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Two-faced on Lockerbie?

Nick Robinson | 17:21 UK time, Monday, 7 February 2011

They said one thing in public while saying something different in private. That was David Cameron's central charge about how the last government handled the release of the Lockerbie bomber although he was very careful not to use those actual words. Indeed, he was very careful to sound measured, saying merely that today's report by the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Gus O'Donnell "tells us something that was not made clear at the time" by which he meant that Gordon Brown and Jack Straw never made clear that - in Sir Gus's words:

"Policy was therefore progressively developed that HMG should do all it could, whilst respecting devolved competences, to facilitate an appeal by the Libyans to the Scottish Government for Mr Megrahi's transfer under the PTA (prisoner transfer agreement) or release on compassionate grounds as the best outcome for managing the risks faced by the UK."

He pointed to two Foreign Office documents - one in which the then Foreign Office Minister Bill Rammell is minuted as saying that:

"Game plan should be PTA as vehicle for his transfer in Jan."

Another which says that government should:

"work actively, but discreetly, to ensure that Megrahi is transferred back to Libya under the PTA or failing that released on compassionate grounds."

Unfortunately for the prime minister he now faces the charge that he too has said one thing in public while his aides said something completely different in private. He said there was no evidence of a cover-up or conspiracy. He had also given Sir Gus's conclusion that:

"It is clear from the paperwork that at all times the former Government was clear that any decision on Mr Megrahi's release or transfer under a PTA was one for the Scottish Government alone to take. The documentation considered by the review demonstrates that they were clear on this in their internal deliberations and, crucially, in their contacts and exchanges with the Libyans, including at the highest levels, and with the Scottish Government. In Gordon Brown's only meeting with Colonel Qadhafi, on 10 July 2009, he made clear that the decision was solely a matter for Scottish Ministers and HMG could not interfere."

Yet as the prime minister was speaking in the House his aides were championing a Conservative Party briefing accusing Messrs Brown, Straw and Balls of a "lack of honesty on al-Megrahi". To prove its point it quotes Gordon Brown as saying,

"there was no deal...We couldn't pressure the Scottish government. It was a quasi-judicial decision... They had the power to make the decision. If we had tried to interfere in it, it would have been a mistake."

The underlining is in the Tories' press release. The problem is that today's report and David Cameron's presentation of it backed Gordon Brown's assertion that there was no deal.

For those uninterested in all this detail I draw these conclusions:

Labour ministers were desperate to avoid Megrahi dying in jail because they were worried about the impact on British jobs - the BP-Libya deal - and British foreign policy - Gaddafi had recently repudiated his policy of developing weapons of mass destruction.

They did not want the public to know how desperate they were and hoped the Scottish government would take the blame for Megrahi's release.

David Cameron is keen to ensure that Labour are blamed for the spectacle of Megrahi continuing to live as a free man in Libya.

Mr Cameron's aides have done everything in their power to quote those parts of today's carefully written report to damage the former government while ignoring the key conclusion that there was no cover-up and no deal.


PS. The two key documents David Cameron quoted are:

Ministerial Confirmation
 
Mr Rammell made the following manuscript comments to the submission:
 
1 - I agree to sign PTA - please set up
 
2 - Can I meet this week with officials to discuss this sub + way forward?
 
1 - PTA to be signed
 
2 - Game plan should be PTA as vehicle for his transfer in Jan
 
3 - Can I have a diplomatic strategy to reassure Libyans we have are doing everything possible to secure a solution
 
4 - Can I have advice on what to do if it looks like he might die in prison - should we publically make clear our desire for humanitarian transfer? B.R.
22 January 2009; footnote 41; FCO Submission - Contingency Planning
 
Under the heading:
 
To: Christian Turner
 
"Megrahi's health remains a key high risk issue. We do not want him to die in a Scottish jail, with the likely negative consequences for our relations with Libya. That he is prepared to abandon his appeal is a significant step - we should now work hard to enable transfer under the Prisoner Transfer Agreement."
 
We now need to go further and work actively, but discreetly, to ensure that Megrahi is transferred back to Libya under the PTA or failing that released on compassionate grounds.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    and Brown has been swift to exonerate himself and his former shower of a government, well he would wouldn't he? The point is, Megrahi should not have been released and the Labour government facilitated the Scottish lot to do the deed.

  • Comment number 2.

    Nick

    Don't be too harsh on yourself in the title to this thread. While you are quite wrong to say that al Megrahi is "well" in Tripoli, you are at least consistent in saying the same wrong thing more than once.

  • Comment number 3.

    You've got to love British politics....

  • Comment number 4.

    In other words this is another Labour mess that the Tories have to clear up.

  • Comment number 5.

    The best case that can be put forward to explain the last government's conduct is that the statements made by government ministers were accurate without being in any way truthful.

  • Comment number 6.

    'They said one thing in public while saying something different in private'

    That the great thing about having standards. Some can easily see how things still operate, maybe even improve, as doubles.

    In politics... and media.

    Speaking of which... with a few great efforts in recent past, here's a record that just asks to be broken:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-12360045

    4. Of which two were pulled.

    Come on, the bar has been set. No matter how low, one is sure it can be limboed under.

    I'd share it too on Mr. Neil's blog but, well, you know....

  • Comment number 7.

    So Cameron is criticising Labour for something that they had not done, while staying strum about their dirty hand in it at a time when the public are getting edgy at the savage cuts to their livelihood and futures, prices going up, more taxes. Couldn't just be a ploy to distract from that. It seems that the governments only policy besides the cuts is to blame labour for everything, yet another lie.

    This government's underhandedness will come back to haunt them. The public will learn and address the fact that they have lied just about everything by casting them into opposition at the new election. The forthcoming local elections will be just the beginning of the process. All I've got left to say is, can't wait! Horray!

  • Comment number 8.

    Well now we know...

    The Labour Government, including the PM, Gordon Brown, knew all along about this secret deal to secure Megrahi's release in return for jobs-for-the-boys at BP in Libya. They denied it of course. Then they denied it again.

    Then they tried to blame the Scottish Government who, it has to be said, have been professional and statesmanlike in dealing with this matter.

    But whether you believe that Megrahi is free because of a secret deal or because of due process in Scotland, the fact remains that the British government did attempt to facilitate Megrahi's release despite their denials.

  • Comment number 9.

    Nick, why is it that whenever there is a report of the Coalition doing something wrong you focus on the story, but when Labour stand accused, you cover the story in the first few lines and then focus on how the Coalition has reacted, alleging that somehow they have also done wrong? The story today is surely about how Labour politicians appear to have said one thing and done another - not how David Cameron has reacted.

  • Comment number 10.

    If Labour in all good faith actually believed Magrahi was soon to die they retain some respectability in this process although expediency rose above principle and presumably Cameron will not say he would have taken responsibility for the consequences. There was to be an appeal and even a leader of the victims, Jim Swire, had doubts about Magrahi's guilt.

    The real scandal is the monumentally misleading medical evidence which should be thoroughly investigated to see if medical opinions were perverted or just astonishingly incompetent (assuming the Libyans have not found a cure for prostate cancer).

  • Comment number 11.

    Gordon Brown and David Miliband did not tell parliament or the British public the whole truth.
    They said they were "not involved" in the release of a mass murderer

    In reality they were working behind the scenes to help Libya get their man released

    In BBC news terms this New Labour duplicity can be overlooked

    Meanwhile every public expenditure cut must be exposed and opposed.

    Typical public sector broadcasting values.

  • Comment number 12.

    10. watriler
    "just astonishingly incompetent"

    Don't talk about yourself like that. It's not incompetent for a poster (no doubt not affected by prostate cancer) to be ignorant of the encouraging trials of abiraterone acetate. It's still not available to be prescribed in either Scotland or the parts of the UK following the NICE regime.

  • Comment number 13.

    What kind of fairy tale world do people think we live in? There are some nasty people out there with whom we have to deal, and when petrol prices rise we all complain. The simple fact is that whatever the government felt it needed to do in the national interest, had they publicly taken anything other than a neutral stance it would have been interpreted as putting pressure, one way of the other, on the Scottish government, in whose demesne the decision resides. To think that governments act otherwise is naivety in the extreme. Diplomacy, the art of saying one thing in public, and something different in private, evolved as an alternative to war. The world is not all black and white, something that the wikileaks generation sems to find hard to grasp. That Cameron & Co seek to spin the facts the way they do by selectively quoting the report shows they have scant regard for the truth, yet not for the national interest, but for political muck raking.

  • Comment number 14.

    Diane 7

    Don't you think Nick's done a good enough job of deflecting criticism from New Labours appalling behaviour without you having to join in ?

  • Comment number 15.

    A shabby opportunity to make political capital - who cares what effect it has internationally. Well done lord snooty.

    Mind you I had to laugh more at the latest policy ... let thousands of criminals out of jail, cut police by thousands of officers, then fight crime by threatening to take their i-pods off them. It's like a prolonged comedy sketch.

  • Comment number 16.

    Nick Robinson.

    "They said one thing in public while saying something different in private."

    what, like certain politicial parties saying one thing in their manifesto and then implementing totally different policies when they come into power?? who'd have thunk...

  • Comment number 17.

    The first rule of politics is " cover your tracks, don't get got in a lie, and if you do , blame somebody else ". Gordon Brown and his acolytes have certainly adhered to the rules . All of them are highly skilled in the art of telling it not how it is , but how they want it to be. Liars all.

  • Comment number 18.

    As a man who followed this entire saga with the eyes of a Hawk - you've left out one very, very significant point that although was obvious to me at the time, you, Cameron and Brown have all conveniently forgotten.

    The Scottish Government were the only party throwing straight dice back then - and Salmond, MacAskill and Dr Andrew Fraser have been vindicated in their position that that they neither lied, acted dishonestly or kowtowed to political pressure from Westminster.

    You, Cameron and Brown should hang your heads in shame.

  • Comment number 19.

    I'd be far more excited by this if I though Mr. Megrahi did what he was accused of. But there are just too many questions and hushings-up concerning his involvement and I believe he was sacrificed. I'm not usually a conspiracy theory person, but this whole thing just feels wrong.

  • Comment number 20.

    Why would the SNP do labour's bidding? They wouldn't!

    What is in it for the SNP? Nothing and you can not trust unionist parties of any persuasion.

    The real hypocrisy and cover up is labour attacking the SNP for the decision in public with full support of the bbc. Indeed, a bbc Scotland reporter won a Scottish news award for his coverage.

    bbc and labour in Scotland are known for their closeness, perhaps the bbc should conduct an inquiry into why this reporter did not uncover the duplicity of the labour party.

    Or perhaps the case is he knew and sought not to enlighten us. Wonder why?

    The Scottish government release Mr M on compassionate grounds, be that right or wrong is a personal decision everyone can make their own judgement upon. That labour was lobbying for the release on economic grounds and happy to throw the SNP under a bus for electoral benefit says everything about the party that launched an illegal war.

    All in all, this issue helps reinforce that unionists can not be trusted with Scotland’s past, present or future, the sooner this discredited union is ended the better for both Scotland and England!

    C McK

  • Comment number 21.

    The story of Baset al Megrahi`a premature release keeps returning, as does the continuing ambiguity surrounding its motive.The Brown Government certainly didn`t want him to die in prison,if he was going to die anyway why jeopardize oil and nuclear security deals? So they put no obstacles in the way of the Scottish decision to release him on compassionate grounds.

    However,there these are the surface ripples of a much deeper and more dangerous story.

    No one disputes that the destruction of Pan AM 103 in British airspace was an act of war.Surrounding this action conspiracy theories abound,that it was the PLO,the Syrians,the South Africans,Israel, or Iran who had a motive after the downing of an Iranian airliner by the US Vincennes in 1986.

    Even as presented,the Lockerbie narrative does have curious features.The evidence against Al Megrahi is doubtful,then the British government has consistently refused a public enquiry,finally the US didn`t bomb Libya after the attack, although they had done so in 1986 for a lesser atrocity.Were we losing our collective nerve?

    The truth is simpler and known to most journalists and all governments.The instigators,conduits and agents are not as commonly supposed.But to disclose the truth would confront America with demands for retaliation.It`s just too dangous to know.




  • Comment number 22.

    Not all of what happened was taking place out of sight. The Prisoner Transfer Agreement had to go through Parliament and be scrutinised by the relevant House of Commons Committee.

    Correspondence between Jack Straw and the comittee made it clear that commercial deals etc were at stake and that the committee had to speed up its deliberations because Libya was getting impatient! see http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/jt200809/jtselect/jtrights/71/7105.htm

    All of this was reported in the Daily Telegraph at the time. Strangely little, if any, comment came from David Cameron on this issue yet this was happening in Parliament so he had to know what was going on or was he not paying attention?

  • Comment number 23.

    #18 - the hands of bbc are not clean in this affair.

    They have aided and abetted labour on its treatment of the Scottish government.

    C McK

  • Comment number 24.

    It's extremely unlikely that Mr Magrahi is guilty. It's an American plot to discredit Libya. While Libya has been guilty of many things, this is not one of them.

  • Comment number 25.

    What bryhers (#21) and bhaisahab (#24) said. By tricking al-Megrahi into dropping his appeal - when they were desperate to send him home anyway - the British authorities went one better than avoiding him dying in Scotland, they avoided having more of the so-called evidence behind his conviction challenged.

    A classic and effective stitch-up. It's sad for those who lost lives, relatives and friends in the atrocity - especially those who cling on to the belief that he did do it, and have seen him released - but the truth will probably never be made fully public now. And the final victim is al-Megrahi.

  • Comment number 26.

    Labour have not covered themselves in glory with this one but its a horribly complicated issue - evidenced by Jim Swire's consistent position on Megrahi. Tories obviously feeling a bit exposed given the press releases and underlining, but not sure what political capital there is to be made on this.

    It does look like Kenny McAskill and Alex Salmond acted in good faith on a decision that no-one would envy them to make.

  • Comment number 27.

    It's disgusting that the Labour government at the time wanted Megrahi to be freed, and just shows that they have no principles whatsoever.

  • Comment number 28.

    That Labour saw the benefit of Megrahi being released is no longer in doubt but somewhat irrelevant given their ability to influence the SNP Scottish government was negligible, in practice their best means of exerting any influence might have been to say they didn't want him released given Labour-SNP animosity. I don't doubt that the medical advisor who said he had less than 3 months to live is not flavour of the month in the Scottish parliament at the moment but the huge effort the Libyian medical profession has gone to to keep him breathing was not easily predicted and remission periods among cancer sufferers are generally unpredictable. At the time the Scottish government may have also preferred he did not die in prison, if only to prevent a terrorist backlash from him being proclaimed a martyr rather than dodgy commercial reasons, with hindsight a view they certainly regret if they ever held it. The bottom line is that the decision was normal practice for Scottish prisoners with a terminal illness who are too ill to present a physical threat to others.

  • Comment number 29.

    The PM has consistenly said that he considered Megrahi's release a mistake. As for the rest of it, we are where we are, which is embarrassing for those who took the decision to release him and very distressing for the relatives of the innocent people who perished in the incident.

  • Comment number 30.

    Nick,

    Personally, I think that the decision to release Megrahi was the right one. I also think that Gordon Brown's policy here was realistic and pragmatic. As such, I don't think that Cameron should be trying to score political points.

    However, I have to agree with Tim @9.

    Cameron isn't the story here! The issue is, whether the decision to release Megrahi was sound or not. As such, it is Brown's motives and the motives of the Scottish government that are important here, not Cameron’s. Why you have chosen to present them in comparison is rather puzzling.

  • Comment number 31.

    The political question that was avoided by his being sent home is what would have happened if the appeal had been successful?

    I do not know what the chances of that were, but I doubt if they were insignificant. A retrial, or continued investigation into the reliability and source of the 'evidence' might not have been a good thing for Britain or America.

    Much better that he went home as a guilty man 'at the end of his life' and he lives longer than expected than a whole can of worms being stirred up. I hate conspiracy theories, but this one at least starts off with some who were actively involved in the terrible happenings also having serious doubts.

  • Comment number 32.

    I don't think we need to take any lessons from America about justice and the application of justice and we certainly do not need to take any lessons from a very feeble Cameron on how to proceed with diplomatic matters...it is very obvious that this Libyan was set up as the fall guy for an Arabic plot ..it is also very obvious that the man is seriously ill ( who knows the exact date he will die ) so Scotland took the humanitarian approach which Americans do not understand and which Cameron cant fit into his ideology..I am quite sure there are many of the bereaved who feel the right thing has now been done..of course the BBC which just cannot bring itself to broadcast fair news will only cover those who do not agree and will cut others off before they put their point forward

  • Comment number 33.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 34.

    29. ARHReading

    What was Cameron's view when Ronnie Biggs was released? That took place in England within its own legal tradition of political interference in judicial decisions.

  • Comment number 35.

    Worth repeating :

    "18. At 7:36pm on 07 Feb 2011, Gary Hay wrote:
    As a man who followed this entire saga with the eyes of a Hawk - you've left out one very, very significant point that although was obvious to me at the time, you, Cameron and Brown have all conveniently forgotten.

    The Scottish Government were the only party throwing straight dice back then - and Salmond, MacAskill and Dr Andrew Fraser have been vindicated in their position that that they neither lied, acted dishonestly or kowtowed to political pressure from Westminster.

    You, Cameron and Brown should hang your heads in shame.".

    What is equally true is that the BBC(Glenn Campbell especially),Ian Gray,Dick Baker,Jim Murphy and many,many others "lied, acted dishonestly or kowtowed to political pressure from Westminster.".



    BBC Labour in Scotland are already spinning this story - thankfully without much luck.



    Finally is Brian Taylor's blog the most censored site in Europe ?


  • Comment number 36.

    Dear Nick. Your desperate attempt to deflect criticism from a duplicitous Scottish government and a cowardly and corrupt Labour government merely makes the bad taste in the mouth worse. Megrani was found guilty of multiple murder, the verdict was upheld on appeal and the man should have died in goal. 18 months after having been given weeks to live, he is alive, well and ambulatory and feted as a hero in his own country. For you, the story is not the injustice to the murdered and their loved ones, the story is making Cameron equally guilty for an action where he was a bystander. Rank hypocrisy seems to be the default position of all those who were part of Labour's implosion and downfall. You should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself.

  • Comment number 37.

    Helping a newly reformed ex-terrorist state (Libya) to frame a legal appeal on behalf of Al-Megrahi is one thing, actually releasing him because he's wrongly expected to die imminently is quite another.
    The first is being even-handed to a nation that's eager to be rehabilitated into the ways of lawful exchanges. The second - releasing a mass murderer - is careless with justice.

  • Comment number 38.

    Re the Scottish government not kowtowing to pressure from Westminster to release al-M, does this mean,

    1. there was no such pressure, or
    2. there WAS, but they didn't kowtow to it?

    1 makes a nonsense of what Cameron is saying.

    2 implies they would have released him anyway (on CGs) and the pressure from Westminster was not so much resisted (since the decision was in line with the pressure) but was superfluous.

    But if pressure for something IS applied, and then the something happens, how can one be certain the pressure had no effect?

    In fact, even if the something doesn't happen, how can one be certain the pressure had no effect? - didn't make it more likely to happen than it otherwise would have been (even though it ended up NOT happening).

    Or even in this case ... given AS's antipathy towards Westminster and Brown ... how do we know the pressure (if there was pressure) didn't make the Scottish government LESS likely to make the release? i.e. although the release happened, because of the pressure from Westminster it actually (perversely) came closer than it otherwise would have to NOT happening.

    And over and above all of this, we have theories flying around that he was, in fact, innocent in any case!

    Jeepers.

  • Comment number 39.

    Nick,
    There is no "News" in this anouncement as such; just Cameron sharpening another stick to beat Labour with. (Sorry for mixed metaphor). I would like to hear what Cameron and the Tories were saying at the time. Does anyone believe they would have been less keen than labour to build new relationships with Libya? That is the nature of international politics.

  • Comment number 40.

    30#
    Exactly what motives do you think the Scottish government might have had? I would guess you do not live in Scotland or you would realise the only thing the SG got from this was bile heaped on them from the Labour party in Scotland who are so stupid it is obvious they were not considered important or smart enough by their London masters to be kept in the loop.Iain Gray seems to still believe if he were first minister he would have blocked the release even though it is the Justice ministers responsibility, he cannot even get that right.Further no one ever claimed he would only live for a specific time "he may live longer he may die sooner"was what we were told at the time Anyone with a modicum of common sense know as is in all such cases people do not die to order just to placate hysterical newspaper journalists ignorant people or Labour hypocrites

    The Scottish government acted as we would hope they would with honesty and integrity unlike the Labour party both in Westminster and Holyrood




  • Comment number 41.

    The conviction was unsound and no Scottish jury would have given anything other than at best innocent and at worst not proven.
    Time to refresh memories of an atrocity committed by the USA against a commercial airline of Iran ,killing all on board.
    Now call me naive ,but I think it just might make Iranians think of revenge ,particularly as the US naval captain was given a heroes welcome and a wee medal for his efforts.
    I am more than a little nauseated by the sicophancy demonstrated by the previous UK government and the present UK government towards a big ,arrogant bully , which can't solve its own problems but interferes on a global scale with everyone elses.
    The "American dream "is not everyones idea of how their world should be.

  • Comment number 42.

    37. leftie
    "The first is being even-handed to a nation that's eager to be rehabilitated into the ways of lawful exchanges. The second - releasing a mass murderer - is careless with justice. "

    That line has to be dreadful - even by your standards.

    Justice in Scotland is not based on retribution. The law passed by the UK Parliament incidentally, which your party did nothing to alter, bases any decision to grant compassionate release on specific guidelines relating to the future risk to the community, and medical advice.

    It does not surprise me that you would wish quasi judicial decisions to be based on political advantage instead of law and justice. SLAB have never behaved in any other way.

  • Comment number 43.

    There are a number of misconceptions that have become built into this whole affair as a result of attempts to make political capital against the Scottish Goverment out of it.
    His release was a decided on a medical report that three months was a REASONABLE ESTIMATE of Al Megrahi's possible survival but is was also noted in the report that he could die before than or, in fact, survive much longer.
    This is hardly unusual. Ronnie Biggs similarly was given a compassionate release for the same reasons and has in fact survied longer that Al Megrahi but we hear nothing of this.
    There is no doubt and never has been any doubt that Al Megrahi now has terminal cancer.There is little doubt either that he is getting much more intensive treatment in Libya than would have been afforded to him (or anybody else) in UK. We should ponder that.

    What is rather of more interest is the growing conviction by most intelligent opinion in Scotland that Al Megrahi had nothing to do with the Lockerbie bombing.
    The reason there is till any dubiety about this is that, if he was not, it exposes a massive and deliberate fit-up of an innocent man by the US and UK authorities. Huge efforts are being made to stop any reopening of this case because of the devastating damage this would do to the political establishment and, in the Scottish context, to the British union.
    We are very far ahead of UK opinion on this matter in Scotland as the issue has been frontline here continually for many years. It is time England caught up and I would refer anybody interested to the excellent work produced by the late Paul Foot and published in Private Eye which effectively blows the conviction apart.
    In fact even more evidence has surfaced since then which further continues the demolition of the conviction.
    I would quote Professor Sir Robert Black QC who actually set up the Camp Zeist trial and who has since described its conduct and verdict as a disgrace to Scotland. Last week he commented that as far as he knew NOT ONE lawyer in Scotland believes the conviction to be safe.
    I have written quite a lot on this case in other publications and could go on at length but there is now a large body in Scotland including hugely important figures in Scotland like Prof Black, Jim Swires, Cardinal Gray, Ian Hamilton QC and many many other demanding a full inquiry.
    This is the story to come.

  • Comment number 44.

    no where within this article dose it say about the scotish paliment wanting to trade concesions with the the government to agree to let him go , to there credit the government said no that was unacceptable . so idont think the scotish parliment was playing with straight dice as suggested by other contributors .

  • Comment number 45.

    There is always the risk of double dealing when we are engaged in business with foreign countries who expect more than straightforward payment for goods and services. Bribery and corruption are rife and we know that it goes on all round the world so no surprise that Libya got its man back "on humanitarian grounds".

  • Comment number 46.

    Labour lied, especially 'Scottish' Labour.

    Most readers here will be unaware of the incredible hypocrisy that has been displayed by 'Scottish' Labour, especially Iain Gray (yep, I know, 'Iain who?').

    But, the bigger story is how BBC 'Scotland' has treated the Megrahi release until now - hardly impartial.

    And, of course, the REAL story is the UK govt's blocking of the SCCRC papers - that's the smoking gun.

  • Comment number 47.

    44. ordinaryjim
    "no where within this article dose it say about the scotish paliment wanting to trade concesions with the the government to agree to let him go"

    Quite right. It doesn't say that because it didn't happen. That the UK quotes Jack Straw's "feeling" about what negotiations in 2007 were about - long before Megrahi's diagnosis - as opposed to the official minute kept by the Scottish Government is simply because Gus O'Donnell was only dealing with the UK documentation.

  • Comment number 48.

    fairforfochen @40

    A bit defensive there, why?

    As I said, I agree with the decision.

    The point about motives was merely in relation to what was and what wasn't in the context of the story. And I wouldn't have made that point at all, had Nick not decided to make judgement on Cameron's motives; which clearly aren't relevant to the real issue.

    In actuality, I felt sorry Salmond, (the first and only time) since you are right, the only thing that the Scottish government got out of this was the blame.

  • Comment number 49.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 50.

    Libya had turned away from terrorism for an extended period. So what message should our Government send? “We don’t care that you have desisted from terrorism. We will continue as before. You might as well resume terrorism because we will act the same anyway?”

  • Comment number 51.

    saying one thing in public but doing another thing in private?

    just like the 5000 post office branch closures - our local labour MP campaigned to have ours stay open, allowed the local press to photograph him with post office staff, signed the petition, then went down to london and in the house of commons, voted for the motion that would close 5000 post offices!

    or just like the labour PFIs that built new schools and hospitals, spending the money of the day on other things, but not placing these on the country's books and hiding the vast amounts of interest the taxpayers would have to fork out in future for years to come.

    it shouldnt matter if the financial implications in this case would have cost the country 1 penny piece or 1 trillion pounds, its the principle.
    a consistant line should have been taken on his release and it should have been stuck to, taking the consequences one way or the other.

    to say one thing in public and do another in private is disgraceful, especially when they were supposed to be a government formed from the votes of the people!

  • Comment number 52.

    31. At 8:56pm on 07 Feb 2011, Boilerbill wrote:
    "The political question that was avoided by his being sent home is what would have happened if the appeal had been successful?
    I do not know what the chances of that were, but I doubt if they were insignificant. A retrial, or continued investigation into the reliability and source of the 'evidence' might not have been a good thing for Britain or America.
    Much better that he went home as a guilty man 'at the end of his life' and he lives longer than expected than a whole can of worms being stirred up. I hate conspiracy theories, but this one at least starts off with some who were actively involved in the terrible happenings also having serious doubts."

    There is no legal doubt the conviction of Abdul Baset Al Megrahi was unsafe.The only firm evidence consisted of clothes used the wrap the bomb traced to a shop in Malta.The shopkeeper testified they had been bought by Al Megrahi.His co-defendant was freed,Al Megrahi was eventually released in a deal where he surrendered his right to appeal.

    If his appeal had succeeded it would have raised the question who were the actual bombers? The instigator,the organizers and the agents? This is the inquiry the Scottish process suppressed.

  • Comment number 53.

    I suspect a lot of comments will be removed because the 'moderators' find them to be breaking the bbc house rules !!!!!!
    The labour government lied, just report it and do your job as a public sector business, paid for by the taxpayers expect you to do, don't try and blame this on the coalition government.

    No wonder the bbc are being ignored or being found to be labour biased as so many critical comments are being removed.

  • Comment number 54.

    The decision to release on compassionate grounds was I believe correct and taken with due reference to the conditions necessary. Secondly if the Westminster government's view was as reported by Sir Gus O'Donnell, I can't see how they could have openly expressed it without being accused of trying to influence the Scottish decision. I don't have any difficulty accepting that a centre/centre-right Labour government could be pragmatic on such an issue. Thirdly I can't see anything wrong in facilitating Libya's dealings on the issue, foreign policy being handled by Westminster not Holyrood.
    On the other hand it does seem odd that the Scottish Labour party at Holyrood seem to have exploited the release decision for their advantage. Also only a high level inquiry could examine exactly in whose interest it might have been for an appeal not to go ahead. An inquiry that no one seems keen to institute anytime soon.

  • Comment number 55.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 56.

    I find this article by NR most annoying. This BBC reporter is supposed to be reporting on one of the more emotional decisions made by the last Government, and all he does is turn the tables on to the Tories. Why? Labour, in my opinion, clearly have some explaining to do. Why did they not intervene when they knew what was going on? Most importantly, why did they LIE about what they knew in the House of Commons and to the British public. Worst of all, you had Jack Straw on TV saying if Cameron had been in power then he would have made the same decision. He had no proof of course.

    Deflection of responsibility seems to be the new mantra for Labour. They accept no blame either for the ecomony. But of course, the BBC blames the Tories for cuts when it down to bad ecomonical management by Labour What a short memory NR seems to have.

  • Comment number 57.

    Look like after today's events DC now has put himself in a position where he has no option to agree to a full Public enquiry.

  • Comment number 58.

    Goodness! The central labour party never thought to let the Scottish labour branch know what they were up to.

  • Comment number 59.

    One aspect of this that Nick doesn't really cover is the complete and utter hypocrisy of the Labour group of MSPs in the Scottish Parliament.

    Richard Baker (Labour Shadow Justice Minister in Scotland) and Iain Gray (leader of Labour group of MSPs who will be running for election as First Minister in just under 3 months) do not have a leg to stand on. They have been jumping up and down screaming about this since Megrahi was released, while all along this was not only supported by their Labour UK government in Westminster, but also pro-actively facilitated.

    There was an interview tonight on Newsnight Scotland with Richard Baker which can only be described as "car-crash television". I would recommend all interested viewers south of the border watch this when it comes up on the i-player.

  • Comment number 60.

    53. At 10:38pm on 07 Feb 2011, FairandTrue wrote:
    "I suspect a lot of comments will be removed because the 'moderators' find them to be breaking the bbc house rules !!!!!!
    The labour government lied, just report it and do your job as a public sector business, paid for by the taxpayers expect you to do, don't try and blame this on the coalition government.
    No wonder the bbc are being ignored or being found to be labour biased as so many critical comments are being removed."

    I don`t suppose Mr.Robinson is blaming the coalition for the Lockerbie bombing, although you are entitled to your opinion.

    It is more likely he is accussing them of spinning the story for party political purposes. Gus McDonnell`s report concludes there was no cover-up by the previous government, and no pressure on the Scot`s to deliver the verdict they favored.

    That out of the way, perhaps you could spend your time examining the ambiguities surrounding this tragic event.You may even learn something.

  • Comment number 61.

    Millsy 56

    "Deflection of responsibility seems to be the new mantra for Labour. They accept no blame either for the ecomony. But of course, the BBC blames the Tories for cuts when it down to bad ecomonical management by Labour What a short memory NR seems to have."

    While taking a moral position on political decisions is admirable,if government`s want to survive they have to make choices in the national interest.Mr.Cameron`s said recently that giving prisoners the vote makes him want to vomit, but he would do it to save the taxpayers from the avalanche of lawsuits that would follow his rejection of the EHRC ruling.

    It`s painful,but kinda grown-up.

  • Comment number 62.

    #8 JAMES

    Spot on. Scotland were always going to be the scapegoats in this matter.

    If anyone followed Megrahi's trial, they would have realised that the verdict was a farce.

  • Comment number 63.

    Is no-one else concerned about Cameron's blatant violation of the convention that documents from previous governments are 'off limits' for party politics? How can a government carry on business and leave a proper record for posterity if its successor government is at liberty to pick through communications between ministers and civil servants?

  • Comment number 64.

    The Labour Government clearly manipulated events to achieve the desired objective while maintaining 'deny-ability'.

    In my opinion this was done to assist BP. Would a Tory Government have acted differently?

    Even before all of this BP were not terribly popular in the US. This is not going to help. While Cameron might be tempted to continue to pursue this affair to demonstrate the sliminess of New Labour I suspect the desire to protect BP will be much stronger.



  • Comment number 65.

    Questions for Scottish Labour hypocrites over Megrahi posed by a Scottish journalist

    Now that all the evidence is out in the open. Here are some questons for the hapless Iain Gray and his adolescent Justice Mnister, Richard Baker.

    When did you discover that your Labour colleagues in London were plotting to have Megrahi released?

    When?

    Was it before or after you started your attacks on the SNP government policy?

    Why did you continue to attack the SNP, knowing that your own colleagues plotted Megrahi's release?

    Will you now condemn Gordon Brown and his Ministers who plotted to have Megrahi released?

    Why not and what does that say about you - Iain Gray - as a 'leader'?

    What's it like being a patsy, used by the big boys in London?

  • Comment number 66.

    Labour supporters on this article have lowered themselves to new depths.
    A UK government headed by Brown misled both parliament and the british people about their actions regarding this whole matter, and yet you defend their actions.
    This is all about the previous labour government, not about the current PM or the coalition government.

    Nick comments
    "Labour ministers were desperate to avoid Megrahi dying in jail because they were worried about the impact on British jobs - the BP-Libya deal - and British foreign policy - Gaddafi had recently repudiated his policy of developing weapons of mass destruction."

    I like many millions of British voters do not believe encouraging the release of a CONVICTED mass murderer for the benefit of jobs etc is ever justified.

    "They did not want the public to know how desperate they were and hoped the Scottish government would take the blame for Megrahi's release."

    The article is headed Two faced, and that sums up the labour party and their 13 years of government full of lies and spin.

    "David Cameron is keen to ensure that Labour are blamed for the spectacle of Megrahi continuing to live as a free man in Libya."

    Labour should be blamed for the continued freedom of a CONVICTED mass murderer who labour wanted released.

    "Mr Cameron's aides have done everything in their power to quote those parts of today's carefully written report to damage the former government while ignoring the key conclusion that there was no cover-up and no deal."

    The PM Mr Cameron quite deliberately stated that there was no evidence of any conspiracy between labour and the SNP. Brown & Co. deserve all the damage they get.

    I don't think Mr Brown will be touring the USA anytime soon to promote his book or do paid appearances on chat shows or for businesses.

  • Comment number 67.

    Nick,

    Please correct your headline for this blog. There is no requirement for a question mark based on its content.

    The hypocrisy of Iain Grey and Richard Baker surpasses even their habitually high standards. It should be reflected in the forthcoming election if there is any justice in this world.

    As for the previous Labour Government, they will continue to reap what they have sown. A generation of opposition.

  • Comment number 68.

    This must be one of the greatest and least suppressible embarrassments the Labour Party has ever deservedly suffered. All the sanctimonious posturing in opposition to the release, all the invocation of the distress of the victims' families, all the publicity-seeking demands for more information, and the setting up of an enquiry which, as intended, provided another opportunity for a headline-grabbing attack on the SNP: it's now all seen, in banner headlines, as a complete and utterly dishonourable sham.

    The only excuse which Scottish Labour could have is that their London colleagues kept them in complete ignorance - and if a Labour UK government is prepared to keep Scottish Labour in the dark about matters of this importance, what chance that either is telling Scotland the truth about anything?

    Oh, and I think the Scottish media has some apologising to do too. I seem to remember Kenny MacAskill had to undergo some very hostile interviews, which seemed to be prolonged and almost gleeful. Now we know: Labour would have done the same.

  • Comment number 69.

    I was and remain opposed to the release of Megrahi despite misgivings about the safety of his conviction.

    There is no way the Westminster Government could possibly have influenced or manipulated the Holyrood Government. It is a Scottish matter and so matters not a jot what Westminster politicians think or thought or said.

    For me the issue here is the hypocrisy of the Labour MSP's towards the SNP.

    And Cameron, struggling a bit in the opinion polls, again reveals himself to be an unprincipled politician. He and his party are just as bad as Labour in their own way.

    No-one comes out of this with any credit.

  • Comment number 70.

    There could, of course, have been another motive for releasing Mr Megrahi: there is an argument, not wholly unrespectable, that the verdict was unsound. If there were any chance of that coming out one day, better that he did not reside too long in a British jail.

    Imminent death may always have been a sympathetic cover story. But, in any event, British jobs, now or in the future, works for me.

  • Comment number 71.

    I was deeply suspicous at the time that Scottish Labour was making very little of an unpopular ruling by the Scottish Government,which would have seemed like a gift to them.It comes as absolutley no surprise that the then Labour Government were working for a release.It all goes to show how wise we were to rid ourselves of the worst Government in living memory.

  • Comment number 72.

    Essentially,the British government set up a situation where they got what they wanted in all probability to do some trade deal but did so in a roundabout way that exonerates them from blame.

    This does not bode well for Labour as they are developing a reputation for misleading the public for their own ends.

    Though Ed MIliband stands on his high horse taking the moral high ground when lambasting the government we all need to remember that it was the Labour government which got us into this mess in the first place.

    It does leave us wondering how many other under the counter deals were done by the last government and how long will it be before they come to light?

  • Comment number 73.

    Nick,

    do you work for the Tory HQ? You seem to jump on any anti Labour story very quickly and seem to ignore lots anti Tory ones, like Cameron writing propaganda for EDL.

  • Comment number 74.

    labour more faces than a town all clock.

    M25 widening scandel

    Wrecking the Economy

    Migrabi deal

    etc

    etc


    etc


    Wonder where the like if NR were when this was happening

    Too soft on the labour governement of the time was the problem

    The BBC gave them a free hand, except a few like the sexed up dossier.

    The all backed away from Campbell,

    Shame of the BBC for 13 years of neglect of new reporting.

  • Comment number 75.

    66. At 01:53am on 08 Feb 2011, FairandTrue wrote:
    "Labour supporters on this article have lowered themselves to new depths.
    A UK government headed by Brown misled both parliament and the british people about their actions regarding this whole matter, and yet you defend their actions.
    This is all about the previous labour government, not about the current PM or the coalition government."

    Must have been a misunderstanding,I thought you were blaming them all since you quoted Mr.Robinson so extensively. That seemed to be his position,deception on the one hand,unprincipled spin on the other.It`s only politics dear,get used to it.

    Perhaps youj were quoting Mr.Robinson selectively? Surely not for someone calling themselves "fair and true!"


  • Comment number 76.

    what they did not do was make sur he stayed in jail that the Key issue

  • Comment number 77.

    72. At 08:00am on 08 Feb 2011, newshounduk wrote:
    "Essentially,the British government set up a situation where they got what they wanted in all probability to do some trade deal but did so in a roundabout way that exonerates them from blame.
    "This does not bode well for Labour as they are developing a reputation for misleading the public for their own ends."

    Difficult territory this,you would be advised to keep off it.A reputation for misleading the public gives all parties an equal share of honours:I am minded of pledges on the NHS,no reorganization,VAT,no increase,EMA,no change,child benefit....

    Incantations of deception are tiresome because repetitive as you have probably learnt in your trajectory as a political thinker.Back to the drawing board,read Plato,Machiavelli,De Tocqueville,Burke,Marx,Von Hayek,Popper, if you can find the time in your busy life.Then return suitably qualified to cast your pearls among us..


  • Comment number 78.

    So the British government wanted something, the Scottish Asembly had a price in mind, and with one bound Megrahi was free.

    Not dead, pardoned, or found innocent, just free. It wouldn't have happened for other major criminals, and but for change of government, the details would have been firmly buried.

    Nobody expects much from politicians- it's the compliance of officials that is the greater concern.

  • Comment number 79.

    Wow, Gordon Brown The Usurper tells another whopper in order to fend off the "marauding" pack for another 24 hour news cycle.

    Hold The Front Page.... yawn.

  • Comment number 80.

    Astounding, the last Labour government has been caught with its pants down. The Gordon Brown administration apparently lied about the role it played in the release of Al Megrahi, and the extent of its moral bankruptcy has been exposed (again).

    But Robinson is still trying to stick the knife into Cameron.

  • Comment number 81.

    fair & true,

    You're saying (i) Labour should be blamed for the release, and (ii) there was no plot between them and the SNP.

    But you can only have (i) if there was such a plot.

    Cameron also says no plot.

  • Comment number 82.

    I suppose the moral of the story is that if you contract cancer, you'd be better off in Libya than you would in Scotland.

    After all, if a very senior Scots medical officer says you're going to die in 3 months and yet, when you're in Libya you're still alive 15 months later, there must have been some remarkable advances in their oncology departments that we're missing out on over here.

    Personally, I blame the evil, baby eating tories. Its all their fault...

  • Comment number 83.

    At 08:57am on 08 Feb 2011, Fubar_Saunders wrote:
    Wow, Gordon Brown The Usurper tells another whopper in order to fend off the "marauding" pack for another 24 hour news cycle.

    Hold The Front Page.... yawn.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Is there a prize for guessing what you're on about? Another helping of anti Brown bile? Could you give us a clue? Extra points if it's relevant to the topic of the blog - even a bit relevant.

  • Comment number 84.

    Oh dear, a lot of moral indignation going on all round, are the British really that naive. Deals between Governments go on all the time, particularly where oil is concerned. Governments around the World are not moral, nor can they afford to be, unless they want a very poor Country to be the result. See how quickly Obama ditches one of his main allies in Egypt, when he thinks it is politically advantageous to do so. Do then the public see Governments not dealing with China because of their record on Human Rights, or India for not helping its poor. No we don't.

    The only people telling the truth on this issue of Megrahi, is surprising the Libyans. It was rumoured in the oil industry that this release would happen long before it did. Unfortunately for Blair, Brown and Salmond, this was a particularly high profile prisoner, and they were not expecting the outcry there has been.

    If Salmond is telling us he had no knowledge of all the wheeling and dealing that was going on to release Megrahi by the UK Government. Why then did he not ask, why the UK Government had changed its position of release for this prisoner. If he did not know the reasons behind the change in attitude of the UK Government, why not. He is supposed to be in charge of a devolved Government, that should understand all the issues that effect Scotland. Knowing Salmond's obsession with the oil Industry, his story does not seem credible It also seems it was not a cancer specialist who said Megrahi had very little time to live, this is very odd.

    In the end it matters very little what the UK Government did or did not do. Scotland released Megrahi and the man is still alive, and apparently still able to pick up on his appeal should he want to. The responsibility for this is on Scotland and will remain so.

    As to how the World will view this situation. There are very few Countries that will understand why a seemingly mass murder was released on compassionate grounds. Certainly in America, the families of the victims do not understand. I do, in fact, think that it has put more pressure on the Scottish Government, since the release of these documents, as they apparently make it clear, that whatever the actions of the UK Government, they were not actually involved in the decision to release of Megrahi.

  • Comment number 85.

    "the BP-Libya deal"

    Yes, torn on this one.

    On the one hand, yet another example of Brown's duplicity.

    On the other, I hold BP shares.

    What a dilemma.

  • Comment number 86.

    Susan-Croft,
    I don't think that anyone is saying that pressure from the UK government influenced the decision. That decision is one which polarises folk, I doubt if, after all the debate, many people have moved from their initial gut reaction. It was a difficult decision for the Scottish Government and they made it.
    Our gripe is with the duplicity of the Scottish branch of the Labour party in that they viciously attacked the Scottish Government full in the knowledge that the UK Labour government had assisted the Libyans. The Scottish Labour Justice Spokesman even offered to assist the American Senators at a time when trade boycotts were being bandied about. Knowing what we know now, I must come to the conclusion that they acted in a purely partisan fashion with scant regard to the effect on Scotland.
    I also get a little irked at the American press when they make no attempt to understand the subtle nuances of the UK political scene. Gordon Brown took three weeks to contact Alex Salmond when he first became first minister. The SNP exist to break up the union and yet the Americans insist in believing that Alex Salmond was desperate to release Al Megrahi in order to help strengthen the position of the UK government. It just doesn't make any sense.

  • Comment number 87.

    S_C @84
    At last an honest response from the right wing which is fully consistent with the positions taken on other issues. The need to be pragmatic, put the countries interests first etc. Compare and contrast with Cameron's mealy mouthed offering. Officially they did nothing wrong, cue smear tactics. See Nick's last two paragraphs for details.

  • Comment number 88.

    Idon'tbelieveit.

    BTW, I did put you forward for that Nobel prize but the jury just laughed at your naievety. They pointed out that having just been told that the increase in obesity seemed linked to an increase in the excuses for obesity, all your evidence did was confirm this.

    They pointed out that all your 'evidence' did was show that some people needed to be more careful about how much they ate than others. It was still how much they ate that caused the person to be overweight. Then they added that someone could be suffereing from every single one of those conditions but if they ate zero calories, they'd lose weight and eventually die. The person might not be able to control their medical condition but could control how much they ate. "easier to put on weight", "more likely to put on weight" did not mean inevitably would put on weight no matter how little they ate.

    Then the jury laughed again. Tough jury.

  • Comment number 89.

    "They said one thing in public while saying something different in private." And just how would Cameron know what they said in private?

  • Comment number 90.

    I for one have become completely unsurprised at the antics , chicanery , bare faced lies of the last government ..... just when we think they have plumbed the depths along comes something else . They really were the most contemptable and worst government we ever had . I do hope people remember all of this when it comes to an election.

    However , the final say rested with the Scottish government and they clearly agreed to it ... so somebody has to stand up and be counted for it ..... but as we all know .... politicians are gutless and don't have the moral fibre to do so . Oh well another nail in the coffin of moral decency and yet again we see Governments who "Never negotiate with terrorists" doing exactly that behind our backs ... why am I not surprised !!!! Innocent People die , politicians line their own pockets it's the same old same old

  • Comment number 91.

    83#

    Its plain and simple to all but the selectively blinkered as to what I'm on about, IDBI.

    We were told by the dear leader that it was nothing to do with him, he wasnt there and that it started in America, decision for the Scots alone, yadda, yadda, yadda.

    Only now we find out that those statements arent exactly in line with what appears to have really happened.

    I repeat what I said last week. If Gordon told me it was raining, I would have to step outside first to see if I got soaked before I believed him. He is alleged to have made a similar accusation regarding truthfulness to Blair before the vertebrae-deprived suntanned perma-grinning one departed from office.

    Along rides Nick and whilst even he has to admit there is rarely smoke without fire, it all somehow comes out in the wash that any duplicity and double-briefing and wrongdoing is, incredulously, the fault of the current administration and not the one who'se hands were on the tiller at the time and who'se murky fingerprints are all over it.

    And he then picks up his monthly salary without the slightest remotely bitter aftertaste.

    And, even more incredulously, the mug punters believe it.

    You really couldnt make it up.

    You know, this honesty and integrity business is seriously over-rated. I'm seriously considering resigning my current position and taking up a new career as a freelance professional liar. I'd make a fortune, nothing would ever get done about it and the press would fete me as the best thing since sliced Hovis. I may even get 24 hour police protection for the rest of my life, allowing me to tell even more lies, collect more fees from a supine press hanging on my every word, leaving the truth punch-drunk on the floor needing immediate admission to an intensive care ward.

    I'm seriously thinking that I've missed my vocation in life. What the hell were my parents thinking of when they brought me up to be honest? It gets you absolutely nowhere in this day and age.

  • Comment number 92.

    78. myneerkop
    "the Scottish Asembly had a price in mind,"
    Where is this place you talk of? The Scottish Assembly was a proposed legislature for Scotland that would have devolved a set list of powers from the Parliament of the United Kingdom. This was 1979 and was blocked by the UK Parliament.

    As for the rest of your ill advised diatribe - Ronnie Biggs anyone?

    Do keep up!

  • Comment number 93.

    snowthistle @ 86

    Well half of America believes Saddam blew up the Twin Towers so maybe we shouldn't be too surprised that they don't get the nuances of our domestic politics.

    Disappointing though, as you say. As was (by the sounds of it) the behaviour of Scottish Labour.

  • Comment number 94.

    snowthistle 86

    Unless Salmond is completely inept, he too would want to advance the oil industry for Scotland. After all, what is classed as the oil capital of the UK, is in Aberdeen. I am afraid this is where it begins, and where it ends. Oil deals. Furthermore Salmond would be looking forward to the days when hopefully Independence will come, oil is his most important asset.

    In the end you can believe whatever you like, but it is my belief, considering that in the oil industry it was rumoured Megrahi was to be released long before he was, and other factors that I have mentioned, that oil was the main reason.

    Salmond is playing as many games as Blair and Brown on this issue. As to Scottish Labour, I have no feelings either way. I do not support Labour so to me politics is politics. What Blair and Brown did, to my mind was fair enough, they tried to promote Britain in the Global market place. It is not as though they would gain anything personally. All Countries do it. Plus they made it clear it would be Scotland that would decide on the release of Megrahi. No of more interest is Salmonds involvement, he could have said no for goodness sake. Salmonds position on this is not credible.





  • Comment number 95.

    time for change,
    This is getting tiresome maybe it's time for a change. Could you point me to a single instance where the Scottish Government has denied responsibility for the release of Al Megrahi.
    It was a difficult decision which was always going to be controversial but they made it and have always accepted responsibility for it.

  • Comment number 96.

    Did you pile in at an all time high, Andy (85), before the disaster?

  • Comment number 97.

    the labour government got what they wanted and hung the SNP out to dry in the process hey hey

    win win or what!

    and if it was not for yon Australian guy and his colleagues we would still be none the wiser!

    Malky rifkind hit the nail on the head THE LABOUR GOVERNMENT WERE IN THIS UP TO THERE NECKS.
    Whilst there lap dogs in the Scottish parliament were shouting from the rafters that they would never have released him.
    even last night Richard Baker Labour justice spokesperson in the Scottish Parliament was still saying what they have always said.

    thick or what?????
    Sid

  • Comment number 98.

    9.
    Because Nick is labour biased in his reporting.
    Labour are liars, it's as simple as that.
    Brown's stooges are still there, Miliband, Balls, Cooper et al.

  • Comment number 99.

    so tony sent our boys on 2 wars while gordon tried to scupper them from the treasury, then makes it easy , does not stand in the way of the release of a man found guilty of killing people in the UK.

    Some track record on morality from the convert chatholic and the savier of the world.


    thatcher said no deals with terroirts at least she had only one face

  • Comment number 100.

    15. At 7:29pm on 07 Feb 2011, jon112dk wrote:
    A shabby opportunity to make political capital - who cares what effect it has
    =========================================================================
    Perhaps that is the trouble with the last goverment and the attitude of Labour, they think that nobody cares, well I care for 1 and I am sick of politicans saying one thing and doing another. I remember when Nu Labour came into power back in 1997 with the promise to clean up politics. They did not just "not clean up politics" they managed take it to an even deeper depth of depravity, through spinning the facts, lies and deceit.

 

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