I think the decision to release the Lockerbie bomber, Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds, was the right decision.
Kenny MacAskill, the Scottish Justice Minister, made a very brave, principled decision which was clearly based on his strong values. In doing so, he withstood tremendous political and international pressure.
I think there is something deeply honourable about that and he should be applauded.
I don’t believe the SNP Government has damaged Scotland’s reputation either. The SNP has followed the law, under difficult circumstances, and shown that you can have disagreements with the United States without the whole edifice collapsing.
I actually think that when the dust has settled on this, the SNP Government will come out of it very well and the UK Government will look shifty and unprincipled, particularly if Gaddafi’s comments today that the UK Government helped facilitate the release are proven to be true.
It is of course entirely inappropriate for al-Megrahi to be given a heroes welcome back in Libya. It makes me feel very uncomfortable. And I can understand how upsetting that must be for the victims’ families.
But I do think Kenny MacAskill did the right thing. He showed a compassion to al-Megrahi which al-Megrahi never showed to the victims’ families. In an age when we complain that politicians are too cynical and have forgotten what they believe in and don’t do what they believe in, there is something refreshing about that.
I am not usually a fan of the SNP Government, but today Scottish voters should feel proud.
This is a sometimes 'cheesey' blog about British and American politics and anything else which tickles my fancy!