Dear Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left.
Signed, Liam Byrne

(Outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury. May 2010)

Friday, 21 August 2009

Miliband statements. Compare and contrast.

Less than a week ago we read this :-

Mr Miliband was speaking on BBC Radio 4's Great Lives programme, where he paid tribute to anti-apartheid activist Joe Slovo. Mr Slovo, a friend of Mr Miliband's academic father Ralph, was one of the leaders of Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation), the armed military wing of the ANC.

The group carried out a number of attacks during its campaign, including the Church Street bombing in Pretoria in 1983 where 19 people were killed and more than 200 wounded. Many victims were civilians.

Asked by presenter Matthew Parris whether such terrorism was ever justified, Mr Miliband said:
"Yes, there are circumstances in which it is justifiable, and yes, there are circumstances in which it is effective."
At the time he said this Mrs Rigby wondered whether he gave a thought to those who had died in Pretoria and how it was the non-violent groups who won power in the end. She wondered if he would care to justify terrorism to a group of still-traumatised survivors of 9/11, to those whose loved ones died in the Twin Towers atrocity, or were killed at Omagh, Brighton, Manchester, Lockerbie or London.

She didn't actually upload the post, and didn't imagine he would make another faux pas quite so quickly, and without thinking back to what he so recently said.

This little PR disaster was not directly of his own making because it was Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill who freed Megrahi and Tony Blair who did the groundwork for the release a couple of years ago.

Here we go!:-

Downing Street has also said that Gordon Brown had appealed to the Libyans not to give Megrahi a hero's welcome on his return.

Megrahi, the biggest mass murderer in British legal history, flew home to Tripoli on Thursday after being freed from jail on compassionate grounds by Scotland's devolved adminstration.

A large crowd gathered to greet his return, and he has been feted as a national hero. ...

... David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, said ,

""Obviously the sight of a mass murderer getting a hero's welcome in Tripoli is deeply upsetting, deeply distressing,""
You bet it was "deeply distressing" Mr Miliband!

But you see, Mr Miliband, one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter, and you have witnessed the hero's homecoming of somebody we in Britain call a terrorist and who has been released from prison to die at home - something he denied to his victims, all 270 of them.

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