If you’re the British government, about 51 million pounds sterling:
The price of justice [Mark Steyn]
Well, now we know what Her Majesty’s Government considers the lives of 279 terrorism victims to be worth:
The British government decided it was “in the overwhelming interests of the United Kingdom” to make Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber, eligible for return to Libya, leaked ministerial letters reveal.
Gordon Brown’s government made the decision after discussions between Libya and BP over a multi-million-pound oil exploration deal had hit difficulties. These were resolved soon afterwards.
The letters were sent two years ago by Jack Straw, the justice secretary, to Kenny MacAskill, his counterpart in Scotland, who has been widely criticised for taking the formal decision to permit Megrahi’s release.
The correspondence makes it plain that the key decision to include Megrahi in a deal with Libya to allow prisoners to return home was, in fact, taken in London for British national interests.
Inevitably, the Labour Party’s spinmeisters spent the days since the mass murderer’s release promoting the idea that the government in London is furious with what’s happened but that it was entirely the responsibility of the Scottish Justice Minister and his colleagues. And as usual the oleaginous creep Peter Mandelson, insisting that Westminster had no influence on a Scottish Nationalist (ie, secessionist) government, couldn’t help protesting too much:
Lord Mandelson, the business secretary, said last weekend: “The idea that the British government and the Libyan government would sit down and somehow barter over the freedom or the life of this Libyan prisoner and make it form part of some business deal … it’s not only wrong, it’s completely implausible and actually quite offensive.”
I’m sure. Fortunately, Lord Mandelson’s well-connected friends will do his best to help him get over that.