After I wrote yesterday’s blog I thought I’d just relax a little and seek the Lord in finding a strategy for the way forward and not feel as though I have to write something everyday or at least relax a little into the routine of blogging.
Then, all of a sudden that thought flies out of the window when you read a news item which sets you on fire. Asperity sets in in the heart very quickly when you read that the US government have requested a young man from Sheffield be extradited to the USA for prosecution of an offence which actually isn’t an offence anywhere in Britain. This youngster has apparently created a website which informs its users where they can illegally download films and music for their entertainment. Now I know what you’re thinking but I’m not defending illegality or stating that these issues of copyright are not important. As a creative person myself I absolutely think they are. But I believe there are issues here that are way beyond the mistake of a 23 year old . The penalty he faces is apparently 10 years in a high security prison. Have we not all been young once and made foolish mistakes maybe saying something or doing something only years later to think what was I thinking?
Now the issue I have with this is; our government are again placing themselves under an agreement with the USA that for some egregious decision firmly puts all favour in spite of citizens of this country to the USA authorities. The 2003 treaty created by the then governments of the UK and USA has been criticised regularly for being too much in favour of the USA. It’s original creation was said to make things easier to get justice for high level offenders and people who make millions out of serious crimes such as murder, drugs and espionage. Since its creation 29 people have been extradited to the USA and only 5 have been sent back to the UK. I’m not going to get into a huge debate as to why this ridiculous rejection of supporting one’s own people is such an affront to the English but I will point out one story I remember from when I was a young man.
There was a young American man called Billy Hayes who in the 1970’s was found guilty of attempting to smuggle a large amount of cannabis out of Turkey. He was prosecuted and given a life sentence which was commuted to 30 years on appeal. There was no way this man was going to be released before he’d served the full sentence. Billy Hayes escaped and returned to the USA where he wrote a book about his ordeal. Not only that but Alan Parker the English film director made an award winning film about the story which was called “Midnight Express”. Did the USA think to return Billy Hayes to Turkey because he had clearly broken the law and force him to complete his sentence. No, of course they didn’t. They made him a hero and protected him because they thought his sentence was harsh. He was in fact a self confessed criminal.
Is this hypocrisy from the wonderful Christian nation across the pond? A nation that knows no grace, that shows little mercy and as it has proved knows little about the politics of the rest of the world. Oh, how I fear what the rest of the world feels when the USA is given over to world politics that they so shamefully do not understand.
Blood was shed for this England of ours I pray that the church will rise up and say enough is enough. I pray that the British government will take to defend its citizens for these types of issues because there will come a time when we need you to defend our faith.