Some of those who have studied the Lockerbie case and the current totality of the evidence believe Kenny MacAskill’s decision to allow Megrahi to go home to die was an act of compassion which reduced the implications for Scotland of what now seems a fatally flawed verdict.
Exactly what imperatives created that decision we do not know, but the resulting action was vividly to illuminate the stark difference between a lust for revenge by an ignorant majority, and the implications for history of failure to hold a fair trial.
Apparent compassion does not conceal the need to review the verdict which our judges, in the most extraordinary of straitjackets, delivered at the time.
It is not now our compassion which is in the dock but our entire prosecution system. We must review the verdict and the system which has till now held to it.
That will be the real big stooshie, before the mantle of history shrouds it all.
Unfortunately, Mr Salmond has made the resolution of that even greater stooshie even harder than it needed to be.
(Dr) Jim Swire