International outrage at the Scottish Executive’s decision to release the Lockerbie terrorist Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi has been neither fierce nor specific.
The outrage has not been nearly precise enough, first because of the problem we have in Britain, and indeed in any country under the ever-expanding umbrella of the EU, of locating where power - and therefore blame - actually lies.
Britain in 2009 is such a mess of bureaucracy that it is hard for anyone in power, let alone voters, to know who is in charge of what. It was not until the last few weeks that many people knew that the over-promoted solicitor who now rejoices in the term ‘Scottish Justice Minister’ even existed. Certainly we were unaware that this man, called Kenny MacAskill, had the ability to carry out an act of terrorist-encouraging idiocy by freeing the murderer of 270 British and American citizens. And we were certainly unaware - until hearing his special pleading on the apparently uniquely forgiving character of the Scottish people - that he also claims the right to distribute forgiveness and compassion on behalf of the families of the hundreds of people whom Megrahi killed.
It is sometimes hard to work out with politicians like MacAskill and his boss, Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) leader Alex Salmond, whether they are politically-obsessive schemers who spend every waking moment trying to find ways to promote their sectarian cause, or whether they are people so clueless that a scan would signify a level of brain activity only one step above ‘dead.’ Take for example their reaction to Megrahi’s victory parade back to Gaddafi.
When Megrahi was freed and duly received the inevitable hero’s welcome in Libya, the international response was one of unbridled horror. But we then had to witness the additionally horrific sight of this ‘Scottish Justice Minister’ whining in his own defence that the Libyans ‘had promised’ they wouldn’t have a home-coming parade for the mass-murderer. It is almost enough to raise a rare smile in this sorry saga. What words of consolation could possibly suffice to comfort such a sectarian little jobsworth on his first encounter with a big old terrorist sponsor?
It is almost touching to hear an adult betraying such faith in the words of the Libyan regime - a regime which, when it wasn’t planning Lockerbie and other terrorist acts, was arming the terrorists of the IRA as well as venerating and housing IRA murderers.
But sectarian politics of the kind from which MacAskill originates exists in the political equivalent of something ‘outside time’. And as it turns out, Scots nationalism, epitomised in the gloating and pompous SNP to which MacAskill belongs, is not only not bothered by the greater sectarianism that currently blights our society, but, rather, actively encourages it.
This is why one of the SNP’s candidates at the next election is the former spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood’s UK wing, the Muslim Association of Britain. The candidate, Osama Saeed, has received hundreds of thousands of pounds of British (mainly English) taxpayers’ money to set up a sectarian group called the Scottish Islamic Foundation. The setting-up and funding of this group, which has been charted by the Centre for Social Cohesion, amply demonstrates the cronyism as well as sectarianism of Scottish politics. The SNP payed the SIF Â£400,000. The SIF has as a result praised the SNP. The heads of the two organisations are friends with each other. One now pays the other to praise him and stand for his party.
And what does the Scottish (not to mention the English) taxpayer get for this money? Well the SIF has lobbied for Al-Jazeera to open a bureau in Scotland and apart from that nothing much, other than one of its executive leaders spending his time defending a leader of the Muslim Council of Britain for calling for attacks on ‘countries, institutions or individuals’ which are ‘standing with the Zionist entity.’ Otherwise it is hard to tell quite what they have done. They were given Â£200,000 to organise an event to be called ‘Islamfest’. But the event never transpired. So this week, in a one-off example of accountability in Scottish affairs, the SIF has been forced to pay back Â£128,000 of taxpayers' money. As far as I can see, this means that the Scottish Executive has paid Â£72,000 of British taxpayer money to a Muslim Brotherhood front-group to fail to hold an event. I wish I could get money like that for things I don’t get around to.
SNP politics is based on a small-minded and bigoted view of the world. It is no wonder that they have found common cause with Islamists who also have a small-minded and bigoted view of the world.
The Megrahi affair is, to that extent, something of a gift. It has dragged figures like MacAskill out into the light. Suddenly forced to be accountable in the big-boys game that they have always sought to play, they have turned out to demonstrate not only that they are not up to the game, but that the vast, pointless and sprawling executive in Scotland, and the SNP petty-nationalists in particular, are a menace to a wider number of people than just those of us whose money they dispense with such largesse.
Many people in America and Britain have accepted Scottish devolution or even possible independence as progressive or somehow cute. In fact, as recent events have demonstrated, devolution has merely delivered to us a further layer of useless politicians. They are wasteful, sanctimonious and metastasizing: on the few occasions they are actually active they are actively destructive. The sooner international condemnation lands on these people and sweeps their brand of politics back into the deluded cult it came from the better.
It must be hoped, for everyone’s sake, that Megrahi dies quickly. It would be a shame if the SNP and their paid sycophants outlive him very long.