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Henry Hill Red, White and Blue

Henry Hill: Scottish ‘militant separatist’ extradited to UK to face terror charges

Henry Hill is a British Conservative and Unionist activist and writer. Follow Henry on Twitter. He is also editor of the non-party website Open Unionism, which can be followed on Twitter here.

Scottish ‘militant separatist’ extradited to UK to face terror charges

The 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.

Adam 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.

He 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.

Busby 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.

DUP and Sinn Fein clash over IRA memorial parade

Democratic 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.

Unionists 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”.

According 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.

Candidates enter the final straight for Anglesey by-election

The 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.

The six candidates, introduced here, represent Labour, the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats, the nationalist Plaid, UKIP, and the Socialist Labour Party.

A 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.

Although 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.

Former Labour MP set to govern more people than David Cameron

According 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.

Sinn Fein MLA investigated over Prince George tweet

Jim 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.

Although 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.


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