………………..somebody writes something in a newspasper which resonates and makes so much sense.  I don’t write about politics, nor do i write about world issues often.   But I read this piece today and I was moved.  It’s an intelligent piece of journalism.  It’s by a man called Richard Holloway and the piece was in the Guardian recently:

‘ While justice is an enormous and important value in a civilised, humane society, I do not believe that it is an absolute value, that, as it were, negates all others. I believe that in ethical terms mercy is of equal value, and sometimes is of higher importance. Mercy to the dying and to the family of the dying has always been considered important, certainly in the western Christian tradition; you adopt a different posture towards them because they are in extremis. So I personally believe that what the Sottish government has done is a good thing; and a brave thing, especially considering the enormous pressure they were under not to take the decision they did. Given the almost certain unpopularity of the move, and the likelihood that the Scottish Nationalist Party government could even suffer electoral penalties as a result, it shows that they have put principle above their own political safety. I can certainly respect and understand the feelings of the victims’ families, but Kenny MacAskill was the only person on the globe that had to make this decision and in his weighing up of the options obviously the easier thing for him to have done would have been to hear the pleas of those who wanted al-Megrahi’s punishment to continue up until his death. Faced with a situation like this you can’t go both ways. He made the harder decision, and I hope that even those who disagree with it will admire his courage. The whole area of punishment in human life is fraught with difficulty, which is why I’ve always wanted to listen to something the great poet and philosopher Geothe said: “beware of people in whom the sheer urge to punish is strong”. While we do need to punish there is something else in the human heart that should be as strong and that is mercy. ‘