The following has not been sent to any other print media. You are welcome to edit it (preserving the intent). I think that para 3 is legally safe because it alludes to 1988 not 2006, no doubt you would have it 'legalled' anyway.

I undertake that it will not be offered elsewhere for publication, for at least 24 hours.

Dr Jim Swire. 7/7/06



 Did we forget?


Those who ignore history do not even learn that they do not learn from history.


In 1988 my 23 year old daughter, Flora, along with 269 other innocents, was murdered at Lockerbie, when a bomb, inserted at Heathrow airport exploded and destroyed their 747, showering debris onto the town below. 11 local residents were among those who also died.


Immediately following the atrocity, Paul Channon, then Transport Secretary, told the House, to cries of 'here here', that Heathrow security was amongst the best in the world. The subsequent court case in Holland showed that in fact in 1988 even little Malta had far superior security at Luqa airport to that at the mighty Heathrow.


The Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher refused to meet us. Yet  we had acquired, exclusively via investigative journalists, (some associated with your paper) the contents of several timely, and uncannily prescient warnings received by the UK authorities.


We still want to know why no appropriate countermeasures were taken. We still want to know who was really responsible, both for the attack and the failure of protection to a plane held, at the inquest, to have been 'under the host state protection of the UK.'


Tragically we were joined in bereavement by the relatives of 7/7 last year.


By then we had finally been granted a face to face meeting with a PM, Tony Blair in No 10.


There we had again requested an independent inquiry into the failure to protect our families. His response? To ask heads of UK intelligence/security if they thought an inquiry necessary.


Astonishingly they thought not!


In the new circumstances created by current government policy vis-a-vis terrorism, I can only repeat what we have said many times before: -


'Since UK government policy largely determines the likelihood of terrorists trying to murder UK citizens, the government's duty to protect us is profound'.


Is the concealment of the reasons for past failures (more rigidly enforced here even than in the USA), really in our interest?  It may protect the careers of unaccountable politicians and civil servants, but meanwhile we must pay with the lives of those we love, for which sacrifice a life sentence is always imposed, not on the terrorists, not on those charged with our safety, but upon us, the victims' relatives.





Dr Jim Swire (, father of Flora, murdered at Lockerbie 21/12/88