Monday, 15 September 2014

The Scottish independence referendum, Lockerbie and Megrahi

[What follows is a brief extract from a long article about the Scottish independence referendum on the widely-followed US news and comment website News Junkie Post by John Goss, one of the site’s editors:]

Should the Yes campaign succeed, Alex Salmond, the Leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) and Member of the Scottish Parliament, will almost certainly head the new government. Mr Salmond appears to be quite an establishment figure. Like David Cameron and all prime ministers since the Lockerbie bombing, Salmond has opposed a public inquiry into a tragedy for which Abdelbaset al Megrahi was blamed and imprisoned when it is widely believed today that Megrahi was in no way involved. Though Salmond will get his assured place in history with a Yes vote, he will not be head of parliament indefinitely, and one day the Scottish people might choose to elect another Kier Hardie to bring real justice to the impoverished.

[A report in today’s edition of The Herald on the referendum voting intentions of people in the traditionally Labour stronghold of Kilmarnock contains the following:]

Marie Clowes, 56, is a good example of the kind of Labour voter who is voting "Yes". (...)

She said: "What changed my mind was Mrs Thatcher died and it awakened feelings of anger about the Tories and I thought to myself: 'While Nelson Mandela was being decried down there as a terrorist by the Iron Lady, he was getting the freedom of Glasgow'.

"And then the next thing I thought was that when the whole world was against us, Kenny MacAskill freed Abdelbasset al-Megrahi to international condemnation. It was these two things that made me stop and say: 'Wait a minute, we can be different'. I think there is a different culture in Scotland. We cannot save the English working class - they have got to save themselves."

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