It suddenly occurred to me that it was overwhelmingly likely that self-styled "liberal unionist" (ie. zealous Brit Nat and Tory cheerleader) Northern Ireland blogger Chekov would have been bound to weigh in on the Megrahi affair at some point over the last few days. I wasn't disappointed - and needless to say, there was plenty of predictable guff about a blundering 'regional executive' creating problems that our hard-pressed 'national' leader Mr Cameron has to mop up for us. Just for once, I tried to leave a comment there, but I wasn't sure it went through, and as Chekov has a "perhaps, perhaps, perhaps" moderation policy in any case, I thought it might be an idea to post it here as well...
As ever, Chekov - utterly desperate. A few points -
"he didn’t expect that his ruling would cause the SNP to crash in the polls"
Just as well there's no reason to think he was wrong, then, isn't it? To the best of my knowledge there hasn't actually been a Holyrood poll for ages, but even on the assumption that the SNP vote is not as high as it was, have you got the slightest scrap of evidence that there's a causal link between that and the Megrahi release? Thought not. It's not a particularly plausible proposition anyway, given how split Scottish public opinion was on the subject. From the way you talk you'd think there was unanimous opposition.
And I fear you might be in for a nasty shock about the effect of the current controversy - so far I can detect nothing but quiet satisfaction at the way Alex Salmond is very respectfully rebuffing the US Senate's arrogance.
"A nationalist Scottish Executive, flexing its muscles and styling itself a ’government’"
'Styling itself'? Do you want to have a little think about what the word "executive" actually means in this context?
"medical experts suggest that Megrahi could live for another decade"
I'll ask the same question I've asked of a good few others - why leave out the crucial words? I believe what you were trying to say is "have suggested there is a less than 1% chance that Megrahi could live for another decade". Giving people the full picture isn't so much use for propaganda purposes, right enough.
"In truth, the Scottish Executive chose the wrong issue to attempt to parade its autonomy in front of an international audience."
As you seem utterly convinced that the UK government was in some mysterious, unspecified way involved in MacAskill's decision, a far better way to "parade independence" and court popularity would have been to say "we're having none of this, the evil mass-murderer stays right where he is". But they didn't take that easy, cheap, opportunistic, populist route. They actually had the courage to take the right decision for the right reasons under impossibly difficult circumstances.
I've never been more proud to be an SNP supporter than I was that day.