More on Megrahi

Well, folks, as you’d expect, the decision to release Megrahi on compassionate grounds continues to rumble on.

Richard Thomson and Huttonian take a look at the decision. Lallands Peat Worrier takes a MacAskill-esque quasi-legal view of matters, while Jonathan Mitchell QC analyses the decision and concludes that MacAskill’s decision was the right one.

Meanwhile, Tom Harris points out a flaw in the idea that the release was part of a trade deal – namely that an SNP Minister wouldn’t be overly enthused at making a decision that would make life easier for the UK Labour Government.

Speaking of the UK Labour Government, eyebrows have been raised by Gordon Brown’s silence on the matter: The Big Dollop is far from impressed, while Herald journalist Torcuil Crichton considers the political damage Brown is opening himself up to by keeping quiet.

But UK Opposition responses are raising eyebrows as well: Scott is far from impressed by Tory PPC Louise Bagshawe’s view of events.

And Holyrood Opposition figures are coming under scrutiny as well: neither Clairwil nor BellgroveBelle are impressed, while in the wake of John Prescott voicing his approval of the decision, and Malcolm Chisholm speaking in favour of the Justice Secretary at Holyrood, Calum Cashley speculates on which opposition politicians support the decision to release Megrahi.

Meanwhile, reaction across the Atlantic has been put under the spotlight: Flying Rodent summarises the debate on the matter as it’s taking place in the US, while Malc is critical of the emotive approach being taken, and Shuggy suggests that matters are a little more complex than some of those wading into the debate believe.

Nevertheless, what is clear is that opinion polls show a majority of Scots opposing the decision. Bill takes a look at matters, while Ideas of Civilisation looks at just who are the Scottish people being bandied about by politicians. Scottish Unionist, meanwhile, compares the poll figures with some of the statements made by SNP figures on the matter.

In other news, the passing of Ted Kennedy, Democratic Senator for Massachusetts and the last surviving brother of JFK drew comment. Caron pays tribute to a real Liberal, but The Big Dollop is less inclined towards a eulogy.

To less morbid matters now, and the proposals for a High-Speed Rail Link (to be completed in 21 years’ time – am I the only one who spots the irony there?) between Scotland and London are hailed by Andrew Burns, while Jeff argues that the Link is a far more pressing project than the third Forth Crossing. However, Subrosa and Dave don’t see the plans making it off the drawing board.

Neil Craig has three posts on the economy: the first uses Lily Allen to assess what ‘career’ strategy the UK should put in place, the second looks at X-Prizes can be successful, while the third looks at the habits of highly effective countries.

Adopted Domain might get Neil’s attention with his call for the Greens to rethink their policy on economic growth, while Bucket of Tongues looks at UK taxation levels when compared with other countries in differing economic states, with some surprising results.

And in the weekly constitutional spot, Mr. Eugenides takes a look at why fiscal autonomy for Holyrood would benefit the Scottish Tories – and, indeed, Scotland.

In advance of the UK LibDem Conference, Bernard Salmon takes a look at discussions within the party about the future of devolution (and notes that still no one really mentions England in that context).

Meanwhile, Tom Harris isn’t overly impressed at some aspects of the proposals for reforming the House of Lords.

Elsewhere, Andrew looks at the proposed cuts to Housing Benefit.

Over at Slugger O’Toole, there’s a video of David Mitchell talking about Gaelic language policy.

Kirk Elder is far from impressed at Tory Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling’s attempt to compare parts of the country with scenes from The Wire.

Lallands Peat Worrier presents a statistical picture of Scotland.

James presents some political anagrams for our delectation and delight (given the current furore over Lockerbie, there’s something strangely fitting in ‘Scottish National Party’ being re-arranged to form ‘Nasty Atlantic Riot Shop’).

Time for a look at the MSM: Yousuf reviews the state of Johnston Press, owners of The Scotsman, while Montague Burton notes that the Sunday Mail have dropped Elaine C. Smith from their line up of columnists.

Online matters, now. Caron has produced a handy directory of Scottish political twitterati.

And as well publicised on here, some of the Scottish Blogosphere’s A-List met up on Thursday night: Duncan and Stephen report, while Angry Steve provides the photos.

And there’s another blogmeet to tell you about: Bill informs us that the Nairn arm of the blogosphere will be meeting on Wednesday.

So that’s it for this week. If you want to send in a link for next week’s Roundup, you can use the twiddlymajig on the right, or send us an e-mail to You can also follow us on Twitter: @ScottishRoundup. Bye-de-bye!


  1. I find the “prognosis by media reports” of some doctors who should know better most unprofessional. Richard Simpson has tried to make political capital out of it and, today, in the Sunday Herald, Professor Roger Kirby, chairman of the charity Prostate UK and director of The Prostate Centre claimed that Kenny MacAskill could have “egg on his face”.

    Of course prognosis is an inexact science. It becomes even more inexact if you haven’t had access to the medical reports.