Just when we thought we didn’t have to worry about David Ward’s tweets any more…


Carmichael, of course, as chief whip, was responsible for suspending Mr Ward over his repeated controversial tweets. Some see this as a little mild self-deprecating humour, others as more offensive than charm.


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  • As a new member one of the things that has impressed me is how the party have stood by one of their own. While still condoning the behaviour of Alastair Carmichael they have not simply turned their backs or put their head in the sand. I don’t condone what he did, in fact I think he should have taken the decision himself to step down however it is nice to see the Liberal Democrats practice what they preach.

  • Disgraceful.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 28th May '15 - 10:48am

    Craig, I’m not sure we have condoned what Alistair did. Certainly I’d say the Scottish Exec weren’t entirely chuffed with his actions. However, we felt that the punishment he was already undergoing was sufficient and we felt that further action was unnecessary.

    We also know that this one error is very untypical of Alistair. His record of achievement for his constituency and on human rights internationally is fantastic.

  • Jonathan Pile 28th May '15 - 11:30am

    To be fair to David Ward – and this is the problem with twitter – often a tweet needs to be viewed in connection with a conversation or a previous tweet just before which people have ignored . “Rocket fired from #Gaza makes international news – day in day out supression of #palestinians and the world looks the other day.”
    We have a storm in a tweet-cup about this tweet , when LDV is urging compassion and understanding in the party. And David Ward’s earlier tweet does question our priorities – what about the suffering in Gaza in all of this?

  • What Caron Lindsay says is correct.
    Indeed – there has not been a uniform response from Liberal Democrats to this. Some have responded by pointing out that whatever the legality of his action — in “leaking” an entirey false representation of a diplomatic meeting in an attempt to play “dirty tricks” on an opponent in an election — it was politically a very stupid thing to do because it added to the Tory campaign to whip up Scotophobia south of the border.

    Even if he had never been found out in his dishonesty it was a political “own goal” to play the Tories trump card for them.

    It should be remembered that Nick Clegg appointed Alistair Carmichael to be Secretary of State for Scotland to replace Michael Moore because Carmichael was a “bruiser” who would “sort out” the SNP.
    The rest is history.

  • David Evershed 28th May '15 - 11:48am

    Caron implies Alistair should be forgiven because : “His record of achievement for his constituency and on human rights internationally is fantastic.”

    In my view the damage to the Liberal Democrats reputation by Alistair’s behaviour can not be offset by any ‘achievements’. His true character has been revealed. He is not the kind of person that Liberal Democrats want representing them. He should rsign from the party if not expelled.

    We need to purge the party of people who are happy to put political expediency above integrity.

  • At a first glance this is very much self-deprecating humour from David Ward, and actually pretty good. And let’s not forget – in this country we have a sense of humour which allows us to poke fun at all sorts of things, even murder. Long may that continue as long as it’s not openly racist, etc.

  • Philip Rolle 28th May '15 - 12:06pm

    And in the week that Hamas did actually fire another rocket at Israel too. Great timing DW…not.

  • I wouldn’t get overly concerned about this tweet. I’ve been a party member for over 20 years, and had never heard of him until Caron posted this on Facebook yesterday, and I googled him to find out who he was (I presumed he was one of the new SNP group!)

  • Caron, typing error meant condemned. Just shows how easy it is done 🙂

  • I think the people in the Shetland Islands can probably manage to work out if they want him out or not, I am not seeing why they would need anyone else to tell them what they think.

  • Cllr. David Becket 28th May ’15 – 12:43pm …………..Whilst under normal circumstances I would want to see him out of the party these are not normal circumstances…………..

    I’m sorry but I don’t believe that morality should be so negotiable…My only yardstick is “How would we react if the offence was perpetrated by the MP of another party who then went on to hold his/her seat, from a LibDem challenger, by 800 votes?”

  • Oh for goodness sake, David was obviously being satirical, with a Jenny Tonge subtext.

  • Dr Michael Taylor 28th May '15 - 6:08pm

    We’re a Liberal Party. Can’t Alistair make a mistake, apologise for it and move on? Quite apart from the lunacy of causing a by-election in the last Lib Dem seat in Scotland with an 815 majority.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 28th May '15 - 6:29pm

    @David Evershed: Using language like “purge” is a bit unnecessary, I think – and quite scary. That’s not who we are as liberals.

  • Tony Dawson 28th May '15 - 6:30pm

    So, which is the more damaging to the Lib Dems?

    (a) Alistair Campbell’s actions

    (b) Alistair Campbell’s subsequent economy with the truth?

    (c) David Ward’s tweet?

    (d) David Ward’s previous tweets?

    (e) ‘The Voice’ in drawing attention to (c) on a well read Lib Dem forum?

    (f) me, in posting this and prolonging this discussion?

    My view is:

    (b) (a) (e) (d) (f) (c).

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 28th May '15 - 6:30pm

    Also, good article in the Spectator covering the main issues and how the SNP’s hypocrisy in this is incredible given their previous behaviour.


  • Tomas Howard-Jones 28th May '15 - 9:55pm

    Tim, you’ve misplaced the word “racist” 4 words too early. And you missed a word. Your sentence should say “His intemperate and often little adventures into (criticizing) foreign racist policy”.

  • Jonathan Calder, yes it was 🙂

  • Fiona White 29th May '15 - 7:41am

    I think his tweet is best ignored.

  • Richard Sangster 29th May '15 - 8:15am

    The SNP needs to be attacked mainly on its record as the governing party in Scotland.

  • There are two party members who are the subjects of this thread.
    One is a former whip in the parliamentary party who suspended the other.

    So who is going to suspend Alistair Carmichael for “bringing the party into disrepute”?

    In the circumstances the witty one-liner from David Ward was a good reminder of what nonsense his suspension was.

    I look forward to both leadership candidates promising that whips will not behave in a bullying fashion in future
    (if only we do not have enough MPs for suspensions nowadays).

    I also look forward to both leadership candidates inviting Jenny Tonge to rejoin the Liberal Democrat in The Lords.

  • Julian Tisi 29th May '15 - 9:33am

    “I thought David’s tweet was funny.” I don’t. It isn’t particularly funny to joke about killing someone.

  • Julian Tisi 29th May '15 - 9:39am

    One interesting thought from this episode is that it appears that one of the worst things you can do in politics is make a mistake and apologise for it. By doing so, you’re breaking the first rule in politics – that politicians are not ordinary people with the same fallibilities as ordinary people. Clearly politicians are a different breed who don’t make mistakes – and if they do, well that’s it for them. Worse, if they admit to a mistake then clearly we need to unleash hellfire and damnation upon them.

    And you wonder how politicians are held in such low regard. As they say, we get the politicians we deserve.

  • Jane Ann Liston 29th May '15 - 10:36am

    @Tony Dawson ‘So, which is the more damaging to the Lib Dems?

    (a) Alistair Campbell’s actions

    (b) Alistair Campbell’s subsequent economy with the truth?’

    Alistair Campbell?

  • David Cooper 29th May '15 - 11:59am

    @Julian Tisi “one of the worst things you can do in politics is make a mistake and apologise for it”

    There is no suggestion that Alistair Carmichael lied by mistake. He lied quite deliberately so there was no mistake.

  • David Evans 29th May '15 - 4:04pm

    Killing someone? What a joker!

  • There seem to be rather a lot of people on here who don’t understand the concept of “a joke”. When Jenny Tonge made her comment about suicide bombers it was a serious political statement (and in context an unexceptionable one in my view). David’s tweet is a witty ‘dig’ at a former colleague who presumably gave him a dressing down; a critique of someone whose actions have caused damage to the party; and a subtextural reference to past events in the party. What it is not is a joke about killing anyone, or threatening to do something which might cause anyone to be in any way concerned.

  • David Howell 4th Jun '15 - 12:55pm

    “…The SNP needs to be attacked mainly on its record as the governing party in Scotland…”

    As opposed to simply trying to smear them with a lie, presumably?

    Yes; I woud agree; however, the people of Scotland have voted for a positive change to their lives, in the full knowledge of what it has been like to actually have the SNP in control of the government of Scotland.

    It would seem that we rather like it! :o)

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