Lallands Peat Worrier has written an interesting blog on the legalities of the up and coming, televised, Carmichael hearing and the potential outcome. http://lallandspeatworrier.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/lights-camera-court-people-versus.html#comment-form
I won’t pretend for one minute to even begin to understand the legal arguments, other than I find little reason to trust the legal profession as I do the Westminster Parliament. Now I blogged at the time of the Carmichael affair https://grumpyscottishman.wordpress.com/2015/05/22/comment-its-a-long-road-back/ but did not call for him to resign as I just did not want to become the new Willie Rennie in calling for people to resign every two minutes.
With this case now due to come to Court in the next week, and hats off to STV for televising the proceedings, I have had a chance to have a wee think about this and the points raised by Lallands. The more I think about it the more I suspect that there will be a result in favour of Alistair Carmichael and he will remain an MP until he stands down in 2020.
I don’t think for one minute that he did the memo leak on his own, others must have known about this. Mundell, Clegg and Cameron must have been in the know regarding the leak of a memo which was designed to smear the First Minster of Scotland, implicating the French Government and to question the trust that the Scottish electorate were putting in the SNP. Now the fact that the memo had no effect at a national level is by the by, it might even have helped the SNP vote, however it probably did have an effect in Alistair Carmichael’s constituency vote and the fact that he scraped home by a few hundred votes. However, will the courts void his election; I just don’t think they will.
I suspect, and call me a conspiracy theorist if you like, that this goes too high up so won’t be allowed to go anywhere. Any law written that allows an MP to be recalled will no doubt be written in enough ways to allow it to be lost in technicalities and written, in what to me anyway will be stupid language. For me, the Courts are part of the establishment in the UK, the law does not serve the people in my opinion, in this country the people are here to serve the law is what I feel many suspect, I do anyway.
Now I hold by my earlier views that I am not calling for people to resign anymore, there is just no point. I believe that Alistair Carmichael knew exactly what he was doing and hoped that it would affect the national result, the fact that he lied is not in dispute. I also still feel that he should not have any role in the future direction of the Liberal Democrats as I will no longer accept the gutter politics of old. I do agree with second chances but in this case Tim Farron and Willie Rennie are right and wrong, Carmichael should get a second chance, but only at the ballot box.
I will try to watch some of the debate but no doubt it will be full of legal language that few of us will understand or be able to follow. Will Alistair Carmichael take the stand; I doubt it will go that far but the various blogs I follow will no doubt have really good takes on the case, will be well written, informative and provocative. Blogs I think to follow next week will be: