I'm not convinced.
I was born near Lockerbie and vote for the Scottish National Party whose justice minister released Megrahi. I think Mr MacAskill made the wrong decision, but I don't believe that he was motivated by considerations of oil.
The SNP hates the Labour party and vice versa. I can think of no reason why the SNP would do something to favour the UK Labour government. On the contrary, the SNP uses every opportunity it can to embarrass Labour and usually succeeds.
As for oil, Scotland contains around 95% of the UK North Sea oil reserves but has only 8.5% of its population. For 40 years or so the SNP has argued that an independent Scotland with its oil resources would be as rich as Norway. Again, why would the SNP agree to an oil deal that would benefit its main enemy, the Labour party?
I think that what you see is what you get. I've been to several political gatherings in the last two weeks during the Edinburgh Festival. Only yesterday I heard the SNP education minister assure her audience that MacAskill's decision was based solely on Megrahi's health condition. I've heard the same from other SNP politicians. Once again, I think MacAskill made the wrong decision, as do most folk in Scotland.
The SNP is a coalition of of people who favour Scottish independence. Some are on the left and some are on the right. I'd place MacAskill on the left, and a different justice minister from his party might well have come to the opposite conclusion about a Megrahi release.
As for those who think that MacAskill's release of Megrahi was some sort of anti-American move, consider this: the country that lost the highest proportion of its population on that terrible night was Scotland.
Sunday, 30 August 2009
This is my reply on an American site to the claims in today's Sunday Times about a Libyan oil deal: