Rod Liddle has written about the NatWest Three in the Sunday Times. He finishes his article with these words...
When it came to alleged IRA terrorists, the US judiciary worried that those people we wished to extradite might not receive due process in the British courts, what with us being imperialists and racists. So here’s a question: do you think British citizens whom the US believes to be members of Al-Qaeda will get a fair trial in the US? In the state of Texas, which was devastated by the Enron implosion, will there be a fair trial for Messrs Bermingham, Darby and Mulgrew? In short, doesn’t that one-sided Extradition Act prevent the British government from exercising one of its most important obligations: to protect British citizens and afford them justice?
Our government doesn't seem to be acting as an independent government in this matter. It's as if we have become a colony and feel the need to obey the mother country for fear of what the consequences might be. At last one government Minister, Peter Hain, has spoken out and said “It is increasingly frustrating that we seem incapable of doing more for them. The situation is grossly unfair and it is exasperating that the Americans seem to hold all the cards.”
Baroness Scotland's defence on Radio 4 yesterday and the TV today is so full of holes, it's quite astonishing that she doesn't seem to realise we all know she's deliberately not telling the full story. She says the legislation was never only meant to apply to suspected terrorists. It was. She says America has provided prima facae evidence. It hasn't. She says it's not within the Home Secretary's power to intervene. It is. She says there is repricosity in the legislation. There isn't. Tony Blair has promised to do 'all he can'. He's got a week left in which to do it.
People from all sides of the political world seem to agree that this whole think stinks. I understand that three bankers aren't perhaps the most popular group of people but next time it might be three environmental campaigners, three artists or three sportspeople. It's time to tell the USA where it can stick its extradition order.