Saturday, 18 August 2012

The great Linklater-Raeburn Lockerbie debate

Today's BBC Radio Scotland Good Morning Scotland programme featuring the "crazy conspiracy" debate between The Times's Magnus Linklater and The Firm's Steven Raeburn is now available on the BBC iPlayer. The segment starts 1 hour,   22 minutes, 50 seconds into the podcast. 


  1. Linklater is a glib little establishment apparatchik but at least he is in command of the case he wants to argue. The performance by Ste-er-em-er-en Rae-er-em-er-burn is -er- de-er-em-plorable. I hope I never wake up find that he is my defence counsel. And yet he seems to be one of the good guys, given the list of nasties who disapprove of him.

  2. PS: Is it just my paranoia, or was the Linklater voice centre foreground with Raeburn somewhere off-stage?

  3. The programme was another ‘breakthrough’ development with an excellent outcome.

    I thought Steven Raeburn spoke clearly and raised important points, with Magnus Linklater agreeing on the need for an enquiry.

    What’s not to like?

  4. What on earth is Mr Linklaters going on about? Has he really examined the evidence that demonstrated the suitcase was introduced at Malta?

    Let me remind him of what the judges at Camp Zeist said on this matter. "If therefore the unaccompanied bag was launched
    from Luqa, the method by which that was done is not established, and the Crown accepted that they could not point to any specific route by which the primary suitcase
    could have been loaded."

    And at the first appeal Lord Osborne stated, "But is it not a different matter to say, on the basis of these features of the situation, that the bomb passed through Luqa Airport, standing that there is considerable and quite convincing evidence that that could not have happened.”

    But no, because the clothes were of Maltese origin, the bomb must have been inserted at Malta!

    The Samsonite suitcase was made in the US. The Toshiba Radio was made in Japan. So what.

    Oh, of course, indulging in some of the spectacular circular reasoning applied by the Zeist judges, Mr Linklater thinks the bomb was introduced at Malta since it was Mr Megrahi bought the clothes on Malta, right?

    Does Mr Linklater realise that Mr Gauci describes the purchaser as anyone, someone, but certainly not Megrahi.

  5. I haven't listened to it and I may not have time to do so. If Magnus Linklater wanted to talk about crazy conspiracy theories and Lockerbie, I think the was talking to the right person.

  6. He may be one, but for Magnus Linklater to appear on the programme and call for an enquiry is not the action of an establishment apparatchik.

    He sounded to me like someone who had come on the programme to air his doubts and make amends for past failures to restore some integrity!

    For example, he said on the programme that he had never heard of or presumably considered the no-bomb explanation.

    Except, he had said the same to me many years ago when I had contacted him about the matter!

    They are hardly the words you would expect from a prominent News Editor or investigative reporter!

    That’s why I think his comments about the significance of whether the ‘bomb’ was really put on at Malta, sounded like someone convincing themselves that something wasn’t right, that justified him calling for an enquiry?

    And calls for an enquiry from within the establishment is a breakthrough development!

  7. It's just a shame that the evidence that there actually was an IED bomb is so compelling that you have to be a crazy conspiraloon to think otherwise.

  8. Although we may refer to the establishment as one entity, in truth it is full of rivalries and conflict of interests.

    And the secret is to identify and persuade these distinct interests to break ranks and support a particular cause.

    That’s why Magnus Linklater appearance on the programme is very significant, because his wife is a Lib Dem peer and liberals traditionally support democratic government and diplomacy in foreign affairs.

    This means the truth about Lockerbie chimes with their creed of honest government and an ethical foreign policy – and the need to salvage their reputation in Scotland!

    Magnus Linklater should be invited to put his words into a Times editorial. If he does I think the Scottish Lib Dems will take up the cause.

  9. Dear Rolfe, the actual cause of the crash can be determined at a public enquiry.

    The only reason I can think of for you wanting to dismiss the no-bomb explanation and pre-judge the enquiry is because you want to be considered a respectable campaigner?

    But putting your trust in the bomb conspiracy theory to impress those responsible for the cover-up is a mistake.

    Magnus linklater's intervention removes this problem, because he heard the no-bomb explanation and concluded an enquiry was needed.

    He didn't say, go away your all mad, and now you don't need to either.

  10. As I said, it's just a pity your "no bomb" theory falls at the first hurdle, that of there being a shedload of evidence of an explosive device having detonated on that plane, in baggage container AVE4041.

    I don't care who thinks I'm respectable and who doesn't. I care about the evidence, and I'm not prepared to ignore it just to appear controversial.

  11. Dear Rolfe I do apologise, I meant to say you want the JfM campaign taken seriously and not discredited with crackpot theories, which is perfectly understandable.

    And when the focus was highlighting the miscarriage of justice and supporting Megrahi’s appeal it was the correct approach.

    However following Megrahi’s death the campaign will only progress by showing there is political advantage in seeking the truth about Lockerbie.

    The SNP saw advantage until they formed a government and then refused to confront the issue - but progress has been made.

    Now following Magnus Linklater’s intervention the Lib Dems can seek advantage from the issue by supporting an enquiry to help salvage their reputation in Scotland.

    Calling for an enquiry is a natural act for a party that wants to attack the status quo to restore democracy, honest government and an ethical foreign policy – and an imperative if you doubt there was a bomb.

    However no progress will be made by saying it was a bomb, but someone else did it, because this supports the status quo and because the State’s other scapegoats are already being bombed.

  12. I fail to see how any progress at all can be made by introducing ideas which are entirely at odds with the evidence, just for the same of challenging the status quo. In fact, I can think of little more likely to torpedo the entire endeavour below the waterline than advancing crackpot theories which are easily falsifiable. What a gift to the authorities!

    And if it should happen that the people who really did it are now on the persona non grata list? There's no help for it. The evidence is what it is and the truth is what it is. Look where trying to pin the blame on a politically expedient scapegoat got us so far! Repeating the exact same mistake does not sound clever.