Robert Forrester

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Robert Forrester in November 2013
Born4 May 1953
Kirriemuir, Angus
Died22 March 2018 (Age 64)
Member ofJustice for Megrahi

Robert Alexander Forrester was born in Scotland, educated in the Borders and Edinburgh, lived and worked as a teacher in Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Egypt, Greece, Italy, People's Republic of China, Moscow (1982) and Berlin (1989), before returning to Scotland in 2005.

For many years Robert Forrester resided in Longtown, Cumbria, until he died on 22 March 2018.[1]

On Friday 31 August 2018, Robert Forrester's ashes were interred at London's Highgate Cemetery in the shadow of a large bronze bust of Karl Marx.[2]

Justice for Megrahi

Robert Forrester was Secretary of the campaign group Justice for Megrahi (JFM) since its formation in 2008. His JFM Deputy - appointed in 2011 - is Dr Morag Kerr.

In October 2010, the Facebook group "Friends of Justice for Megrahi" was formed by its joint administrators Professor Robert Black and Robert Forrester, who were quick to exclude "conspiracy theorists" Charles Norrie and Patrick Haseldine from the group.[3] Robert Forrester was friends on Facebook with Edwin Bollier, Michael Russell, Tommy Sheridan and the producer of the 2009 film "Lockerbie Revisited", Gideon Levy. In September 2013, Forrester unfriended Patrick Haseldine after the latter accused him and the JfM Deputy Secretary of being "spooks".[4]

Having been complimented for his beard, Robert Forrester (aka 'Quincey Riddle') wrote:

It is a little known fact that face to face JfM policy meetings take place in one of Edinburgh's most historic and celebrated hostelries. On the initial occasion that this occurred, the prof (Robert Black) made it quite clear to me that he would refuse to sit at a table even adjacent to myself unless I indulged in the same brand of liquid refreshment as is his own favourite. Obviously, this was an offer that I could not refuse; as they say in certain circles. Following the first sip of this most excellent of beers, I immediately saw the error of my previous ways and became an entirely reformed character.
But to return to matters of a more hirsute nature. The fact is that having a beard such as my own has the consequence that, following several hours of increasingly frank expressions of views and a multitude of pints, I depart the establishment stinking of stale beer for hour upon end whilst RB has yet to attract the attentions of the local constabulary.[5]

Open Letter to UNGA

On 14 September 2009, Robert Forrester addressed the following Open Letter to the President of the General Assembly of the United Nations Organisation (abbreviated "UNOGA" by Forrester):

"Justice must prevail beyond all other considerations. Beyond politics, convictions, religion, even compassion (and certainly expedience), regardless of one's sympathies, JUSTICE must be the banner that unites us. This is more than pity for a dying man, this is a demand for justice." (Danton de Vouvray)

In light of the abandonment of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi’s second appeal against conviction for the bombing of Pan American flight 103 over Lockerbie with the loss of 270 people, both passengers and citizens of Lockerbie, on the twenty-first of December nineteen eighty-eight, We, the undersigned, hereby formally submit that the General Assembly of the United Nations Organisation institute a full public inquiry, under the provisions of Article 22 of its Charter, into:

  • the investigation of the destruction of the aircraft,
  • the Fatal Accident Inquiry into the event conducted in 1991,
  • the subsequent trial of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi and Lamin Khalifa Fhimah at Camp van Zeist,
  • both of Mr al-Megrahi’s appeals and the circumstances surrounding the dropping of his second appeal.

We believe that a United Nations public inquiry into the above should call witnesses who have been both directly and indirectly involved to give testimony and account for their actions, decisions and opinions relating to these events. Amongst others, such an inquiry ought ideally to draw on individuals from:

  • Dumfries and Galloway Police and other UK police forces involved in the investigation,
  • the security services and other governmental agencies of nations involved either at first hand or tangentially in the investigation,
  • members of the legislatures of nations involved either at first hand or tangentially in the investigation,
  • the Scottish Judiciary,
  • the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission,
  • legal counsel involved in the Zeist trial and subsequent appeals, to the extent permitted by legal professional privilege,
  • witnesses from the original Zeist trial list, both those who testified and those who were on the list but not called to testify,
  • forensic scientists involved in the investigation (particularly from the Royal Armament Research and Development Establishment, UK),
  • and informed experts whose independent research has led them to develop alternative theories concerning the destruction of the aircraft.

Whilst we are aware that, under the terms of Article 22 of the Charter, a United Nations General Assembly inquiry does not possess within its gift the power to subpoena witnesses to testify, we nevertheless feel that such an initiative could make a valuable and highly significant contribution towards removing many of the deep misgivings which persist in lingering over this tragedy.

Now that Mr al-Megrahi has dropped his second appeal and been repatriated to Libya to spend what time is left to him with his family, one of the last best hopes that existed to establish the facts of this disputed and sorry event once and for all has evaporated. Whether or not he is guilty, the alleged abuse of Maltese sovereignty by foreign investigators employing illegal wire-taps, the question mark over the reputation of Luqa airport, the break-in to Heathrow airside shortly prior to Pan Am 103’s fateful departure, in addition to allegations of:

  • tampering with material evidence,
  • financial and other inducements in order to secure desired testimony,
  • harassment of potential witnesses to dissuade them from coming forward at the Zeist trial,
  • the with-holding of evidence from the defence counsel at Zeist,
  • political obfuscation and serious economies with the truth have dogged this affair from the very outset and cast considerable doubt over the safety of the Zeist verdict.

We now appeal to the General Assembly of the United Nations, which we consider to be an eminently suitable platform under the circumstances given the international nature of events, to take the appropriate steps to set the record straight. Although we are also fully cognisant that further investigation of this tragic occurrence over twenty years ago will yet again bring pain to the victims’ families and friends, we are confident that they too will wish to see matters concluded beyond reasonable doubt.

We do this in the hope of restoring the stature of justice following what has been described as being: "a spectacular miscarriage of justice" (Professor Hans Köchler, International Observer appointed by the United Nations for the trial at Camp van Zeist).

Our faith in justice ultimately prevailing now lies in the hands of the United Nations.[6]


The Open Letter was signed by twenty people:

Mr John Ashton, (Co-author of "Cover-up of Convenience: The Hidden Scandal of Lockerbie").
Mrs Jean Berkley, (Co-ordinator UK Families Flight 103 and mother of Alistair Berkley: Pan Am 103 victim).
Professor Robert Black QC, (Commonly referred to as the Architect of the Camp van Zeist Trial).
Professor Noam Chomsky, (Professor Emeritus of Linguistics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology).
Mr Tam Dalyell,(Member of Parliament: 1962 – 2005, Father of the House: 2001 – 2005).
Mr Ian Ferguson, (Co-author of "Cover-up of Convenience: The Hidden Scandal of Lockerbie").
Mr Robert Forrester, (Justice for Megrahi campaign committee member).
Ms Christine Grahame, (Member of the Scottish Parliament and Justice campaigner).
Mr Patrick Haseldine, (Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Service – Retired).
Mr Ian Hislop, (Editor of Private Eye: one of the UK’s most highly regarded journals of political comment).
Father Pat Keegans, (Lockerbie Parish Priest at the time of the bombing of Pan Am 103).
Mr Iain McKie, (Retired Police Superintendent and Justice campaigner).
Ms Heather Mills, (Reporter for Private Eye specialising in matters relating to Pan Am Flight 103).
Mr Denis Phipps, (Aviation security expert).
Mr Steven Raeburn, (Editor of The Firm, one of Scotland’s foremost legal journals).
Doctor Jim Swire, (Justice campaigner. Dr Swire’s daughter, Flora, was killed in the Pan Am 103 incident).
Mr Abdullah Swissi, (Former President of the Libyan Students’ Union in Scotland and Libyan Student Affairs of the Libyan Students’ Union, UK Branch).
Sir Teddy Taylor, (Former Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland and Member of Parliament from 1964 to 2005).
His Grace, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Mpilo Tutu, (Defender of human rights worldwide, Nobel Peace Prize winner, headed South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission and is Chairman of the Global Elders).
Mr Bob Watts, (Businessman and Justice for Megrahi campaign committee member).[7]

Unhappy Bunny

On 25 November 2009, Robert Forrester emailed Patrick Haseldine demanding that he should immediately curtail his activities in relation to the UN General Assembly:

Dear Patrick,
It pains me to write the following, however, as a result of complaints received, I now find myself in a position where there is no alternative.
I have spent a great deal of time and effort on the petition to the United Nations in the hope, however small, that the Lockerbie tragedy and the predicament of Abdelbaset and Libya, the families of the Pan Am 103 victims and the people of Malta, resultant from this construct dreamt up in the corridors of power, might be resolved once and for all.
This petition was put together with great attention to detail and went back and forth between a variety of concerned individuals of high professional standing and who have been involved in the saga from the very beginning. Not only that, its form was adjusted on a couple of occasions in order to make the final copy more acceptable to certain individuals who were uncomfortable with the original.
Moreover, whilst I have experienced a most heart-warming level of cooperation and support from many, in particular from those who have signed on the dotted line, it has been hard going at times to get others to see the validity of what we are doing. It has been extremely challenging to garner assistance from the media, particularly in this country, nevertheless, the efforts of those at Private Eye, The Sunday Times of Malta, The Firm and The Herald (Glasgow) have been doing a sterling job in maintaining this campaign in the public eye.
Furthermore, I should add that if you inspect the letter to the UN, you will find that at no stage is a finger of blame pointed at anyone - individuals or countries alike - for the destruction of Pan Am 103. This is an important point worth noting. No one, despite where their personal views might lead them, is taking on the mantle of prosecutor, judge and jury; unlike what happened at the Zeist trial.
The fundamental aim of the submission is, and always has been, to have the entire affair dealt with by the highest body we can appeal to in order to establish whether or not there has been a gross miscarriage of justice and ultimately to return this institution of justice to a stature such that it can demand our respect.
As you will be only too aware, when assembling the list of signatories, a highly selective approach was taken. I felt that a greater impression could be made by attracting a short list of heavyweights rather than a lengthy list of unknown individuals whom the adversaries in this game could ignore with ease. If memory serves, you and two others are the only ones of the twenty on the final document who requested to be added to the list.
Thus far, you are the only person on the list who has abused the trust of the others and compromised the potential success of this project.
Why do I say this?
I have, I hope, at all times respected the personal wishes of the signatories and other individuals associated with this campaign in the context of their confidential statements to me in the mails I have received, and not least in preserving their anonymity in terms of their personal email addresses. Indeed, I never send any such information to anyone else unless I am totally sure that the party concerned would be comfortable with my doing so. You appear to employ quite different standards. For instance, you seem not to comprehend some of the most basic facilities provided by email servers, namely: the Blind Carbon Copy to mention but one.
It also seems to me that ever since you became associated with this submission, you have blithely sent mails off to other signatories and associated persons without regard to the most basic of conventions observed by not only myself but all whom I have had the privilege of working with on this cause.
This recently reached quite ludicrous proportions the other day when you asked the Prime Minister of Malta to translate an acknowledgement note from the Libyan mission at the UN! Incidentally, I gave you the satisfaction of providing you with a translation of this missive and have yet to be in receipt of even a scintilla of gratitude from you for performing the service. Perhaps you are unaware that I am a professional proof-reader of English and charge a minimum of £50/hour, and considerably more where translation is involved. Therefore, and in view of your lack of manners, I recommend that you not request such a service from me again. Should you do so, you may expect to be charged at commercial rates.
Having previously, and quite specifically, requested that you not get in touch with anyone I have previously requested cooperation from on the grounds that I was satisfied with and accepted their position vis-a-vis the UN petition (the name Mandela springs to mind in this regard), you have continued to blunder around like a loose cannon approaching anyone and everyone you get a whiff of whom you perceive may entertain your own arguments on Lockerbie by piggybacking on the updates etc I supply on the progress or otherwise of the 'Open Letter'.
As mentioned above, this petition (for very good reason) is neutral in the accusation department. You are not. You, as many of us doubtless do, have an axe to grind. The critical difference between you and others involved in this is that you appear to be quite incapable of keeping your axe sheathed until such time as it might actually serve some kind of purpose.
In short, we diverge. We, unlike yourself, are not on a personal crusade. We are on an entirely different crusade. And if you cannot find it within yourself to step into line with everyone else on the list, you will be dropped.
Currently, the only success you are having is in jeopardising all the careful work that is being done to make this thing work. I must respectfully demand that you curtail all activities concerning this petition and that you, in particular, cease your efforts in connection with Malta. It has taken a long time and a great deal of work to get thus far and at the moment you are doing massively more damage than good. If at any later stage you wish to do anything connected in anyway with the UN letter, I must ask you to submit it to myself prior to its going further. You have put yourself in a position where you cannot even be trusted even to maintain the confidentiality of people's email addresses, it is that basic! All independent actions must cease forthwith.
I expect to be in receipt of a response to this mail by return of post.

Dismissive response

On 26 November 2009, Patrick Haseldine responded:

Dear Robert,
I am replying to yesterday's email.
In response to my approach to Kenny MacAskill a fortnight ago you emailed me saying:
"Well done, keep it simmering."
Last Friday, I sent you a copy of the reply from Mr MacAskill's office (see File:MacAskill reply.pdf).
As requested, I shall take no further action on the UNGA petition without consulting you first.

Libya and the Security Council

This is a quite separate matter, which I am pressing the Libyan Ambassador to raise at the Security Council before the end of December, when Libya relinquishes its seat. My email to Mr Shalgham headed "Libya, Lockerbie and the UN 'Terror Council'" and seeking a UN inquiry into the murder of UN Commissioner for Namibia, Bernt Carlsson, was copied for information to a few of the signatories of the UNGA petition, and to a number of other contacts of mine. Their email addresses were all previously known to me: you have not divulged to me any email addresses.
Dr Swire responded:
"Great stuff Patrick, Keep up the pressure."

Lockerbie disaster: crime against humanity?

Yesterday's email, to which I know Steven Raeburn has taken particular exception, was a repeat of the comment I posted on Prof. Black's blog on 25 November 2009:
(In July 1990, the Iranian Government submitted to the International Court of Justice at The Hague a 328-page dossier on the shooting down of Iran Air Flight 655 by USS Vincennes two years earlier.[8]
On 6 November 2003, the ICJ ruled, by 14 votes to two, that a series of retaliatory attacks by the US Navy against certain Iranian oil platforms in the Persian Gulf in 1987 and 1988, although constituting an unlawful use of force, did not violate a 1955 commerce treaty between the US and Iran since the attacks did not adversely affect freedom of commerce between the territories of the parties. This decision concluded a series of cases against the United States. On 10 September 2003, Libya's case against the US arising from the aftermath of the crash of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, was discontinued and removed from the ICJ's General List of cases. The case had been pending for more than a decade.
An earlier case between Iran and the US arising out of the shooting down by the USS Vincennes of an Iranian Airbus over the Gulf on 3 July 1988, was settled and discontinued on 22 February 1996, after having been pending for almost seven years.[9]. Under the terms of this settlement, the US Government agreed to pay Iran $61.8 million ex gratia compensation whilst denying responsibility or liability for the incident.[10]
Christine Grahame's parliamentary motion seeks to classify both IR 655 and PA 103 as "crimes against humanity" which are defined by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Explanatory Memorandum as "particularly odious offences in that they constitute a serious attack on human dignity or grave humiliation or a degradation of one or more human beings. They are not isolated or sporadic events, but are part either of a government policy or of a wide practice of atrocities tolerated or condoned by a government or a de facto authority." Neither incident appears to qualify under this definition.
However, a crime against humanity will almost certainly have been committed if the South African apartheid regime were to be deemed responsible for the murder of UN Commissioner for Namibia, Bernt Carlsson, in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing.[11])
Steven wrongly interpreted the email as an invitation to sign my petition. Rather, it was to emphasise that a crime against humanity will almost certainly have been committed if the South African apartheid regime were to be deemed responsible for the murder of UN Commissioner for Namibia, Bernt Carlsson, in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing.
I hope this explanation is helpful.
Best wishes,
Patrick H.

Result: zilch

In 2013, Robert Forrester reported:

The UN has not yet demonstrated its worth on this issue. I am not going to give you chapter and verse on this simply because I cannot be bothered. Suffice to say that the Security Council adopted a binding resolution in 2003 to drop all matters relating to Lockerbie from its future agendas and that, unlike the Security Council, which has international coercive powers, the General Assembly does not. Moreover, the General Assembly requires a two thirds majority majority vote to bring the matter up for inquiry. In 2009/10 I contacted every member with a seat at the General Assembly individually encouraging them to endorse an inquiry. Result: zilch. It is plain that they shied away from the issue due to there being an extant verdict from a Scottish court. This is a Scottish problem and will be resolved via our own institutions.[12]

"Lockerbie: Perpetrators Roam Free"

This is the headline over an article by Justice for Megrahi’s indefatigable Secretary, Robert Forrester, in the 26 October 2013 edition of the Maltese newspaper The Times. It reads as follows:

When the bomb that brought down Pan Am 103 detonated, it initiated a sequence of events resulting in a flawed legal process based on a misguided investigation, which has left the reputation of the Scottish criminal justice system in tatters and ultimately besmirched Malta’s reputation.
The Crown’s initial ‘star witness’ at Camp Zeist was Abdul Majid Giaka. His testimony was dismissed as that of a money grubbing ‘fantasist’ by the judges. Sadly however, without the promise staked by the prosecution in his claims implicating Abdelbaset al-Megrahi and Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah, the trial may well never have gone to court in the first instance.
Whether one invests even a morsel of credibility in anything Giaka said relating to this case is open to question; nevertheless, during debriefs, he indicated that Gaddafi had ruled out involving Luqa in any nefarious plots because of the airport’s stringent security regime.
The mantle of ‘star witness’ was then transferred to the shoulders of Maltese shopkeeper Tony Gauci. Profound question marks dangle over Gauci’s identification of Megrahi from photo spreads and formal line up, inconsistencies linking his description of the mystery purchaser’s age and physique when compared with that of Megrahi’s, and to the date when the purchases were made.
Gauci and brother also appear to have been the beneficiaries of a $3 million inducement for his appearance at Camp Zeist: information that the court was not made privy to. Nor was the court made aware of the grooming process applied on Gauci by Lockerbie investigators.
As a result of the Lockerbie bombing, the security systems in place at Luqa, Frankfurt and Heathrow were subject to independent examination, resulting in Luqa coming out top of the class and Heathrow ensconced in the dunce’s corner.
There is no documentary or eyewitness evidence whatsoever that an unaccompanied and unaccounted for brown, hardshell Samsonite was loaded onto Air Malta flight KM 180 at Luqa. None. Similarly, there is no evidence whatsoever that such a suitcase was transferred from KM 180 to feeder flight Pan Am 103A at Frankfurt. None.
On December 21, 1988, prior to the arrival of Pan Am 103A from Frankfurt, baggage handler John Bedford noted the existence of a brown, hardshell Samsonite style, suitcase not only in the container in which the bomb went off but also in the position that it detonated. He could neither account for this item nor did he pull it for inspection. Despite the fact the Crown went to great pains to encourage the Heathrow baggage handlers to say the luggage had been shuffled in the container to accommodate the imagined suitcase from Malta, such testimony from the Heathrow witnesses was not forthcoming.
To compound this evidence from Heathrow, another eyewitness statement, to the effect that Heathrow airside had been broken into only hours before, giving access to the 103 interline shed, was denied to the court.
Furthermore, recent evidence has emerged indicating that perjury may have been committed surrounding forensic testimony relating to the metallurgic composition of the shard of printed circuit board claimed to have been part of the triggering device for the bomb.
The judges, who, exceptionally, were also the jury, preferred the case founded on speculation rather than accept that eyewitness evidence available to police in the first weeks of the investigation pointing not to Luqa but to Heathrow as the origin of the bomb. Thus Megrahi was convicted and Fhimah acquitted.
Bizarrely, with the acquittal of Fhimah, a central plank of the Crown case was demolished, namely that the plot could not have been accomplished by a lone individual.
With the conviction being upheld at the first appeal, partly due to the wrong grounds being adopted, and the second appeal being dropped in politically dubious circumstances, the Crown has maintained what comes across as a cynical charade to attempt to incriminate other Libyans as Megrahi’s co-conspirators to shore up the indefensible.
The Crown’s constant refrain is that Megrahi was convicted in a court of law and a court of law is the only appropriate platform for dealing with the matter. Obviously, it is open to the Megrahi family to make an appeal referral but, given Libya’s highly fraught and unstable circumstances, that likelihood seems most improbable. It is also open to the families of the bereaved who regard the case to have been a miscarriage of justice.
This inexcusable tragedy of errors has produced even more victims than it started with and has seemingly permitted the actual perpetrators to roam free. Campaigners are calling for an independent inquiry into the case. Perhaps now, 25 years on, provides a symbolic moment for Malta to join the fray.[13]

Dave's 1st comment

Can you fight a war if you accept the blame for the sins of your enemy?
For example, Libya was destroyed in an attempt to close the Lockerbie case.
The plan was to support the rebels and in return the new government would take responsibility for Lockerbie by blaming Gaddafi and thus derail JFM's petition PE1370.[14]
Except things never went to plan and Gaddafi wasn’t assassinated until after the Scottish Parliament's Justice Committee voted unanimously to keep PE1370 alive.
And, because the indiscriminate ‘bomb and hope’ to kill Gaddafi has left Libya without a credible replacement government.
Does JFM share the blame, because without PE1370 there would have been no legal Lockerbie case left to close?
This is why I find the invite for Malta to ‘join the fray’ a bit sadistic, because it’s a bit like inviting someone to their own funeral.
And why would they when they have already cleared their name after winning a libel case with Granada TV establishing that the ‘bomb’ wasn’t put on at Luqa airport?
A more rational approach would be to invite Russia to raise the matter at the UN or on Russia TV in defence of themselves and allies against neo-con warmongering, because unlike Libya or Malta, only they are big enough to raise the matter without (hopefully) being bombed![15]

Quincey Riddle's 1st response

Dear Dave,
The UN has not yet demonstrated its worth on this issue. I am not going to give you chapter and verse on this simply because I cannot be bothered. Suffice to say that the Security Council adopted a binding resolution in 2003 to drop all matters relating to Lockerbie from its future agendas and that, unlike the Security Council, which has international coercive powers, the General Assembly does not. Moreover, the General Assembly requires a two thirds majority majority vote to bring the matter up for inquiry. In 2010 I contacted every member with a seat at the General Assembly individually encouraging them to endorse an inquiry. Result: zilch. It is plain that they shied away from the issue due to there being an extant verdict from a Scottish court. This is a Scottish problem and will be resolved via our own institutions.
Also, to suggest that the war on Libya was motivated by Lockerbie is frankly akin to the type of risible raving of the likes of Patrick Haseldine when he suggests that Pan Am 103 was blown up by the South African Government to eliminate Bernt Carlsson. The recent war on Libya was about obtaining oil at our prices (or preferably free), just like the one against Iraq and the 1953 blockade and illegal funding of the overthrow of Mohammed Moussadeq in Iran.[16]
Grow up buddy and study some of the politics surrounding the conduct of the West towards those countries that 'The good Lord', as Dick Cheney put it, saw fit to locate in countries that we have spent so much time, lives and resources into abusing ever since we decided to become oil junkies to fire our terminally corrupt and rapidly failing economic system.

Dave's 2nd comment

With due respect, there is a big difference between an individual and Russia raising a subject at the UN.
And Russia has an interest because the neo-con demonization of ‘Muslims’ impacts on Russian security in the Middle-East and therefore the truth about Lockerbie becomes part of the propaganda war.
And as reluctant as they normally may be to upset US, in the present circumstances they are prepared to do so. For example, Russian TV recently broadcast a 9/11 truth special to counter US war propaganda.
And in this global confrontation Lockerbie is too big for Scotland to resolve alone, unless you want to end up like Libya?
The timeline for US/UK destruction of Libya fits with the progress of PE1370 which got unanimous support after the SNP’s stunning election victory and against all odds keeps Lockerbie a live legal issue.
Whereas blaming the ‘oil lobby’ is a lazy Marxist analysis because:
  • Libyan oil production has collapsed;
  • War pushes up oil prices and damages the world economy; and,
  • Dick Cheney is the head of a construction rather than oil company and for now the US is independent of oil supplies from the Middle-East![18]

Quincey Riddle's 2nd response

Dear Dave,
First of all Marxism. If you knew anything about Karl Marx, you would be aware that he denied any knowledge of such an 'ism' and that he wasn't one. Amongst other works, such as his joint authorship of the Communist Manifesto, he is best known for 'Capital': an analysis of how Capitalism works and a book which even eminent capitalist economists hail as the best such critique ever written, and recommend it as required reading for anyone wishing to endorse the practices of capitalism.
Secondly, Cheney: "The good Lord didn't see fit to put oil and gas only where there are democratically elected regimes friendly to the United States. Occasionally we have to operate in places where, all things considered, one would not normally choose to go. But, we go where the business is." (Speech delivered at the Cato Institute, June 23, 1998)
Halliburton was/is one of the biggest oil services companies on the planet, so, to attempt to disassociate him from the black gold is simply deluded. You may also be reassured to know that Halliburton is doubtless still involved in shafting the UK taxpayers with its foothold in the servicing of the UK's nuclear submarine fleet. Until it got the contract via our addiction to privatisation, the company had no experience at all in servicing nuclear reactors.
War does not ruin the world economy, it enhances the stock market casino by providing the opportunity to provide higher dividends to oil and armament shareholders.
Russia is laughing up its sleeve every time the West goes to war against mineral rich countries because it allows them to sell more AK 47s. It also permits them to quietly cosh the Muslims in their own oil rich areas without attracting attention because the world's media is otherwise distracted by what we are doing.
It's the Chinese who are the really smart ones operating silently behind the public spectacles we are creating.
Whilst Britain is historically one of the most belligerent nations on the planet, even going to war against Spain at one point over the loss of someone's ear! Lockerbie may have been a consideration but I most seriously doubt it; the idea that Lockerbie was a prime mover to the UK's involvement in the recent Libyan conflict is simply bonkers.
I have little doubt though that the Crown Office will be unable to resist performing one of their now traditional and thoroughly insensitive gestures to mark the occasion of quarter century anniversary by pulling some mutant rabbit out of the hat in true vaudeville style. I imagine that it will probably involve the naming of some other Libyans to incriminate alongside al-Megrahi, and whom they know they will never be able to get their mitts on anyway: probably because they are dead already.
It is a most interesting point to reflect on here that JfM began campaigning at the end of 2008. In 2009 Christine Grahame asked Chief Constable Shearer how many officers Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary were devoting to the Crown Office's 'live and on-going' investigation. The answer? One. In other words, no more than file management. Since it became apparent to COPFS that JFM that JFM means business and is in this for the long haul, we have had Crown Office visits to Libya and Malta: all of which have been followed by 'No comment'. I can't wait to see what they come out with on 21st December 2013!
I have lobbied Russia and got nowt in return. The UN has demonstrated a comprehensive lack of interest or willingness to become involved: for reasons mentioned above and more. It may be that Strasbourg could provide some support but, for the meantime, that is for the future. This is an issue generated in Scotland and will be resolved in Scotland. Finally, to say: "this global confrontation Lockerbie is too big for Scotland to resolve alone, unless you want to end up like Libya?" is the most risible notion you have yet suggested. I can only assume it was made in some form of inebriated jest.[20]

Dave's 3rd comment

I can understand why Marx would want to disassociate himself from his followers but there is a left-wing divide between those who blame the oil lobby and those who blame the neo-con lobby for US military intervention in the Middle East.
There are cross-over interests, but whereas the oil lobby prefer a calm environment in which to exploit oil, the neo-cons prefer conflict on behalf of Israel and the arms trade.
Therefore the on-going conflict indicates that the neo-con lobby has the upper hand, particularly as the US is now oil independent of the Middle-East.
The ‘false pretence for war’ by Alan J Kuperman debunks the protecting civilians double-speak and the collapse of oil production debunks the oil grab theory.
The resulting civil war does appear to confirm the promoting conflict explanation, but this wasn’t the intention.
Instead the US wanted to mis-use the UN Security Council resolution to assassinate Gaddafi quickly and get the new government to take the blame for Lockerbie, by blaming Gaddafi.[21]
Re: Lockerbie Case – ‘British squeeze rebel council leaders in secret deal for more cash’.
But the desperation to kill Gaddafi before the time limit set by the US Constitution that required the President to explain to Congress why he was bombing Libya, left a wasteland.[22]

Quincey Riddle's 3rd response

Dear Dave,
Marx didn't want to disassociate himself from his communist supporters, he simply did not recognise, quite rightly, the existence of a movement called Marxism on the ground that, in his opinion, no such institution, party or philosophy existed that he was responsible for, was aware of, or indeed wished to found since he saw himself as nothing other than a plain ordinary communist.
He was simply a student of capitalism who took the view that there was a better way in which to run human social and economic interaction. Had he lived to see what the deluded and reprehensible likes of Lenin and Mao, individuals who embraced Fordism, did in their complete egoistic ignorance of what Marx stood for (Fordism being a capitalist practice that Marx would almost certainly have despised and termed 'Alienation', as he did long before Ford ever established his assembly lines - in fact it was a misnomer as the Springfield arms company employed the practices long before Ford), I have not the slightest doubt that Marx would have challenged both Lenin and Mao to a duel: and being something of an accomplished fencer, I have no doubt that Marx would have skewered the reprehensible pair without even breaking sweat. Oh, and, by the way, talking of Marx wanting to disassociate himself from others, the reason he, not long before he died, transferred the movement to the USA was almost certainly to kill it off in order to get it out of the hands of Bakunin.
I do not know which continent of Zog you hail from, however, you appear to understand little of the psychological driving forces behind human economic relations. You may choose to witter on about Neo-cons and the like, much like I yawn when I listen to people discussing the finer points of what distinguishes Tories, Lib-dems, New Labour and the like from each other, however, there are one or two basics you have to learn. First and foremost, there is not an anorexic cigarette paper's width of difference between their economic policies (they are all totally circumscribed by capitalism); you'd need an electron microscope to establish one (and even them it would be a challenge). Capitalism, like feudalism before it, and classical slavery before that, is based on one thing, and one thing only: surplus value (a principle Marx nicked from David Ricardo MP, however, Ricardoism doesn't quite have the same ring to it as Marxism, don't you think?). The only feature that the capitalist has to play with of any significance is that of variable capital (labour cost), constant capital being more complex to manipulate (This is, of course, why Dyson and the like relocate to the Far East). Continued below.[23]
Continuation of the above.
Humankind, in economic terms at least, has not changed since the year dot. Namely: if you can establish that you have a bigger weapon than your neigbours' you will stand a fairly good chance of enslaving them. This is why the US navy is so gigantic. There is a good reason for this, which goes beyond simply serving the interests of the USA. Some 80 to 90% of capitalist world trade is carried via the world's sea lanes. So in that respect those who subscribe to our current economic system are regrettably indebted to the American taxpayer in this regard. particularly the likes of the UK who cut their own naval budgets and become ever more dependent on the US for their protection.
And don't delude yourself about US oil independence for one moment. Teheran could shut down the straits of Hormuz in a matter of minutes if they so wished. Are you seriously suggesting that the US reaction would be to sit back, pour out a brandy and light up a cigar?
The fact is that, preferably, we need free labour. and if we can't get that, at least we must attempt to get away with paying them enough to feed them on sufficient bread and water till they drop off their mortal coils. Let's face it, we've infested the planet with so many of us that they are expendable anyway.
As far as Lockerbie/Zeist goes, you are so wrong in your approach as to be certifiable. The Crown Office is not going to come up with anything they will be able to put on the table as convincing proof of Libyan guilt or put anyone in the dock come 21st December 2013. All they will do, as they have always done on the previous anniversaries, is to seek to justify their balls up and the maintenance of their charade of fictional investigation by attempting to justify their putrefying rectitude.
Finally, henceforth on this thread, I refuse to respond on any matter relating to Marx, Communism, Neo-cons or any other half-baked and irrelevant political and economic matters you are attempting to connect with Lockerbie/Zeist and which you seem to be completely ill-informed on. Stick to the issue at hand instead of revealing your ignorance on matters quite unrelated. Being a Flâneur and committee member of the Anarcho-syndicalist Sybarite Party (emphasis on 'party') I find discussions on the conventions of our current political structures tiresome in the extreme.
Pip, pip,

Dave's 4th comment

Is the AS Sybarite Party a break-away group from the Judean Peoples Front?
The oil lobby and everyone else would be extremely concerned if Tehran blocked the Straits of Hormuz.
But not the neo-con lobby who are trying to provoke such an event with their attacks on Iran!
Also despite its flaws capitalist policy is to buy rather than steal, because if you try to steal rather than buy, production falls due to a refusal to work and sabotage.
It was recognised long ago that carrots rather than sticks promotes the trade that generates increased wealth.
And you may not think Lockerbie was a motive, but US/UK both publicly invoked Lockerbie as a justification for their Libyan turkey shoot.
Except their motive was to close the case by killing Gaddafi and getting the new government to take responsibility for Lockerbie, by blaming Gaddafi![25]
Gaddafi was the original Arab anti-Zionist bogeyman on the US wanted list, but many years ago he gave up pan-Arabism for pan-Africanism, paid compensation for Lockerbie and became an ally of the ‘West’ against Al-Qaeda.
So why would the US suddenly decide to miss-use a UN Security Council resolution and assist Al-Qaeda in inflicting regime change in Libya that has left a waste-land?
Why the desperation to assassinate Gaddafi?[26]
US/UK wanted Gaddafi killed quickly to derail PE1370.
They wanted to say to the Justice Committee "what’s the point of pursuing this matter when those responsible (the new Libyan government) have admitted their guilt?"
Politically, this would have been enough cover for a ‘Unionist' Justice Committee to drop the case.
Except following the stunning SNP victory, Christine Grahame became Chairman and they voted to keep PE1370 alive before Gaddafi was killed.
No doubt because the extraordinary miscarriage of justice is obvious to all those required to look!
And now that PE1370 has been passed unanimously it is not a matter that any self-respecting Justice Committee can now drop.[27]

Quincey Riddle's 4th response

Dear Dave,
Yes, yes, I know all about the US and UK invoking Lockerbie as justification etc: as was so opportunely exemplified by the likes of Jason McCue and his ilk. But, like I say, if you think that Lockerbie was the prime motivation, you are, as you so frequently demonstrate, living on Cloud Cuckoo Land. This is also demonstrated by the fact that you think gangsters prefer to use carrots rather than sticks. The very basis of imperialism is the stick, and has been thus from Alexander through Tamerlane, Hitler and up to current so called 'democracies'. I don't know which history books you are reading but they certainly aren't the same ones that I do.
Insofar as the origins of the Anarcho-syndicalist Sybarite Party go, it is a refreshingly redeeming feature that you are clearly a fan of Monty Python (although I don't greatly like them other than the soft spot I have for the works of Terry Gilliam). In fact, come to think of it, I imagine that he would be an ideal person to make a film on Zeist! What a jolly splendid notion.

Dave has the last word

The cover-up is always worse than the lie, because it incites more crimes and more lies to hide the original lie.
And that has happened over Lockerbie. So much so, that even a Lord Advocate cannot answer a simple question.
Now it would be reasonable to ask why an establishment confession cannot be made, but to do so would bring their legitimacy and official zeitgeist into question.
Instead they just hope the whole business will be lost in time like the Iraq enquiry. And without PE1370 Megrahi’s release would have been the official end of the Lockerbie Case.
And that’s why Lockerbie was the prime motivation for the assassination of Gaddafi.[29]

Certifiably doolally

On 14 January 2014, these three comments appeared on Professor Black's The Lockerbie Case blog in relation to an article by William Blum in the Foreign Policy Journal of 10 January 2014:[30]

1. pesceman said: So we know al-Megrahi was innocent. Of that there is no doubt. Why was the Heathrow break-in totally ignored from the very start - the Anti-Terrorism Police in the UK don't seem able to recall the event at all???? It is pretty obvious that the South African Civil Cooperation Bureau were wholly responsible and assisted in the cover up by UK Intelligence and UK Police.

2. Robert Black said: It is by no means obvious. And the notion that the CCB was responsible stems from Patrick Haseldine's fevered imagination. There is nothing whatever that counts as evidence to support it. No further comments giving credence to Mr Haseldine's ravings will be accepted on this blog.

3. Quincey Riddle aka Robert Forrester said: Dear Peaceman, I agree entirely with Robert Black vis-a-vis the South African theory. Mr Haseldine is frankly certifiably doolally and an extremely manipulative individual, whom I felt obliged to expel from JFM for his conduct. I would be careful too about laying too much store on the issue of the Heathrow break-in as being linked to Pan Am 103, maybe it was maybe it wasn't. In my view, the only significant factor here is that COPFS appears to have hidden a tree in a forest in terms of the evidence made available to the defence. That from my perspective is as reprehensible as the Gauci payments being denied to the court. Robert.

Liar, Bounder and Cad

In response to Patrick Haseldine's email of 3 September 2014 headed "Welcome to the Lockerbie Blackballed Club, Baz" which was addressed to Barry Walker and copied to 30 recipients including Robert Black and Robert Forrester, the latter emailed this reply:

Dear Hazelnut,
I have restrained myself for many a year now to responding to your quite ludicrous ravings following your expulsion from JFM resulting from your utterly unforgivable misdemeanours. However, I happen to have found myself at a minor loose end for the moment and thought: 'What the Hell, let's indulge in dashing around a bit of vitriol', after all, your visage could do with a tad more colour.
You, sir, are a liar, a bounder and a cad. Baz has not been banned from Prof Black's blog as is plainly evident from my exchange with him today.
Unfortunately, Ronnie Laing popped his clogs many moons ago. Had he not done, I would have recommended him to you for some intensive psychiatric therapy. If I can locate a suitable replacement (and that ilk is exceedingly hard to find these days), be assured that I will let you know, simply because I care for your welfare. I feel sure that there must be some good in you somewhere. The thing is to find it.
Pip, pip,
Robert (JFM)


Language, history, constitutional law, communism, anarchism and politics generally. In particular: Middle Eastern, Central Asian and Far Eastern affairs. Mediaeval Mongolian History. The Silk Road. Fine Art, music, photography and cinema. Motor sport and fencing (sabre). Engineering as applied to railways, submarines and aircraft. Physics, and cosmology.

Favourite films

The Third Man by Carol Reed, Dr Strangelove by Stanley Kubrick, Fargo and The Man Who Wasn't There by the Coen Bros, Citizen Kane by Orson Welles - and many others of this ilk.

Favourite music

Symphonies by Beethoven, Stravinski, Mozart, the works of Bach, Handel, Hayden and Elgar, Jazz by Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Pharoah Saunders, John Handy, Mingus, Dolphy, Archie Shepp and the rest. The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, The Kinks, Alabama 3 and such like.

Favourite books

The crime fiction works of Raymond Chandler, Lawrence Block, James Ellroy and Philip Kerr etc. The Prince by Nicolo Machiavelli, Capital (vol 1) by Karl Marx. Additionally, Graham Greene and many others far too numerous to include here.


A Document by Robert Forrester

TitleDocument typePublication dateSubject(s)Description
Document:Ex-Scottish Government Ministers: Political Consequences of Public StatementsLetter16 March 2018Kenny MacAskill
Alex Salmond
Abdelbaset al-Megrahi
Robert Black
Professor Robert Black said that Kenny MacAskill’s contention in his new book that Abdelbaset al-Megrahi had not bought the clothes wrapped around the explosive device that destroyed Pan Am Flight 103 amounted to “the end of the conviction”.
Many thanks to our Patrons who cover ~2/3 of our hosting bill. Please join them if you can.


  1. "R I P Robert Forrester"
  2. "In memoriam: Robert Forrester"
  3. "Facebook group 'Friends of Justice for Megrahi'"
  4. "Robert Forrester on Facebook"
  5. "Beards at JfM policy meetings"
  6. "An open letter to the President of the General Assembly of the United Nations"
  7. "Open Letter Signatories"
  8. "The shooting down of Iran Air Flight 655 by USS Vincennes"
  9. "Iranian Airbus case settled"
  10. "$61.8 million ex gratia compensation"
  11. "Lockerbie disaster: crime against humanity?"
  12. "In 2009/10, I contacted every UNOGA member: result zilch"
  13. "Lockerbie: perpetrators roam free"
  14. "JFM's petition PE1370 discussed at the Scottish Parliament's Justice Committee in January 2011"
  15. "Does JfM share the blame?"
  16. "David Cameron has a secret about Lockerbie"
  17. "Risible raving of the likes of Patrick Haseldine"
  18. "Blaming the ‘oil lobby’ is a lazy Marxist analysis"
  19. "I can't wait to see what they come out with on 21st December 2013!"
  20. "The UN has demonstrated a comprehensive lack of interest"
  21. "David Cameron's Libyan war: why the PM felt Gaddafi had to be stopped"
  22. "Desperation to kill Gaddafi before the time limit"
  23. "Being something of an accomplished fencer, I have no doubt that Marx would have skewered the reprehensible pair"
  24. "I find discussions on the conventions of our current political structures tiresome in the extreme"
  25. "US/UK both publicly invoked Lockerbie as a justification for their Libyan turkey shoot"
  26. "Why the desperation to assassinate Gaddafi?"
  27. "They voted to keep PE1370 alive before Gaddafi was killed"
  28. "I know all about the US and UK invoking Lockerbie as justification etc"
  29. "That’s why Lockerbie was the prime motivation for the assassination of Gaddafi"
  30. "The Bombing of Pan Am Flight 103: Case closed?"