View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Lockerbie - the political fall-out

Today, the Scottish Parliament debated the decision to release the convicted Lockerbie bomber Al-Megrahi on August 20th. MSPs were critical of the way the Scottish Government had handled the situation. A vote was taken on the issue at 5 o'clock this evening, and the government were defeated by 73 votes to 50, with one abstention. There will be no vote of no-confidence in the Scottish Government.

The focus of attention is now moving south of the border to the UK government. Prime Minister Gordon Brown is firmly in the spotlight, with revelations that he is reported to have said that he didn't want Megrahi to die in jail.

Although I dislike the SNP administration in Edinburgh, I support their decision to free Megrahi, as I believe it was taken for the right reasons. I feel it is disingenuous of the UK government not to fully brief the Scottish Government of the whole state of affairs surrounding Libya - but then, there is no love lost between Labour and the SNP. As I disapprove of this issue being turned into a political football, I am not going to devote any more posts to it.

Wednesday 2 September

Bright start to the day, but cloud is gradually increasing. Rain is on its way in from the southwest, but not before the afternoon is out.

Hurricane Jimena (I keep misspelling its name) is heading into Baja California, but is weakening all the while. By landfall, later today, it'll be a category I or II system; fears were for a category IV strike. Tropical storm Erika is an incoherent storm off the Leeward Islands, which is set to head northwest. It won't come to very much, as atmospheric conditions are not very conducive towards strengthening.

A powerful earthquake has struck the Indonesian island of Java at 0821 GMT today (0921 BST or 0421 EST). Centred at position 8.0S 107.4E, the Indian Ocean basin was put on tsunami watch, which was cancelled within the last hour. Some damage was caused to buildings in the west of Java.