David Miliband has been urged by US Human Rights campaigners to review the ‘unfair’ and ‘lopsided’ extradition treaty following the case of Gary McKinnon. Given the events that have taken place this week one can only hope that people in Britain will soon be calling for a long overdue review of the ‘unfair’ and ‘lopsided’ relationship that exists between British and American governments.
Earlier in the week, the Scottish Executive unleashed a storm by releasing Al Megrahi which is resulted in the patently absurd birth of the ‘boycott Scotland’ campaign; the true extent of the nationalist pique behind this more than amply illustrated in the below remarks;
“Why did MacAskill and the Scottish National Party desire so strongly to show compassion for al-Megrahi, but not for the American victims? Why have the concerns of the American families been so routinely dismissed and discarded? Why have we been shown such an incredible level of disrespect by the Scottish authorities?”
So, what about the British families then? Maybe they are not mentioned because from what I have heard they seem less convinced on Al Megrahi’s guilt and more likely to feel it is possible he (and consequentially themselves) were stitched-up by, you guessed it, the American government. Whatever you think of the merits or not of that case; it is obvious that the feelings of the British families merited little concern from the authors of this website. The site goes onto to rant against ‘legalism’ which shows that a) they were aware MacAskill acted within the letter of the law and b) they think the law should be suspended in lieu of their injured feelings.
Kudos to the brave souls in America who recognise their own governments footloose and fancy free tendency to conflate international law and indeed the law of other lands with anything it happens to say. However, the point remains that the weighty body of opinion in this case is again that Britain should do as it is told and the threat of damaging the special relationship is held as a banker against anything different being the end result.
Extraditing McKinnon is a patent absurdity; you get the feeling that the supposedly mightiest government in the world wants to make him pay most severely for the crime of embarrassing them and showing their security networks to be vulnerable. However, it does show once again that the ‘special relationship’ is far from special when what it is entirely conditional on Britain doing what it is told to do; whether it be the Scottish Executive over Megrahi or London doing nothing to prevent the extradition of McKinnon.
Often it is levelled at the left that it is ‘anti-American’ and no doubt there will be some that will see this blog post in exactly that light. However, it is not anti anything to question the dynamics of a relationship that is so obviously less than special when it is based on such a ‘lopsided’ bias.