The Conservatives' leader Annabel Goldie has used a newspaper to claim that she was misled by the Justice Secretary. The article says that Strathclyde Police
contradicted the SNP Justice Secretary, who told the Scottish Parliament on Monday that he had ruled out keeping al-Megrahi in Scotland on the advice of senior officers who said that the security implications would be severe.
Actually, the statement from Strathclyde Police is in the story, it reads:
“If a decision had been made to release Mr al-Megrahi in Scotland, we would have provided whatever security was required.
“We were asked how many officers would be required to provide security and we provided that advice. All we are saying is that we were asked about the level of security which would be required for al-Megrahi, members of his family and the local community should he be released.
“We were asked how many [officers] it would take in our opinion. In terms of guidance we were not asked whether we could do this.”
But the story also quotes Kenny MacAskill from the statement on Monday:
“It had been suggested that Mr al-Megrahi could be released from prison to reside elsewhere in Scotland. Clear advice from the deputy chief constable of Strathclyde Police was that the security implications of such a move would be severe. A minimum of 48 officers would be required simply to allow Mr al-Megrahi to live in Scotland. I therefore ruled that out as an option.”
The story also has this paragraph:
Miss Goldie said that the Justice Secretary’s statement was “unfair to the police, misleading to the public and a lame excuse for sending Mr al-Megrahi back to a hero’s welcome in Libya. It is clear that the Scottish government only paid lip service to investigating whether Mr al-Megrahi could be kept here.”
Anyone who can read English and has some basic comprehension skills will notice that there is no conflict between the statement from the police force and the statement made by the Justice Secretary on Monday. The comments of the Conservative leader amount to a clear mistruth.
Opposition tactics, then, range from talking down the Scottish Justice system through synthetic anger, attempts to subvert the process of a quasi-judicial process, and questioning the integrity of medical staff to, now, telling bare-faced lies. How much are they prepared to degrade the political process just to try to score some party political points?
One comfort is that the voting public can, quite clearly, see through them.