David Blackburn

The SNP was responsible, all the way

The SNP was responsible, all the way
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A little odd, and certainly inconvenient, that al-Megrahi still lives and breathes. Then again, Scotland's a notoriously unhealthy place and a bit of desert air probably did him some good.

Ensconced in Washington, David Cameron will have taken some flak for the Lockerbie bomber’s compassionate release, for which he has the perfect riposte: terrible business, but nothing to do with me.

His second line of defence is constitutionally watertight: the decision was Holyrood’s alone. The Lockerbie Papers suggest that al-Megrahi’s inclusion in a Prisoner Transfer Agreement was a precondition of any deal between the UK and Libyan governments, as Saif al-Islam Gadaffi maintains. That PTA overrode Scottish jurisdiction; the SNP could have forced the Labour government into a corner. Yet Salmond and McAskill bid for a moment of pious glory on and proclaimed that the free Megrahi would answer to a higher authority shortly. Well, Allah’s been none too complaint.