Saturday, 23 May 2015

Sorry kthxbai

Yesterday Alistair Carmichael admitted responsibility for leaking the memo which falsely said that Nicola Sturgeon had told the French Ambassador during a meeting that she wanted David Cameron to remain as Prime Minister after the recent election, a claim strongly denied by both Ms Sturgeon and the French Ambassador and her staff.  The investigation took from March until now and cost £1.4 million.

Mr Carmichael has apologised to Ms Sturgeon and has also said he will forgo his severance pay as a cabinet minister, a total of £16,876,  He seems to think that this is sufficient to draw a line under the matter and that everyone should just move on.

I am reminded of MPs who were caught out fiddling their expenses, who seemed to think that, as long as they paid the money back, everything was fine and they couldn't understand what all the fuss was about.  In both cases the individuals in question seem to have no moral sense that they have done something wrong, and that all they are really sorry for is that they have been caught.

The other question is why did the investigation take so long and why did it cost so much?  As far as I can gather, it was quickly established that the mobile used to contact the Telegraph with the story belonged to Euan Roddin, Mr Carmichael's special adviser.  From there is hardly required the services of Miss Marple to work out who had authorised the 'leak', especially since it appears that Mr Carmichael rolled over almost immediately.

The one honourable thing that Mr Carmichael has done is that he has not thrown Mr Roddin under the bus for this.  Nevertheless, I would think that the people of Orkney and Shetland might be asking themselves if a self-confessed liar and waster of public funds is really the best person to represent them at Westminster.

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