Oily gassing villainous politicians 2

Now they’re pretending that the government of Scotland was not informed of Tony Blair’s ‘prisoner transfer agreement’ with Qaddafi; that the Scottish administration was ‘furious’ when they found out about it ‘from prison service officials’, and would never have let al-Megrahi go had it not been for the compassionate ‘instincts’ of their Justice Secretary when the news of the bomber’s fatal illness came to him.  But reading between the lines one can see clearly enough that the Scots were pressured by Blair and Brown and only needed an excuse  to release al-Megrahi – the only Libyan prisoner in Britain.

Alan Cochrane writes in the Telegraph:

It increasingly appears as if Prime Minister Brown and Foreign Secretary David Miliband are content to allow the SNP [Scottish National Party] administration to take the flak over this issue [the release of the Lockerbie bomber] as part of a greater game to help secure British and American access to the Libyan oil and gas fields. Miliband has attacked this suggestion as a “slur”, but aren’t his words just so much hot air? Saif Gaddafi, the Libyan dictator’s son, has said that a trade agreement with Britain was part of the deal done to secure Megrahi’s release, and this newspaper reveals today that relations between Saif and Lord Mandelson are much closer than the Business Secretary has admitted.

To the rest of the world, the British Government is shrugging its shoulders and confessing its horror at the scenes at Tripoli airport – which we’re told that Gordon Brown tried to forestall. But as to whether Megrahi should have been released in the first place, there was not a word from Brown, or any other Government minister.

We’re told that they didn’t want to be seen to be influencing the decision of a devolved administration. But Labour ministers in London argue with the Nationalists in Edinburgh on an almost daily basis, over matters as mundane as the council tax and who’s to pay for a new Forth Road Bridge. Why not on such an important issue as the release of the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing?

What is perhaps not widely understood is that the process behind Megrahi’s release began not with Alex Salmond’s devolved SNP administration in Edinburgh, but with the Labour government in London – or, more specifically, with Tony Blair. It was the then prime minister who brokered a secret prisoner transfer agreement with Gaddafi, as part of a general thawing of relations between the West and this former rogue state. It was linked to suggestions that massive new British, American and European investment in Libya’s vast oil and gas fields would be forthcoming if only the Libyans would mend their ways. The small matter of the Lockerbie bomber was a fly in the ointment.

Blair didn’t inform the authorities in Edinburgh of his deal, even though they were responsible for Megrahi’s conviction and incarceration. [?] Salmond and the independent Scottish law officers only found out about it when they were tipped off by senior prison service officials.[?]  Downing Street then compounded the original error by trying to pretend that the deal done with Gaddafi did not concern Megrahi, even though he was the only Libyan held in any British jail.

Eventually, after furious protests from the Scots, Jack Straw, the justice secretary, was forced to issue a statement conceding that any decision on the Lockerbie bomber’s future was indeed a matter for Scottish ministers. But the damage, in terms of relations between the two administrations, had been done. [?] Although the formalities over a prisoner transfer for Megrahi continued, the Scottish authorities, still smarting over Blair’s behaviour, were now firmly against such a move [?] – until it became known that Megrahi was suffering from terminal cancer, and a release on compassionate grounds became an option. Those close to MacAskill reported that he was looking favourably on such a move; given that his instincts [!] on the matter were well known in Downing Street and the Foreign Office [!?], they sat tight, said nothing [?] and waited for the release to take place.

  • r in f –

    I agree very strongly with all you say in this comment.

    Oil is a very good reason to go to war. The Saudi oil fields should have been taken over by the US in 1973-1974 by military force. I thought so at the time and in retrospect am even more sure of it.

  • roger in florida

    While I agree that this a disgusting business, it may be as well to remind ourselves that it is not only Britain which is in thrall to the loathsome islamist thugs.
    Remember the financing of the 9/11 hijackers by the saudi ambassadors wife?
    Remember the only plane allowed to take off on 9/11 was taking the bin laden family back to saudi arabia?
    It can take 10-15 years for an immigration case to be cleared through the INS, saudi travel agents carry books of US entry visas for saudi citizens.
    What about obamas bow to the execrable king of saudi?
    The truth is that they have money and that money gives them power over us, basically because we are too stupid and weakminded to develop our own energy resources.
    In 1973 the chairman of anglo-dutch shell; Sir David Barran, reccommended a military response to the arab oil boycott. Had that advice been followed we would not be kowtowing to these people now.