It is with a horrid hypocrisy that young Richard O’Dwyer had his unnecessary extradition to the US rubber-stamped on the same day that Cameron and Obama cemented their love-in with a joint article declaring “a partnership of the heart, bound by the history, traditions and values we share”.

Richard O’Dwyer, for those that don’t know, is the student who created a website called TV Shack that would link to sites showing free TV. He didn’t host free TV, he just directed you to it; not unlike the way a search engine could direct you to child porn. We don’t see Google or Yahoo extradited to the US for their links pages but Richard is a little guy, with no Corporation Tax to offer, so off you go son. Don’t think Cameron or Obama will spare a thought for you.

For me, cases like this are the big disappointment of not just the coalition, but the Labour Government before it. Gary McKinnon has been neglected by Governments who were too afraid to tell the US to get some perspective and drop their pursuit of harmless British citizen. Richard O’Dwyer is suffering from the same insipid toadying from the Tories today and, well, there has long been a strong case for the UK getting more involved in the shocking treatment of Wales-raised Wikileaks whistleblower Bradley Manning.

I don’t know the detail of this extradition treaty but how a crime can be committed against the US when you haven’t committed a crime in the UK is beyond me. There should be a sense-check built into this agreement whereby the Home Secretary can assess whether there is a serious case to answer and authorise or reject the request accordingly. Searching for UFOs on a US network and mucking around on the internet for TV links would, needless to say one would hope, fall into the ‘reject’ category.

This young man faces a 10 year prison sentence, the same sentence has those who have committed rape, child abuse or tax fraud. Everyone knows it’s wrong for this guy to be flown out to America for this but no one will do anything about it, myself, hand on heart, included, except for writing to my MP and signing any petitions out there. Big deal.

Why aren’t we taking to the streets on such occasions? What would we hope would happen if it was us with our feet held to an unfair fire? Are our lives really so busy and/or so tedious that we no can no longer motivate ourselves into righting these wrongs through the power of numbers?

Sadly, it seems that way.

It won’t just be Richard O’Dwyer who is being extradited away from the UK if that sad, shameful event is to take place, it is a little bit of ourselves too.


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