So Megrahi lies close to death, and that wonderful reporter Glenn Campbell leads the discussion on Radio Scotland. This is the same Glenn Campbell who, just a couple of short weeks ago, described said dying man as ‘appearing in robust health’. This is the same BBC who declared that Megrahi had gone missing in the aftermath of uprising and overthrow in Libya, missing his regular report to East Renfrewshire Council, despite never having missed his monthly contact. Perhaps the BBC will again trot out Professor Kirkby who, a couple of weeks ago, was telling us that Megrahi could live for years on the strength of drugs that he would not have been able to get whilst in prison in Greenock, and who continued to peddle the doubt over the medical evidence apperently used by the Scottish Government. Perhaps too we will have permission to release the remaining papers which the UK and US governments have continued to hold in secret.
Now we know that Megrahi had not disappeared, being found in his family home, precisely where he may have been expected to be. Contact with anyone was not possible, there being no telephone line after the uprising, and the man himself being in a comatose state.
We learn also that the calls from the UK and US to have Megrahi extradited to answer for his crimes, was utterly impossible, there being no extradition treaty with Libya which would allow his release to the west. We learn that the deal done by Blair, to set up the Prisoner Transfer Agreement, was a one way route only, allowing us to hand him back to Gaddafi. The calls for extradition are yet more hollow political posturing, casting yet more doubt on Blair’s tenure in office.
And of course leading the charge has been Blair’s puppet in Scotland, Iain Gray, the man they cannot replace, seemingly unknowing of the extent of the treaty agreed, or alternatively perhaps just issuing yet more soundbites to be repeated by the State funded broadcaster. We learn too that Gray’s partner in crime, Jim Murphy, then Secretary of State for Scotland and the man leading the review to rescue Labour in Scotland, to find Gray’s successor, knew all the time and was included in the correspondence. It is quite possible that Gray remained ignorant, he being so far out the loop, yet another sign of Westminster’s contempt for the devolved parliament in Edinburgh, even or that should perhaps be especially, when it was under the same Labour control as Westminster. And they wonder why the voting of 2007 and 2011 went they way it did, for it is our duty to continue to elect monkeys in red rosettes, to keep our people exactly where Labour want them to be, and to keep Labour in power in Westminster. Times have changed, and will continue so to do.
It is unlikely that Megrahi will be allowed to die in peace, and the only resentment that any of us should have in this whole sorry episode is that a condition of our compassion was the dropping of the appeal. So the road through the courts is closed and we cannot examine the evidence once again, we cannot review the payment of millions of US dollars going to the witnesses whose words were used to convict Megrahi. Going further of course we have the roles of the US and Iran, the repercussions for the American destruction of an Iranian passenger plane and the death of hundreds of citizens that preceded the Lockerbie disaster.
We have outrage from unionist politicians that the Scottish government went down the road of compassionate release on the grounds of the medical evidence available to them. Clearly we should just have handed him back on the basis of Blair’s PTA. Then they need not have spent two years in anguish that the man still lived, stirring the pot continuosly,and would not now be clamouring for his return. We continued to gain drilling rights from the Libyan dictator, to sell arms to him, and then to turn our forces against him. Standards, double ones, hypocrisy and double-speak. These are all the hallmarks of Blair’s time in office. Now we are left with the BBC and their version of those same standards etc.
As I finish these notes I hear Glenn Campbell talking to Jim Swire. Swire is, without any doubt, the only figure involved who has retained dignity and principle right through the entire episode. Swire is convinced of Megrahi’s innocence and dodgy conviction, and now heads up a ‘Justice for Megrahi’ campaign. Jim Swire had to deal with the death of his daughter Flora on the plane above Lockerbie. Blair, Gray, Murphy, Hague, and their broadcast arm at the BBC have a lot to learn. Jim Swire, you have my admiration. Haven’t heard Professor Kirkby having his say yet, just the effrontery of Campbell suggesting we should let the man die in peace now. Steam, ears, outrage.