by Stephen Tall on September 7, 2009
2 Big Stories
Government’s Libya policy: confusion reigns
The mounting government confusion over its policy towards Libya continues today.
First we had the Prime Minister’s refusal to make a comment on the release of convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi; then it emerged that Gordon Brown had let it be known he agreed with the Scottish executive’s decision; over the weekend Justice Secretary Jack Straw acknowledged the obvious – that government policy was strongly influenced by trade and oil.
And now it emerges that Mr Brown is stepping up British attempts to win compensation for the victims of the bombing:
The son of Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi has said his country will resist demands from the families of IRA victims for compensation. Saif al-Islam Gaddafi said any claims for compensation based on Libya’s supply of explosives to the IRA would be a matter for “the courts”. …
On Sunday [Lockerbie] relatives also welcomed Gordon Brown’s announcement on the government’s support for compensation. Mr Gaddafi’s comments came hours after Mr Brown announced that he was setting up a dedicated Foreign Office team to assist the IRA families’ victims.
The move was seen by opposition MPs as an U-turn, which had left Britain looking “weak”. These claims are denied by Downing Street.
BNP to be given seat on BBC Question Time panel
The British National party has welcomed the BBC’s decision to allow its leader, Nick Griffin, to appear on Question Time following the far-right party’s success in the European elections. Although the BBC has yet to issue a formal invitation, the corporation is preparing to ask Griffin to join the panel show and is already consulting other parties about appearing with him.
Quite right, too, say I: the BNP represents a significant minority view in this country, and pretending it doesn’t exist is pointless.
2 Must-Read Blog-Posts
Lockerbie: shades of Alexander Litvinenko (Lynne Featherstone)
It is quite clear, after all the leaks and all the published papers of correspondence and the contradictory statements (contradicting themselves usually)that Straw and Brown have made, how justice gets treated as an expendable add-on. The size of the tragedy at Lockerbie highlights throws into sharp relief that expendable face of justice.
Debating the BNP (Peter Black on Freedom Central)
The fact that BNP leader Nick Griffin has been invited onto Question Time is going to cause everybody to revise their view as to how to best deal with his party. … That means that we are now going to have to debate issues which we have glossed over before, and confront and reason with the more illiberal elements in our society in a way we hitherto avoided.