Gadaffi – compensation or contrition?

I’m really confused.  Did anyone see yesterday’s story in the Times about Colonel Gadaffi’s offer to pay around £2 billion in compensation to victims of IRA bombings where Libyan-supplied Semtex caused the damage (“Gadaffi to pay £2bn to victims of IRA bombs” – click here to read the story)?  It appears that Gadaffi supplied the explosive for a number of high profile IRA atrocities – Omagh, Enniskillen, Harrods, and Lockerbie among them.  Scores of innocent people were killed in these attacks, and almost half this cash will be paid to the families of the dead.

The Times report also makes reference to an earlier story last September where it appears Gordon Brown at the time refused to support the lobby trying to influence Colonel Gaddafi to make this payment, for fear that it would have negatively influenced Britain’s trade relations with Libya.

This seems to me to be an infinitely less important factor than the chilling comment attributed to “…a source close to the talks” who is quoted as saying “…“Gadaffi can now make a major humanitarian gesture which will end the legal actions and build diplomatic and business relations with the UK.”

But people have died here; many of those who survived have an appalling quality of life.  God forbid that I ever have a close friend or relatrive who is injured, or worse still, killed in a terrorist act.  But I would expect that my foremost wish would be for an abject apology and maybe even some degree of justice to be exacted from those who supplied the bombers.  It seems our Government have ‘confused’ compensation for contrition.


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