Letter: Another injustice imposed on Libya

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Sir: Last night, at the very beginning of the third episode of The Downing Street Years, Baroness Thatcher stridently claimed that the raid on Libya from British bases cemented the Anglo-American alliance, when no one else in Europe would help the Americans. She chided our European partners for being a weak lot.

There was no suggestion that she asked herself or anyone else in the British government whether the military action against a state with which we had diplomatic relations, and where 5,000 British nationals were earning their bread and butter in engineering and other projects, was justified.

We now know that the Europeans whom she held in such contempt were right, and right in international law. The incident of La Belle Discotheque in Berlin, when an American serviceman was murdered, the so-called reason for the action, had nothing to do with Libya.

And in 1991, while visiting the working-class areas of Tripoli and Benghazi and the destroyed bedroom - where Colonel Gadaffi's three-year-old daughter was killed - reduced to rubble by bombers based on British soil, I was ashamed of the British Prime Minister's decision.

Alas, we are now doing another injustice to Libya by imposing sanctions on the pretext of Lockerbie involvement. No one will lecture me on the horrors of Lockerbie because it was the police from my area who had the gruesome task of helping to clear up the bodies. But circumstantial evidence (apart from the recently published book, Trail of the Octopus, by Goddard and Coleman) suggests that persons in Iran and Syria whose names I have given to British ministers have far more to do with the Lockerbie crime than the Libyan state, or two Libyans described to me by Kate Adie as 'footmen'.

Yours faithfully,


MP for Linlithgow (Lab)

House of Commons

London, SW1

4 November