What a Human Life is Worth: An Answer

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.

6 comments to What a Human Life is Worth: An Answer

  • kbiel

    Gordon Brown:
    We mustn’t offend our good friends, the Americans, especially since we now have someone reasonable to work with, not that horrible cowboy, Bush.

    Jack Straw:
    May I remind you sir that Obama stood you up for the Boy Scouts and gave your boys two $10 plastic helicopters, made in China and you twenty five shiny, new coasters?

    So, you say the doctor might misread the lab report to say prostate cancer?

  • Technically speaking, this wasn’t the British National Government who did this, as I understand things. For some stupid-assed reason or another, the case was being tried under Scotish Jurisdiction, and it was their decision to let the bastard go. A *LOT* of members of the national government are pissed as hell about this.

    This would be comparable to California trying a terrorism case, and then letting the terrorist go, over the objection of the federal government.

    Of course, in the US such a thing *couldn’t* happen, but we’ve got a much more firmly defined set of legal jurisdiction than the brits do. So, to be fair, Gordon Brown (Nitwit) *didn’t* let the guy go, and couldn’t have really legally done much about it, had he opposed it. (I don’t know that he didn’t actually *want* to let the guy go, I don’t know that he wanted to keep him, but either way it was largely out of his hands, as I understand things.)

    It’s important to be specific in these things, particularly if we’re going to make fun of the left for their imprecision.

    • kbiel


      Did you read the article? Whether Gordon Brown or Jack Straw had any authority in the release is immaterial. They were for the release according to the Times and communicated their wishes to Kenny MacAskill, who they are now throwing under the bus. If we take your California analogy, it would be the equivalent of the USAG, at the behest of the President, calling up the California AG and pressuring him for the release of a prisoner. And then once the prisoner was released, claiming they had no authority and were disappointed in the decision.

  • Mike

    As I understand it, Scotland is only incompletely independent. They have the final say over domestic matters, but foreign affairs are solely the responsibility of the British government.

    I don’t see how the release of the Libyan murderer of hundreds of international travelers wouldn’t need to be approved by the Foreign Office.

  • Wait. Reverse that. Keep “my ass.” (Note to self: Must not post comments with kids in the room…….)

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