View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Boycott Scotland

That was the tenure of about a dozen letters, published in my regional paper, the Press & Journal, today. They had all come from North America, although only a few had bothered to include their postal address. A sense of shock, shame and disgust permeated from the relevant page in the newspaper, and my reaction was one of disbelief. It is pretty obvious that these letter writers had got hold of the P&J's letters email address from the Boycott Scotland website (which lists each and every Scottish newspaper of some repute). One of them made me howl with laughter, as it warned us that we could be expected to wear traditional apparel (e.g. burkhas) in the next few years if we continued to give in to Islamic imperialism.

I have made it clear over the past 5 days that I support the decision by the Scottish Justice Secretary to release Al-Megrahi on humanitarian grounds. Mr Macaskill made it crystal clear yesterday that he had done so purely on legal and humanitarian grounds, without consideration for political or economic consequences. I do not like the Nationalist administration that currently rules Scotland, but am prepared to give them full credit for this, their most difficult decision to date. I am profoundly shocked at the stubborn silence from UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who has so far found it more important to congratulate the English Cricket Team on winning the Ashes off Australia, rather than focus on an issue with implications on Foreign Affairs. Oh, Foreign Affairs are not a devolved matter, the Scottish Government cannot deal with that.

I am also disappointed with the ignorant section of American society, who act like seagull hatchlings, mindlessly swallowing what their peers vomit into their gullet. There are precisely 259 families in the US and beyond who have a genuine grievance in seeing man walk free, who stands convicted of the murder of their loved one. He was shown mercy that he denied his victims, and I fully understand that this does not wash with the families of those killed over Lockerbie. The world has changed beyond recognition since flight 103 was blown up, and it has also changed massively since 9/11. I wish people would take cognisance of that.

Tuesday 25 August

Heavy showers passing through at all too regular intervals - summer is firmly a thing of the past up here. More rain tomorrow, as the remnant of Hurricane Bill scoots northeast across Scotland.

As I mentioned last night, it would appear that Michael Jackson died of an overdose of sedatives. Although charges of homicide are likely, it would appear that MJ insisted on having more sedatives when the previous lot wasn't working. A very sad tale.

Prime Minister Gordon is finally going to say something about the release of Lockerbie bomber Megrahi 5 days ago. Well done, Gordon, a fine example of being Heathcliffe of Dithering Heights (quote Gerald Scarfe). Everybody can continue blustering, but the deed is now done, the man is free and that's that. In the end, the voters will decide. There is this vague hope that some goodwill will have been created in the Middle East, bearing in mind that Libyan officials are at pains not to comment on the case. They will probably see the hullabaloo in Europe and America, and don't want to jeopardise the improved relations with those parts of the world. Also, the welcome that Megrahi received could be seen as a tribal homecoming party for one of its members - Libya is apparently a society based on tribal loyalties.