Friday, 14 August 2009

Lockerbie, pets and shotguns

The British hang ‘em high brigade are out in force again over the pending release of Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, the so-called Lockerbie Bomber. They are calling for him to rot in jail on the basis of ignorance. You can read some of the ill-informed comments here.

If any of these ranting individuals took the time to review what’s been happening since he was incarcerated then they would realise that the evidence against him is now highly suspect and it’s widely believed that he was the subject of a horrendous miscarriage of justice perpetrated by the US authorities. At the very least it’s posited he was offered up as a sacrificial lamb by Gadaffi to stop the sanctions against Libya.

The problem is that people rarely bother to investigate, think and then form a considered judgement – they react with visceral gut emotion under the erroneous assumption that the British judicial system is faultless. That has been disproved many times in the past.

In 2007 the following came to light:

  1. Megrahi’s lawyers claim that vital documents, which emanate from the CIA and relate to the Mebo timer that allegedly detonated the Lockerbie bomb, were withheld from the trial defence team.
  2. Tony Gauci, chief prosecution witness at the trial, is alleged to have been paid $2 million for testifying against Megrahi.
  3. Mebo's owner, Edwin Bollier, has claimed that in 1991 the FBI offered him $4 million to testify that the timer fragment found near the scene of the crash was part of a Mebo MST-13 timer supplied to Libya.
  4. Former employee of Mebo, Ulrich Lumpert, swore an affidavit in July 2007 that he had stolen a prototype MST-13 timer in 1989, and had handed it over to "a person officially investigating the Lockerbie case".

Megrahi’s 3rd appeal is due, and it could lead to a lot of uncomfortable new evidence coming to light – uncomfortable for the US authorities. However, if he’s repatriated he has to forego the appeal (or choose to stay in the UK) – and thus compensation if cleared. Neat trick, eh?

To say I detest the mob is an understatement. It has no brain and reacts without thinking. God help us if we ever have total democracy where every issue is voted on by everyone.

The computer-generated picture below was created after a survey of 2,000 British pet lovers and revealed the nation's perfect animal. It should be 49% dog, 35% cat, 9% horse and 7% rabbit.

Cute, isn’t it?

Yesterday I was listening on the steam wireless to a chap who is launching a shooting-fishing-hunting TV channel. I was horrified to learn that in the UK you can legitimately hold a shotgun licence from the age of 2 (to own an airgun you have to be 18). It would be younger, but someone has to vouch that they’ve known you for 2 years. The TV chap defended children having shotguns by using one of the most facile arguments I’ve heard in years – that it teaches children to be responsible. In that case we should be allowing toddlers to drive, wield chainsaws and vote. As any parent knows, responsibility cannot be taught to children until they are aware that they are not the centre of the universe – which occurs at about 18, or 50 for males.

Right – I’m off on holiday and I’ll leave you with an interesting link about the spread of memes. However, don’t think I won’t post while I’m off work – you know how I can’t resist it, especially when I hear some nonsense.

PS - as I have just been reminded, if you're on Facebook then there's a poll here about the Lockerbie Bomber.


  1. For those on FaceBook there is a poll entitled "Should the Lockerbie Bomber be repatriated" at

    Richard x x x

  2. Wonder what sound the perfect animal would make when it wanted to come inside? (a prowl, mark or beow...I suppose it could just chinny.)

    Enough silliness. Have a good holiday, and don't play with any two year olds holding a shotgun.

  3. Have a great holiday, Sweetie. Get yourself to Warsaw, I'm telling you.

    Don't talk to me about bloody pets! We're on the verge of renting and no bugger wants my cat in their property. Am driving miles and miles on bloody monday to a cattery! Believe me, there is no such thing as the perfect pet!

    Don't really understand things like links. But will investigate

    Whew! Better stop for a fag xxxx

  4. Richard: I have updated the post with the link.

    Truestarr: It would probably just rip your door down.

    Jenny: A links is where you play golf. Warsaw?

  5. I have been waiting for my 19 year old to learn responsibility for years but he still drops his clothes all over the house. The perfect pet would be one which picked them up again (whatever it looked like). But the dog won't and if I even dared to call my wife "the perfect pet" she would probably dissect me). Perhaps I should chase him with a shotgun. Have a decent break and a good festival.

  6. Have a good holiday. Missing you already!

  7. Alan: Hay keept trying to instill responsibility into me, but to no avail.

    Louise: I'll doubtless keep popping back. You can't keet a good cat down - or is that horse, or dog, or rabbit?

  8. Chairman, you need to run your own news channel - seriously! Get a bit of common sense back in to the country... (although you may need to hire body guards).
    Two year olds and shotguns? I can see the headlines now: 'Man blames 2 yr old son for dead wife: "I never even knew he applied for the licence. I thought his toy box looked rather full", he said'
    Have a great holiday. What will I do for news whilst you are away?

  9. Kabbalah: What I'm looking for next is the following headline: "2 year-old breathalysed while driving father's car to field sports event."

  10. The US? Involved in a miscarriage of justice?? Why I never!!

  11. I think my favourite saying of the moment is appropriate, "we’re not as stupid as we all are!"

  12. Braja: Looks like the Scots were in on it too.

    Steve: Very aposite.

  13. Cute pet. I wonder where I can get one. I think I might call it Mr Nibbles.
    I am with you on the mob mentality. I can never undertstand why criminals in high profile cases spend longer in prison than those who have commited the same crime but are not famous for it! Ithink the answer is the mob demands it but surely the law is the same for all.
    shot guns for two year olds, now there is thought. It may drastically reduce the number of two year olds, which is quite a temptation.

  14. Stole your superpet, no remorse at all, but I did plug your place and link it.

    Re: the rest, the outcome of the3rd appeal could indeed be interesting (read: embarrassing).