From the HERALD letter page


An excoriating critique of our weak leaders

Ian Bell's Saturday essay (Lockerbie: a disgraceful episode for Scots law, June 30) should be compulsory reading for all jurists and politicians. In an excoriating and penetrating analysis, Mr Bell exposed the political hypocrisy that has dogged this tragedy from the beginning.

In arguing that, internationally, the "integrity of the Scottish legal system, once co-respondent in the birth of the European Enlightenment, was treated as a joke", he poses the question: "Is it to remain a joke?"

As a proud Scot who for 18 years has watched the courageous Lockerbie relatives fight for the truth in the face of political procrastination and cover-up, this is a crucial question that every one of us should be asking.


Mr Bell's essay has, of course, even more resonance following last week's attacks in London and Glasgow.

Terrorism is abhorrent and those responsible should be chased to the grave, but dissembling politicians who prevent their capture in the name of some greater good, and effectively do their work for them, shame the very office they hold.

Forgive me if I treat our leaders' present call to be strong and vigilant in the face of terrorism and to trust in their judgment with just a pinch of salt when the memory of the 270 souls who perished at Lockerbie deserved so much more than their political intrigue, weakness and vacillation.

Yes, Scotland was handed a poisoned chalice by the American and UK governments in being asked to be the complainer, judge and jury in a tragedy not of its own making.

Have we now the will to right these wrongs and restore faith in the Scottish justice system?

Iain A J McKie, 27 Donnini Court, South Beach Road, Ayr.


Dr Jim Swire (