Is Scotland really about to make lying (by politicians) illegal? #Awkward

Now, in Northern Ireland we know loads about lying politicians. But whilst we acquiesce in their fabrications (and wonder whether our Legislative Assembly members will ever see another clean shirt) Scotland is well ahead of us, apparently.

Over there, lying by elected politicians may be about to be made illegal. Punishable by being made to face the electors again. [Erm, not so sure that actually qualifies as a viable punishment in Northern Ireland? – Ed]

Okay. So, political activists on Shetland and Orkney, incensed at the leaking of memo from the Foreign Office which suggested (apparently, quite innocently) Nicola Sturgeon had privately told a foreign diplomat she was hoping for a Conservative victory, have scraped together enough cash to force an electoral court to sit for the first time in fifty years and adjudicate on whether the denials of the then Minister at the FCO who authorised its leak should render his election null and void.

As Euan McColm points out if successful and there is a re-run, it is unlikely that the last dastardly Lib Dem MP in Scotland will hold his seat. (Yay!) And then he points out that any such judgement would make it illegal for any politician to tell any class of a lie before an election. (Double yay!)

Ah. But McColm finally references the rub. Alex Salmond’s infamous interview by Andrew Neil in which he claimed he’d had legal advice on Scotland’s position viz a viz Scotland’s independent status within the EU, which his then deputy (albeit tacitly) later admitted he had not.

OUCH! [Form an orderly queue and no sniggering at the back, please! – Ed].

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty