‘Where I think that Labour is going wrong here is in trying to cover up what has happened and by hiding behind the Scottish dimension. Why not come out and say that the paramount objective was energy and the need to open up new areas? A reference to Russia’s aggressive energy strategy would underline the point.
What’s becoming clear is that the truth will out - why not get in with their explanation first?’
He’s right that Labour have made an enormous tactical blunder by not coming clean over this piece of realpolitik. And they show no sign of doing so: this morning, Jack Straw denied the allegations and said it was purely a matter for the Scottish government. The government’s credibility is getting shot to pieces, especially as the figures involved keep contradicting each other. But I reject the contention that handing over the Lockerbie bomber, without a retrial, to secure our energy future was in any way just. And, what’s to say that Gadaffi, a man who issues threats to break off diplomatic relations and who seized innocent Swiss nationals after his son was arrested in Geneva, wouldn’t turn off the tap?