So the British Government claims letting Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi go, (often known as the Lockerbie bomber) has nothing to do with any possible oil deals. Yes, maybe they show compassion to countries where there is no oil. Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister of Britain says he is enraged (after the event) because the Libyan government gave a heroes welcome to the Lockerbie Bomber.
Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi may be innocent. I do not know. He has a disadvantage because terrorists often claim they are innocent as their cause makes them innocent. If he is not a terrorist then his claims of innocence will stand. If he is a terrorist then his innocence will not stand. I have no idea. I was not in the court-room. I was not on the jury.
But what is interesting is the welcome that the Libyan leader personally gave to the Lockerbie bomber. Can it be believed that Gordon Brown who received assurances from the Libyan leader that there would be no celebrations – that there would be no celebrations, was believed? Is there naivety in the British Government? Has the Government shown this naivety before?
Often in therapy I have clients who will always believe others will change. The wife with years of domestic abuse so often still believes her husband will change and will one day, suddenly treat her with the love and respect she wants. It often does not happen.
Or the employee who works in an abusive environment believes his boss will change and suddenly give him what he deserves. It rarely happens.
The child who was abused by his parents grows up and still hopes and believes that his parents will change and love him. They rarely do.
These are conditions that we set out as individuals. As individuals we have what is called ‘Positive Illusion’. This dream and belief that things can change. It often stops us as individuals from changing as we expect an outside figure and outside individual to do the changing.
As a public figure and Prime Minister what are we to do when we deal with individuals who have a history, what is to be expected? We would first check on the individual’s history and then from that history are able to make certain judgements on the possible outcome and expected behaviour.
Insurance companies do it when preparing insurance quotes. Would you insure someone who was banned from driving? Would you insure someone who has a criminal record, a history of car accidents and 9 points (12 points is the maximum before you can get banned from driving in the UK) on their driving licence? If you did wouldn’t you make the insurance quote so high it would be impossible to pay?
Or a client of mine years ago who was an alcoholic and had met a man who was also an alcoholic. She believed in his innocence even though he had a record of having abused a minor years ago. He was now on charges of incest with his under aged daughter. She still believed him when he professed his innocence.
The Scottish flag ran high on Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi’s return to Tripoli. Scotland has the highest rate of heart attacks in the world. Levels of obesity are high. This is the land of chocolate mars bars deep-fried in batter. It is a beautiful green country far removed from the arid barren landscapes of Libya.We will never really know what is going on. We are only on the ground. We may find out in 25 years when the files to what really happened are open, meanwhile the Official Secrets Act will remain in force. Most of us will not be here. I do hope this will allow people to think more on how we are often fooled by the imaginary, by Positive Illusions. Individuals can be fooled and so can governments. How much do we ourselves want Positive Illusions to also affect us in our own lives?
© 2009 Y