When Jonathan Aitken found himself up against the Press and had to defend a famous lie, he said ‘If it falls to me to start a fight to cut out the cancer of bent and twisted journalism in our country with the simple sword of truth and the trusty shield of British fair play, so be it.”
Jeffrey Archer was also fierce in his own defence but from Mr. Carmichael we have heard nothing at all.
From the internet trows who have been defending him there has been plenty. Most of it has echoed the famous Bruce defence – ‘they did it too’ or the theological one ‘he has said sorry, what more can he do? It is time to draw a line upon the sand etc etc’. Quite a few have accused this poor vole of hypocrisy and hoped that I never need forgiveness, making it plain that they would take great pleasure on not pissing on a burning rodent. In case there is any doubt I have never had to issue a press release acknowledging that I have not told the full truth to the electorate.
From his own party we have heard almost nothing. I searched the Internet in vain for supportive statements from Nick Clegg, David Steel, Danny Alexander and so on. Maybe they feel disappointed too. Norman Lamb’s opinion was described thus
“Norman was very clear that what Alistair Carmichael did was wrong, and he condemned it. He said that we need to have a fresh start where we put breaches of trust behind us and never repeat them. I was pleasantly surprised that Norman said he disagreed with Malcolm Bruce when he (Bruce) defended Carmichael saying that all politicians lie. Norman said that is wrong and that all politicians do not lie and shouldn’t lie. Some lie, but shouldn’t, he said.”
That must make it pretty frosty in the House of Commons Tea Room.
Mr. Carmichael’s only support from elected politicians has come from Scotland. Willie Rennie’s ‘second chance speech’ did not go down well his own supporters. One party member on their own website said,
“But please accept that simply shouting “but Sir, Sir, Salmond senior said bad words too” really is not an argument.
I respect that our Executive feel the bond of friendship and shared struggle with Alistair but their decision should have been based on the ethical standards we wish to see others follow and which we believe are essential to restore trust not only in our party but in the wider political system too.
A public apology, once you have been found out after a six week inquiry, is not a ‘punishment’ it is surely the least we would expect. The decision to forego a three month severance package as a Minister while still retaining a generous MP salary is also not ‘punishment’. Certainly not to voters on wage freezes, struggling with bills or reliant on food banks.”
Our two Orkney and Shetland MSPs had no practical choice but to speak out – otherwise the water cooler conversations would be terse. Tavish was hardly lavish with his endorsement.
Liam McArthur’ statement is perhaps the kindest that has been said, and that is not surprising. No one this vole knows who has had dealings with Liam has anything bad to say about him. His was a hybrid of both types of defence.
“I recognise that Alistair’s error of judgment has left constituents feeling let down. It is right that he has apologised for what I believe was an aberration on his part and I hope that this will now be accepted so that we can move on. I know Alistair remains committed to getting on with doing the work he was elected to do, serving the people of Orkney and Shetland, as he has done with great diligence over the last 14 years.
“At the same time, I find difficult to understand why nationalist politicians and members of the Yes campaign appear to believe that others should be held to higher standards than those they happily tolerate amongst their own.”
Liam is wrong. We are not doing this as members of the SNP- I am the only one who is although I have hopes of at least one. No, we are doing this because we believe in democracy. If any candidate in any election breaks electoral law or is suspected of having done so, the voters in that constituency can raise an action in the courts. Indeed, this is exactly what the Liberal Democrats did against Phil Woolas in 2010 and he was a hard working MP who had a decent reputation as a minister. He went and rightly so. We are following their example of holding politicians to account for what they have said but we are doing it without party funds or backing (though we would not say ‘no’ of course!). Just ordinary voters who want our say in the ballot box”
Don’t forget to donate at – https://www.indiegogo.com/project/the-people-versus-carmichael/