Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Megrahi, MSP Point Scoring, Boycotts and Slow Brown

I have been following the political fallout from Scottish justice secretary Kenny MacAskill MSP decision to grant an early release to terminally-ill Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi both here and in the USA.

I wanted to examine three particular points of the whole episode.

1.MSP reaction

I cant help but feel that the attacks by the MSP's on the Kenny MacAskill SNP decision are from a purely political stand point and are simply political point scoring. When asked on a BBC Radio Five Live report if they would of come to the same decision during yesterdays Scottish parliament meeting, in general the opposition MSP interviewed seem to side step the issue and some believed they would of came to the same decision.

I actually believe that under the usual Scottish rules Kenny MacAskill had to let him go using the information he was provided with (i.e. 3 months to live and past parole record recommendations). But he should not of visited Megrahi in prison as this does look bad on Kenny MacAskill and he did not visit any of the American families also a bad decision.

For my own personal feelings on the matter are that I would find it very hard to make a decision I mean Megrahi was given up by the Libyan government but did they make a deal with the other bombers? He was convicted and Scottish law should apply but I still cannot decide one way or the other if he should of been released, I personally think the wishes of the families are more important than that of a convicted bomber.

2. US reaction to the decision

I understand the American families reaction as they fully believe in the courts verdict where as most of the British relatives want further investigation and some believe that Megrahi was not the main bomb plotter. But I guess now we will never know.

As for boycotting Scottish or British goods I would say to those Americans who plan too. You have every right to be greatly displeased with Kenny MacAskill decision to release Megrahi but do not forget that Scottish and British people are fighting with Americans recently in Iraq and currently in Afghanistan providing the 2nd biggest foreign force and are very much engaged in operations dying and being injured for this cause. Surely for this alone the British and Scottish people deserve your support and not a boycott of goods and services.

In some ways the reception received by Megrahi is a cultural one. One which we in the west do not understand. This was not as much as a heroes reception as it looked. Libya is still a very tribal country and most people at the airport reception were members of this tribe or extended family, this was a tribal welcome not a wholly countries Libyan welcome. There was no street parade arranged and at the moment the media are not being granted access to Megrahi.

3. Gordon Brown

With respect to Gordon Brown PM taking so much time to make a statement on the matter. Which he has now come out and stated that he was "angry and repulsed" at the jubilant reception Megrahi received. Brown always appears to not act in good time to these situations although sometimes politically it can be best to say nothing (not that its the right thing to do). But to never say anything for such along time and then add your comments so late in the day, now that really does not look good Mr Brown. These delays just leave Gordon Brown open to attack and political criticism surely has learnt this by now.

Back to the Simple Life: A Guide for America boycotting Scotland

And the otherside of the story

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  1. When Americans show a little contrition for the hundreds and thousands of families THEY have destroyed - and continue to destroy - across the world, the rest of us might feel some sympathy. As always, American (and Israeli) lives are more precious than anyone else's.

  2. Sometimes it does feel that way Woody99