Friday, August 6, 2010

'There are no Kellys in Scotland...'

It has to be said I'm having extreme difficulty breaking the habit of leaving comments on every ignorant American article I come across relating to the Megrahi affair. The latest one is from the Wall Street Journal - it basically just rehashes some very old information about the specialists having been unwilling to commit to a firm three month prognosis, and packages this as a stunning new revelation. Of course, the absurdity of the article is that those specialists made clear that, whatever the uncertainties, they fully expected Megrahi to live "months, not years" - words which speak for themselves.

Instead of reprinting one of my own comments on the article, however, I thought this time I'd reprint a comment from someone who replied to me. It really is a classic of its kind...

"James, I suppose you are now going to tell me you are a retired musician with an interest in politics! You sound remarkably like the person I had an exchange with on The Time Mag website during PM David Cameron's visit to Washington a few weeks ago. Then, I believe your name was Robert.

Firstly, I have never heard of a Scot with the name Kelly. Unheard of. Secondly, you have unsurprisingly twisted the meaning of my statement "That is beside the point though". I only said that, now regrettably, to indicate that there are many Scots in The Labour Party. And I am sure many of them would secretly be in favor of Scottish independence.

You say the SNP does not have any foreign relations. The party does not of course, but a Scottish government minister supposedly released Megrahi of his own accord. He, Kenny MacAskill, is not free to roam the world as a free agent of the Scottish government! His relations with the US and Libya for that matter, are controlled by the Foreign Office in London. So, your argument does not wash. That would be like the governor of one of the US States having independent relations with a foreign government, not like George Bush taking orders from the Iranian President! Your analogy is ludicrous and illogical.

Why don't you now tell us who you really are since this is one of few sites that request people use their full real names. If you are from the UK Foreign Office, I have some suggestions for you."

As John Smith once memorably said, "you don't even have to set traps for them"...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The American imagination hoaxes itself

(NOTE : This is a comment I posted a few minutes ago on a Huffington Post article, and there was an option to post it directly to Blogger. Given that what appears offers very little clue to the fact that it's a comment from elsewhere, I'm not sure I'll be trying this again!)

After all this time, I genuinely cannot believe I am reading yet another article based on so much ignorance. How many times do the Scottish government have to set the record straight before the message finally gets home? Let's take it in turn...

"Dr. Sikora quickly backtracked from his latest calculations, but that was only after it became known he was picked by Libyan officials..."

Incorrect. It's been known since last year that Sikora was paid by the Libyans, a fact which isn't terribly important given that his diagnosis played no part whatsoever in the decision to release Megrahi. And, as it happens, he didn't actually backtrack on his comments about the possibility of Megrahi surviving ten years - he simply clarified them for the benefit of a media that seemed determined to misconstrue his meaning.

"a Scottish doctor might have a different diagnosis than one from Libya..."

Just as well, then, that the only diagnoses that were taken into account were from Scottish doctors.

"But what would the families of the Lockerbie dead say about what happened?"

For starters, they would disagree sharply with each other. The majority of British families supported Megrahi's release on compassionate grounds, and many of them have severe doubts about Megrahi's guilt - understandable given the SCCRC report that referred Megrahi's case back to the Court of Appeal. That appeal would have started last autumn had it not been for Megrahi's illness, and might well have cleared him by now.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost