Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Gordon Brown's Porkies

The al-Megrahi release raises its head again in today's Telegraph.  It alleges a Foreign Office minister, Bill Rammall, sent Libyan officials detailed legal advice on how to use Mr al-Megrahi's cancer diagnosis to ensure he was released from a Scottish prison on compassionate grounds.

Several times Gordon Brown insisted the British government had no involvement whatsoever in the release of al-Megrahi, yet he must have been aware a Foreign Office minister was in direct contact with Libyan officials.

The Telegraph has published more than 480 American documents which were obtained by the Wikileaks website and passed to the newspaper.

The unionist Scotsman takes the line that the documents will 'heighten pressure on the SNP administration at Holyrood to reveal the full extent of discussions with the UK government about how and when Megrahi could be released'.  I see no evidence of any impropriety from the Scottish government in the few documents supplied online by the Telegraph.  What I do see, if the documents' facts are accurate, that Gordon Brown lied.

Surely now Dr Swire will be granted his independent inquiry.


Sue said...

It has got to the point where nothing shocks me. Isn't that sad?

It's time to vote "ordinary folk" back into power again. People who know the value of truth, honour and what it is like to work for a living whilst supporting a family.

We have to stop rich career politicians from being in power.

They just don't seem to have any morals, ethics or loyality.

The Last Of The Few said...

This whole sorry story stank when it first came out.

Like Sue however I am not shocked. Again another example of the body politic lying a cheating to gain contol/authority/status.

There are no people of sustance anyomre in our political system. They to a man bend/contort and massage the system to suit themselves and never for the benefit of us.

Brown and the Labout party in there last couple of years had become so used to lying a nd cheating it was second nature. It was part of their makeup.

Robin Cook was the last Labour politician who I actually felt was a man of substance.

The tory/Lib coalition will be no different despite the retoric.

And the worst thing is it is so difficult to hold them to account where as me Mr avaerage can be jailed in a heart beat.

I await the Labour Party reply to this

William said...

Salmond and MacAskill have always maintained that it was their decision to release Megrahi and no-one else's.

Why would they lie about such a thing?

Jo G said...

William because ultimately, and I absolutely hate saying this, they are no better than the rest. If they were the appeal would have been heard and not dropped and Megrahi would have almost certainly gone home truly a free man.

But you know let's look at this: the media, and particularly the Scottish media, have remained silent on the truth about Lockerbie for a long time and particularly since 2007 when the SCCRC announced it had found SIX grounds to suggest a miscarriage of justice had taken place at Megrahi's trial. Given the enormity of the crime here, how on earth could any responsible Scottish media let that go? And yet they did. Megrahi's appeal was delayed by TWO YEARS by our judiciary in Scotland. Why? Because the political and legal establishments did not want it heard. Their conduct, incidentally, was termed, by a UN Observer at the original trial, as the obstruction of justice and he said it publicly. About our marvellous old Scottish Justice System. And the Scottish media had nothing to say about it? Very, very sinister indeed.

I'm sorry, but Salmond has gone along with it and many out here will feel about this the way many former Labour people feel about Blair and Iraq. If one man could have brought this off and got justice not just for Megrahi but for Scotland over Lockerbie, it was Salmond. That he bottled it should haunt him for the rest of his life. So many people thought the SNP had no baggage like the other Parties over Lockerbie. Yet it turns out they have been thoroughly dishonest about it all too. Megrahi didn't need "compassionate" release: he had an appeal which should have been heard. Shame on all of us that our justice system lacks the one vital ingredient - justice itself.

RMcGeddon said...

I watched NewsnightScottishLabour to get the latest news on the Brown porkies over the Megrahi release but there wasn't a peep from them. This was despite the news being headlined on Sky News.
NewsnightScottishLabour dragged out a report about coastguard stations until the bitter end until everyone fell asleep.

The Last Of The Few said...

Salmond is party to this shady deal.

To say the SNP is not part of the lie and cover up is itself a falsehood.

They need to come out now and say the truth.
Was Salmond "ordered to". I use the word ordered loosely.
Was he pressurised????

Sadly they are not innocent.

Jo G said...

Last of the Few, I honestly believe had Salmond taken this issue head on he would have won: he should have sacked Angiolini and got that appeal heard. And once justice had truly been done Scotland would have emerged with a bit of dignity and its global reputation restored.

And yes, the last Labour government lied but please remember that it was Thatcher who allowed the Americans to run this whole show and assisted them to the hilt to blame Libya. Successive Tory governments did the same as did Blair's government when Labour came in again in 1997. So both the main Parties are involved in this. The sad thing is that the SNP has been in on the deal too. I feel for Christine Grahame of the SNP here. I really do. You know the more I see of the corruption at every level in politics the more I don't even want to vote. Maybe we should all abstain to show the entire political establishment - and their "justice" counterparts, just how little we believe in any of them any more.

Jo G said...

And Last of the Few......even if as you bizarrely put it, "ordered" to, Salmond did not have to cave in. This is NOT about Megrahi, it was about Scotland, about the truth behind Lockerbie, and I'm certain all of Scotland would have stood behind him when he told Westminster where to put their orders and set that appeal in motion!

The Last Of The Few said...

Jo Visit my blog read the history section and my many posts on Scotland and Lockerbie please.

Right hand side follow Lockerbie tag.

Then you see my point.

Jo G said...

Will do Last and thank you.

RMcGeddon said...


The released cables do indicate that the SNP and Labour colluded together to get Megrahi released. This goes against what the SNP have been saying up to now. One of the quotes from the cables..

" FCO Minister for the Middle East Bill Rammell sent Libyan Deputy FM Abdulati al Obeidi a letter, which was cleared both by HMG and by the Scottish Executive, on October 17 outlining the procedure for obtaining compassionate release"

subrosa said...

Well said Sue. Indeed there is no honour or morals.

subrosa said...

LotF, it stinks from start to finish the whole thing.

I'd agree with you about Robin Cook. He didn't get much support from his boss did he?

subrosa said...

For the reasons Jo mentions below William.

subrosa said...

I've said all along Salmond has had the opportunity to do something about this but bottled it.

If he hadn't fobbed off Jim Swire then the country may just have forgiven him for his part in it all, but not now.

It is a shame on all of us Jo, but what can we do about it?

subrosa said...

And wasn't it boring, going over the same material as a few weeks ago RM.

subrosa said...

I doubt if we'll hear more from the SNP LotF.

subrosa said...

It does make you think is it worthwhile Jo. Disillusioned as we are though, I think we must vote.

subrosa said...

Thanks for pointing that out to William RM. I've yet to study all the documents but I will do in time.

William said...

What prompted the letter, RM?

Jo, it's quite serious to say that Salmond and MacAskill told barefaced lies. I'd ask what would be their motive for doing so?

Barbazenzero said...

Unsurprisingly, still no mention of this by the “impartial”, although someone seems to be "off message" on their What the Scottish papers say which states:

The Herald says that according to the latest leaked US diplomatic cable Britain secretly advised the Libyan government on how to secure the early release of the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing.

“Megrahi Got Help”, writes the Scottish Sun, which reports that answers have been demanded from Labour over claims that UK ministers secretly helped Libya secure the release of the Lockerbie bomber.

RMcGeddon said...

The relevant cable is here. And it's just one ambassadors opinion of course and not gospel..


A short summary seems to be that Alex Salmond told Jack Straw that he was in charge of the release decision. Straw told Bill Rammall what the Scottish Govt would require from Libya to go down the compassionate release route after discussions with Alex salmond etc.

William said...

Thanks for the link, RM.

I have to say that I don't quite read the issue of collusion into it, as you do.

It's clear the Libyans were pushing to release Megrahi by one of three methods. One of those was compassionate leave. Salmond had already indicated to Straw that he would be desirous of releasing Megrahi on those grounds. A letter outlining the procedure was sent to the Libyans but it was made clear the decision was a Scottish one and not a Westminster one.

At best, you could argue that Salmond was damned if he did and damned if he didn't. There were clearly commercial pressures to release Megrahi and Salmond had to bear this in mind. But there were political pressures if he released Megrahi.

Salmond, though, had to make the decision he thought was correct and articulate why he thought it was correct. If he failed to do neither then the fault is his.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

All that was needed was for three Scottish Judges to do the job they were allegedly capable of doing - which was to throw the whole thing out for lack of evidence, collusion by governments and/or their agents and the bribing of witnesses.

They hadn't the bottle; and the SNP, who had no responsibility nor involvement in that decision hadn't, when given the chance, the bottle to expose the injustice.


Could it be because it would have exposed the Scottish Justice system, at its highest level of either incompetence or open to the pressures of political expediency.

One law for all, but none for some?

Developments since are merely maggots trying to ignore rotten flesh.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

People are still blaming Margaret Thatcher? You bring the blogosphere into disrepute with your parochial and largely visceral disregard for the facts.

Thatcher saw the bodies. Sir Bernard Ingham, who, if you remember, was joined at the hip with Thatcher, wrote:

The day began with the discovery of an IRA bomb gang in Clapham. It ended with us waiting for the Prime Minister's return from the Commons to No 10 to face, with her steely calm resolution, the possibility that the plane had been blown out of the skies. But by whom? After 24 hours, we still did not know or, precisely, the cause or the death toll.

That was not surprising, Bodies were scattered over the countryside. In Sherwood Crescent, where 11 residents were killed, we found a 150ft-long crater and houses vaporised where the wings had fallen, the black stink of kerosene polluting the air.

Three miles east of the town, we were taken to the nose cone of the plane in a field, surrounded by belongings and bodies, and the gruesome visible remains of two stewardesses frozen in death in the wreckage. It seemed an awful intrusion just to look, but there was no point in going unless we took in the full horror.

It was a very shaken and troubled party that returned to No 10, leaving Britain's smallest police force – the Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary – leading Britain's largest criminal inquiry.

They eventually put Abdelbaset al-Megrahi behind bars, only for our contemptible politicians to release him after only eight years
allegedly on compassionate grounds but really to oil the wheels of trade with Libya.

Hardly the words of someone who was complicit in a tin foil hatter's conspiracy, is it?

Time to grow up conspiracy seekers and also time to remember that the PM who has caused more death and destruction is one Tony Blair.

Clarinda said...

I agree that the "bottle" that some refer to was missing from a number of potential seekers of the truth. I wonder, however, how much this further judicial investigation would cost in terms of money, time and energy and who would pay? An appeal lined against the vested interests of international NWO etc. may not have served as the panacea imagined.

This is not to denegrate the seriousness of the lives lost or ignore the suspected malicious covert corruption but what upstanding example can we produce to demonstrate the benefit of such inquiries. The web of global political and multi-national shystersm runs so deep and is so well-protected that it would probably take much more than a judicial review - however well intentioned and robust - could ever complete.

Perhaps the best we can hope for is that the ability to scam and spin is becoming ever more difficult for the ruling and big money boys. We have more than we perhaps realise to be grateful for the internet and it's associated courageous contributors and the politicians and their financial masters much to regret.

There are those out there who believe Wikileaks is being masterminded to destabilise at a much more subtle level than immediately perceived - why this leak now (via the unionist Torygraph) with the Middle East in turmoil etc? Just asking.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

"...Gordon Brown insisted the British government had no involvement whatsoever in the release of al-Megrahi..."

Yes, but nobody has ever believed him, have they?

Joe Public said...

So it seems ex-MP Bill Rammell not only fiddled his expenses & had to make repayments to us taxpayers, but he was also "economical with the actualité".

In an interview on Today 2/9/09, he stated more than once the (then) Labour government "would not and could not" intervene in the Lockerbie bomber decision.


RMcGeddon said...

Wrinkled W...
It was Thatcher who stopped a proper inquiry into the Lockerbie bombing ( after Cecil Parkinson had promised an inquiry to the relatives ) as we needed Syria in the alliance against Iraq for Gulf War 1.
All the evidence against Syria was dumped and Libya was made the fall guy.
Thatcher had history of kow towing to terrorists for expediency.
Working behind the scenes with IRA terrorists while denying it in public.
Allowing the Libyans to fly home after murdering Yvonne Fletcher.
Best friends with Pinochet who tortured and killed thousands in Chiles dirty war.
Backed the racist apartheid regime in South Africa.
Failed to protect the Falklands properly resulting the deaths of thousands in the battle to re take them.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Wrinkled W - read the trial findings, and those of the first and very limited appeal.

Then come back and defend the eulogy of a placeman who may well have been shocked at the carnage and depravity.

Why wouldn't he be. Every right thinking human on this planet was. As they were when the cruiser Vincennes blew the Airbus out of the sky and we, eventually, got to hear about it.

But that didn't stop it's commander getting a medal for a cowardly and heinous crime.

I've seen one reference to Thatcher in these comments. And that makes no reference to whether or not she had prior knowledge of it, merely noting, which I think is indisputable, that she colluded with the Americans to confuse and distort the investigation and the subsequent trial and imprisonment of an innocent man.

Jo G said...

Wrinkled Weasel, Lockerbie was the biggest atrocity in the UK outwith war time. Just under 300 dead. Thatcher did not mention it ONCE in her memoirs. Not once. I think that says a great deal.

But I prefer to focus on the trial itself and especially the payment, by the US of 2 MILLION DOLLARS, to a man, Gauci, who didn't even once positively identify Megrahi. That is called bribery in this country. There was another guy, Gaika, he was the one who implicated Megrahi and Fimah, his co-accused. The judges finally ruled out Gaika as a reliable witness. Know why? Becaue he was in the payment of the CIA!!!! So Gaika implicates Megrahi and Fimah, the judges say Gaika is unreliable because the CIA are paying him but ..........erm, we go ahead with the trial anyway? (Oh and guess what? Originally the Lord Advocate had tried to keep Gaika's CIA background from the defence and from the judges.)

Air Malta produced evidence, yes, evidence, that the bomb did NOT go on that plane at Luqa. ALL bags were accounted for and collected at Frankfurt. No unaccompanied bags. There was documentation and everything. Yet the judges ruled that out and decided the bomb went on the plane at Malta.

There was also a break in at Heathrow on the morning Flight 103 went down. That information was kept from the trial too.

Conspiracies? Who needs those when we can look the transcripts of the trial and feel horrified by the astonishing conclusions reached.

This whole situation from Blair's meetings in the desert onwards was about avoiding having the second appeal heard. The SCCRC were about to release their findings. And had the appeal been heard Megrahi would have gone home all right. He would almost certainly have gone home an innocent man.

Jo G said...

Clarinda the "benefits" would include getting the truth which all of Scotland deserves to know about a tragedy which happened over our skies and which cost almost 300 lives. One other life, that of Megrahi, was destroyed too. But bear in mind he had an appeal which this country should have heard: his legal and human rights were denied him through the delaying of the appeal. Professor Hans Koechler of the UN actually stated that the judiciary in Scotland were obstructing the course of justice by refusing to hear that appeal. What a judgement on our justice system to have a senior figure in the UN refer to it in such terms. So this is not about money. It is far more important than that. Our justice system is in tatters over what has come out about this case.

I disagree with you that the opportunities for politicians and the legal establishment to deceive are lessening. I actually believe the situation is getting far worse. They are happy so many are happy to focus on X Factor and celebrity sex lives: it keeps people from remaining alert to the important things and it lets those in charge do what they like. I think it is terrifying.

subrosa said...

That is what saddens me RA. Although the SNP are completely exempt from the incident, they have had ample opportunity to call for an independent inquiry yet have not. An opportunity missed but they obviously feel in doing so it's to their advantage.

subrosa said...

Can't help but agree with you about the fixation here with Thatcher WW. Some people have a most strange view of her term in office.

The Scottish justice system has something undemocratic at its core. That's where the problem lies.

subrosa said...

This involvement was suspected well over a year ago Clarinda although never proven.


Although I too have called for an independent inquiry, I doubt if it would get to the real issues - one being, why did the SG not allow Megrahi's appeal to continue after his release.

subrosa said...

Certainly nobody I know Weekend Yachtsman.

subrosa said...

By that time hadn't Blair already signed the 'agreement in the desert' Joe?

Jo G said...

Yep Subrosa. The timeline was SNP took office May 2007, Blair signed deal in desert same month. In June 2007 the Scottish Criminal Case Review Commission was to report on its 3 year investigation into Megrahi's case. (It duly reported that there were six grounds to suggest a miscarriage of justice may have occurred at the trial.)

subrosa said...

Hasn't every government in my lifetime worked behind the scenes with terrorists RM and not just Thatcher?

I'm not defending her foreign policies RM, some which you rightly say were appalling, but she was nothing in comparison with Blair.

Jo G said...

"I await the Labour Party reply to this."

Well I hope you're not watching BBC Scotland cos they aint gonna ask the question.

subrosa said...

Jo, can't help but agree with your last paragraph. The social engineering undertaken in the past 30 years has destroyed free thinking. Political correctness of course has been the main instrument.

It is very concerning.

Jo G said...

I disagree on Thatcher Subrosa and cannot ever forget the Belgrano matter.

On Lockerbie too she was in collusion with the US in order to get Libya in the frame and assisted in blocking the path to the truth about it.

Her lesser sins, involving her treatment of workers and their rights, is another matter still. I can still hear her reciting that prayer of St Francis!

I think Blair is more prominent in our minds maybe because his time was more recent although make no mistake he was a thoroughly despicable man.


Funny there has been nothing about this on the BBC News tonight.
Gordon Brown must be thankful to Mubarak.
Anyway, Obama lied too!


Clarinda said...

Jo G - I agree that the truth (the whole truth?) would of course be a benefit. My point is that the total time, cost and effort ranged against those whose vested interests (this is indeed about money not just costs) are served by silence and the truth would not necessarily be realised via an appeal(or futher inquiries) just as alleged in the original trial even if Mr Megrahi had chosen to pursue the appeal rather than return to his homeland. Life is rarely that simple no matter how just the intention. Please note the indifference shown by the MSM to the Wikileaks cable apart from the Telegraph who wish to stick it to Labour.

Public distrust and skepticism can be registered, transmitted and shared faster than ever before but I agree that that will not necessarily halt all scam and spin as soon as we would like. Perhaps it is only appearing to be worse, as you fear, due to the increased ability to expose acts that for too long were covert?

subrosa said...

The Belgrano affair was disgusting Jo and Thatcher lost a great many military votes because of it. They have never returned to the tories.

Thatcher, Major, Blair and Brown have all been in collusion with the US. Blair and Brown tried to play the two-faced game being pals with the EU too and that's where they came unstuck.

Of course prior to them we had labour receiving instructions from the east rather than west.

Thinking about it, we lost our independence many many years ago. So many have died to preserve it too.

subrosa said...

Haven't watched much TV tonight FFM but that doesn't surprise me.

No surprises there then. Obama's main talent is being economical with the truth.

RMcGeddon said...

Do you not think Blair just copied Thatcher and went along with whatever the US policy was at the time ?

subrosa said...

Oh yes RM and he wanted to prove that he was an even better buddy than Thatcher. Let's not forget, it was only Regan Thatcher had a rapport with really.

William said...

"In an interview on Today 2/9/09, he stated more than once the (then) Labour government "would not and could not" intervene in the Lockerbie bomber decision."

I've not seen any evidence that they did.

subrosa said...

I think Rammall and Dick's communication is the evidence William.

William said...

It's proof that there was communication. It's proof that the procedure for compassionate release, that the Libyans were interested in pursuing, was explained in full to the Libyans. It is not proof that the UK Government intervened in the decision, I'm afraid.

William said...

It is not true to say that Thatcher never mentioned Lockerbie in her memoirs.

On p449 of 'The Downing Street Years' she writes that the US bombing of Libya in 1986 led to a 'marked decline in Libyan-sponsored terrorism in subsequent years.'


Jo G said...

"On p449 of 'The Downing Street Years' she writes that the US bombing of Libya in 1986 led to a 'marked decline in Libyan-sponsored terrorism in subsequent years"

I'm looking for the word Lockerbie in there William?

Jo G said...

"It's proof that there was communication. It's proof that the procedure for compassionate release, that the Libyans were interested in pursuing, was explained in full to the Libyans. It is not proof that the UK Government intervened in the decision, I'm afraid."

William it is absolute proof. The Megrahi issue was a strictly Scottish one. He was a prisoner here, the case was tried here and it was for a Scottish Government to decide. It was nothing to do with Westminster. (There is still a video available of Salmond explaining that to one Kirsty Wark at the time of the deal in the desert.)

This was nothing to do with Westminster whatsoever. That is a fact. I'm really very sorry but it helps no one for folk to hang rigidly on to political loyalties over issues like this. You are wrong about it: you have been given evidence and the evidence is now out there that the UK government did indeed interfere in a matter which they denied, several times, any involvement.

William said...

"I'm looking for the word Lockerbie in there William?"

Read it again, Jo. It's an indirect reference to Lockerbie if anyone wants to go and pick it up. ;)

I don't accept the letter is proof of interference. It is proof of an administrative process but that process was almost certainly instigated by a query from the Libyans. The decision did rest with Salmond and MacAskill and they freely took it. There's no evidence that anyone told them to take the decision that they did.

I'm surprised so many nationalists are having difficulty accepting the SNP's explicit responsibility for the decision.

RMcGeddon said...


Lockerbie wasn't until 1987 so I'm not sure what relevance the 1986 bombing had to do with anything.

RMcGeddon said...


Sorry 1988 not 1987.
Maggie must have already written her memoirs before they decided to stitch up Libya for the bombing if she wrote..

"the US bombing of Libya in 1986 led to a 'marked decline in Libyan-sponsored terrorism in subsequent years."


William said...

"Maggie must have already written her memoirs before they decided to stitch up Libya for the bombing if she wrote"

Bingo! We have a winner.

RMcGeddon said...

Well it doesn't say much about the iron lady if she allowed Megrahi to rot in prison for all those years when she knew he was innocent. Presumably Labour would have access to this secret information when they took power in 1997 and also decided to keep it quiet at Megrahis Scottish trial in the Netherlands.
Why am I not surprised ?

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

William -Lockerbie happened when Thatcher was on the throne.

Otherwise, what relevance is there in the earlier Ingham quote?

The lady may not have been one for U turns, but she'd more twisted logic in her than an Alpine road.

William said...

"all those years when she knew he was innocent."

I wouldn't extrapolate from it that she knew he was innocent. I do take from it that she, inadvertently, revealed she did not regard Lockerbie, in her own mind, as a Libyan-sponsored act of terrorism.

In any case, this is separate from Megrahi being released on compassionate grounds.

"Otherwise, what relevance is there in the earlier Ingham quote?"

What Ingham quote?

RMcGeddon said...

" I wouldn't extrapolate from it that she knew he was innocent. "

According to you William she said in her memoirs that there was a marked decline in Libyan backed terrorism after the US attack on Libya in 1986. This means she totally discounted the biggest act of terrorism on UK soil since WW2 - Lockerbie- as being anything to do with Libya. She thought Libya was innocent. Megrahi was a paid Libyan agent so I wouldn't have expected him to go freelance unless he fancied a large whole in the desert for him and his family courtesy of gaddafi.

William said...

That's right, RM, it's clear she didn't think Libya was responsible. But that's not the same thing as saying she knew they weren't responsible. It's a small difference but, on a legal basis, it's huge.

RMcGeddon said...

I wonder if we will ever get to see the evidence that she saw that convinced her Megrahi / Libya weren't responsible for Lockerbie.
I somehow doubt it.

subrosa said...

We're being pedantic here William. Gordon Brown insisted the UK government had nothing to do with Megrahi's release. They did. They wrote directly to Libya.

subrosa said...

That's something which will never be released RM. It will suddenly disappear just prior to its 'declare by' date.

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