I feel kind of ambiguous about Assange. On the one hand, I'm happy that Wikileaks's exposure of stuff that people want kept secret is broadly speaking a Good Thing, but on the other I'm also conscious that there is some stuff that actually shouldn't be in the public domain and that it would be broadly in the public interest that it shouldn't be - I'm mostly thinking about security and such. And I'm not really certain that Wikileaks knows where to draw the line, or even that there ought to be a line.
Similarly, on a regrettably ad hominem basis, I've decided I don't really like the cut of Assange's jib. He comes over as a bumptious, self-important little sod, the sex charges he is running away from in Sweden make me wonder about his attitudes to women, and I'm totally unimpressed with his high-profile claim for asylum in the Ecuadorean embassy.
I'm also very puzzled as to why Ecuador has agreed to grant his asylum claim. In considering a claim for asylum, a state needs to consider whether the applicant has a well-founded fear of persecution or harm in his country of origin. Assange's country of origin is Australia, where as far as I'm aware, he has no such well-founded fear. Neither can he, if this were even to be considered, have a well-founded fear that this will happen in the UK. He will be extradited to Sweden of course, because he faces criminal charges. Ultimately, Sweden might extradite him to the US, where he would face charges with more serious consequences, ie execution for treason/espionage. Arguably, it's none of Ecuador's business to consider what may happen to Assange at at least two countries' remove.
Even if he does ultimately end up strapped to a table for a lethal injection in the US, then it will arguably be because that is the end point of the due process of law in a country where capital punishment is still available to the judicial system (a judicial system, death penalty aside, broadly acknowledged as properly fair) .
So asylum? Don't get it, I'm afraid.
Maybe Willie Hague should lead an SAS squad to storm the embassy, after all.
I'm a nasty, violent lefty. You cunt.