Jeremy Hardy finishes this piece with a great one liner (he’s a stand up, he can’t help himself), but the import of his argument would appear to be wider than a single (cheap?) point at the expense of Sinn Fein. Róisín McAliskey is facing extradition
from to Germany in connection with a bombing of British Army barracks in Osnabruck. A previous attempt at extradition failed when Jack Straw, then British Home Secretary, refused on health grounds. However, the new request is under an European Arrest Warrant which effectively removes such ministerial sanction, primarily by abolishing the dual crime requirement (ie, the crime must be common to both jurisdictions). So far 22 countries have signed up to it, including both the UK and the Republic.Hardy argues:
…if the British government can’t do anything, what can the spanking new Northern Ireland executive do? Well, roughly the same, but you might have thought Sinn Féin would be vocalising in some way. Policing was, after all, a sticking point for them. Interestingly, the Serious Organised Crime Agency received the resubmitted German warrant last November. But its officers didn’t turn up at McAliskey’s until May, two weeks after Sinn Féin was safely tucked up in Stormont.
Irish republicans have shown a reluctance to criticise anything about Germany since the Kaiser sent them rifles; I have no such qualms. Its prosecution service deserves opprobrium in this matter. However, I am afraid that we in perfidious Albion also need to buck our ideas up. Our leaders contrive ever more elaborate ways to get us into prison, and outsourcing seems to be one of them. Perhaps Eurosceptics should stop raging about the Human Rights Act and focus on the European arrest warrant.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty