Kenny Macaskill: Failed Human Being

I do not know enough about the events surrounding the death at Wick Harbour of 24 year old Kevin McLeod on 8 February 1997 to discuss them with certainty.  I do know, however, that the family did not accept the initial conclusion that it was death by misadventure, and have extracted an apology from Northern Constabulary for their handling of the investigation; and continue to suspect he was killed following a fight with a named prisoner on weekend leave from Porterfield Prison at Inverness.

The Caithness Courier this week reported that Kenny Macaskill, the Scottish Justice Secretary had declined a personal meeting with the McLeod family because he did not consider it appropriate that he discuss “operational Police matters”.  Whilst I am deeply sorry for the McLeod family, I concur with this decision.  All Scottish Executive Ministers are there to conduct the business of the State, with their first duty being to the principles of whichever department they are attached to and not invidual cases.

Which is a point Macaskill should have considered when he paid a personal visit to the only man convicted of involvement in the bombing of PanAm Flight 103 over Lockerbie in December 1988, Abdelbasset Ali al-Megrahi who was petitioning for (19 year) early released on “compassionate grounds” due to his having prostate cancer. 

Al-Megrahi has now, of course, been released.  In justifying this, Macaskill said:


In Scotland, we are a people who pride ourselves on our humanity. It is viewed as a defining characteristic of Scotland and the Scottish people. The perpetration of an atrocity and outrage cannot and should not be a basis for losing sight of who we are, the values we seek to uphold, and the faith and beliefs by which we seek to live.

Mr Al-Megrahi did not show his victims any comfort or compassion. They were not allowed to return to the bosom of their families to see out their lives, let alone their dying days. No compassion was shown by him to them.

But, that alone is not a reason for us to deny compassion to him and his family in his final days.


You vain, self-satisfied intellectual pygmy.  Al-Megrahi received compassion when he was not executed.  He received compassion when he was not thrown into a rat-infested, disease-riven cell as happens to prisoners on much weaker cases in Libya.  He received compassion when he received medical care following his diagnosis of cancer.  He received compassion when his family were permitted to visit him.

He merited no more.  Refusing his release, but continuing to treat him with “compassion” in custody, would have disappointed one or two families at most.  Releasing him has insulted hundreds of families.  Basic moral philosophy dictates that he should have remained.

Not knowing the basic rule of stopping to dig when one hits the water-table, Macaskill responded to queries about why he thought the consensus in the USA was against release with the off-the-cuff remark that “we” and “they” had different values.  Beyond obscene.  “They” were against release because “they” had lost hundreds of friends and relatives.  But they were not humans, were they, Kenny?  They were just Americans.

There was no humanity shown here: just a catastrophic failure of your pretendy-Government’s first encounter with the responsibility which comes from the influence it craves.   Previously, when asked why al-Megrahi could not be released to a Scottish Cancer Hospice under armed-guard – with the implication that when one is convicted of blowing a fully packed aeroplane out of the sky, one looses the right to die in a location of one’s choosing – you had responded that it would be “a security nightmare”.  Bummer, is it not?  The responsibility of hard political decisions.  To wish influence without responsibility is the stance a courtesan takes, and courtesans are despised in the historical narrative and literary record for this reason.

The SNP Administration has been very good at conducting itself as a state-funded protest-groups, but little else: such as their self-proclaimed Homecoming, during which Macaskill considered a Burns Supper in Canada to be more important than a knife-crime debate in dreich Glasgow.  Remember, Macaskill is the *Justice* Secretary: not Culture and Shortbread. 

Just as Macaskill now has very little grounds to refuse a personal meeting with the McLeod family after his headless-chicken act over al-Megrahi, I cannot see how he – or Scots Law – can now possibly justify declining the early release of any terminally ill prisoner.  Thankfully, Josef Scheungraber was not convicted in Scotland.

A few years back, a previously respected buisnessman it the Highlands received a diagnosis of rapid-onset terminal cancer and went on a spree, molesting local kids in street. Perhaps Macaskill would have argued for a non-custodial sentance.


I have consistently been repulsed at their appropriation of the Saltire as their personal property, and rhetorically-linking “Scottishness” to opposition to the Union, but new pits have been reached at the sight its being brandished at the state welcome this strange kind of hero was not to have received in Libya, complete with a private jet courtesy of Colonel Gaddafi.

Face it Kenny, you have screwed-up.  Resign, and if you do not take your wretched Administration with you, tell it to never, ever, ever mention Gary McKinnon.


2 Responses to “Kenny Macaskill: Failed Human Being”

  1. What Price Compassion? Scotland shows Libya. « Mark Riley Media Says:

    […] so, people from all sides in the controversy speak out. President Obama says he opposed the release, as did his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. […]

  2. Margaret Says:

    I couldn’t agree more about the al-Megrahi affair. It is utterly appalling.

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