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« Labour say Scotland is like Bangladesh! | Main | No Wonder David Cameron loves the BBC - they present him as a champion in a country where he's an also ran. »

April 27, 2010

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Joan, I agree. Cheap and very nasty. I was working on womens' weekly mags at the time and consistently fielded any requests to talk to the people affected because to make money from it seemed somehow abhorrent. Scoring political points all these years later is stomach-churning.
I think it must have been on the radar because the Radio 4 'Reunion' programme was on that morning.

No,

Ms McAlpine is completely right on this issue. The Dunblane killer was looking for fame or infamy and should be denied it for exactly that reason.

Joan - I disagree that the question was off-limits and that's not because I'm an unfeeling so-and-so. I think Alex Salmond's answer was wrong, both as First Minister and as a politician. He should have said that all cases are treated equally but no case is ever quite the same. That was the proper answer and he should have made it clear that was the only possible proper answer. All are equal before the law, even the most evil. Yes, the media would have made a great fuss with such an answer but they would have made a great fuss with ANY answer.

Unelected Lord Mandelson was enjoying cocktails on the yacht of the son of Gadaffi somewhere in the Mediterranean previous to the release of Mr Megrahi into Libyan care.

If this is all about 'principle' then why didn't the Labour Party mention this small detail?

This is utterly vile politics by Labour.
If the release of Mr Megrahi into Libyan care is so repulsive to the Labour Party then what are they doing hob-nobbing with Mr Megrahi's supposed controllers and paymasters?

'Mandelson spoke to Gaddafi's son'
BBC
17 Aug 2009
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8205435.stm

all the best!

ps
Well done GLG for refusing to give the Dunblane non-entity zero publicity - I you say, this is why this insect did what they did.
I remember some newspapers at the time giving full front page portraits of this monster, bordered by smaller thumbnail images of the wee angels and teacher.
I too thought this was appalling.

Not saying the question should not have been asked. Just the meal that was made out of it afterwards...it suggested a strategy. Why the mock outrage, and dragging Dunblane in, when the Labour government wanted him released all along? And when we are now pals with the man who supposedly sent him on he plane with the bomb. It stinks of hypocrisy. At least the SNP gov was willing to stand up and face the consequences. As you know I am not on either side cause I didn't support the release.

Any mention of Dunblane is liable to cause pain to the families of the victims but it's going too far to suggest that this means this question shouldn't have been put to Alex Salmond.

When voicing your opposition to the release of Al-Megrahi, you asked whether those who supported judicial mercy would sanction the release of Soham murderer Ian Huntley in the same circumstances so, plainly, you cannot argue against the logic of the question put to Salmond even if you'd have preferred it if a different killer had been cited.

Alex Salmond was wrong-footed by the question and gave an instinctive rather than a considered response* and, in doing so, he perhaps revealed that Al-Megrahi's release was the act of political expediency that you have long suspected it to have been. But it's disingenuous to highlight the likely involvement of the Westminster Labour Party in this conspiracy without, at least, acknowledging that it must have involved a lot of cooperation from the SNP.

* Salmond's answers on Radio 4's PM programme later in the day had him offering the much more sensible 'every case on its own merits' argument.

The dispensation allowing the release of terminally ill prisoner has been used before in Scotland, and by a Labour administration. It also exists in other countries - as a general principle it is uncontroversial. Debate arises where the crime is murder, as it is more difficult to recommend compassion for someone who themselves showed none.

We don't know what pressures were brought to bear on the Scottish government to act as they did, but that aside, I suspect that Megrahi would not have been released if there had been confidence of his guilt. It seems clear that his conviction was unsound, and those within government may know with certainty that he is innocent. Thus Labour's plan might be to goad Salmond into changing his ground, and stating that Megrahi was released not just because of his health, but because the conviction was unsafe, thereby opening a can of worms. Kenny McAskill very studiously avoided any such suggestion at the time, taking Megrahi's guilt as a given - a very wise course of action.

I suspect that the major difference between the Dunblane and Lockerbie tragedies is that in Dunblane the identity of the perpetrator is not in doubt. However (echoing my comment on the Bangladesh thread) it does not follow that this Labour attack will be ineffective just because it is tasteless. As Goebbels said, the only thing that matters about propaganda is that it should be successful.

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