The Nat West Three

Catching up on two more things from yesterday.

First, I went to give evidence at the Watson Road Planning Inquiry. I fight the good fight against these abominable flats. The worst thing about them for me is the size. Yes – they are just about legal – but quite frankly a bedroom that is 8′ x 6′ is the size of room may be ok for a baby or small child (or box room) but as the child becomes a teenager and has brothers and sisters – it is the local MP they come to in order to beg for more space because they are all on top of each other.

These are future ghettos of dissatisfaction created by lowest common denominator developers putting pressure on local infrastructure and all in the Mayor’s name. (See my article about developers here).

Then burst into the Commons chamber just in time to squeeze in next to Nick Clegg, Lib Dem Shadow Home Secretary, who has used an arcane standing order – Standing Order 24 – to call for an emergency debate on extradition with the USA. Amazingly, the Speaker agrees – and with requisite 40 Lib Dems rising to our feet – we secure the emergency debate.

It is our appallingly negotiated extradition treaty with the USA that we wish to rescind. America can take our citizens for trial in the USA only having to show that the person they want is the person they say is the one. On the other hand – if we want to extract an American to our shores – we have to provide evidence that there is a case for them to answer. To add insult to injury – we ratified our side of the treaty and the USA did not. We are supine, as ever, and the USA does a better job of protecting its citizens than we do.

The Lords, also today, put down amendments to the Police Justice Bill to throw out the treaty – and they won (Lib Dems and Conservatives). So when it comes back to the Commons hopefully the Government will see the light.

All this of course has been pushed to the forefront by the Nat West Three who face extradition on Thursday.