Justice Not Served and Democracy Damaged Beyond Repair

Alistair Carmichael, Liberal Democrat MP for Orkney and Shetland, will keep his seat as an MP. While he has been found to have lied there was insufficient evidence to prove that this fitted in with the legislation around his personal character or conduct.

Now millions of words will be written about this, and far better and more eloquent than my own, but I have a few points to make.

The process of recalling an MP is a joke, it will have cost the petitioners over a hundred thousand pounds, it may break them, and the burden of evidence required is weighed against them and the legislation is totally designed to protect the MP. Corrupt and wrong, simple as that. It’s bad enough in this country that we don’t actually live in a democracy but this system is just wrong in every way.

Alistair Carmichael MP is a liar, how do we know this, well he admitted he was a liar. His conduct in releasing and then lying about the Nicola Sturgeon French Ambassador meeting memo was designed to slur the First Minister of Scotland and to gain an electoral advantage through gutter politics. The defence that this is just politics is shameful and does every single one of us a serious dis-service. That is politics of the gutter and no longer welcome or acceptable in Scotland any more.

Now as a member of the Liberal Democrats I take no pleasure in saying that Alistair Carmichael should resign his seat as a Liberal MP. He may have been a hard working MP, he may have served the party well over the years but if he can’t bring himself to do the decent thing then party should consider removing the whip and he no longer be allowed to sit as a Liberal Democrat. He has not only brought politics into disrepute, he has damaged the integrity of all MPs, he has put the party into a very difficult position. Now I have no doubt the party will defend him, the party will justify his actions, the party will blame the SNP as Alistair does, but the party will be wrong and they will suffer at the ballot box for it.

I am sick of how politics is done in this country and I really believe that the Liberal Democrats are on a suicide mission of some kind. Voting to bomb Syria (mistake), supporting Carmichael after he admitted he lied (mistake), calling for enquiries into the Fourth Road Bridge closure therefor looking to blame someone (mistake), the coalition (mistake) seats in the House of Lords (mistake) and everything to do with Nick Clegg(mistake).

This blog may upset some in the party but I am at the point where I am wondering what the point of the party actually is. The Liberal Democrats in Scotland opposed armed Police on the streets of Scotland and stop and search, but vote to bomb innocent people in Syria, the Liberal Democrats talk about reform of the Lords but fill it with Lords, we talk about clean politics yet back a self confessed lying MP who has brought both the party and politics into disrepute. Politics by it’s very nature is a compromise but when the compromise confuses your own principles and what you actually stand for then you are in trouble.

The Liberal Democrats are in trouble.

I have some serious thinking to do about not only long term membership of the party, but how if I stay a member do I get my disgust across because there are many excellent members of the party, whether the party deserves them is a different matter. Today is a bad day for democracy in this country, one that I doubt can ever be repaired.

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12 comments

  1. squidgybidgeBidge

    Just my tuppence worth, but as long term reader I think you would fit well with the Greens if you do ditch the LibDems.

    In this I have no axe to grind, as I am not in a party (nor have I ever been), but would describe myself as Green-Socialist-Nationalist (Normalist). For full disclosure, I have toyed at times with the idea of joining the Greens, the SSP and even the SNP.

    I suggest this because overall the Greens seem to reflect much of what I would call Liberal values (more so than any other party). They are also a party that seems to be adapting well to fighting not just on environmental issues but across the political spectrum.

    Anyway just my 2 cents. Keep up the good work.

    • grumpyscottishman

      Squidgy

      It is so frustrating because the leadership just don’t reflect the decency of many members I have met. There is no excuse for Carmichaels actions and I have no doubt the party will support him but they are wrong and they will suffer because of it. I haven’t seen any interviews yet but no doubt Farron and Rennie will support him and he will be smirking all over the place, if that happens then that will be disgusting.

      I just don’t know what the party stands for, a part of me just wants to bring my brief time as a member to an end but then there is a part of me that sees many actual Liberal members and they deserve better than what they are getting. It really is a sad day for democracy in Scotland.

      Thanks for commenting and reading this blog and thank you for the food for thought.

      Bruce

      • squidgybidgeBidge

        You’re welcome bud and I believe you, but sometimes it doesn’t matter how good the people around you are if the organisation itself is corrupt.

        Yeah both Rennie and Farron released press statements at the same time Carmichael gave his response. According to Craig Murray all 3 statements were equally toxic and bombastic. Certainly Carmichael’s statement was non-repentant and even ironic, as after lying to gain political benefit, he said the 4 petitioners were only bringing forward the case, due to political motivation. (which I don’t believe they were)

        https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/

        Anyhow take care man.

        • grumpyscottishman

          Squidgy

          I haven;t seen any of their interviews other than Carmichael briefly on the news and Craig is correct, no humility what so ever. I have no doubt that Rennie will be his usual ill judged self, I tweeted him to express my unhappiness at how the party have handled this, no reply. I will try and contribute to the petitioners fund, I don’t have much but every little helps. I really do think that these days have got to be gone in Scotland, the gutter politics does no one any good and this country is both morally and financially broke, it’s time to stop the childish games and figure out a way that we take this country forward for all of us not just a small, uinder skilled , non representative elite.

          Thanks for commenting.

          Bruce

  2. tris

    As I understand it, the judgement that Carmichael, Rennie and Farron are bragging about, said that he was a liar and a cheat and he only got away with it because he didn’t defame an actual candidate…just the party/party leader.

    He disgusts me. His leader disgusts me and his Scottish leader disgusts me.

    If they are proud of the fact that their only Scottish MP got where he got by lying, good for them. If Farron and Rennie are happy that, either he lied to Rennie and Clegg, or he told them the truth and they lied for him, then good luck to them. If they think that the judges’ verdicts are indeed vindication, then good luck to them again.

    There’s a great deal that could be said about the Liberal-Dems, and some of it good. Lord knows we thought the coalition government was cruel and unfeeling and incompetent, but the Tories alone make it look like a children’s tea party.

    But now is not the time/place for it.

    Suffice to say that every time Carmichael opens his mouth we should all just close our ears. He can’t be trusted.

    • grumpyscottishman

      Tris

      I agree, how this has been handled by the so called leaders of the party is a mistake that, in Scotland, they will pay a heavy price for next May and I have no sympathy for them. The lack of humility and saying it is a nationalist political plot is just bollocks. Scotland has changed and they don’t get it, for the majority the political gutter is the past, many Scots have moved on to a different level and they don’t get it.

      I have seen a lot of things by Scottish members saying nice man, hard worker, he made a mistake, second chance etc etc. The second chance is the ballot box, yes this was a mistake but a huge mistake designed to smear and trash not just an MSP but the First Minister and I’m sorry but a nice man shows humility. How he has been in the past is not relevent now really, he said if he had still been a minister he would have resigned, what’s the difference between that and resigning and re-standing in the constituency. I don’t accept that.

      The Liberals, from the blogs etc, think this is going to go away, I think they are in for a big surprise in Scotland. No one will take anything he says seriously, he is a liar, he is finished. He will hang on for the money, he’ll say he will fight the seat in 2020 but I don’t see it and if he does he will lose. I have never been impressed with Willie Rennie, he has come through the political grievance route and it shows everytime he opens his mouth, Farron has been a disappointment since he became leader. Bad judgement from start to finish, for the party not to remove Carmichael from the front bench at the very least shows where their priorities lay, they are on a suicide mission.

      For me, I will probably hang around and fight my corner but time is running out. Any more of this type of thing and I will go, the party needs to change and start taking things seriously and remember who they work for because right now they come across just as bad as the Tories and Labour if not worse in many ways.

      Thanks for taking time to comment as always.

      Bruce

  3. hektorsmum

    I am going to add what I will describe as a tuppence worth, it might be a very small contribution Bruce but I think it needs to be said. Organisations are seldom if ever reformed from the inside. For instance I reckon that Jeremy Corbyn would have to become something he is not, and that is a real B*st*rd to reform the party he actually has power over.
    You are a member and as such there is only one way for you to make any point, by leaving it, stop paying fees and walking away.
    Willie Rennie got a big head because he became Party Leader in the Scottish Parliament. I do not know why, he got something nobody else wanted, the poisoned chalice if you like, Tim Farron is the same.
    The Tories did a marvellous job on both the Lib Dems and indeed the Labour Party but indeed they committed suicide.
    Carmichael was and is a friend of Nick Clegg, now he got the job as Scottish Secretary because Michael Moore was seen as working too closely with the SNP and therefore they installed the “Big Beast” indeed the wee creep Carmichael was nothing like that. He is from what I have seen of him, a lightweight and indeed as an elder of the Church of Scotland, I am glad I am an atheist.
    You do not need to be a member of any party, I wasn’t in the SNP for many many years but I always supported them, you can do the same with a clear conscience with the Lib Dems. Keep your chin up after all the Tories saw Danny Alexander all right, Now Sir Quisling Alexander.

    • grumpyscottishman

      Hektorsmum

      I think Wullie Rennie is leader in Scotland because there is no one really to do the job, I find him to be poor as a leader. He may well be a hard working local MSP but he just does not lead, he is a yes man and I am sick of his politics of grievance. I find it all boring. Carmichael, even if a hard working MP, even if perceived by many of his friends to be decent, will always be remembered as being a liar. His hanging on and fighting for the seat is delusion, he will lose. I suspect this is more about money and hope of a peerage and you know what I would expect nothing less from any of those lot, they have little morals and zero honour.

      I think the judgement was always going to go that way, the system is designed to protect the MP, it’s the disgusting politics we have in this half way house democracy. I will have no sympathy for the Liberals if they get virtually wiped out next May which looks mre a possibility every day.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  4. Steve

    The support for Carmichael across the leadership of the libdem party is a serious error in judgement. Libdem voice’s editor claimed on BBC Scotland today that Carmichael had a 20 second abberation. Unbelievable. Either she has not read the judgement or is in complete denial. Carmichael should have resigned when the inquiry identified him as the person responsible for the leak.Rennie should have demanded it to protect the reputation and integrity of the party in Scotland. Rennie has no leadership qualities and limited intelligence. The party leadership north and south of the border are leaving Libdem candidates for the forthcoming Scottish elections severely compromised, but they cannot or will not see that. As long as they hang onto their one Westminster MP from Scotland they are willing to sacrifice the political future of libdem msp candidates. No honesty, no integrity, no understanding of the public mood. Oblivion beckons, and frankly they deserve it.

    • Anonymous

      Steve

      I think their support for Carmichael from some of the membership, like the editor of Lib Dem Voice, is because they are all friends and just can’t bring themselves to criticize him, that’s fine I have less issue with them. The leadership of the party though is a different matter, they should understand the damage this has done to the party and haven’t. They are burying their heads in the sand out of loyalty and hoping it all goes away and like you have implied, it won’t.

      I am still a very new member of the party and haven’t been involved but I find their handling of things to be very poor. Carmichael needed to face some sanction from the party, at the very least removed from the front bench, he hasn’t and his and the leadership response has been to blame nationalists and show no humility. The judgement showed a lying MP, willing to do anything to keep his seat at the gravy train and only owned up because he was caught. He should have done the right thing but didn’t, and sadly that is the modern politician in this country. The enquiry by the parliamentary office should have been released before the election, another cynical political move.

      I am just sick of how politics is done in this country from all parties to be honest, what don’t they get, people in Scotland or many have had enough, I know I have. My membership of the party hangs by a thread to be honest, any more major screw-ups and the politics of blame by Rennie might just tip me over the edge, I just can’t stand that anymore. I suspect they will get really hammered next may, and as a member of the party I find that I have little sympathy, says it all really.

      Thanks for taking time to read my little blog and even more commenting.

      Bruce

  5. lanark

    I am really disappointed with the response of the Lib Dems to Carmichael, he should have the whip removed. This could have been a chance for them to rebuild their position in Scotland, a place where they have historically had a strong tradition and support.

    I am a strong believer in Scottish Independence but as a democrat, I believe the SNP need a good opposition. If they do not, they risk becoming like Labour, the party I once voted for but will never vote for again. Wih Labour dying and the Conservatives a toxic brand in Scotland, there is a chance for the Lib Dems but they seem so riven by hatred for the SNP.

    Michael Moore always seemed to be a decent sort and would never have demeaned his position like this. What a pity he lost his seat and Carmichael kept his.

    Also shocked by their support for intervention in Syria, I greatly admired Charles Kennedy’s stance on Iraq. Perhaps if Rennie goes after May 2016 the party in Scotland at least can turn a corner.

    • Anonymous

      Lanark

      I totally agree and have said similar things both on the blog and at Lib Dem meetings, doesn’t make me a popular member with some in the party I guess, but local Dundee members are very open minded.

      Michael Moore I actually liked and respected, didn’t agree with his views during the referendum, I’m a YES voting Liberal, but I thought he showed the YES side respect and tried to do politics in the right way. I was sorry he lost his seat and a plank like Carmichael keeps his. When you think that I was not upset to see Alexander, Clegg, Campbell, Cable going I was for Moore and I wasn’t even a member of the party at that point.

      I think the party has a way to fall to be honest yet, it has such poor leadership in Scotland and is infected with a professional political class and parts of a membership that would not look out of place in the tory party. Willie Rennie is terrible, he may be a good MSP, I don’t know, but I find him to be poor and reactionary but with few brains and zero strategy.

      While it can feel tough being a member of the party, and I have thought of leaving due to people like Carmichael and Rennie, I tend to hope that the party will wake up and get the Rennie’s of the world gone, if they don’t then I will probably leave in the next year or so if there is no change but it would be tough as I really believe all the parties need ordinary people in them, it just all so politically correct it makes me sick.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

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