Scotland takes the right decision

Thursday, 20 August 2009 16:18

Scotland's justice minister Kenny MacAskill made the right decision in sending Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi back to Libya. It was a delight to see that not only was he freed, but that he was on the way to the airport before the announcement was made. There have always been serious doubts about the conviction.

This was a difficult decision, especially when the US was leaning on MacAskill in a very public and heavy-handed way.

It is a great day for Scotland in taking a decision in the face of opposition from abroad and Westminster.

David Cameron has it wrong on this occasion, he should be showing some compassion and taking stock of the mood in the country.

Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi should not have dropped his appeal because it would have forced the evidence to be re-examined. If there were grounds for the appeal to be heard then it's likely that it would succeed. How would all those clamouring for Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi to die in jail feel if he were to be found not guilty after all and awarded huge compensation?

You can bet that the US would not be chipping in with a few dollars towards the compensation!

 

Who's kidding who? - Malloch-Brown's 'retraction' seems to have gone un-noticed

Wednesday, 22 July 2009 17:16

In the morning edition of the Telegraph Foreign Office Minister Lord Malloch-Brown said . . .

“We definitely don’t have enough helicopters. When you have these modern operations and insurgent strikes what you need, above all else, is mobility.”

pretty unequivocal and unlikely to be misunderstood. Statements don't really get more honest and straightforward than that.

But wait a minute, Gordon Brown said something different, he said all was well and there were enough choppers, so what's going on?

What we now need to be asking is what happened between Malloch-Brown talking to the Telegraph's reporter and his 'clarification' when he changed his mind and issued a pathetic climbdown in the form of an embarrassing clarification in which he said that there were "without doubt" sufficient resources in place in Afghanistan.

What hold does the prime minister have over Malloch-Brown - what pressure could be applied to a minister who is leaving government at the end of the week? The threat of sacking couldn't be used, so what leverage was applied?

All manner of things come to mind but having read whispers about the PM's tantrums we can only wonder who did the dirty work and what they used to 'persuade' Malloch-Brown to 'do the sensible thing'.

 

Helicopters are a symptom

Wednesday, 22 July 2009 07:19

As a senior government minister finally admits the bleeding obvious, that there are not enough helicopters for our army in Afghanistan, we should realise that this is a symptom of something much larger are much worse.

We are so inured to lies and spin from politicains that we almost ignore it. It's like a playground game. Defense costs money, real money, but for every pound spent on defense more than 20 is spent on social welfare. This government has penny-pinced on defense for 13 years. Starved our forces of equipment but expected them to do more with less.

At the same time they have poured money into the pockets of every Tom, Dick and Harry that asked for it and created a dependency culture, whilst allowing immigrants to flood in to the point that no-one knows how many people are in the UK.

Helicopters are the tip of the iceberg, the bit that is exposed to public view. Another example is the A400 transport aircraft, a bottomless pit for taxpayers money, which is years behind schedule, has already cost 20 billion euros and Britain is committed to buying 25 at a cost of 100 million euros apiece. Yet Gordon Brown skimped on a few helicopters and trumpeted it as a major cost saving.

We don't know the half of it, the waste, incompetence and arrogance in Downing St is an affront to the British people.

   

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