Extradition of David Bermingham and the NatWest Three

Are we just a poodle? No, a super-poodle Yes, but why? Why are we so pathetic? Britain is so grovellingly submissive to America as to make lapdogs look positively butch and poodles like keen independent spirits. We are all, by now, familiar with the craven manner in which we have decided to hand over British subjects for trial in America. The baffling question is why? We beg, we fetch, we sit, we look up adoringly and wait to have our mangy old ears tickled by Uncle Sam, and it is not at all clear to the casual observer what we are getting in return. In two weeks, my constituent David Bermingham intends to be at the Goring and Streatley regatta, and I hope he takes a fond last imprint on his mental retina of the delights of the English summer: the picnics, the blazers, the girls in their filmy dresses, the blissful trailing of fingers in the river. Because immediately thereafter, Mr Bermingham is going to be super-magnetically suctioned to spend at least two years on remand in a Texan penitentiary surrounded by the low-lifes Dubya never got round to executing. He and two others are alleged to have committed a fraud against what was then the NatWest Bank. But the outrageous thing is that this fraud - if it took place - took place in this country, and against UK interests, and if it was committed, it was committed by UK citizens. No UK authority has shown the slightest interest in prosecuting Mr Bermingham, and yet the Americans - without any prima facie evidence whatever - are able to snatch him from this country as if it were the 52nd state. No other European country is so invertebrate in the protection of its nationals. All other governments insist on some political discretion in such cases, or at least that the US must provide prima facie evidence. But oh no, says HM Government. You want some of our chaps, do you? Be our guest. Carry on. Frightfully good, sir. It is time, for a second, to set aside our outrage and work out the possible reasoning of the apparently supine British ruling classes. It will be helpful to take our minds back to Gordon Brown's audacious statement, two weeks ago, that he wants a replacement for Trident. There was some perplexity about why Gordon was making this announcement, when it should surely have fallen to the Prime Minister. There was some doubt as to the intended target of our new nukes. Korea? France? But no one seemed to contest the rationale for buying this terrifying and terrifyingly expensive new firecracker, namely that a nuke is your ticket to the top table. In the great regatta of international diplomacy, it is the nuke that gets you on to the stewards' lawn. And if you are in the upper reaches of the British establishment, and you think and care deeply about the long-term future of the country, then you know how important it is to have that shiny nuclear passepartout. Without a nuke, they fear, we would cease to be taken seriously in the comity of nations. We might be kicked off the UN security council. We would cease, in the phrase of Douglas Hurd, to "punch above our weight"; and these vital nuclear tokens are, of course, provided by America. The current Trident D5 is deployed on four Vanguard-class submarines, and though we make the subs and their engines (Rollers, of course), the missile itself is American. It is the Americans who supply the three-stage solid-fuel rocket measuring 13 metres and weighing 60 tonnes, and capable of delivering 12 warheads over 6,000 kilometres. It is the Americans who service the missiles and who provide many of the components of the warheads. Now, when Gordon proclaimed his enthusiasm for Son of Trident, he wasn't seriously suggesting that we were going to develop it all ourselves. Passionate though he is, these days, about "Britishness", he wasn't proposing that the new UK nuke should be as British as a Cornish pasty or a pair of Geri Halliwell's pants. He can't conceivably have meant that Britain was going to create its own independent ballistic capability, not unless he was going to axe the NHS and the social security budget to pay for it. He knew that we were going to depend on America for our security, as we do in so many ways, visible and invisible, not least in intelligence. That is the calculation that must always be at the back of the minds of the British establishment - whichever party is in power - and that is at least part of the explanation for the crushing and humiliating deference we show in the matter of this extradition treaty. Indeed, I am sure this was the calculation, the importance of sticking with America, that weighed most with the Prime Minister when he joined the war in Iraq. As a narrow-eyed assessment of the UK interest, it is very far from irrational. The only question is whether we are now in danger of poodling far more than even the Americans expect. Whatever you think about supporting Bush in Iraq, our posture on this one-sided extradition treaty amounts to a paranoid super-poodling. No American administration is going to pull the plug on the transatlantic alliance - and 50 years of nuclear cooperation - if we decided to put some symmetry into an extradition treaty that allows the Americans to vacuum up our citizens without providing any evidence, and yet gives us no corresponding rights over suspects in America. We should without delay repeal this disastrous treaty, signed by David Blunkett in 2003, and whatever the paranoia of the British officials who devised it, I bet it would make not a bean of difference to the transatlantic

56 thoughts on “Extradition of David Bermingham and the NatWest Three”

  1. i agree boris old chap, this is a disgrace and the treaty should be repealed, as i think most of the good tories of this country would agree, however sadly it is the lefties who are in power, besides it is my opinion that our “special” relationship with the USA is a dangerous liason. not least in the fact that the amreican administration is only getting slightly less jumpy about iran, a nation with whom we have had fairly good trading relations with for many many years, we should distance ourselves from them, as much as possible, and don’t you find it rather odd that brown, a man who has gone to great lengths to gut our armed forces now thinks we should go for more nuclear weapons. the sooner our chap cameron gets in the better, would i be wrong in thinking that if mr. blair did resign (unlikely i know but a man can dream) that it would force a snap election, after all the situation with the dear margaret thatcher was a little different.

  2. It is the Americans who supply the three-stage solid-fuel rocket measuring 13 metres and weighing 60 tonnes, and capable of delivering 12 warheads over 6,000 kilometres. It is the Americans who service the missiles and who provide many of the components of the warheads. (Boris)

    Correct me if I’m wrong, Boris, but there’s something about this missile that you haven’t mentioned.

    Does ‘dual key’ ring the faintest of bells?

    In my small understanding of these things, what ‘dual key’ meant was that these hideous missiles could only be launched with the permission not just of the UK government, but the US government as well. So we can only launch these missiles against countries which the US government agrees to launch them against. And given this, it unlikely that the US government would ever consent to them ever being launched against, say, the USA. Not that they could get that far anyway, given that London is some 5585 km from New York.

    Far from Trident allowing Britain to “punch above our weight”, Trident actually allows the US to punch above its weight. Given a suitably compliant UK government, such as the grovelling Blair administration, the US could actually use Britain to fight proxy nuclear wars on its behalf, with Britain being on the receiving end of any counter strike.

    Is the present US government planning any further wars, or nuclear wars? Well, yes, they are. They are considering a nuclear strike against Iran. The option was included in plans prepared by the the US military, and retained by the Bush administration to the horror of the US military high command (which is why it has been so widely leaked).

    But Americans need not worry too much, because they can always get the Airstrip One’s commander Blair to drop the big one for them, and for the UK to carry the can for this atrocity thereafter.

    And perhaps this partly explains why Blair continues to grimly hang on to office, and why Bush wants him to stay there: there’s one last little job that Bush may want Blair to do, before rewarding him with a cattle ranch near Crawford, Texas.

  3. Thre was a slight mistake in my earlier post, which I would like to correct.

    I referred to “the grovelling Blair administration” when I should, of course, have referred to the “the quisling Blair administration”.

    Sorry about that.

  4. i am aware of the grammatical and spelling errors in my previous post, i can but apologise i have had a very, very long day.

  5. If you’ve not already heard it, the answer to your question is contained in the new Pet Shop Boys song entitled I’m With Stupid which includes the lyrics

    “Oh, I’m with stupid

    See you on the TV
    Call you everyday
    Fly across the ocean just to let you get your way
    No-one understands me
    Where i’m coming from
    Why would i be with someone, who’s obviously so dumb?
    Loves comes (love comes), love grows (love grows)
    Everytime you rise to meet me, take my take to greet me
    Loves comes (love comes), love grows (love grows)
    And power can give a man much more than anybody knows

  6. It seems that India, Pakistan and Iran can have an independent nuclear deterrent and Britain can’t. That’s somewhat disappointing, isn’t it? If it’s a dual key deterrent that can’t be used without US consent, that’s more than disappointing.

    The lily-liveredness of our relationship with the USA (a wonderful country for which I have immense affection) is not confined to our government, alas. The Law Society provides a fast track for US qualified lawyers to requalify in England & Wales without any corresponding concession from the NY Bar. Not right. Not right at all.

    We can’t blame America for these inequities however. We must blame our own inferiority complex. We could simply decide to do no more for them in these respects than they are prepared to do for us. They wouldn’t mind a bit.

  7. Actually, having said that Trident is ‘dual-key’, I can’t find anything online that says it is. Mostly I’ve been finding denials that Trident is dual-key. Although several prior systems were dual-key.

    Instead the argument is made that Trident is not a truly independent nuclear weapon because it relies so heavily on US technological systems of one sort or other as to make it impossible to use if the US didn’t want the UK to do so.

  8. considering the amounts of money wasted by the government on mandarins and such, specifically the near £80 million they make a day in taxes on cigarettes, it is rather astounding that we cannot afford to run our own missile systems.

  9. Apparently we are held to this one sided treaty by the ghost of one Aemon DeValera and the remaining, quite posibly still growing, powerful, Irish Lobby in the US.

    Although it was apparently mentioned in passing that a bi-partisan equal Treaty would perhaps prosper and grow, there has been no movement on that front. Bow- Wow.

    There would still be time to stop the one way traffic , if only there were not so many other pieces of debris , from so many other useless, and failed, bits of legislation left for the Home Secretary to sweep up.

    Unfortunately the opposition is shackled,( as the bankers will be on their way to years of yackety yacking in the States), by a leader without any clear aims as to what he might do if the blues were to win an election.

    It’s getting very crowded indeed on that tightly packed, narrow, central platform, with hardly a Mu distance between middle ground ideas.

    Let’s hear your agenda for modern , fair and progressive government ” Dave”, loud , clear, and , above all ,different from the tired old ideas of Tony and his cabal.

  10. I agree that tearing up a bad extradition treaty would not affect our intelligence sharing arrangements or positions in NATO.

    I don’t know the facts of the case.

    But if these guys have filled their pockets dishonestly out of the post 9/11 economy – let ‘Dubya’ have them!

  11. ‘Is the present US government planning any further wars, or nuclear wars? Well, yes, they are. They are considering a nuclear strike against Iran.’
    (Idlex)

    Whats wrong with this? You can’t rule out the options. I’m not so much for a nuclear strike but perhaps a tactical strike against their enrichment facilities. If only the French and the Germans had joined in the War on Terror, we could be spreading freedom and democracy to the people in the axis of evil who have only ever known tyranny and oppression.

  12. You are quite right to put extradition & our dependent for spare parts, independent deterrent as part of the same subject.

    A 3rd one would be our support of the US in the various wars to put genocidal Moslems & Catholics in charge of Yugoslavia. The initial pressure for destroying that country was from Germany (apparently Yugoslavia had been on the wrong side in a couple of wars) & it used its alliances outrageously to support the openly genocidal Nazi forces there. At the time US Presidents were visiting Germany to publicly describe them as “our chief ally in Europe” (poodles don’t count as allies) & therefore sided with them. We, poodle-like then followed the US, thus at 2nd hand becoming Germany’s poodle (& helping to murder half a million according to Ashdown) Untermensch, destroy international law & generally make the world a more dangerous place.

  13. There is no ‘War on Terror’, Steven. Nor is there an ‘axis of evil’. They are both propaganda fictions. We are fighting fictional wars against largely fictional enemies. The only thing that matters in the fictional Operation Iraqi Liberation is its acronym: OIL.

  14. (Off topic): – After the furore over Charles Clarke’s comments about the Prime Minister, those who agree with him should visit the new website http://www.whenwillblairgo.com

    The person who predicts the exact time and date of Blair’s departure from Downing Street wins £500.

  15. That was clever. Tom managed to copy not only Steven_L’s posting, but everything that came before it as well. [Ed: Tom was being a dufus so had to axe him…]

    It took me about 10 minutes to figure out what on earth had happened.

  16. Its a disgrace that we signed that treaty in the first place. I would say more but you’ve made all the points.

    Excellent post, and I hope the “NatWest Three” find some last minute way to avoid this injustice.

  17. So you guys think IOam stupid because I agree with George W. By this logic I am presuming you all think he is stupid as well then?

  18. There is no ‘War on Terror’, ‘Steven. Nor is there an ‘axis of evil’. They are both propaganda fictions. We are fighting fictional wars against largely fictional enemies. The only thing that matters in the fictional Operation Iraqi Liberation is its acronym: OIL.’ (Idlex)

    a) There is a War on Terror, some of my best friends are fighting in it, it is certainly not ‘fictional’ in Basra

    b) There is an ‘axis of evil’, Iran and North Korea, they are trying to develop weapons of mass destruction and they are a threat to our way of life. North Korea cannot even feed its people, they torture their own civilians. Now they are testing missiles. The people of North Korea deserve freedom and democracy, not tyranny and oppression. Post-revolution Iran is also a threat to the free world. I have lost count of how many pre-revolution Iranian flags I have seen flying outside shops and restaurants in London. The people of Iran also deserve the chance to embrace freedom and democracy.

    c) Our ememies are not ‘fictional’ were the july 7th atrocities carried out by fictional ememies? North Korea and Iran are not ‘fictional’ rogue states, they exist and they support terrorism.

    This is why we need to continue the War on Terror if you ask me. I think George W is spot on!

  19. Congratulations to Boris for having the nerve to produce this article. Why do we lie supine and let the Americans walk all over us? People seem to find it odd that I can have libertarian right-of-centre political views and yet not be an uncritical fan of the USA. If we in the UK wanted to cause any regime changes we could have gone for Mugabe instead of hanging onto the US coat tails against the Arabs, with whom the UK once had good relations.
    I do not however have any confidence that under Cameron’s premiership our docile relationship with the US will change in any way. He seems to be as besotted with so-called American ‘culture’ as does Blair. A little more of the aggressive chauvinism of our French neighbours wouldn’t go amiss here I think.

  20. Chris, we tried to get Zimbabwe suspended from the Commonwealth but a load of African Kleptocrats seem to like him. Bush offered Mugabe a generous package to stand down (just like he did Saddam), he refused (just like Saddam).

    We do get on with the Arabs, we get on with the Saudi’s, with the UAE and with Qatar. What we don’t get on with are those states that choose to support terrorism and who subject their people to tyranny and oppression. states like Iran who are trying to develop weapons of mass destruction and who want to threaten our freedom and our peaceful way of life.

    As for the French, look at the way they behaved in the aftermath of 9/11. It’s almost as if they wanted the US economy to fail. They snubbed the ‘coalition of the willing’ and in some ways chose to side with those who support and sympathise with terror.

    Look at the way they refused to open their labour markets to the new EU member states, they do not embrace free trade because of they cannot compete. Bush was quite right to suggest trying to ruin their economy when they refused to join the War on Terror, only he should have made better attempts to actually do it.

    9/11 ruined our economy, all I ever hear are people whinging about their pensions (which tend to be invested in the stock markets) whinging about having to work until they are 65, getting excited about how much equity they have in their homes, then slagging off George W. The way I see it if it wasn’t for George W your pensions would be completely screwed.

  21. «blockquote» Steven_L

    “‘Is the present US government planning any further wars, or nuclear wars? Well, yes, they are. They are considering a nuclear strike against Iran.’

    Whats wrong with this? You can’t rule out the options. «blockquote»

    Surely the most insane post we’ve had on this forum…..

  22. There is a War on Terror, some of my best friends are fighting in it, it is certainly not ‘fictional’ in Basra (Steven_L)

    You are perfectly entitled to your beliefs, Steven. I just don’t happen to share them.

    In today’s Independent, on page 25, there is the following small item of news:

      Bin Laden search unit axed by CIA

      NEW YORK. The CIA has closed a unit that has been hunting Osama bin Laden and his top aides for a decade, the New York Times reported yesterday. The unit, Alec Station, was disbanded last year. Intelligence officials said the decision reflected a view that Al-Qa’ida is not longer as hierarchical as it was.

    If we were really fighting a War on Terror, one would think that we would be hot on the trail of the mastermind behind 11 September. Apparently not. In fact, not are we not hot on his trail, but the unit that has been hunting him for 10 years has actually been closed down.

    The fictional “War on Terror” is simply a cover for the pursuit of entirely unrelated strategic goals, mostly concerned with oil. It is a portmanteau justification for doing whatever we happen to decide to do.

    And if seeking to develop nuclear weapons is the admission ticket to the “axis of evil”, how come India and Pakistan aren’t members too? Or is it that once one has actually succeeded in developing one, one gets kicked out of the said axis?

  23. Tom, I don’t consider myself insane, I just like George W Bush and his policies.

    Does being a hardcore pro-US neo-con make me insane?

  24. (Quote)India and Pakistan are our allies. They are upstanding members of the Commonwealth. (End quote)

    I guess that this is your natural sense of humour showing?

  25. India and Pakistan are our allies.

    And China and Russia too?

    Actually, I did notice that Russia got included in the Eurovision Song Contest a month or two back, so perhaps Russia is an ally of ours after all, and perhaps even a prospective EU member. But China has yet to feature on the show, so I guess it must still be an enemy or something.

  26. The “treaty” should be repudiated immediately . Nothing to stop a future House of Commons , sitting as a court , from trying Bliar for the crime of not doing his basic duty of defending the rights of British subjects from predatory foreign governments .

    By the way , I wonder what Bairs reaction would have been if the NatWest three had been Scottish and not English .

    No prizes for getting the answer in one .

  27. Quite frankly, I don’t see why you don’t send EVERYONE you arrest over to the US? I understand they pay the transportation expenses. Everyone demonstrate at Westminster and get arrested: free trip to the US! Also solves that whole “UK jails filling up” thing.

    You can get out of US jails by volunteering to serve overseas in the military, just as in Vietnam. So when Bush has an infarction at the fact that, say, a million prisoners are being flown over from Heathrow, he’ll probably make you a deal. Steven L, you’ll get your chance to serve the War on Terror.

    But you do need to get a few more details about this so-called Axis of Evil. The axes keep shifting…and if your idea of cooperation is North Korea and Iran, or India and Pakistan, you have a long way to go in understanding international relations.

    BTW there is no reason to assume a dual key system requires one key to be in the US. It’s just a precaution so Bush doesn’t blow away Vegas all by himself when he loses at online poker.

    George W. Bush is a mentally inferior, middle-aged frat boy and former nasty coke drunk who nearly lost the battle for his life to a pretzel, a man who is to be congratulated less on his accomplishments as a statesman than on his ability to walk on his hind legs. A man who humbly says, “Jeb is the smart one,” and who has far more to be humble about than most men. It’s a good thing his head’s so empty, because if a real thought got in there it might go mad from loneliness.

    The fact is, somewhat over three years ago he announced “Mission Accomplished” in Iraq. Since that time, the American casualty rate has surpassed the rate of casualties in Vietnam, and the American death toll has increased nearly by a factor of ten. Tens of thousands of Iraqis are dead, a hundred thousand or more wounded. Afghanistan is a morass with no end in sight; hated by the Taliban, used by the warlords whose only allegiance is to themselves, the coalition forces (including those of my own country) are sacrificing themselves to the ignorance of those giving the orders, none of whom have seen military service, even in peacetime. May god have mercy on their souls, because I hope the souls of their victims come for them in the night.

  28. If you ask me we need a few NATO treaty, that overules all the other silly treaties we have signed up to ver the years. It often strikes me that we are the only country that doesn’t ignore bad treaties. In the EU we seem to be the only member state that doesn’t just ignore silly Directives.

    We need someone like George W in power if you ask me. when the yanks are finished with him I think we should ask him how much he wants to come run the UK.

  29. What a load of rubbish.
    These three men stand accused of defrauding their employer -why do they fear facing a trial? And what has happened to the millions involved?

  30. Rupert, I had a go trying to find out more about this case reading the financial press, unfortunately most financial stuff goes over my head and I didn’t understand much of it.

    Seen as I don’t really understand it I’ve had to come up with a theory of my own. Simply that the ‘Nat-West Three’ have been messing with the wrong people. I doubt they have done anything worse than a lot of people who work in the cutthroat world of big business.

    But I reckon they have gotten out of their depth and been messing around with the interests of some really big fish over the pond. Now they have the problem that we have a weak and feeble PM who is doing very well at getting in with the ‘right people’ over the pond and will care more about his own interests than sorting out a one-sided extradition treaty.

    I wouldn’t want to be extradited to the US and stuck in a Texas penitentiary, but then I just get on with my working class life and don’t mess with the big fish, I don’t sympathise with terrorists (in fact I think we should ship them all to Saudi Arabia to have their heads chopped off but that’s another matter) and I don’t (and wouldn’t know where to begin) hack into US government computers. Hence I’m not really that fussed about the Extradition Treaty and not really surprised that Blair isn’t that interested either.

    It’s good that Boris is sticking up for his constituents however, and sticking up for the UK, and generous that he lets us express our views on it. One thing I would say though is that all this ‘dubya’ stuff might not go a long way to helping the Tories re-establish relations with the Republicans. But then you have to respect Boris for speaking his mind and not being afraid to be a bit ‘politically incorrect’.

  31. (Off topic) – A milkman wooed female customers with notes – but turned nasty when they rejected him, a court heard yesterday.

    Richard …, 24, put messages through their doors saying they had a secret admire and left his phone number.

    One woman met him … several times (!!!), but when she ended their relationship he put super glue in her car lock and pelted the vehicle with an egg.

    Another victim received upsetting text messages after ending their… 3 years fling (!!!)

    It’s a good job I get my milk from Tesco…

  32. We need someone like George W in power if you ask me. when the yanks are finished with him I think we should ask him how much he wants to come run the UK. (Steven_L)

    And if you ask me, I think you’re just a troll.

  33. Ah, idlex, be nice. I would like to get my hands on George W. Bush, myself. Although I don’t think I have in mind for him what Steven has in mind.

  34. (Off topic) – Nancy Dell’Olio has gone off football and is turning to rugby, where Lawrence Dallaglio is her pin-up. If they were to marry, she would become… Nancy Dell’Olio-Dallaglio.

  35. Ah, idlex, be nice. I would like to get my hands on George W. Bush, myself.

    If it were me, I’d just tell him that the party was over, and it was way past his bedtime.

  36. That would probably work, given his conditioning.

    I, on the other hand, as the good socialist from Canuckistan, would spay and neuter him without benefit of sedatives. The gene pool deserves better.

  37. I … would spay and neuter him without benefit of sedatives.

    And what good would this do?

  38. I’m sorry if I have disappointed you, raincoaster, but I’m simply not that murderous.

    I tend to forgive people of their foolishness, if only because I am no better myself.

  39. Oh, I can forgive foolishness. We’ve all been idiots in our time. But even I don’t believe that George W. Bush is so stupid that he doesn’t know about the evil he’s done and is doing. I believe that it has transitioned from a sort of “Head Good German” taking orders and saying, “if that’s what it takes” to a man more concerned with winning the argument for his dignity, even at the cost of American lives.

    What makes me so angry about the whole Iraq invasion is that it is fundamentally counter to the principles on which his country was founded, and to which he claims to adhere. America was the first country in the world which came into being because the people of the country rose up and insisted on their basic human right to self-government.

    From Grenada to Baghdad, the Republicans have trashed this central, founding principle in the pursuit of an empire, of dollars and of control, and in the attempt to stamp out every critic and possible rival.

    It is un-American.

  40. I agree with all that, raincoaster, but I think it’s even worse than that.

    Bush and his Republicans have the presidency, the senate, and the house locked up. And they have the Supreme court, and the media. And if elections need fixing, they have the means to do that too. In some ways, Democratic politicians have been the greatest disappointment of all. Hillary Clinton and co. actually support Bush on the war, even if they must know they were lied into it. It’s as if they’ve been collectively hypnotised. The Bush administration seems to be engaged in a slow coup d’etat in which they gradually control everything.

    The only good news seems to be that the American people seem to be very slowly waking up to what’s happening. Growing numbers of Republicans seem to be becoming disgusted with the war[s], Guantanamo, extraordinary rendition, etc, etc. But given there’s so much that has happened, so many things gone wrong, it has to be hard for people to grasp their sheer scale, the enormity of it all. I think Americans must find it hard to believe what’s happening to their country.

    And to some smaller extent, the same has been happening in Britain, except Blair doesn’t control the media, or the judiciary, or the voting system. But Blair lied parliament and country to war, and ought to be impeached for it, but he’s still prancing around as PM, and most MPs are sheep, and even David Cameron thinks the Iraq war was “the right thing to do”.

    It’s unreal. And it’s shameful. And it’s deeply worrying.

  41. I abhor the fact that Prime minister Blair is still dancing to piper Bush’s tune,which sent the U K into an unjust war.Now it seems that our Justice system is being handed over to th U S as well.(Extadition of the Nat West Three)When are the British going to wake up to the fact that we are not citizens of the U S ,but Europeans.Surely the three should not be asking the British Government to fight their corner,but take their case to Europe. If Nat West did not see fit to prosecute them through the courts in Britain,(after all they were the loosers)what right has the Blair Government got to hand them over to the U S,we all know that Justice in the States is rotten to the core,these three will become scapegoats so that Georges mates will come out of this latest scandal, as usual, smelling of roses.

  42. What a load of left-wing pooh! I’m becoming ashamed of this country I really am. Blair might be rubbish but we should be thankful that Bush is there to keep him in tow. All this rubbish about talking to North Korea, some American neo-cons have the right idea; next time he puts one of his missiles out we blow it off the launch pad!

  43. Tony Blair got flustered when grilled by Tory gradee Sir Patrick Cormack during Tuesday’s Liaison Committee hearing about why he has not collected his… US Congressional Gold Medal (!!!) – even though it was awarded THREE YEARS ago.

    Critics claim he’s put it off because he doesn’t want to be seen cosying up to the Yanks. “I bet he picks it up after he’s left No10 and is about to start his first money-spinning lecture tour of the States,” says one veteran Labour MP. “What a great way to get free publicity!”

    Blair has also been accused of tinting his greying locks !!!

  44. I think Blair wants the public to think he’s leading Bush, rather than appeasing or following him. Of course, he IS appeasing and following Bush, probably because he believes that the allies of the US will be part of the New World Order, the new hegemony (sorry, got to put my Mao jacket on for this speech, just a sec) which will effectively rule the world in the 21st Century.

    The US is, of course, past it’s Best Before date, and is devolving rather quickly, its money going offshore, its power spinning off to multinationals, and its forces critically and shamefully overstretched. Lashing himself to the mast of this worse than skipperless ship, Blair will not even be able to desert along with the rest of the rats when it goes down.

  45. er, hang on a mo Boris old lad…going a bit far down the wrong path talking about girls in flimsy dresses and trailing fingers in water. What’s all that mean in English? Wet dreams in a Yankee prison???

  46. The extradition of the NatWest three shames the whole British nation. We now live in a country governed by the equivalent of the WW2 Vichy government of France – happy to send its own citizens abroad to suffer who knows what? I am appalled and sickened by this behaviour.

    How is it that real terrorists cannot be extradited to countries which practice torture, yet we are extraditing businessmen to the USA, which has been proven to use torture to extract information? The tragic death of Mr Neil Coulbeck, possibly resulting from the trauma of being “interviewed” by the FBI, shows what the NatWest three may have to stand up to.

    Something stinks horribly in this government.

  47. I’ve been a Labour voter all my life – I was a union member and voluintary officer during my working life – but I’ll not be voting Labour until we get back to honest socialist principles and a party that promises to put British interests first and to promote the wellbeing of the British people. Failing that, I might have to vote for your lot, Boris old bean!
    This shabby (extradition) deal between Bush and Blair, dressed up as a “treaty” has yet to be ratified by the American Senate and is being held up because of fears that it might make the extradition of IRA terrorists easier. We should not overlook the significant private support for the IRA which exists, still, in the USA – it’s part and parcel of the “Specials Relationship”. Frankly the Bush/Blair relationship has all the hallmarks of the Clinton/Lewinsky special relationship – it’s that kind of “Special”. So far as the “treaty” is concerned – I use the word treaty, in its loosest sense – I cannot see how it can be said to exist until it has been ratified by both sides. The analogy of a house sale may be useful: the deal is done, agreement reached and it becomes final on COMPLETION date, when the money changes hands. Seems the government’s legal whizz kids (do they work in the Home Office, one wonders) have loused up yet again!

  48. ‘Frankly the Bush/Blair relationship has all the hallmarks of the Clinton/Lewinsky special relationship’ (Joe Norton)

    How funny would that be (if it’s true and they got caught red handed I mean).

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