Alan Johnson writes a well-reasoned apologia in the Times this morning on why he can't halt Garry McKinnon's extradition. No doubt he believes every word of it - and demonstrates that he really doesn't get it.
No-one disputes that McKinnon did something illegal. No one disputes that the septics are truly pissed about it (to use their term). However, and whisper it softly, there's a certain quiet pride that an English lad faddling about in his bedroom was able to penetrate the most sensitive military computers of the world's most arrogant nation. A fair resolution may be for us to try and convict McKinnon, and if the court imposed a six month custodial sentence then I suspect many people would think twelve weeks in an open prison would be a fair punishment for Garry. He wouldn't do it again.
The objection to McKinnon's extradition I suspect comes from our knowledge of the septics' desire for harsh retribution, not for any damage caused, but for laughing at them. They want the opportunity to humiliate him, to terrify him, to subject him to appalling indignities and place him at real risk of physical and mental harm for years on end. And that's what we object to.
Johnson is part of a government that prattles about 'fairness' whilst not understanding a thing about it. They should learn that the British people already have a finely honed sense of what's fair and what isn't, and they ignore it at their peril.