‘militant separatist’ extradited to UK to face terror charges
founder of the ‘Scottish
National Liberation Army’ is being extradited from Dublin to the UK to
face terrorism charges, which included a threat to contaminate the water
supplies of English cities and poison Gordon Brown.
Busby, 64, is also wanted in the US for a similar litany of offences, which
look like they mostly consist of sending false claims to the media about bombs,
toxic packages and other terror attacks.
has been jailed for similar activity before, and originally fled to Dublin in
1983 after a letter-bombing campaign which targeted amongst others Margaret
Thatcher and the Ministry of Defence. He continued to organise campaigns from
there. His son has aldo been convicted of sending suspect packages, including
one to Alex Salmond, of all people.
argued that extradition of the UK would interfere with his family life and,
because he faces a higher penalty over here, constituted a ‘breach of process’.
Once the Scottish case winds down, the US want to extradite him in turn.
and Sinn Fein clash over IRA memorial parade
Unionists have refused to back down in a dispute
with republicans over a scheduled march in memory of two IRA men killed by
their own bomb. Sinn Fein have offered to re-route the march so that it no
longer passes the cenotaph or the Methodist church in Castlederg, Co Tyrone.
maintain that, rather than simply being about ‘Irishness’, the subjects of the
march breach restrictions on the glorification of terrorism. Sinn Fein accuse
unionists of manufacturing controversy over the remembrance of two people who “gave
their lives for this [the Catholic] community”.
to DUP MLA Thomas Bucanan the Parades Commission can’t actually ban the march
(although that seems not to have prevented DUP minister Arlene Foster demanding it do
so), but it ought to be cancelled on grounds of taste. But given that it
can’t be banned, and as this column is discussed before it is sadly impossible
to completely disentangle terrorism and politics in Northern Ireland, a re-arranged
route that is sensitive to unionists is probably the most productive outcome
the DUP can hope for.
enter the final straight for Anglesey by-election
isle of Anglesey is experiencing a final burst of political activity as the six
candidates competing to replace former Plaid leader Ieuan Wyn Jones as AM for Ynys
Môn make the most of the ‘short campaign’ in what is apparently the first
by-election the Assembly has had for seven years.
six candidates, introduced
here, represent Labour, the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats, the
nationalist Plaid, UKIP, and the Socialist Labour Party.
win would give Labour an absolute majority in the Welsh Assembly, much to the
delight of the First Minister, Carwyn Jones. If Plaid retains it, on the other
hand, it may bode ill for Albert Owen, the island’s Westminster Labour MP. If
there is a finely balanced parliament after the next election, each nationalist
gain will be all the more painful.
Tory odds seem predictably long, Anglesey provides enough excuses for fools’ hope
to keep the race exciting. Although we’ve never held the Assembly seat in the
2011 election the Conservatives polled second (against the very popular Jones) –
although that with a different candidate. Meanwhile we last won the coterminous
Westminster seat in 1983, holding it from a surprise gain in 1979. Before that,
as David Dimbleby gleefully pointed out on the night, the last Conservative to
win Anglesey had done so in 1722.*
*The political dynasty that
provided that MP, the Bulkeley’s, had been representing the seat on and off
since 1545 and appear to have transferred their loyalties to the Liberals in
order to carry on doing so.
Labour MP set to govern more people than David Cameron
to the BBC Mohammad Sarwar, father to current Scottish Labour deputy leader
Anas Sarwar and until 2010 the Labour member for Glasgow Central, is to be
appointed the governor of Punjab, Pakistan’s most populous province. With a
population of 96 million (according to that BBC article) or 91.4 million (according to Wikipedia),
the province has more citizens than the entire United Kingdom.
If all goes well and Sarwar ever decides to
return to British politics, he will have experience of devolution on a scale
unimaginable over here – indeed, governing a mere six or so million people
might feel a lot like a sort of retirement.
Fein MLA investigated over Prince George tweet
Allister, sole MLA for the Traditional Unionist Voice and Stormont’s very own
flying squad of an Opposition, has struck again. His target this time was Phil
Flanagan, a Sinn Fein MLA for Fermanagh and South Tyrone, who apparently
retweeted a potentially obscene message about the royal baby.
the feelings of Irish Republicans towards the monarchy are no secret, this
particular tweet may have breached the rules laid down by the Assembly’s
Standards Commissioner, who has opened an investigation.