Is Alex Salmond a liar?

October 23, 2012 3:54 pm

Earlier today two of his MSPs quit – now SNP leader Alex Salmond has been caught out over previous statements on Scotland’s potential future membership of the EU.

What Salmond said in March:

When asked by Andrew Neil “Have you sought advice from your own Scottish law officers on this [EU membership] matter?

Alex Salmond said: “We have, yes … You know I can’t release the legal advice of law officers Andrew.”

What the SNP say now:

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament today, Nicola Sturgeon said:

“The Scottish Government has previous cited [legal] opinions … but has not sought specific legal advice [on EU membership].”

Is Alex Salmond a liar? It certainly seems that way…

Update: Scottish Labour are calling today’s events a “Scomnishambles”

  • rekrab

    The SNP have currently two MEP’s, as far as I’m aware Scotland has European elections!
    Seems very odd to suggest that the European Parliament would expel Scotland’s two SNP MEP’s because Scotland became Independent?

    • http://twitter.com/HadleighRoberts Hadleigh Roberts

      Actually all the MEPs elected in Scotland would be expelled if Scotland became independent because it wouldn’t be in the EU anymore.

    • Chilbaldi

       are you for real? Of what relevance is current MEPs to future EU Membership?

      • rekrab

        Err! like MEP’s sit in the European parliament and vote on European legislation, it would be rather strange for an MEP not to be familiar with the process and workings of the European parliament .

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001102865655 John Ruddy

           Indeed, perhaps they should listen to the President of the Commision who has said Scotland would have to apply for EU membership.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/QDMFX65KM5STSAFHAC4FOLFTO4 fran

    You’re confused dear – It’s 2 MSP’s not MEP’s who resigned and not over Europe but over NATO.

  • telemachus

    Liar or not does not matter
    This is a political question.
    Will the 27 let them in
    Will Spain veto it to prevent a precedent for Catalonia

    • rekrab

      Does the European parliament pander to forced-selective membership? Scotland and Catalonia can only retain membership if London and Madrid say so?Jeez! the don’t dare or the empire strikes back.     

      • Chilbaldi

        play that card all you want mate, but I doubt petty lies will win you the referendum. ‘you should all vote yes even though daddy might take our toys away!’

      • Redshift1

        Lots of states have essentially been prevented from joining the EU because of vetos of current member states. I personally think it would be outrageous frankly for Scotland (or Catalonia) to be denied EU membership if they did go independent BUT this is all about whether they’d have to apply, and would anyone block it. The answer to both seems to be yes – which is not the answer that is favourable to the SNP. Which is why Salmond has tried to hide it. 

        Right or wrong, it’s a practical question that many SNP people don’t seem very keen on addressing. 

  • Serbitar

    More a deluded bullsh*tter than a liar I think.

    • rekrab

      Deluded? care to elaborate. 

      • Serbitar

        Deluded that revenues from Scotland’s diminishing oil wealth can fund so many programmes and improve life for so many Scots for so long into the future. 

        • rekrab

          Ah, Scotland’s to wee, to poor, to stupid to conduct it’s own affairs? let’s just listen to Jim Murphy and campaign with the Tories and ignore the truths.I’ll give you a stretch of road many relate to it as the A8, from Whitburn to Newbridge, almost straight through about 12 miles or so, from 1979 to 2012, along that route, closed Polkemit Pit, closed, levi’s,  closed BMC, closed Motorola, closed NEC, closed, Golden Wonder, closed Halls of Broxburn, Closed Bells Whisky plant, Closed Marshalls foos processing plant , all major employers at some point in time all closed.Is there something there we should endorse? 

          • Chilbaldi

            stop twisting. you are as bad as Alex ‘dividing lines’ Salmond.

  • AlanGiles

    More desperate stuff. If we are going to start naming and shaming politicians who have been “economical with the actualitie”, it would be a very long list indeed. It would include – let’s see, off the top of my head: Iain Duncan-Smith for lying on his CV, Andrew Mitchell for saying he didn’t swear at a policeman and then suddenly remembering he used the “F” word, Jeremy Hunt for getting temporary amnesia over the News International, Cameron over the Brooks emails, David Laws for his financial arrangements……..and any number of Labour politicians – Blunkett, Straw, and Blair with that little matter of “45 minutes”.

    At least in all the other cases, except Blair, reprehensible as they were and are, nobody died.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001102865655 John Ruddy

       Alan you may not be familiar with the full story. The SNP has spent considerable amounts of taxpayers money trying to avoid a FOI request on this advice. Appeals, and court cases etc.

      Now, it appears that there was nothing to hide – they spent that money for nothing – except to hide their own incompetence at not getting the advice sooner.

      On Newsnight Scotland last night, Gordon Brewer made the excellent point that if this was Tony Blair and the advice was about the Iraq war, the SNP would be screaming blue murder.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001102865655 John Ruddy

       Alan you may not be familiar with the full story. The SNP has spent considerable amounts of taxpayers money trying to avoid a FOI request on this advice. Appeals, and court cases etc.

      Now, it appears that there was nothing to hide – they spent that money for nothing – except to hide their own incompetence at not getting the advice sooner.

      On Newsnight Scotland last night, Gordon Brewer made the excellent point that if this was Tony Blair and the advice was about the Iraq war, the SNP would be screaming blue murder.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001102865655 John Ruddy

       Alan you may not be familiar with the full story. The SNP has spent considerable amounts of taxpayers money trying to avoid a FOI request on this advice. Appeals, and court cases etc.

      Now, it appears that there was nothing to hide – they spent that money for nothing – except to hide their own incompetence at not getting the advice sooner.

      On Newsnight Scotland last night, Gordon Brewer made the excellent point that if this was Tony Blair and the advice was about the Iraq war, the SNP would be screaming blue murder.

      • AlanGiles

        Good morning John. I admit to not knowing the full ins and outs, but it really annoys me when you have a major political party accusing others of doing what they do themselves as a matter of course. Mr Salmond is “a liar”. Perhaps,  perhaps not, but did Tony Blair never lie, or Mrs Thatcher?, or Cameron or David Laws, for that matter.

        On the point about Mr Brewer’s remarks, I would just remind him that Mr Salmond’s misdemeanours haven’t caused human lives to be lost – unlike those of Blair. That to me is one great big unforgiveable misdemeanour, and it astonishes me that so many Labour supporters are so sanguine about it.

        A few weeks ago we had a Mr Rowley of Oxford writing a breathless article on LL about The Greens being “hypocrites”. Labour and Conservatives never been guilty of hypocrisy?. In any event Rowley didn’t have the courtesy to come back and respond to points made to him.

        Then we had Mr Richards last week telling LL readers the new NHS party must be “strangled at birth”. The langauge of the jackboot.

        I know you expect each party to try to discredit the others, but it is beyond parody when you have the current Labour party, with all the old waxworks of the New Labour years desperately clinging on, Mark Ferguson trying to rehabilitate Alistair Campbell, Jacqui Smith obviously still with one eye ,or both, on a comeback, writing otiose LL articles  and so many other discredited old has-beens (e.g. Mandy) still trying to be, or pretending to be influential,  for Labour to pretend to be the only party with any claim to purity. Lies and dissembling, sadly are an everyday occurence within major political parties – which is why we need more Independents, and more single issue parties represented in Parliament. I am afraid Labour, Conservative and LibDems don’t have all the answers, they never will.

        • aracataca

          ‘ In any event Rowley didn’t have the courtesy to come back and respond to points made to him’.

          because he’s not on the site 24 hours a day and has to go to work?

          • AlanGiles

             Bill, I invited a response from Rowley three times over a week.

            I am not on the site 24 hours a day myself (too much of your Puckish humour would be too irritating), but I am retired.

            What’s your excuse?

  • Amber_Star

    The big numptie, Salmond, brought a lawsuit to veto a Freedom of Information request. Then poor wee Nichola Sturgeon got sent to explain to the court & the press that there was nothing to veto! Salmond had neither asked for nor received the legal advice upon which he claimed to be relying.

    Salmond hangs out with Rupert Murdoch, enough said. There’s some good people in the SNP; Alex Salmond isn’t one of them!

  • rekrab

    Why? are the Scots any less than the English?

    • http://twitter.com/HadleighRoberts Hadleigh Roberts

      If Scotland becomes an independent country, it is free of all treaty obligations and so would have to reapply to become a member of the EU. 

      So if Scotland is not an EU country, then you can’t have MEPs from Scotland.

      • rekrab

        The European parliamentary act 1999,Scotland constitutes a single constituency of the European Parliament and in 2009 elected 6 MEP’s to represent Scotland in the European parliament.

        • Redshift1

          It did the same for English regions. It doesn’t mean that if Yorkshire declared independence they’d automatically become an EU state. It recognised them as a constituency – not as an sovereign political unit. 

      • robertcp

        If Scotland votes for independence, we are in uncharted territory for the UK and EU.  I agree that Scotland would have to reapply for EU membership but I suspect that the Scottish MEPs would stay until that issue is resolved.  Like Salmond, I have not taken legal advice and might be wrong!

        It is not going to happen in any case.  Scottish people will just realise that independence is not worth the hassle.

  • Davy Virdee

     I don’t think it’s the first bit of the exchange with Andrew Neil that we should be focusing on – nor the 27 words of filler Salmond uses to try and dance around the question. It’s what he says from 11.00 on wards in the clip:

    “Everything that we have published is entirely consistent with THE LEGAL ADVICE WE RECEVIED”

    This can be interpreted, imo in two ways

    1) The legal advice received was null – basically an empty document, and therefore everything in the documents is completely made up, and based on  legal advice that contains zero content. This is entirely consistent with the legal advice with have received, as we haven’t got any legal advice.In which case, as Raymond Buchannan on Radio Scotland politely put it this morning Salmond has been bluffing the opposition and perpetuating a myth that legal advice had been sought. Pursuing a case in courts to prevent the null advice being released was a “clever” ploy to perpetuate this further. How can any “fair minded person” can see this as “fair”?  2) No legal advice was received, and Salmond lied.
    .

  • uglyfatbloke

    And Brown, Blair, Johnson, Smith, Cameron, Straw, never ever told lies about cannabis…they used special facts that they had made up themselves and you can’t get better than that can you?

  • uglyfatbloke

    It ‘s not absolutely clear to me whether Salmond lied or whether his opponents only cherry-picked the bits they fancied in order to be able  to call him a liar. A  Labour-supporting journalist (who I respect ) tells me it is the latter. but the story was too good to let the evidence stand in the way. 
    Personally, I ‘m not convinced either way, but I am aware we don’t get this kind of reaction when other politicians lie….Blair and Brown did it all the time, Thatcher seems to have done it out of sheer habit.  Major and Callaghan had difficulties distinguishing fact from fiction and Harold Wilson never knew there was a difference.

  • uglyfatbloke

    So…it turns out that actually he did n’t lie, but that Neil and others simply chose to ignore the bits of his response that did not suit them. In newspapers that’s fair enough. A newspaper has to pay heed to the wishes of it’s owner. It’s not really good enough at the BBC. Overall this will probably work in Salmond’s favour. People will come to see him as being a smear target and when he does do something really dreadful they will wrongly assume that he is being targeted rather than exposed.
    AlanGiles raises a good point. Blair and Brown lied about more things that you can shake a stick at and Cameron has followed faithfully in their footsteps alongside such notable servants of truth as Browne, Reid, Osborne, Beckett, Foulkes, Howard, Widdicombe, Darling, McShane, Moran, Johnson….the list may not be endless, but it is pretty huge.

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