Al-Megrahi; politics at it’s worst…
Let’s be clear about one thing; no matter which party voices it’s pique at the Al-Megrahi release you can bet a dime to a dollar that any political party would have taken exactly the same decision. David Cameron is making a great deal of noise but at this time we should never forget that the Conservatives supplied Saddam Hussein with weaponry and connived with numerous odious regimes while in power. Conservative governments maintain trade links with Saudi Arabia which is a country that is not exactly known to be careful with where it’s financial largess falls and is a sponsor of a puritanical, fundamentalist strain of Islam. This is the reality of being in government; you deal with the world as it is not as you would wish it to be and have to realise that forces beyond your control make it so, so the pretence that either the Conservatives or Liberal Democrats would have pursued a different course of action is completely false.
We would have hopefully taken the same decision for the right reasons; that there is sufficient doubt about his guilt, that justice is restorative and that compassionate release in this regard was more than appropriate. Wit and Wisdom praises Nick Clegg for his most recent comments; however, I fail to see how Clegg acting the typical opportunist opposition politician will provide the families with any great comfort at all. This is especially true since Clegg has repeatedly failed to call for an independent inquiry to see that justice is done; much preferring to indulge in Tarzan-esque chest beating and criticising Gordon Brown.
Stephen Glenn has a piece on Liberal Democrat Voice which points to the divide that has opened-up in many places over the release. As I have said before Clegg stands against the majority of our voters according to at least one poll in not explicitly supporting the release and questioning the conviction in the first place and still we wait for the bare minimum call for an independent inquiry to settle once and for all the question of guilt. So far so bad then; I happen to think that no political party emerges with particular credit from this episode since none seem to be interested in anything other than arrant point scoring at the expense of debating the specifics of the case.
Since no political party would have substantively differed I cannot help but feel that this is what the noise and thunder coming from the opposition boils down too; opposition for it’s own sake and media headlines. Certainly in Clegg’s case it would be worrying if it was derived from any kind of principle.