on around 800 votes each. Canvass returns must have given them an inkling of the tsunami’s approach. They both knew their survival depended on discrediting the SNP.

      I can’t agree that the contents of the memo were trivial. They were dynamite.

    • I think you are being naive Kininvie

    • I don’t know which way to jump. I don’t know enough about the internal workings and relationships of the Scottish Office. I also take your point that this happened after the dissolution of parliament and during the election campaign when Carmichael and Mundell might be assumed not to be on the same side. (On the other hand there are strong suspcions in Mundell’s constituency that the Labour candidate was running his campaign to spoil the SNP, and was seen to be pleased as punch when the result came in, so who knows.)

      I do think attacking Mundell is probably a waste of energy and a loss of focus at this stage. If the affair gathers momentum and Carmichael does actually resign, it might be possible to tease Mundell’s role out a bit more clearly.

      On the other hand he will be protected. If the police can be told to lay off child abusers because they were in positions of high office, I think getting away with a bit of leaking is probably a foregone conclusion.

  22. There is a campaign going on to make the existence of the memo the issue. It was the lie about a conversation on Cameron between the French Ambassador and the FM that is the issue.
    Corrrupt diversions going on in the press and on twitter.

  23. Gavin C Barrie

    If Mundell had indeed been left out of the plot you would expect him to be seeking for political advantage by saying how disgraceful of Carmichael to attempt to smear his country’s First Minister. Mundell needs to be asked a direct question over this. Scottish Question Time would suit – the Rt Hon Member mustn’t mislead nor lie to his fellow Rt Hon Members.

    Consider, if this smear had been done against the USA President can you imagine the uproar?

  24. There are many more of the BT brigade that knew about this… this was orchestrated and communicated across all parties and BT propagandists. They were complicit during the referendum. They were complicit in this. AC is not smart enough on his own.

  25. A bunch of things pop into mind.

    Firstly… There is no reference to who actually reported this “revelation” nor over what medium it was transmitted. This is strange as you need a chain of evidence to come to any conclusion. So they must, by the act of hiding some links be hiding something greater.

    Secondly the paper was written in the third person, so it wasn’t the civil servant, he was just reporting what he was told.

    Thirdly and most tellingly, I think the “lost in translation” was far closer to the truth than we think. What if it was GCHQ monitoring French to French conversations within and outwith the embassy and consulate.

    I think this is far dodgier than we suppose.

  26. BT and their cohorts had been desperately searching for something to stop the SNP train… They would stop at nothing to smear the FM and they meticulously planned this whole thing… Right down to a Civil Servant who made the original ‘Lost in Translation’ lie.

    British Establishment at its best. Hegemonic, dirty, deceitful and nasty.. simply to hang onto power.

    The Union is officially dead… we just need the certificate.

  27. Why are the Labour party not more upset about this? After all it was their leader who was also being disparaged and undermined by this memo.
    The Tory MSM very effectively, used the alleged fact that this much admired and very able FM had such a low opinion of Red Ed to the detriment of the UK Labour Party..

  28. WoS has a page with a load of Tweets from the usual suspects, most are timed at just after 10pm on April 3, apart from D Alexander whose considered opinion is timed at 9.51. Now did they all log-on to the Torygraph website just by coincidence at around that time or did Carmichael or Cochrane or someone else prime them? Never mind, I can smell the rotting flesh of the defunct Labour Party Scottish ex-MP’s.

  29. If you leak a memo for political gain you are a snider…if you make up the wording of the said memo for political gain then leak the memo to blacken a political opponent then lie about knowing who leaked it you are lower than a snakes belly and unfit for public office and should resign immediately

  30. I agree with Mr Bateman in his conclusions. All I feel is frustration for my country that we have allowed this, or should I say allowing this to be the norm. Carmichael is a non entity. The power base lies much higher up in the echelon of Westminster and associated de-stabilisers and there are many. This has been highlighted by many, a crude attempt to halt a country in the inevitable constitutional question. It was the priviliged who formed the union and it will be the people of Scotland who will democraticly remove ourselves from this corrupt association that is Westminster. Speak the truth from knowledge and we will overcome.

  31. The UK is a democracy. Apparently.
    Actually, thinking people now know and recognise that it is nothing of the kind.
    Mundell and Carmichael represent the absolute worst of Scottish political society. Both Tories to their core. Forget the apparent differences in Party ideology. They are a smokescreen. Tories equates with BritNat little imperialists. Both would sell their grandmothers for London’s favour. They have already sold Scotland down the river so a Granny will be chicken feed for these two loyal Tories.

  32. The question could be if Mundell didn’t know, what the hell was he doing?

  33. We are only just over 11months away from the next big test in May 2016. We must find some way of putting this whole dirty business into folk memory. That can only happen if we retain the high ground and we are able to counter attack the lies and deceit from the unionists as Nicola so ably did with the help of the French ambassador.

    What with the leadership issues in the LibLab parties lasting until October they will be greatly weakened and not fit to be in attack mode. There is much to create copy in the further devolution issues where the 56 can show their statesmanship and then of course we have the EU referendum. What an exciting time ahead. Keep going Derek.

  34. I just wonder if Carmichael and the Lib-Dems want to stich up the Tories. Think of it – Carmichael has said that it’s a resignation matter but he’s not going to do it, the Lib-Dem head office have said that they are keeping him, all VERY complacent and not at all pressured. By not going, the Lib-Dems keep the spotlight on the situation and like a shite, the longer you stand on it, the bigger it gets. The Lib-Dems could nip this in the bud but instead they keep it on the front page. Why?

  35. I think we should be formally asking David Mundell exactly what he knew about this matter and his role in it.

    I certainly am not prepared to pay Alastair Carhichael his £67,000 plus pay packet in light of his recent admissions. As a solicitor he lied and should resign.

    The hypocrite said;

    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.

    Read the bugger’s words at; http://www.shetlandtimes.co.uk/2010/11/12/letter-from-westminster-49#.VWBURGPnIC8.twitter

    We shouold be asking what the sole Tory in our country’s inv olvement in all this was?

    How much are we paying him?

    Should we be paying him?

  36. Didn’t Cameron say Mundell had no knowledge of this?

    I imagine when AC was doing his scheming wee fluffy would be sitting in a corner picking the oose out of his bellybutton

  37. Ladies and gentlemen. Please may I draw your attention to http://www.shetlandtimes.co.uk/2010/11/12/letter-from-westminster-49

    Please read to the end. Then make him eat his words.

  38. Mundell will undoubtedly have known ,but proving he did might prove difficult and proving he knew it was concocted perhaps even more so.
    Who was paid this £1.4 million?

  39. PS.
    Will it cost another £11.4 million to investigate Mundell ?

  40. Perhaps Mr Bateman could look at these and gives us some insight into what is happening in the newspapers.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/uk/SNP-wanted-David-Camerons-Conservative-Party-to-win-Cabinet-inquiry/articleshow/47400236.cms

    The Independent: “Nicola Sturgeon did want David Cameron to win the general election, report concludes”.

    This has got to be beyond just trying to get a ‘capture headline’.

  41. He is tainted by the association no matter how hard he tries to avoid it. The question, the muttering behind his back will never cease. His credibility will be undermined at every step. Add in Cameron’s bewildering decision, to make the architect of the one piece of legislation that killed the Tory brand in Scotland as his deputy. Small thanks indeed. His one and only defense would be to publicly deny it and claim he had no knowledge of it. If this was the case, it sort of undermines his credibility as someone who is a little clueless. If not and he is “failing to the tell the truth” – he is a hostage to fortune.

    either way – Mr Mundell is not going to have a happy time in his new post.

    • Bernard McGuin

      This is a ridiculous non issue. Produce the evidence or shut up. The memo existed, it was leaked by Carmichael. Prove that Mundell was complicit, in the leak, or lied like Carmichael or this constant pathetic whinging drivel should stop.

      • Oooh ! Touched a nerve have we ? You know full well if this had involved someone from the SNP you and your kind would be squealing like pigs for weeks. Look up the word hypocrite for goodness sake.

      • If Mundell didn’t know despite being deputy then frankly he is too witless to be the head of the Scottish Office. If he did know then he must resign.

        I frankly find it astonishing that a memo leaked from that Office, which is a major act of professional misconduct by Carmichael, was done without Mr Mundell being aware of it.
        So it is not a non issue. It cuts to the very heart of the affair.

        What did Mundell know and when did he know it? Dismissing it has pathetic whinging makes me think we’re right to press the issue.

        • Bernard McGuin

          Who or what is “we”? Carmichael lied that was his sin and as far as we know his alone.

          • you’re confused as to who or what is “we”? – have you read Derek’s article or any of the posts here?

            Mundell was Carmichael deputy. Yet the argument you are making is that he was completely in the dark? As far as you know? You’re not even in the least bit curious?Sorry, I don’t believe it and I feel he has questions to answer.

    • One name that quite unaccountably has not been mentioned as being privy to the memo’s inception and leaking is our one and only ‘Stairheid Rammy’ – Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland – Margaret Curran.

      As broadbield put at 7:33 pm: it looks very like the starters gun was fired at 10.00pm-ish on April 3rd and there’s no cash prize for betting ‘they’ were all primed for it.

      Every bloody one of them are in it up to their necks.

  42. jacquescoleman

    I would say your assumption that, Mundell is up to his neck in Frenchgate, is correct.

    You ask – “…did Carmichael never reveal anything and instead bite his lip to keep secret his plot to release the memo during the actual campaign?”. My answer is that Carmichael is a big dumb bastard who wouldn’t have the wit to keep quiet. Just how HAS he reached the highest levels of politics in the UK?

  43. The result of this investigation was promised to be published before the election but dragged on. The cost was said to be £ 1.4 million thus it had to be a very thorough investigation .
    If so, surely Mundell was questioned ! Is there any way the public ( who paid for this) can demand what he was asked and how he answered ?

  44. Gavin C Barrie

    @ Bernard McGuin: to whom are you addressing your challenge to prove that Mundell was complicit? Better surely to have an investigation to establish whether Mundell had involvement? He was no2 to Carmichael, credible to accept he was kept out of the affair?

    Stopping an investigation at Carmichael’s involvement is unfinished business.

  45. Mundell is going to face some interesting questions in the House.

    Did you know about the leak regarding the French ambassador before it went out?
    If not, why not?

    Did you know about Ruth Davidson’s leak regarding false claims about pollstation bullying before it went out?
    If not, why not?

    Would you or have you ever authorised or instigated a leak?

    • Bernard McGuin

      After winning every seat bar 3 you now want 2 of those. There has been an investigation, you have a victim, chew on that. Carmichael may be a fall guy but that’s politics. You now have 5 years to plot his removal. As for Mundell, the electorate will decide again who or what they believe.

      • …a victim?

        The victim is, truth, honesty and discretion. I want to see ALL of the liars exposed, and chewed on. You would rather business was carried on as usual, presumably to protect some of the liars.

  46. […] Mundell (who got a rapid promotion to solitary splendour as the only UK government MP in Scotland) may have known about the Sturgeon memo leak. If David Mundell knew anything, the Cabinet Office inquiry was unable to find it out, and we are […]

  47. An enquiry costing £1.4m can only discover that the source of the leak was the same person who said he knew who it was in the first place?
    As there were only two senior members of the Scottish office at the time it doesn’t seem like very good value for money to me!
    How many words do you get in this report for £1.4 million? Surely some of those words must identify the rest of the conspirators in this sad episode.

  48. According to Euan McColm, Carmichael was loudly boasting about the memo at a social event weeks before he leaked it.

  49. Mundell asked what he knew and then dodges the question twice: A Gift for Semiotics.

  50. […] months ago, much to the consternation of Westminster. As did, the most estimable, Derek Bateman, who provided greater clarity over Mr Mundell’s potential role is what is transpiring to be one of the most momentous […]

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