Wednesday, August 24, 2011

In which I don't agree with Nick - the Lockerbie bomber should be left in Libya

I do feel I need to atone slightly for writing such a truthful if toadying post about Nick Clegg's visit to Edinburgh so in a way I'm glad he said something that I really disagree with.

He's said that he wants to see Lockerbie bomber Abdelbasset Al-Megrahi brought back here to serve in a UK jail.  At least he had the good grace to acknowledge that it was nowt to do with his Government though, as this is a Scottish government matter.

I supported Kenny MacAskill's decision to release Megrahi on compassionate grounds 2 years ago. He made the only decision he could on the basis of the information given to him. 

Megrahi may well have outlived expectations - but he has until now been given some super duper drug therapy not available in the UK. I can't imagine he'll just be able to turn up at his hospital in Tripoli now and get the same drugs, somehow. And the fact that he still has terminal cancer stands. There is nothing to gain from dragging an increasingly frail man back here and throwing him in jail to die. The instincts that would appease are not the best we human beings have.

Yes, it absolutely turned my stomach to see him, albeit in a wheelchair, at a pro Gaddafi rally a while back, but we can't judge him on that. We have to go on his actual state of health and whether it's humane to take him back here. I can't imagine his life is particularly pleasant at the moment - he must know that everyone and their dog is looking for him, and he will probably be facing the reality of his condition. 

Suffering from Cancer is not pleasant. The drug therapy and being with his family have both helped extend his life, but that doesn't mean that he has had the same quality of life that you or I would have.

I've never been convinced of his guilt, but equally, that should have nothing to do with what should happen now. He's a prisoner released on compassionate grounds because he is dying. Predicting when someone will die isn't an exact science and there's every possibility that if he had been left here he wouldn't have seen out 2009. While I have huge sympathy with the families of those who died in the Lockerbie atrocity, causing extra suffering to a terminally ill man, who isn't to blame for the fact that he's still alive, is not going to help.

He was released, like any other terminally ill prisoner, on compassionate grounds because of his illness. The facts of his illness remain the same. There is nothing to gain from pursuing him further.


KelvinKid said...

Megrahi was convicted, however dubiously, under the law of Scotland and was correctly released under the law too. That is the end of the matter and Clegg should not have made any comment on the issue.

cynicalHighlander said...

Clegg should but out and do what he was elected to do not pander to the rich boys and girls.

Morality demands rethink of UK-Swiss tax deal, warns Christian Aid

‘We fear that the agreement will be soft on the Britons who have illegally hidden billions in the Alpine tax haven but hard on developing countries, which also suffer from Swiss banking secrecy,’ said Christian Aid Director Loretta Minghella.

cynicalHighlander said...

How.s Ronnie Biggs Mr Clegg and Mr Saunders him of Alzheimer recovery?

AM said...

a very well reasoned post

oneexwidow said...

I had missed those comments - but I Agree With Caron. Likewise, I agreed with Kenny MacAskill's decision in 2009.

My own post on the subject is here:

In light of recent events, I've considered doing a revised version but not sure there's a great deal to add.

Rory Carr said...

One would suppose that the Deputy Prime Minister would have available to him sufficient intelligence to know the parlous condition of Mr Megrahi's health. He must also be aware of the grave doubts that exist over his conviction, doubts so compelling that Mr Jim Swire, a bereaved father of one of the Lockerbie victims, is so convinced of Megrahi's innocence that he has been vigourously campaigning for his conviction to be overturned.

It is difficult to read Mr Clegg's intervention as little more than the type of opportunistic playing to the lowest common denominator of public opinion with which, following his knee jerk reaction to the recent street protests following upon the contentious shooting by the police of a man in Tottenham, we have come to associate him with.


Related Posts with Thumbnails