Most social workers, being caring individuals, will feel that Scottish Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill was right to exercise compassion in the case of Ali al-Megrahi and release him from prison so that he can spend the last few weeks or months of his life at home with his family. In reaching his decision Mr MacAskill spoke with victims of the Lockerbie bombing, with Mr al-Megrahi and consulted other interested parties. That process of interviews and discussions with people who will be affected is the same sort of process which social workers try to follow in reaching difficult decisions.
Now Kenny MacAskill is criticised on all sides for failing to be harsh, vindictive and vengeful. Hardly any politicians or commentators dare say that compassion is a good thing. When Gordon Brown and David Miliband are discovered to have said they did not wish al-Megrahi to die in prison they are abused by all, especially by David Cameron and the Conservative party who, presumably did wish to see al-Megrahi die in prison. Even the court in sentencing al-Meghri did not intend to be that harsh, recommending that he serve a minimum 20 years of a life sentence before being considered for parole.
Perhaps a viewing suite should be set up in prison so that when the next notorious prisoner is nearing his or her end Mr Cameron and other members of the nasty party plus guests of similar taste can sit in comfort and chew popcorn while enjoying the spectacle of said prisoner expiring, preferably in agony.