If You Do The Crime …
Each and every one of us has decisions to make in their lives and once those decisions are made we must live with the inevitable consequences. It’s called personal responsibility. Some perpetual bleeding hearts don’t believe in personal responsibility. Everything is somebody else’s fault, or caused by events over which the accused had no control. I don’t accept that at all. We each make our own choices. Many people live in awful circumstances yet never become monsters.
If ever there was an obvious split between the liberal (not necessarily Lib Dem) and Conservative viewpoint, surely the Lockerbie Bomber is it? Turn on a radio talkshow and you can hear both sides expressed, sometimes eloquently, often passionately. While I personally believe wholeheartedly in liberty, I struggle to understand the argument that says a terrorist mass killer should be able to claim (and receive) ‘compassionate’ release.
Let’s just recap. Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi is serving a life sentence for his 2001 conviction : blowing up PanAm flight 103 in December 1988, leaving 270 people dead, in the worst terrorist atrocity and the biggest mass murder in British legal history.
Compassion is that last thing he deserves.
The idea that you can be ‘fair’ and ‘decent’ by allowing a horrific killer to jet home to a festival parade in Libya and spend his last months in comfort surrounded by his family is not compassion. It is weakness masquerading as compassion. I’m sure the people who lost family and friends in the original bombing would love to have a homecoming parade for the poor souls who were victims of this man. The fact that this cannot ever happen should have been all the legal system needed to know.
Lock him up. Throw away the key. That would seem to be the obvious decision to make.
Instead, the wisdom of the Scottish courts is that Abdelbaset gets to go home and be a hero for what he did. He’s terminally ill, you see. And somehow the quirk of fate that delivered the illness means we should forget the two hundred and seventy people he killed and shed a tear for his condition. Yeah, right. There are a great many people in the world who are worthy of compassion and pity. This evil lunatic isn’t one of them.
I’ve just spent a glorious week in the New Forest. In cohorts with a horde of other credit-crunched countrymen and women – my family and I decided to dodge the jet engines this year and instead to decend Southwards into one of the greatest stretches of wilderness our small island retains.
In a log cabin nestled beneath the forest canopy three generations of my family had a truly fantastic time. We barbecued at night under the stars. My wife and I walked nine miles through scrub, marsh and forest, up and down steep hills, along lane and gravel track (getting quite severely lost for some time). We saw a calf born. We had to jump a bubbling brook and climb a sodden hill to get to a road that might help us get home before dark. We stumbled for refreshment into a quaint wood-beamed pub and quaffed juice, real ale and homemade cider (not in one glass…)
We paid a visit to Bournemouth, to Poole and to a Theme Park near Southampton that was packed full of fun. My son went on his first roller-coaster. “That was great,” he said as it thundered into the slowdown lane at the end of the ride, and then plaintively: “Is it finished?” My Mum refused to miss the log flumes despite a cracked rib sustained last week. We trekked through the “Dinosaur Park” and imagined the roars from the bushes were real denizens of the Jurassic coming to hunt us down.
In the amusingly named “Sandy Balls” campsite we swam in the freezing outside pool, laughing and dunking and shivering. My son made great use of the adventure playground. We took the nature walks, following terrible maps to end up in places where I’m pretty sure we were never meant to go. We biked along silent roads past ponies and cows and pigs and deer all free to roam. We enjoyed incredible weather, hot day after hot day broken only by pleasant cool breezes and the occasional brief and exciting storm. We laughed – a lot. We ate, drank and made merry. We lay on grass as the sun melted into night on a golden horizon.
This, I think, is the stuff all great holidays are made of. I hope you all had a wonderful summer too!