Men of Honour…

It’s Golden Oldies time for Better Together…with two giants of Project Fear proving their moral credentials in the same week. First Alistair Darling, former Marxist and anti-government protestor, late socialist and Labour MP, has accepted a job on the board of Morgan Stanley, a serial appropriator of guilty pleas and massive fines over everything from sex discrimination to cheating customers and rigging markets.

Then his Unionist associate, the former Liberal Democrat Secretary of State Alistair Carmichael, has his reputation trashed by the courts. He is a man whom the judges felt lacked credibility and reliability, is a blatant liar showing lack of candour – an unimpressive witness at best disingenuous, at worst evasive and self-serving.

Two spivs together ready to go to any length for personal advancement, both lacking the essential element for public office – decency.

In Darling’s case, he didn’t just traduce his own country, its history and people, he filled his trousers while doing so, jetting around Europe at the behest of corporate clients picking up £12,000 a go. If anything reveals the dark heart of a broken so-called workers’ party, it is the bland acceptance by the membership of this kind of personal profiteering while in office –and while in receipt of two and a half times the average salary. (On the same day he joined the board, the company announced staff redundancies. That won’t trouble the impervious Darling. This after all is reward for saving the banks with taxpayers’ money and failing to instigate bonus restrictions in return.)

Not a cheep of dissent was heard during the indyref from the brave People’s Party about Darling’s blatant greed when he accumulated £250,000 while leading their campaign but I hear they are like hyenas on a legitimate loan of £18,000 from years ago to a man now an SNP MP…such a close correlation between fearties and hypocrites.

I haven’t mentioned the Mighty Broon’s venture into the murky world of bonds where he joins the former head of the Federal Reserve and the European Bank – a group of financial goons who were at the heart of the crash. They deserve each other.

Carmichael’s is the most demeaning judgement I recall on a sitting member – excepting the conviction of MSP Bill Walker for wife-beating. It defines him as low-life careerist ready to cheat and lie in order to stay in his seat, dissembling to a Cabinet Office inquiry in the full knowledge that so long as its publication was delayed, he’d be safely re-elected before the voters got the news of his chicanery.

‘We consider that he could and should have been straightforward and candid in his response to the inquiry.  That would have been likely to reveal his involvement in the leak at some time prior to the election, so that his constituents, when voting, would have been in full possession of the facts during the election’ say the judges. Precisely…

The astonishing aspect of this case is that his defence was that he did indeed lie to fool his constituents. He deliberately pulled the wool over their eyes. He admits cheating the voters. The reality is that the knowledge to which they were entitled, yet did not get in time, may well have swung the vote against him. It is the clearest and most blatant act against democracy.

He survives merely because the test in law applied under the legislation chosen by the plaintiffs demands that he tells the lie for a personal reason rather than the political one. They were not convinced he cheated and lied in a way that would lead people to think it was out of character. If he had linked the lie to a statement declaring himself a trustworthy and honest man, it would have damned him. But the lack of that context gave rise to doubt in the judges’ mind and allowed them to decide it was a political ruse instead. But isn’t that exactly why this cowardly man should resign?

Lady Paton writes:’The inescapable inference, in our opinion, is that if the SNP became a less attractive prospect, the first respondent’s (Carmichael) chances of a comfortable majority in what had become a two-horse race in Orkney and Shetland would be enhanced.’ She was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the false statement of fact was made for the purpose of affecting (positively) the return of the first respondent as a Liberal Democrat in the constituency of Orkney and Shetland.

In defending himself he has conceded he cheated the people of Orkney and Shetland and is unworthy of their support. In fact, the democratic case against him is stronger today than it was. He squirmed out with the skin of his teeth on the technicality but damned himself out of his own mouth. The statement he made afterwards was the bile of a shaken man, further undermining his stature. Blaming a politically-motivated campaign – check for irony here – operated by ‘nationalists’ contrasts sharply with his unreserved public apologies to voters and the First Minister where contrition was all (ahead of the court case). This was a time for humility not vindictiveness – the case was soundly based and, from the judgement, damn near proved. His arrogance shields him from self-analysis. His reputation is destroyed, the foundation of his election shaken.

There was a chance that his conviction would have drawn a line under an unpleasant episode and helped Liberals in the Northern Isles to move on. That won’t now happen. The stench of his betrayal will contaminate the party’s cause in six months time and leave the final accounting to the voters many of whom will see only one way to even the scores.

The campaign line that ‘Alistair was vindicated’ won’t wash. From his own mouth he played the spiv with the voters. From the court judgment he is a blatant liar who can’t be trusted.

This week has been a reminder of who ran Project Fear and what measure of men they are. Instead of inquiries into Forth Bridge faults, why not a full-blown investigation into quality of political opposition in Scotland? Now there’s a scandal.

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46 thoughts on “Men of Honour…

  1. The most damning aspect of this case is that when we have to get the courts involved to attempt democratic redress,the law has clearly failed in the first place.
    It has to be the right of constituents to recall an MP at any time of their choosing and if necessary,call a by-election.
    This right should not belong to political parties or other vested politcal interests but with the people who elect them to public office.
    The only question should be,how many constituents are required in order to trigger this event?

  2. I am disgusted by the cases of Carmichael and Darling. Carmichael should have resigned long before now. Darling is a sell out, he was clearly in politics for the wrong reasons, namely for money and status. I believe he was basically a Tory all the time, sure he might have had a youthful rebellion against his family’s chosen party, but it looks like he was always a Tory at heart. Darling and Maggie Vaughan will be laughing all the way to Morgan Stanley. These individuals simply do not have the interests of voters in general at heart, they have no cause apart from their own self advancement and status. Gordon Brown is the same as well. What a chancer that man is, he is forever going on about social justice while lining his pockets at the same time. No wonder the SNP won his old seat in May.

    The Walker case, along with Carmichael, shows that we need to introduce a right of recall for voters to be able to bring to account public representatives that bring themselves into disrepute. I am fed up with seeing these characters retaining their status and perks, after having disgraced themselves and their parties. It is the voters that suffer the most for having these charlatans as political representatives

  3. kevinparafinlamp

    The b*stard will seek compensation? What a shady and wholly unfit person this is, for any line of work, let-alone representing constituents – there are guys in Barlinnie with infinitely more morality than this lying swine. Lord Carmichael of The Lie will ascend to his ermine in due time, I’m sure, joining the rest of the mangy crew who deal-out double-standards and poor example to the People. Fine. Every dog has its day – you’ll get yours, son. Let’s start by ensuring O&S is Lib Dem free next May, what a very-good place to start.

    Compensation; we, the People, will not see the Orkney Four suffer any financial hardship as a result of this, we’ll pay your dirty money, Carmichael, we’ll gladly put our hands in our pocket – we have this money and this morality in abundance. The people of Scotland are together on this.

    You’ve won bugger-all.

    • Yep. We all expected him to get off but my utter revulsion is him floating along in ermine. He nailed this when he publically declared his vote for air strikes. Plus a new dig of ‘SNP Bad’ today, rather than accept the indigmation of all decent Scots. Contrition? Molecule of? Nah. Orkney 4 – right behind them.

  4. If that man has the audacity to claim costs against the Orkney 4 I suggest its paid to him in pennies and a relentless series of pictures of foodbanks he and his ilk caused to exist sent to him on his twitter feed,
    his arrogance will be yet another little breach in the dam!

  5. The LibDems suffered greatly at the GE as a result their lapdog coalition with the Tories. Their decline will continue next year in the SP election as a result of Carmichael’s disgraceful behaviour.

    To quote Alex Salmond, another fine politician, Charles Kennedy, must be birlin’ in his grave.

  6. The judgement hardly a surprise – the establishment dancing on the head of a pin to save its corrupt own. To be hoped that the Orkney & Shetland electorate vote SNP in overwhelming numbers at every election, Council, Holyrood, Westminster and Europe. Whilst Carmichael remains at Westminster, every time he gets on his feet SNP should chorus “liar” to show contempt for both the man and the parliament.

    • I see he occupies the benches just behind the SNP MP’s. Surely since there are no reserved seats the SNP can crowd him out and let him find another seat somewhere.

    • Alasdair Macdonald

      Remember, the protocol is that one cannot call an ‘honourable’ member a ‘liar’, even one who has admitted to be so. The Speaker would reprimand the SNP members and, if they persisted, would suspend them from the proceedings. You can imagine the moral outrage in the mainstream media about the sheer effrontery of breaching protocols. If the Speaker did not take prompt action, what would happen next? They would want to applaud speeches!!

      • As in my reply 11.02 last night, if all SNP members persisted in calling the [dis]honourable member a liar, and thus all got suspended, the speaker has a problem with enforcing HoC rules made a considerable number of years ago and now unfit for purpose. The Speaker now has a problem, not the SNP. Suspension of over 50 members as a result of calling a self confessed liar who has subsequently been elected to HoC, a liar, would show up the HoC as the incompetent institution it is and how unfit for purpose it is.

      • He should be referred to as “the dishonourable member” from now on.

  7. Derek,

    there is no credible political opposition in Scotland anymore. Hence why the Unionist parties are struggling to find anybody to stand as constiuency MSP candidates for next May.

    They deserved to be wiped out at the ballot box next May and then we should push forward with Indyref2.

    There is nothing left for Scotland in this discredited Union.

    Time to leave and reclaim our own country back.

  8. It is now time for the Liberal Democratic Party of the UK, or of Scotland, or of Orkney to deselect AC and to begin a fresh selection process ahead of the 2020 general election for Westminster, or ahead of any possible resignation should that happen. Otherwise, they ALL damn themselves by association.

  9. i trust the costs of investigating this liars little political mistruth will be recovered from any money this character receives ,anyone know of the amount wasted investigating this and Carmichael’s obstruction of this investigation by omission (ie) the truth

  10. Reclaim the costs! Can we, as taxpayers, reclaim the costs of the enquiry from him, an enquiry, lest we forget, which wouldn’t have been necessary had he not lied.

  11. I questioned Alistair Darling s wife on Twitter the week before the indyref asking her specificly about a paid appearance at a Edinburgh banking doo for which he claimed on parliamentary expenses for his flight I would have thought as they were paying 15k travel would be included
    She said his work for BT was pro bono
    That if what you say is true and I have no reason to disbelieve, is clearly a lie about the former communist comrade

    Then we have the man who claims Maxton was his hero yet destroy his wish of Home Rule with a worthless vow well (a separate Republican Scotland) but labour it seems would rather forget their founders views on Home Rule and Support of a independent Ireland for fear of losing the orange vote that is all they have left

    Carmichael I wasn’t surprised I wasn’t angry then I saw him smear and lie about the petitioner’s claiming it was all SNP bad no remorse just more lies
    And that is now his problem we can not or never trust a word he says that he doesn’t have the decency to go damns him may his party reap its reward in May

  12. Remember he cost the taxpayers £1.5 million for the investigation into Frenchgate only to discover he had lied. I think he should be asked to pay back that money.

  13. Bit of good news, the money is pouring into the Crowdfunding for the four Orkney petitioners to meet the costs of the legal action.

  14. The one fact that has been obscured in amongst the legalese and triumphalism is that this petition was brought by Carmicheals constituents.

    It does not matter how they voted in the referendum. It does not matter which political parties they are a member of or who they voted for.

    The petitioners are Carmicheals constituents. i hope he remembers that in considering his next steps and I hope this fact forms the foundations for future political campaigning against him.

  15. How long before the following in the HoC? Mr. Speaker Sir. There is a member in this House who, by his own words, is a confirmed liar. If you fail to remove the [dis]honourable member forthwith, then no amount of suspension of members calling the member a liar will disguise the fact that it is the rules of this house that have the problem, not those you suspend or threaten to suspend. Will you now suspend the member for Orkney?

  16. As with all of us, Carmichael,Darling and Brown will die, so what have they gained by their behaviour? Honour? I don’t think so.Wealth? They leave that behind on death. Fools.

  17. And what of the Lib Dem leadership in all this?
    Whip not withdrawn.
    No sanction whatsoever.
    Fallon and Rennie still backing their liar.
    Lib Dem party shown up for what it is.

  18. It is a shame he wasn’t being judged by ATOS or JobCentre Plus – their rigourous scrutinisation & subsequent punishments have been felt by millions of the poor, the ‘little people’. But, then again the verdict here just shows that money and the powerful are meted out with a different kind of ‘justice’.

    What has it come to when the legalities are around the ‘type’ of lie that it was? How can constituents have trust in a man proven to be (and admitting to be) a liar?

    If it were not so depressing, predictable and disgusting it would be funny.

    Meanwhile, the ‘newspapers’ and media have already started muddying the waters by gleefully reporting him being ‘cleared’. Makes me want to puke.

  19. No surprises in either case, only anger.

    Darling’s hypocrisy was there for all to see before, during and after the referendum. He is and always was a pretend socialist. Waving flags, going on the odd march, that’s just what you did to get your first foot on the ladder. Stabbing your first victim in the back puts you in the right clique, stabbing everyone in the back on orders guarantees you ermine and a stellar post political career.

    Carmichael’s response to his own situation? Well that’s the mark of the man and the system really. His card was marked the second the balloon went up on his nasty little conspiracy. His blatant lies, his ‘that’s politics’ defence. The trenchant refusal to stand down or indeed initially be brought to face the charges laid against him.

    He felt/believed this is how it should be, that you are allowed to mislead and manipulate the public from high office. That you are allowed to smear, tarnish reputations, wreck lives and careers, because that’s all part of accepted politics. Of course people down here in the real world may see that differently. Now though? Now we’ve been told that this is exactly the case, underlined by a ‘technicality’.

    The establishment parties aren’t about to change how politics are practiced, so there’s no point even trying to communicate displeasure or seek redress there. The law made its ruling yesterday, so they won’t and can’t do a thing until the law itself is changed. To my mind that leaves the Scottish electorate with popular justice.

    If people want to right this travesty, then there’s only one way to do it. The electorate can have the politics and the laws they want, but it will require cleaning out the stables at the ballot. It will also require a Scotland free of Westminster intervention and a written constitution.

    No ifs, buts or mibbies, this unpleasant task will require the utter clean out of all three establishment parties. Reduce them to bare bones representation at Holyrood and council level and build from there toward independence and that constitution. For THAT is where the people get the chance to lay down the foundations of their country’s government, its rights and powers, its limitations and ‘penalties’.

    Now that’s a few years worth of cleaning out right there, but that is what its going to take. Root and branch removal of everything that is rotten about our system of government and the party politics that supports and feeds off it. If people don’t buy into that idea, then another Darling and Carmichael will be along any minute.

  20. Humility and Carmichael in same sentence…………. typo ! BIG Gob should have been shut but ……oh no….oh no……oh no ….Carmichael back on nasty nasty nasty true to form ……my granny almost swallowed her false teeth when she heard him on telly .

    I pure loved the bit about how stressful it’s been for him these past months…blubber….blubber….wipe the dry tears away from my eyes…..Duh !….Did he no make his bed?……..did he no ?……..LIE in it LIAR ! ( no pun intended……I’m LYING lol………….was intended lol ).

    If ever there was NOT NOT NOT ( that’s a triple not ) a victim then this was it …..oh no no no no no ( five no’s ) do not play that card ya big LIAR.

    On the plus side people, we can now call him a LIAR in public, if perchance you should be so lucky lucky lucky enough to see him, and can have no fear that this PROVEN LIAR will take you to court (not again surely lol ) for defamation of character….though I would question that he has any character to defame .

    Darling…..A King of inappropriate surnames if ever there was one.

    ps : use of triple words throughout my comment is due to repetitive strain injury on my digits happened three times! , I say this in anticipation of any snidey comments . If snidey comments are made then I can only say how very very very dare you …….whoever ‘you’ may be ! But please please please don’t do a Carmichael , know when to say nothing , remember humility costs nothing. And we all lived happily ever after..

  21. Carmichael is going to be like an albatross round the lib dems neck. Stinking out the room and reminding folk that he was in point of fact: a liar.

    I am willing to bet cash pounds that when 2020 comes round – Mr Carmichael will retire from politics. Once again, seeking to avoid the anger of the electorate.

    Meanwhile the MSM & the westminster set are celebrating this as a great victory. He lied to the people and got away with it on a technicality – what a great day for British politics.

    I couldn’t even think of taking a “fresh look” at these parties or accept the opinions of these commentators. It would be like rewarding them for being braying yahoos. It would be taken as an endorsement of this “snp bad” narrative. It would be like saying that I was on their team. I don’t want to be on their team. They can pick another kid.

  22. Our current politics is tragedian in scale and scope. The one time Champions of the poor and dispossessed, the marginalised and the mute, the powerless and the fearful have turned their backs against them. Some go further and aide the vengeful spite unleashed by their natural foe.

    All a bit too grandiose? Maybe, but by f*ck Britain is a cartoon democracy and getting more bizarre by the day.

  23. darling is English so he never did anything against his own country he served it well by stopping Scottish independence

  24. What is of greater importance, the requirements of the State/ Establishment, or the due process of law, and order.

    My mind wanders to McCrae, Dando, Cook, and Dr ?? Of the Iraq weapons debacle. Then of the hold Thatcher may have had over her fellow concervatives – who were never accused of wrongdoing, although rumoured.

  25. A powerful commentary by Derek on the deep contempt that Darling and Carmichael demonstrate to their former and present constituents.They are but two of a massive group of yesterday’s men (along with a few women) scraping by on public hand outs at the House of Lords. I know that Carmichael is not there yet but who will doubt that is his final ambition and destination.
    Darling’s record of flipping and his swift lurch to the right from his previous “scruffy beatnick” Leftie image on Edinburgh Council suggest a tawdry opportunist who will doubtless collect numerous plaudits from the London establishment. May we hope he enjoys these as he basks in the companionship of his membership with his former socialist peers. Illuminating to see him quoted at today’s FMQs as attacking the new Forth Crossing when it was first proposed. Yet another doughty “socialist” Baron Foulkes was similarly quoted in a PR that was, in all probability, prepared by Fiffi LaBonne, suggesting that the Forth Crossing initiative, was an ” unneccessary SNP vanity project.”
    Carmichael seems to share the views of his former colleague Lord Bruce who deserted the electors of Gordon in the face of certain defeat that the public may be lied to with impunity. Parcel of rogues? Who could doubt it!

  26. Oops! Spelling and punctuation! I’m multi-tasking, a tutorial with Historywoman on Twitter. We’ve got as far as minor LibDem lies (Carmichael), and big BAD SNP lies – her definitions. As well it isn’t a written exam for her.

  27. […] Derek Bateman who points to the repellent conjunction of Carmichael getting off with Darling joining Morgan Stanley’s board, presumably at a nice high salary. As Derek puts it “Two spivs together ready to go to any length for personal advancement, both lacking the essential element for public office – decency” (http://derekbateman.co.uk/2015/12/09/men-of-honour/) […]

  28. A sad loss.

    Ian Bell, Herald columnist, has passed away. A fine writer and a rarity in today’s media world, one with principle and empathy.

    • Steve Asaneilean

      Agreed Macart – very sad loss to journalism and to Scotland.

      His writing at times was quite simply stunning and peerless.

      His last article for the Herald was a superb evisceration of Hillary Benn’s pro-war speech and left Benn looking like a hollow shell.

      And his very personal “obituary” to his friend William MacIlvanney is one of the best pieces of writing I have read all year.

  29. Gavin C it was Dr David Kelly you’re thinking of; supposed suicide.

  30. Darling, Carmichael , Alexander et al: Disgusting creatures, even for BritNats. The bbc loves them of course. I widnae pish on them if they were on fire.

  31. Are those of the Unionist and BritNat persuasion really surprised that the SNP are so popular with the Scottish electorate, even among those who are still not sure about independence? Slowly but surely the likes of Mundell, Darling, Brown, Carmichael – and the Westminster comedy turn Alberto Costa, will turn the stomachs of the “soft” NO voters and the “undecided” of the 2014 referendum. Roll on the May 2016 Holyrood elections, when we will collectively have the opportunity to show these self-serving troughers exactly what we the voters have to say about them! Vote SNP twice – constituency and regional lists!

  32. Steve Asaneilean

    You titled this post Men of Honour and it’s a good place to start.

    Darling has clearly done a complete volte face politically since his days on Auld Reekie Cooncil.

    It may be distasteful (and to me it is), it may strike of hypocrisy (and to me it does), it may leave him disrespected in our eyes (as for me he is) but I am not sure it’s a question of honour. Rather it’s a question of greed and self-interest.

    OK it’s probably dishonourable.

    But Carmichael for me is a true bastion of dishonour. He lied to try and humiliate a fellow politician. He lied to boost his own electoral chances. He lied to his constituents. He got off on what effectively was a technicality

    He was effectively judged at a “criminal” level – “beyond reasonable doubt “. Had he been judged at the “civil level” – “on the balance of probabilities ” – he would probably have fallen.

    Anyway that’s by the by. If Carmichael was a man of honour he would now do the honourable thing. If, as he and his supporters claim, he has the support of his electorate then prove it. Stand down and re-stand in a bielection and let the electorate have their say now rather than saddling them with something they may not want for another four years.

    If they re-elect him then he is vindicated and the people of Orkney and Shetland will get what they want.

    But the fact that he will not put his self-belief to the test in this way demonstrates that not only is he dishonourable but he is cowardly too.

    It’s been a sad week for politics in this land.

  33. Oh dear his Wikapedia entry has a few changes.

  34. Pity it was just changed back again. I will have to think of something else.

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