Sunday, 23 August 2009

The Reverberations

'Bomber row could bring down Scots government' is the headline in the Sunday Post this morning.

Parliament is to be recalled tomorrow and Kenny MacAskill will make a statement plus answer questions from MSPs.

However, according to Campbell Gunn, opposition leaders are now understood to be seriously considering calling a vote on the issue, although no vote is scheduled for the end of the session and opposition leaders will wait until it is over before deciding whether to call one.

The likelihood is this would be a vote of 'no confidence' in Mr MacAskill following the full return of Parliament after the end of recess, next week. In that cast Alex Salmond would consider it a vote of no confidence in his Government, as he cannot be put in the position where opposition parties say who can and who cannot be members of his ministerial team.

All three main opposition parties opposed Mr MacAskill's decision so the 47 SNP MSPs would be heavily outnumbered in any vote.

Jack McConnell and Ian Gray bestowed their verbal contributions to the argument.

Whilst the reverberations continue the Prime Minister enjoys the seclusion of his well guarded home in the Kingdom of Fife confident that his new mantra 'silence is golden' will pay off.

Since I starting writing this there have been some good posts published on the same subject. They can be read here, here and here.


Jess The Dog said...

I agree, this has the potential to flare up with ramifications well beyond any reputational damage to the Scottish Government. I am baffled as to why McConnell (whose watch at least part of this was on) and Gray are going over the top....this will backfire on their party, given the schmoozing hinted at in the media.

McAskill did the wrong thing for the right reasons....Megrahi's conviction should have been reviewed and - if there was no further doubt about his guilt - he should have been kept in prison for life.

Jack Straw, after all, was willing to apply this standard to Ronnie Biggs whose notoriety did not extend to mass murder.

subrosa said...

Jess sorry I didn't put a link to your post, I didn't see it until now.

My view is drifting towards yours, but I'm still as yet open-minded.

Soho Politico said...

Hi Subrosa

Actually, I think the ramifications go further still. I've said on my own blog that the release of Megrahi implies that there is a problem with the division of powers between Edinburgh and Westminster - the decision on the release was taken exclusively by MacAskill, but the diplomatic standing of the entire UK has suffered as a result. That implies to me that the British government ought always to have a say in the release of convicted terrorists. Having said that, I doubt that there is the political will to reopen the devolution settlement. And I think Brown's silence over the issue has more to do with not wanting to be seen rocking the boat on devolution, and undermining the autonomy of the Scottish government, than it has to do with not wanting to pass judgement on Megrahi.

subrosa said...

Not another post I missed and didn't link to SP. :(

There have always been problems with the devolution act SP and this just shows another area which wasn't thought through properly.

Why should the British government have a say in the release of convicted terrorists? Scotland is a nation and perfectly capable of making our own decisions and having London act as big brother is exactly why more and more people are giving careful consideration to the proposal for independence.

I'm more cynical than you SP, I think Brown's silence is because he was rumbled yesterday when it became known he'd written to Gadaffi. To write the letter he must have known the decision.

Events dear boy, events said...

Now what is all this I read on Soho Politico's blog that Megrahi's family have been living in Scotland. This information changes the dynamics of the situation rather.

I have not seen this information anywhere. It could be dynamite!

wisnaeme said...

Having been on the emailing lists of the good Dr Jim Swires, That UN Chappie and other folk that are more than a little interested in justice being well served and the the truth outed. I personally have more than deep misgivings that Megraghi was in any shape and form culpible in the Lockerbie tragedy. He was little more than a pawn, a convenience if you like, used by those of the movers and shakers of this world whose main interests would not be best served by alternative legends. Hence he was demonised and by the use of introduced creative 'evidence' by interested parties and their legions of "working for us shirt tail lifters" became a 'celebrity' for us to hate and vilify. Justice, particulary Scottish Justice and politicos from where ever are the ones on trial here. Megrahi has served his purpose as the villain of the piece. Time to move on, time for us to be informed of just what were the causes of the Lockerbie tragedy and by whom. As I see it, a reckoning is long overdue, an accounting is long over due of those who had a duty of care to us and to those who lost loved ones to place into the public realm a factual and accurate account of what transpired and by whom. It is to our shame and the shame of those who chose a version of past events that today occupies most folk's minds and not of the tragedy in its-self. It is wrong and obscene that the deliberations and machinations of special interests should take precidence in the name of whatever over that tragic loss of life. It is obscene that a figment of imagination can be put forward as reasonable cause by vested interests;
When many of us have perceptions and perhaps more that justice was not served nor the truth outed. It has become a circus, a grand stage performance if you like, of who can gain the most 'credits', of who can gain the most plaudits and of who can gain financially out of other people's misfortune and loss whilst paying lip service platitudes and demonising good folk who are trying to make good what they cannot undo of past injustice through lack of power, influence and resorces.

...and hampered by those who no longer have respect for us or for Lockerbie and the victims but who use it as a convenience to further their own interests and careers in being devients of the human race. In their lack of moral courage, ethics, integrity, competence, accountability and thus they seperate and distance themselves from decent folk who have their share of such credits to their name.

It no longer matters to folk on the make that the truth, justice and accountability are primary. Only their versions of it matter and to what advantage it can be put to advance their purpose.

I've had more than enough of this shite from Westmidden, the obliging establishment, be it media or otherwise and their pals elsewhere.

Time we left these knunts to their own devices, up to their @rses in the shite of their own making and at such a cost to ourselves and depart ourselves from their zone of influence, special interests and the consequences there of.

A pox on them all for the harm and hurt to decent folk that they have been the advocators of and the cause of, lying through their teeth as done in our name.

-- said...

Whatever benefit MacAskill thought he'd be getting from this - and you can be sure he was vying for something - it will be hopelessly outweighed by the lasting image of Scottish flags fluttering in the wind as a convicted mass murderer is doused with rose petals and greeted as a national hero.

The whole affair is disgusting and insulting, none more so than to the Scottish people themselves who must be embarrassed as hell. I blogged about this and I'm glad to see so many other people did as well. The story should stay in the public consciousness long enough for us to learn more about who approved this madness.

Anonymous said...

My own thought's are that Tavish and Gray are about to split their electorate and possibly sign each other's 'death warrants'. Voting for a motion of no confidence in Kenny MacKaskill after taking such a courageous decision will look like sever sour grape s and indeed make Scotland's opposition parties look like patsies.

I can't for one second believe that Tavish and Gray have the full support of their parliamentary parties over this action, let alone their voters.

From the coverage I've seen so far, the opposition aprties have nothing to offer in this situation, they are basically taking the opposite side for party political reasons and over-exaggerating the importance of the united states influence.

The US is hardly a bastion of justice.

Illegal killing of civilians in Iraq
Illegal killing of civilians in Afghanistan
Illegal killing of civilians in Belgrade
Illegal killing of civilians in Lybia
Illegal killing of civilians on Iran Flight 655 and then awarding medals FFS
Illegal killing of civilians of in Vietnam, Lt William Calley
Illgeal killing of civilians in Nagasaki & Hiroshima
International condemnation over Guantanmo Bay
International condemnation over Abu Graib Torture
International condemnation over Rendition Flights
International condemnation over Sanctioning Torture
International condemnation over Arms Deals to Terrorists
International condemnation over Iraq WMD lies
Barbaric use of Capital Punishment

And remember that it was Jack McConnell's Scottish Labour who voted to support the Iraq War when they could have sent a signal of protest.

McGonagall said...

What pisses off the unionists is that Scotland had the power to make this decision. I don't know what the feeling is amongst the Scottish public at large but hope they have the courage to support their government and see off the pretenders.

Anonymous said...

If a motion of no-confidence is called, then the SNp should seek to amend it or bring forward another motion in an effort to answer the ongoing concerns of those directly involved with Lockerbie and satisfy public interest and judicial process.

I think someone like MSP Christine Graham, who appears convinced of Al Megraghi's innocence should put forward a motion to the Scottish Parliament on behalf of the victims families including Jim Swire (above).

These families are seeking the truth about Lockerbie, they supported Al Megraghi's recent appeal case, sadly now withdrawn.

A motion supporting a comprehensive UN probe into the judicial case itself, the appeals, the original events and all the evidence gathered since seems to be the only way to get anywhere near resolving this issue and separating out the judicial from the political.

It's also something that the Scottish Parliament can at least agree on by voting for such a motion and then initiating discussion with the UK Government to bring it forward at the UN.

The probe must however have the power to compel the UK & US Government's to release information they have so far kept from the two appeals that have been lodged.

This issue can't be allowed to be politicised in the way it has been, creating division and counter claim, the truth of the incident and why the man convicted has plead innocence right up to his approaching death must be investigated.

If all parties in the UK Parliament & US Administration really wan to find out the truth they will back the recommendations initiated by this motion supported here in Scotland.

Will the Scottish Labour & Conservative Parties support such a motion?

Will the UK Government bring the demand to the UN?

Will the US Administration comply with the UN Investigation?

Anonymous said...

Scunnert, that's the real politick in Scotland I'ma fraid, the unionists have been frightened into action but Doug the Doug has some enlightening political anaylisi worthy of a read on my 'timorous beatue post'

Will the Tories really back a motion of no-confidence knowing full well that Labour may be the benefactors in Scotland?

I suspect no vote will come about tomorrow, it's simply showboating.

Iain Gray with his preposterous "if I were first minister"

His popularity rating is at 8% for christ sake.

subrosa said...

That's right Howard. It's information which is in the MSM. I'll try to find a link for you, give me a wee while.

subrosa said...

But will we get an inquiry wisnaeme? That is the essential result of this tragedy that the families get their questions answered.

I would agree with you about the fact it's time we left the other countries to their own devices and we set out on our own.

But, with the likes of McConnell's statement today we still have those who are more concerned for their own interests rather than those who still suffer.

subrosa said...

The madness is from the countries which allegedly withheld evidence Martin.

Of course Libya's reaction was one of triumphalism, that's how their culture behaves, although using the saltire was disgusting.

Surely people of any sense would realise it was a rent a mob setup. I'm sure there are less than a handful of Libyans who, before this, knew what a saltire looked like.

CrazyDaisy said...


This will do no long term damage, the SNP Government will prevail, it's a ll sabre rattling and the opposition in Scotland's turn to grand stand and try and feel important over an issue neither would have the balls to resolve.

I notice Skull Murphy is also schtum! I wonder why? I agree that if Gorgon Broon wrote to Ghaddafi then he must have known what was coming, howver, he has as much spine as a Portugese Man O War so no surprise there!

I think tomorrow will be an interesting day, I doubt they'll have the balls to call for no confidence in Kenny, it is but hot air after all. If they do then Big Eck will give them both barrels and rightly so.

I'm still standing tall and tomorrow I'll have the addy I need to write and tell the Director of the FBI to fuck off.

Crazy D

subrosa said...

Thanks for that Wardog. The opposition posturing from labour and the libdems is just that and looks rather juvenile.

I wonder what tomorrow will bring in the Parliament.

subrosa said...

I think the Scots support their government in this scunnert, but of course not all support this decision.

Very true about the unionists being upset. I've read several times that we're not 'big' 'good', 'sensible' enough to make our own decisions.

How insulting can people get?

subrosa said...

Now that is interesting Wardog. Robert Black stated just last week he saw no reason that we could not hold an inquiry although Kenny MacAskill seems to think that's impossible.

It would need a full-scale inquiry with full powers.

I would have thought the families in the US would be more concerned with finding out the whole truth rather than the release of Megahi. They appear to believe every word their government says in this matter.

Nobody knows the answer to your questions, we can only bide our time.

subrosa said...

I'm off to read Dug's comment Wardog.

Auch, bear with Ian Gray, he can but dream.

Soho Politico said...

"Why should the British government have a say in the release of convicted terrorists? Scotland is a nation and perfectly capable of making our own decisions and having London act as big brother is exactly why more and more people are giving careful consideration to the proposal for independence."

I don't have a view on Scots independence, other than that it is a decision for the Scots. If that is what the majority decides, then I'll be happy. But I do think that, while the union is in place, there needs to be a mechanism whereby Westminster has a say over sensitive releases like this one. As we have just seen, the current balance of powers means that Edinburgh can unilaterally make a decision that harms the diplomatic interests of the entire UK. If Scotland were independent, I would have no more of a stake in its policies on releasing terrorists than I would over the similar policies of, say, France. But in the devolved UK that we currently have, that's not the case.

Billy Carlin said...

Agree with the posts above Subrosa, all the Scottish govenment has to do is ask for the UK and US governments to release all evidence in this case for a full independent public enquiry and ask the other parties to agree to this.

This should put a spike in their fake indignation and see if they realy want to see justice in this case.

wisnaeme said...

puck, puck, puaaack.

Dearie me, see how the chickens squawk, squabble and scramble to be in the pecking order of attack. Had their feathers ruffled did they? Have their dignity affronted and put out of sorts, did they?
Aye the pea brains had their wee fright, right enough.

...and now thy're back to beezness as usual, posturing,strutting and scratching around West midden in the hope of obtaining a morsal or two of comfort as the midden slowly sinks deeper into the stinking, putrified morass of their own making. So it's back to the fearmongering and claw pointing then? Beedy eyes all a glaring in the hunt for victims to blame for the embarrassment they've caused themselves by their machinations and skulldogery coming into the spotlight. We'll be having the assault on the 'separatists' by "news squeeak" and the other orifices then.

It's all the ethenpee's fault, doncha know. They did it without official permission from US at midden HQ.

Chickens did I say?

Aye, right enough, not a pair of balls amongst them. Even "ah'll play daddy this time round, Cuddles", has lost the use of his for a few days, after his wee operation.Getting rid of some surplus flesh to make room for more, no doubt. Though, ah've no doubt his orifices are still in fine working order.

Ach, mibee ah'm over hard on "Cuddles". So in ma best parliano Weegie ah'll ask after it's welfare.

Ir yer all right then, Hen?

Nikostratos said...

When the time comes as surely it will Kenny will do the decent thing and Fall on his sword take the blame....Carry the can etc etc etc

And the labour party will hang his scalp on their belts.

But the fact is Kenny made a mistake in giving compassionate release to this man.

And as i see it Megrahi isn't worth the Scottish economy or peoples suffering any fall out from this mess.

That is a major weakness in the snp
they have gone all holier than thou.
when being so holy doesn't put bread on the table their consideration should what is best for the Scottish peoples first second and last.

subrosa said...

Soho Politico, while I agree with your view about EU issues, I just can't understand why you think Scotland, which has had her own legal system for centuries, should bow to other countries for approval - nay even decisions.

subrosa said...

Billy I do hope that will happen tomorrow. I'll do my best to watch it live on HolyroodTV.

subrosa said...

Wisnaeme, how can I criticise your comment. Perfect.

subrosa said...

Oh Niko, you wish my dear, you wish.

I agree Kenny looked a bit like Rev Jolly on a bad day, but he said what he had to say.

We're not all wonderful orators as history can tell.

Mind you Alex Salmond will be in the history books somewhere for it.

OK Niko? lol

wisnaeme said...

There's nought wrong with being holier than thou on occasion, particulary when that holier than thou has merit.
A bit different from the professional liars and thieves mascarading as something else that have made it into a disreputable, low art form elsewhere eh?

Mind you, we still have our share of native born opportunists, con artists and macChatterers of a Westmidden parrot fashion persuasion. MacConnell, a once apon a time somebody, apparently is the latest to utter the news squeak view of Westmidden's branch office. Nice house he has on Arran.

Forestry grants was it? Labour are finished for the foreseeable future, though they are still capable of causing serious damage to health, wealth and limb to decent folk on both sides of the border and in other foreign places.

Whether folk agree or disagree with the Scottish government, they have the respect Sir of other folk, in other places and it's no longer confined and strait jacketed to suit Westmidden's or it's pals of power and influence.

...and so the barrage of threat and fearmongering grows more hysterical. The gob shite sirens are in full flow with the damnation and the negativism.

...Who the feck do we think we are?

A nation once again on the accendency Sir.

by courtesy of Westmidden and it's disreputable and corrupt governance for the most part. It's time folk realised it's not a matter for debate over the hearts and minds of decent folk, be it north or south of the border or elsewhere. Fact; Westmidden is corrupt and self serving, not to mention incompetent and dis honourable. It is not a question of nation against nation. I would put it to you Sir, It is a question of ignorance, apathy, corruption and unacountability in the main as championed by Westmidden and it's adherent's siren calls of doom, gloom and it wisnaeme.

It's a matter of respect, accountability, integrity and competence to do what is right and proper. Something which is factual lacking in Westmidden.

As a Scot I am content with the Scottish administration's aims. Indeed, I am proud of their progress towards those aims.

The shame Sir lies with Westmidden.
There is no crisis of confidence in the Scottish Parliament because what has gone before has been an affront to the whole nation. Look to Westmidden if it's shame and disgrace you desire. You may sup your bellyful of it there, Sir and the world knows it. Whether you have a care for it or not.

Once, many folk in their ignorance thought of Scotland as a part of England. Well,for better or worse that no longer applies. They've heard of Scotland now, that's for sure.

...and of the distance between it and Westmidden.

and about bluidy time too. Sorry, but association with Westmidden is no longer regarded as something to be proud of and that Sir, is only many folk's opinion south of the border, without taking account of decent folk elsewhere.
Reclaim that Westmidden cesspit if you have a mind to Sir. Right your grievences there Sir and put your own house in order before heaping whatever on decent folk elsewhere.

...and that goes for other decent folk, in other places too.

Constantly Furious said...

Something that impresses me in all of this is that you actually have a Parliament that responds to events and agrees to be recalled for something like this.

Imagine that happening in London?

No, we'd just get some junior spinner on the Today program, and Brown, Balls, Mandelson etc. would remain firmly 'on holiday'.

subrosa said...

I couldn't agree more CF. Thanks.

subrosa said...

Sorry wisnaeme, wasn't ignoring your excellent comment. Was just I saw CF's first for some reason.

I do hope other readers read what you've said.

True we lack a bit in the quality of our politicians but we they are far better on the whole than the Westminster bunch.

I too am content with the present Scottish government's aims, I wasn't happy with them in the past. In fact, in the past I didn't know what they were.

Of course there are decent folk everywhere but hopefully the Scots have shown we are just that wee bit more decent than others.

I await the protestations of the unionists now.

Oldrightie said...

"What pisses off the unionists is that Scotland had the power to make this decision."

What pisses me off is the ease you lot rolled over to pleasure Jimmy Snot. I am beginning to drift towards an independent England, if this is where we are going.

subrosa said...

Come on now Or, Brown is disliked up here as much as he is south of the border.

Do you honestly think MacAskill made the decision to protect Brown? I think you're seriously mistaken, really I do.

Clarinda said...

Mr MacAskill is reported as having made extensive checks (some with the full knowledge of the Prime Minster's office)as to the various options open to him. Finding that conforming to the Scottish legal precendent of compassionate grounds for release was the only prescibed course of action to comply with the legal criteria of Al-Megrahi's case - Mr Brown's advisors would also have been aware of this automatic outcome. Mr Brown would therefore be at the sharp end of Mr MacAskill's decision and not the other way round as some here are suggesting. Mr Brown has been caught out not just by his under-estimation of the devolution remit but in his spineless style of leadership - again. What other option has he but to recognise the supremacy of the Scottish Government to take the legal course that they did - would he have rather suggested that Mr MacAskill should have ignored Scots Law or perhaps taken up the dirty deeds prisoner transfer scam stitched up by Blair et al?

I agree with Wardog and his revealing list of hypocrisy and with Wisnaeme in the repulsive posturing and flagrant self-serving political point scoring over a requisite legal decision rather than the moral imperative to pursue the still unanswered questions due to the Lockerbie dead.

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