Regular readers of this blog will know that I'm a supporter of the campaign to stop Asperger's Sufferer Gary McKinnon being extradited to the US to face charges of hacking into US defence computers looking for information on UFOs. The extradition treaty between the US and the UK acceded to (I can hardly say negotiated) by this Government favours the US at the expense of the rights of our citizens.
Home Secretary Alan Johnson decided recently that he would not stop the extradition. Sara Bedford wrote this excellent post last week contrasting the Government's attitude to Gary as against their horror at the execution of Akmal Shaikh. Gary's lawyers have since applied for a judicial review of that decision for which they were given only 7 days, instead of the usual 3 months to apply.
Gary's indefatigable and admirable mother, Janis Sharp, is now asking people to text Gary to 65000 as a kind of text petition. She will then pass on the number of supporters to the Home Office.
It's a very simple way of showing support and will cost you no more than your standard text rate so please publicise this far and wide to people who don't read blogs or go on Facebook.
"The support and compassion shown by members of the public has been a tremendous boost during our 8 year fight to ensure Gary faces justice in the UK.
"I hope this text campaign helps stir the Government from its stupor of inactivity which is simply fuelling the public's sense of outrage at the unnecessary cruelty of the situation.
"Gordon Brown wrung his hands over the execution of a mentally ill British drugs carrier in China. Yet he and his government remain complicit in the US authorities hounding of my vulnerable son, despite knowing that, for Gary, extradition amounts to nothing less than a death sentence, given his growing mental instability.
Another thing you can to do help is to download the song Chicago/Change the World recorded by Gary, Bob Geldof, Chrissie Hynde and David Gilmour.
I've signed the petition - it's so easy. Simply text Gary to 65000.
I also have a major confession to make. I downloaded the song. Unremarkable, maybe, but this is actually the first time I have ever downloaded a piece of music in my entire life. I know that's a fairly shameful confession. I mean, what sort of luddite am I in this, the 21st century? Well, at least my first ever download was for a worthy cause. It was kind of easy, too. I presume I've done it right because I've played it. Not bad for 69p.