Monday, 6 October 2008

Plane spotters beware

Back in 2001 six British plane spotters received three-year prison sentences from the Greek courts for taking pictures of aeroplanes. They were caught red handed outside the air base with cameras (and, presumably, thermos flasks and bobble hats). These days any plane spotters amongst the tens of thousands of British tourists who visit Greece each year are, one presumes, far more circumspect - mobile phone cams rather than SLRs, discreet snaps snatched whilst inspecting ruins or somesuch, to be posted on the website or bulletin board once safely back home.

But no more. For the long arm of the EU arrest warrant will enable the Greek government to extradite any plane spotter who has successfully scored a 'home run'. Never mind that it's not illegal here. British citizens are now obliged not only to obey thousands of our own home-grown laws, we must also obey tens of thousands of laws from every one of the 27 EU nations. Is laughing at dwarves illegal in Estonia? Does cursing MEPs as corrupt venal pigs' bladders carry a five year prison term in Latvia? Who knows, except when a van-load of visor-helmeted, body armoured State police smash their way through your front door to drag you off to a holding cell.

Gerald Fredrick Töben was on his way from the US to Dubai when he was arrested in transit at Heathrow. He is being held pending extradition to Germany on a charge of denying the Holocaust. This man's views are crackpot. He's an Australian citizen. He has committed no offence known to UK law.

This extradition agreement goes too far. We need to repeal this dangerous nonsense as a matter of urgency. The bloody Huns will never realise that the best answer to Holocaust denial is to allow it full exposure in fresh air and daylight, where it will crumble to risible dust, and not to drive it into the darkness of a forbidden secret where it will grow like mould. Oh, and if 'bloody Huns' is racist or zenophobic I've just made myself liable to extradition ....

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