Alex Salmond Compares Kenny Macaskill to Gandhi

Tom Harris admits to having “religiously avoided coverage of this year’s [SNP party] conference on account of my embarrassment threshold being too low”.  This is probably wise.

Still under the impression that compassion can be offered on behalf of others, Alex Salmond gone further when describing the decision by Justice Secretary, Kenny Macaskill to release Abdelbasset Ali al-Megrahi:

Mr Salmond told delegates in Inverness of a recent visit by Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, Arun.

The first minister told the conference: “One of the things he told me is that his grandfather’s philosophy is much misunderstood.

“His resistance was not passive, but active. His dedication to non-violence a strength, not a weakness.

“Sometimes, someone has to break the cycle of retribution with an act of compassion – that is what Kenny MacAskill did and we should be proud of him for doing it.”

Setting aside the issue of the “cycle of retribution” having already been broken when al-Megrahi was not only not executed but provided with comfortable prison accomodation we well as visitation rights from his family, one can almost see Salmond’s star-struck eyes in having a personal audience from *the* Arun Gandhi.

Gandhi the Younger had said of a belief that justice was first and foremost to be delivered to the victims of crimes:

The consequence of that is that you carry that burden all your life, with all the pride, anger and prejudice that comes with it, and you can end up destroying you own life in the process.

Having eschewed the life of religious aesthetics as followed by his grandfather in favour of lecture circuits and comfortable Western-style affluence, one would have thought Gandhi the Younger was not an unimpeachable authority on the dangers of pride.

He is, however, highly accomplished at offering forgiveness and sympathy on behalf of others. In January 2008 he had dismissed [the] Jews as being the biggest players in a world cycle of violence:

Jewish identity in the past has been locked into the holocaust experience — a German burden that the Jews have not been able to shed. It is a very good example of a community can overplay a historic experience to the point that it begins to repulse friends. The holocaust was the result of the warped mind of an individual who was able to influence his followers into doing something dreadful. But, it seems to me the Jews today not only want the Germans to feel guilty but the whole world must regret what happened to the Jews. The world did feel sorry for the episode but when an individual or a nation refuses to forgive and move on the regret turns into anger.

Although unable to comprehend why anyone would have thought his article to be couched in antisemitic imagery in which Jews were going to destroy the human race – he is the grandson of the Mahatma, who could argue? – he quickly resigned from the Gandhi Institute of Non-Violence (and sacrificing others in the name of peace).

Pride remained in his way, and acceptance of his own involvement in his fall was hard to come by. In April 2008, it was reported on, which also hosts Holocaust Denial material, that Gandhi the Younger had been interviewed by the site owner, Jeff Rense. I will not link to this, only provide a split URL:


No doubt Salmond was referring to some other judgement when he quoted Gandhi the Younger. Maybe he was suggesting that Macaskill was a randy old goat who likes to lie with nubile teenage girls to test his sexual resolve.


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