Terrorism is the bulldog used by Tony Blair’s administration to frighten the electorate into accepting repressive legislation. And once that legislation is set in stone, it is used against anyone but terrorists.
Terrorism was the excuse to manhandle 82 year old Walter Wolfgang out of last year’s Labour Party conference. Terrorism was the excuse for prosecuting Maya Evans for reading out the names of dead Iraqis at the Cenotaph.
And terrorism is the excuse for the “fast track” extradition arrangements between Britain and the US - arrangements which allow the US authorities to demand the extradition of any British citizen without even having to provide any serious evidence against them.
The extradition treaty is also one-sided. Desmond Matkin, Joseph Doherty and Pol Brennan are just three of several alleged Irish Republicans that the US government refused to extradite to Britain in the 1980s - on grounds that they would not receive a fair trial here.
Of course the US was entirely justified in refusing the extradition of these men. Yet the Blair administration dares not even contemplate giving British citizens the same rights.
In October, MPs will vote on two crucial amendments to the Police And Justice Bill that would modify Britain’s extradition arrangements with the US. If passed, the amendments will require the US to prove a case before seeking extradition from Britain.
If only 50 Labour MPs vote for these amendments they will easily be passed. Lobby your MPs about the autumn vote and ensure that they vote on the side of the British public instead of the Bush administration.