14 July 2006

back in the usaussr (updated)

It seems like the UK is learning what it's like to be on the receiving end of the US's particular interpretation of justice and they might wish they were back in the USSR. The so-called 'Natwest Three' case is fascinating - a bunch of crooked bankers do what crooked bankers do, and rip off the system. They get caught but instead of the usual slap on the wrist (although that approach to white-collar crime is slowly changing), they get hauled off to the US because the US Senate hasn't ratified its Extradition Act and so the US doesn't require a prima facie case.

This has sent all sorts of elements in UK society into conniptions. The City, that is to say the London financial district, which usually protects its own, certainly doesn't want decent clean cut crooked bankers inside the US penitentiary system. Opponents of Britain's involvement in the Iraq war see this as yet another example of British acquiesence to Bush's duplicity.

The parallels with Australia, in relation to David Hicks, are not all that close but, in general, the common factor of acquiescence to the US's particular view of
how the world should work are striking - at least to me. If the era of the nation-state is undergoing a resurgence, as I think I read somewhere recently, then surely friendly nations should not be beholden to other friendly nations. The US practices extraterritoriality for at least some of its laws, but won't submit to any international justice system. This is not sustainable. Oh...yes it is. Sorry about that DH. Heh heh. But if the Natwest 3 don't get bail, watch all hell break loose. Goodbye Tony Blair - you need to look after your citizens. It's just here that the government can get away with not fulfilling this basic function. We only have interests.

Update - and I should have linked earlier: if you are interested in the Natwest 3 case and can't bring yourself to peruse the Grauniad, (here is an explanation of that term),this is a very good blog and it'll be worth following the Magistrate's comments, or you could go to a proper newspaper, which also has a blog on the case (and of course you get the incomparable writing of the thinking man's Tory as a kind of bonus.

Meanwhile, as we scour the bureau of meteorology website for lifesaving rains, the Brisbane Institute comes out with a cracker of a column on water recycling. The public resistance is incredible but surely recycling offers the most cost-effective way of extending the use of currently available reserves. Breakfast with the infrastructure experts this morning pretty much agreed that: just pump the effluent back uphill, blend and treat. Or the other way around. Or both. But the really interesting, if not surprising, factor is the weakness of the pollies involved. Self-interest, backflips, minimising exposure and risk, shifting blame and failure to accept responsibility. Is it any wonder we're sick and tired of the fukcers fukcing us over.

But..and yet, and yet. I wanted to end on a more positive note than this and I will. Both the offspring have recently moved their blogs - linked on the blogroll - from Blogspot to MySpace. I don't pretend to understand MySpace which seems a sort of Gen y-ish sort of thing, but I've asked them to explain it to me. What I really wanted to say is how proud I am of the pair of them. You only get one go at parenting and whenever I've regretted the many shortcomings I thought I may have demonstrated during their younger years, they always reassure me that it was all OK. Compared to what I'm not sure, but I accept their assurances with as much grace as I can.

Have a great weekend, people.

And finally, vale Syd Barrett.


Anonymous said...

Stop it with those hidden liberal party web links you closet conservative b*st*rd. Twice in one night! I feel.....dirty.

Mr H.

phil said...

you've been slimed - literally;-)

mei ultra vires said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

farewell baby lemonade


phil said...

careful with that axe, Eugene (actually he didn;t write that one but it sounds like he should have)

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