Bill Carmichael: Shameful saga of the preacher of hate

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I DON’T often feel embarrassed about my country but Britain’s lack of effective action to deal with the vile hate preacher Abu Hamza is positively shameful.

Hamza, a hook-handed fanatic and religious bigot, finally received justice this week when he was jailed for life on terrorist offences – but it took an American court to do it.

There is little doubt that if Hamza had managed to remain in the UK he’d now be free and living on benefits in a £1.2m home provided by taxpayers (and where incidentally his family still live) rather than spending the rest of his days in a maximum security prison.

The assorted bedwetters that constitute our enervated political class would be wringing their hands and insisting that there was nothing we could do, while left-wing lawyers grew fat by endlessly invoking Hamza’s “human rights”.

Thankfully the US is made of sterner stuff and as it is a properly sovereign nation, which of course Britain no longer is, the US courts are not obliged to take the blindest bit of notice of the poorly qualified and inexperienced “judges” in the European Court of Human Rights.

Egyptian-born Hamza came to Britain in 1979, ostensibly to study, but worked as a nightclub bouncer before being given British citizenship. Why? It is not as if he had anything to contribute to our society. But British citizenship is given away cheaply these days and being a bloodthirsty jihadi is no bar to entry.

For reasons that remain mysterious Hamza then travelled to Afghanistan and Pakistan where he lost an eye and both hands in “an experiment with explosives that went wrong”.

If that rang any alarm bells back in Blighty the authorities showed absolutely no sign of it, and Hamza was allowed back into the UK where he promptly rewarded our hospitality by issuing bloodcurdling sermons to impressionable young Muslims, urging them to murder infidels.

Hamza turned the Finsbury Park Mosque in London into a hub for international terrorism, including masterminding a terror attack in Yemen in which four Western hostages, including three Britons, were shot dead.

To the fury of their counterparts in the US and Europe, the UK security services were supremely indifferent to Hamza’s murderous activities. In fact our government allowed a whole host of Islamist fanatics from around the globe to take advantage of our open borders and generous benefits system – to such an extent that our capital city was dubbed “Londonistan”.

Our rulers subscribed to a theory that although the various Islamist cells were certainly committing atrocities in other parts of the world, they would not be so foolish as to foul their own nests by carrying out terror acts here.

Unfortunately, that theory was blown apart – quite literally – by the London bombings of 2005. But still no action was taken against Hamza and tapes of his vile sermons were by now available at mosques across the UK.

It was only after the US issued a request for his extradition in 2004 that the British authorities finally acted against Hamza and he was jailed for seven years on terror charges in 2006.

What followed was a long legal battle, funded naturally by legal aid and aided every step of the way by Strasbourg’s activist judges.

The contrast with the relative speed and efficiency of the US system is striking. Hamza was extradited in October 2012, his trial began in New York in April and within a month he had been convicted by a jury and sentenced. Job done. And remember a life sentence in the US actually means what it says, not a few months in a cushy open jail watching Sky TV. Hamza will die in jail.

Good riddance – but isn’t it utterly disgraceful that we couldn’t do the job over here?

Game of throne

I’ve a lot of sympathy with Prince Charles who is under fire for comparing – in a private conversation – Putin’s Russia with Hitler’s Germany.

The far-Left and the far-Right have a lot in common – the Nazis weren’t called the National “Socialist” Party for nothing – and tend to behave towards their neighbours in the same bullying and aggressive way. But if Charles wants to inherit the throne perhaps he should take a tip from his mother and keep schtum about his personal political beliefs.