Sunday, August 30, 2009

Black gold - a price worth paying

I see 'Libyagate' is still rolling on a news story, and now the Sunday Times has leaked ministerial letters that suggest the decision was made in London to release Al Megrahi "in the overwhelming interests of the United Kingdom" which was actually linked to discussion of a deal between Libya and BP over a multi-million pound oil exploration project.

I guess this is the point where I say go me! for essenitally saying that I thought something like that was most likely reason for the release rather than the idea that the Scots had a moment of fluffiness and decided to do it themselves.

Basically it appears that Libya used their BP deal as a bargaining chip to get him released, and the Government, quite rightly, did the figures, thought about the strategic importance of the BP deal, and decided that the national interest of such a move was more important that the short term political fallout.

Mandelson is apparently still holding the line that the release had nothing to do with trade deals. Whilst the Ministry of Justice have admitted that trade was a factor in the negotiating of a prisoner exchange deal. Frankly I don't see why Mandelson is being so adament in his denials.

Wouldn't it be refreshing to see a politician stand up and argue that the importance of a massive oil deal far outweighs the importance of keeping a dying man in prison until he dies?

Pure realpolitik at its best, don't you just love it?

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