The idea of Hillary Clinton telephoning Kenny MacAskill in order to, and I suppose the correct verb is order, him not to release Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi produces the wonderful image of two people with deeply unpleasant public images fighting over a third.
One can only imagine The Copfighter-General's reaction when he heard that the USA's Secretary of State, a former First Lady, was on the phone - and wanted to talk to him. As they might still say in Edinburgh - 'Gardyloo!'
It will be interesting to see just how the soi-dissant, ersatz 'Scottish Government' reacts to this unwarranted intervention is what is now solely an internal Scottish matter. Did The Copfighter-General enquire of the Secretary of State just where and when she obtained credentials in Scottish law of sufficient calibre to enable her to hold forth on Scottish penal policy? Did he mention the Clinton Administration's policy of solving the crime problem through the construction of 'Supermax' prisons, or as reasonable people could describe it, shovelling people into warehouses and throwing away the keys? Did he enquire just why American black men are still very much more likely to be incarcerated than whites?
Did he venture the suggestion that the USA has circumvented the kind of difficulties that Scotland encountered with the Lockerbie case through the use of 'extraordinary rendition', otherwise known as kidnapping? Meanings that people who live in glass White Houses shouldn't really throw stones?
Did he take the chance to put in a good word for his fellow Scot Gary McKinnon?
Did he send her homeward, tae think again?
Or was he thinking of just how badly an ill word from Hillary Clinton could affect next year's 'Tartan Week', which his boss The Tartanissimo loves so very much? Or just how badly another ill word could affect his devolved executive's flagship 'Homecoming 2009' tourism drive? Just one little ill word from the Secretary of State, and the only person who'll be going home in 2009 is a Libyan.
However, one is glad to see that somebody is at last standing up for Scottish law. Paul McBride QC has very rightly criticised MacAskill's decision to visit Megrahi in prison, particularly when he still has a role to play in determining whether the prisoner will be released; an entirely exceptional and unwarranted happening.
According to the 'Sunday Times' Scotland', Dr. Jim Swire is thinking of suing the Crown Office in relation to its conduct of the case. As Dr. Swire might be thinking of putting the taxpayers to the time and expense of having to defend themselves, the taxpayer are entitled to remind Dr. Swire that they will have the right to seek their expenses from him should he lose. In Scotland, these can be prohibitive.