Wednesday, 2 September 2009


The whole world and his wife seems to have spoken out about the release of the Libyan. (I would name him but I suspect it would cause my spiel chucker to go into meltdown). I have some thoughts on the topic and offer them for anyone who is seeking the views of the cantankerous right wing.
Firstly, the American point of view. Whilst I accept their right to comment in critical terms, I cannot give them any influence arising from those thoughts. It seems to be based upon the fact that we have gone back on our word. This word was given to them way way back and we now know far more than we did at the time we gave the undertaking that the guilty party would end his life in a British prison. There is now much more doubt about whether the man is in fact guilty. I consider this to be a major factor in the 'breaking our word' situation. Another factor in the demands from America is that the speed with which things moved caused many to speak out before they knew the true basis for the decision. It would be easy to criticise the American sense of fair play and justice derived from legal facts. Right back to the lynch-mob up to the widespread bombing of Libyan targets following an explosion in a Berlin nightclub there was a tendency of bomb now, investigate later. If I have any recognition of the American case, I take it from the actions of Jim Swire; father of one of the deceased and a leader in a parents of deceased group. He can understand why the release took place.
So much for the American POV. I would like to se this condemnation taken further. Given that we cannot keep our word and blithely toss aside solemn undertakings - their view and not mine - it must surely be unwise to trust as as allies in  the prosecution of any significant joint enterprise. I'm sure you can all see where I am going here. We would seem to be the last country on earth to be in any coalition and can bring our troops home with no heart ache or problem. Trade - trade with the Americans has always been on the basis that they hold all the cards. They are masters at tariffs. Their much vaunted Lend Lease programme when we faced extinction was drawn on very firm marketing processes and we were saddled with debt for a very long time. No regard as to how Hitler's and Tokyo plans would have prospered if our island-wide aircraft carrier sank. The days of the Marshall Plan are long behind us. Tourism reductions. Big deal; we faced the same downturn when the Lockerbie incident was new and as terrified Americans were too scared to fly. Anyway, only a very small proportion of Americans hold passports and even less have used them.
So - that is the American angle so far as I see it. The furore spinning around the watering holes of our politicians both at Westminster and in Edinburgh's House of Sticks is potentially much more damaging. It seems now that Brown has done the washing of the hands equally as well as Pontius Pilate . 
My attitude is that he has now removed himself from any responsibility, he has no grounds for any further comment. To hide behind Lord Mandy of Randy and have the protection of that man's waspish tongue is cowardly in the extreme. The boy Dave and the Lib Dem chap are merely making their winging calls for an inquiry for party political grounds and not from any desire for clarification. The Scottish Minister has explained his motives to exhaustion of all listeners; what more would an inquiry serve?
We have heard that there was an objection to having the Libyan die in a British jail and this was for humanitarian reasons. I can see another motive. There would be rioting on the streets of Libya and these could have a detrimental effect upon trade when British companies reviewed the security of their assets and personnel. I was responsible for arranging the recovery of wives and children from Tripoli of a major US oil company following the burning of the US Embassy in Tripoli. Many were almost catatonic. The cancelled appeal connects here. What if journalistic enterprise in running their own non-official appeal concluded that the Libyan was innocent. Imagine the ire and harm that would cause when linked into the death of a sick and innocent man in a far away country?
There remains the  question that Scotland's action was related to trade; so far denied. Why deny it? It seems strange that America threatens trade sanctions as part of indicating disapproval but then cries foul when we do something to preserve trade.
This whole thing has gone on long enough. Let us find something else.

Posted via email from John's posterous

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