The Null Device

Posts matching tags 'airstrip one'


It's official: Britain has surrendered its sovereignty to the US. Its military is dependent on the US (both its nuclear weapons and cruise missiles are under indirect US control), it could not expel US bases on its territory even if it wanted to (and contrary to popular belief, the RAF has nothing to do with bases like "RAF Fairford"), and now the government has sided a one-sided treaty allowing the US to extradite British nationals without the need to produce prima facie evidence:

Blunkett agreed that the UK would extradite Britons to the US in future, without any need to produce prima facie evidence that they are guilty of anything. But the US refused to do the same with their own citizens. The Home Office press release concealed this fact - out of shame, presumably. Why did the US refuse? According to the Home Office, the fourth amendment of the US constitution says citizens of US states cannot be arrested without "probable cause". The irony appears to have been lost on David Blunkett, as he gave away yet more of Britain's sovereignty. If we really were the 51st state, as anti-Americans imply, we would probably have more protection against Washington than we do today.

So the US and Britain seem to be more like China and Hong Kong; i.e., one country with two systems. Real power rests in Washington, while Britain has sufficient autonomy to offer its nationals different lifestyle choices (gun control, nationalised healthcare, no capital punishment) within its territory.

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In the latest news from Airstrip One, the British are adapting admirably to their new status as a US vassal state, it seems: the home secretary has quietly signed an extradition treaty allowing the US to extradite British nationals without going through the courts (the treaty is, of course, unilateral). Meanwhile, the British armed forces are being restructured to better fill their new niche as a support force for the US armed forces, effectively becoming functionally subordinate. And that's just the start; some Tories are calling for Britain to quit the EU and join the Free Trade Area of the Americas. Meanwhile, the Frog-bashing nationalist press who so decried any surrender of sovereignty over how to weigh vegetables to the EU are curiously silent on this.

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The US military is likely to install anti-missile missiles in the UK; the missiles will, in theory, shield North America from missile attacks from the Middle East, if Saddam or Osama gets ICBMs and doesn't have the common sense to launch them from a freighter in the mid-Pacific or somewhere. It will not protect Britain from attacks, mind you, and is likely to increase the likelyhood of attacks against Britain. However, can you see Blair saying no to this? Neither can I.

(If such a programme puts Britain in the frontline to protect the US, they should at least allow the British government to relocate to North America, safely behind the shield.)

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