Thursday, 27 August 2009
Tuesday, 25 August 2009
Monday, 24 August 2009
Here is the full text of Mr Megrahi's statement, taken from the BBC News website:
I am obviously very relieved to be leaving my prison cell at last and returning to Libya, my homeland.
I would like to first of all take the opportunity to extend my gratitude to the many people of Scotland, and elsewhere, who have sent me their good wishes.
I bear no ill will to the people of Scotland; indeed, it is one of my regrets that I have been unable to experience any meaningful aspect of Scottish life, or to see your country.
To the staff in HM Prison Greenock, and before that at HM Prison Barlinnie, I wish to express thanks for the kindness that they were able to show me.
For those who assisted in my medical and nursing care; who tried to make my time here as comfortable as possible, I am of course grateful.
My legal team has worked tirelessly on my behalf; I wish to thank Advocates Margaret Scott QC, Jamie Gilchrist QC, Shelagh McCall and Martin Richardson together with the team at Taylor & Kelly, for all of their gallant efforts in my bid to clear my name.
I know they share, in no small measure, my disappointment about the abandonment of my appeal.
Many people, including the relatives of those who died in, and over, Lockerbie, are, I know, upset that my appeal has come to an end; that nothing more can be done about the circumstances surrounding the Lockerbie bombing.
I share their frustration. I had most to gain and nothing to lose about the whole truth coming out - until my diagnosis of cancer.
To those victims' relatives who can bear to hear me say this: they continue to have my sincere sympathy for the unimaginable loss that they have suffered.
To those who bear me ill will, I do not return that to you.
And, lastly, I must turn to my conviction and imprisonment.
To be incarcerated in a far off land, completely alien to my way of life and culture has been not only been a shock but also a most profound dislocation for me personally and for my whole family.
I have had many burdens to overcome during my incarceration.
I had to sit through a trial which I had been persuaded to attend on the basis that it would have been scrupulously fair.
In my second, most recent, appeal I disputed such a description.
I had to endure a verdict being issued at the conclusion of that trial which is now characterised by my lawyers, and the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission, as unreasonable.
To me, and to other right thinking people back at home in Libya, and in the international community, it is nothing short of a disgrace.
As a result of my surrender, and that judgment of the Court, I had to spend over 10 years in prison.
I cannot find words in my language or yours that give proper expression to the desolation I have felt. This horrible ordeal is not ended by my return to Libya.
It may never end for me until I die. Perhaps the only liberation for me will be death.
And I say in the clearest possible terms, which I hope every person in every land will hear: all of this I have had to endure for something that I did not do.
The remaining days of my life are being lived under the shadow of the wrongness of my conviction.
I have been faced with an appalling choice: to risk dying in prison in the hope that my name is cleared posthumously or to return home still carrying the weight of the guilty verdict, which will never now be lifted.
The choice which I made is a matter of sorrow, disappointment and anger, which I fear I will never overcome.
I say goodbye to Scotland and shall not return. My time here has been very unhappy and I do not leave a piece of myself. But to the country's people I offer my gratitude and best wishes.
As I have repeatedly suggested it is the contradictions over Health policy and much else which makes Cameron's Party losers.
Sunday, 23 August 2009
In view of the controversy over al-Megrahi's conviction, and release on compassionate grounds this comes as a welcome surprise:
'Speaking in a soft, sometimes laboured voice, the only US army officer convicted for the 1968 slayings of civilians at My Lai in Vietnam made an extraordinary public apology while speaking to a small group near the military base in Georgia where he went on trial.
' "There is not a day that goes by that I do not feel remorse for what happened that day in My Lai," he told members of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Columbus. "I feel remorse for the Vietnamese who were killed, for their families, for the American soldiers involved and their families. I am very sorry." '
The Independent reports today.
Wednesday, 19 August 2009
Monday, 17 August 2009
The Guardinid tells us:
Sunday, 16 August 2009
Britain has now lost 200 service people in Afghanistan. That is 200 tragedies too many.
Soviet personnel strengths and casualties
Between December 25, 1979 and February 15, 1989, a total of 620,000 soldiers served with the forces in Afghanistan (though there were only 80,000-104,000 serving at one time): 525,000 in the Army, 90,000 with border troops and other KGB sub-units, 5,000 in independent formations of MVD Internal Troops, and police forces. A further 21,000 personnel were with the Soviet troop contingent over the same period doing various white collar and blue collar jobs.
The total irrecoverable personnel losses of the Soviet Armed Forces, frontier, and internal security troops came to 14,453. Soviet Army formations, units, and HQ elements lost 13,833, KGB sub-units lost 572, MVD formations lost 28, and other ministries and departments lost 20 men. During this period 417 servicemen were missing in action or taken prisoner; 119 of these were later freed, of whom 97 returned to the USSR and 22 went to other countries.
There were 469,685 sick and wounded, of whom 53,753 or 11.44 percent, were wounded, injured, or sustained concussion and 415,932 (88.56 percent) fell sick. A high proportion of casualties were those who fell ill. This was because of local climatic and sanitary conditions, which were such that acute infections spread rapidly among the troops. There were 115,308 cases of infectious hepatitis, 31,080 of typhoid fever, and 140,665 of other diseases. Of the 11,654 who were discharged from the army after being wounded, maimed, or contracting serious diseases, 92 percent, or 10,751 men, were left disabled.
After the war ended, the Soviet Union published figures of dead Soviet soldiers: the total was 13,836 men, on average, and 1,537 men a year. According to updated figures, the Soviet army lost 14,427, the KGB lost 576, with 28 people dead and missing.
Saturday, 15 August 2009
Hannan is very popular amongst the neo-cons in the USA as was made clear by the Daily Telegraph blogs which ran after his success d'estime on You Tube a while back. More than half the comments in his favour were from americans howling because their candidate had been beaten by a black democrat.
Hannan is not so foolish as to take the costs of his visit from US Drugs Companies and the like, surely, when he has so many other possible sources of funding? And, despite not claiming all the Euro-gravy he could, is a well off and independent politician, who defied the authority of the group the Tories belonged to in the previous Euro-Parliament.
The real stories are that Cameron cannot cope with these disciplinary situations:
and Tories want to tinker with or destroy the NHS. Hannan is a destroyer, Cameron claims to be a tinker.
There are a fair few in both camps, and they would not work together in harness. A Tory Government would be an unmitigated disaster.
Friday, 14 August 2009
Poor, p poor Chameleon was defending the NHS impromptu on News 24 this morning . . . .
The poor fish was so overcome he said, among other attempts to suggest that we are all treated equally by the NHS:
"the NHS doesn’t ask whether we are male or female . . ."
Well perhaps they do, BUT they don't ask which school we went to, or whether we joined any restaurant smashing club like Oxford Uni's Bullingdon - eh?
What a hoot!
Wednesday, 12 August 2009
Saturday, 8 August 2009
The following is not always well received by those who troll against HM Government and the Labour Party:
The only serious caution for David Cameron comes with a question that forces voters to choose between Labour or the Conservatives: "44 per cent would still prefer a Labour government and 42 per cent a Conservative one. This is despite 72 per cent dissatisfaction with Labour."
wrote Tim Montgomerie on ConsHome in June 2009
Friday, 7 August 2009
It is quite true that the big battalions get the most appropriate ads . . . .
Thursday, 6 August 2009
The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee is extending its Qualitative Easing (QE) by another £50 bn.
The UK relies on trade with the world for a larger part of our economy, and the wider world will be slower to recover in most places, so we have a narrower path to tread. Part of our trade is the collapsed international finance sector.
We went into the recession with lower core inflation, which is generated in our economy by our wages and dividends rather than imported, than most countries and that continues, with wage cuts and freezes.
This remains key to our future prosperity. Tackling the National Debt is much less important, and likely to remain so.
. . and this got lost when he packed: (PS Mixed in with his Captain's titfer it seems, he found it eventually) http://iaindale.blogspot.com/2009/08/alan-sugar-tries-to-bully-quentin-letts.html#links
I know someone with a functioning Amstrad, and there seem to be Amstrad and other old computer societies still in operation - check online.
In the days when Apple in Regents St used to permit people to queue outside with their faulty Apples before opening there were usually quite a few old Macs, certainly a few 20 years or so old.
Some people look after things. Not so the media.
Letts is an habitual liar, he might better get away with it online, where the writ of the libel and slander etc laws runs less true:
No-one seems fussed whether or not statements are true, so long as they serve some propagandist's intentions.
In truth our society is still more threatened by the failure of the 24/7 News Community (LOL) - or perhaps disinterest - to distinguish between fact and opinion.
He may be a secret Amstrad fancier I suppose, unwilling to come out in public . . ???