Thursday, April 20, 2006

Westminster and Holyrood split on extradition to the US

From the Scotsman:
"(T)he Justice 2 committee of the Scottish Parliament has taken the extraordinary step of writing to the UK government to lodge a formal complaint against the provisions of the key extradition treaty signed with the US in the wake of the 11 September terror attacks.

The MSPs, who took the decision in a private session, believe it is wrong for Scots to be taken to the US to stand trial for offences without any prima facie evidence against them and do not agree with the terms of the treaty, which allow suspects to be extradited for one offence and charged with another."
How to respond when politicians take the correct position on an international issue such as this for parochial reasons? With irritation, I reckon. While I too disagree with the treaty, and not only on the grounds of the lack of reciprocity, I have no power over these decisions - but neither does the Scottish Parliament. Yet their actions would suggest either that they think they have - or that they should. If this is what they think, they should say so. And while they are at it, they could clarify for me whether they're operating with some notion of human rights that exhausts itself at Carlisle, or something. If it is wrong for Scots, why not the English and Welsh too?

Where's this nationalist vibe going, I wonder sometimes - what with the SNP and the Lib Dems fluttering their eyelashes at each other and all? Not to independence anytime soon, despite what the nationalists would have you believe. More likely many years of constitutional tension and regional wrangling, Spanish or Canadian style. Which is boring, so can we lance the boil please? What are you for? Independence? Fiscal autonomy? Federalism?

I'd favour a multi-option referendum, myself. Seriously. I'd go for the, "Do what you want but enough of the posturing already" option.

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