According to the Guardian, it had cost Uncle Bill some 3.8 million by July this year to mount its guard on the Equadorian Embassy to prevent Julian Assange from walking out of the door to potential freedom. Who knows what the bill is by now – some 6 or 7 million presumably.
What an absurd waste of money! The charges against him are ridiculous – date rape at worst. But even that puts it much too high: the worst that that can really really be said against him is that he had sex with a consenting full-age woman who later found out that he was also bonking another, and therefore retrospectively withdrew her consent. In Sweden, it seems, that is (or at least might be) a crime.
OK, so the Europhiles will say that the UK is a signatory to the arrest thing, whereby any absurd charge anywhere in the EU should trigger an arrest in the UK, whether it be loony fenminist left nonsense from Sweden in the North or loony right neo-facist nonsense from the East. But any sensible legal system would have some sense of proportionality. Even for the loony feminists, this is an absurd degree of persecution for a trivial crime (if, highly doubtful, Assange has commited any crime, even by Swedish standards).
In reality, of course, there is an agenda. The Americans are sorely pissed off about the fact that Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and others have exposed a lamentable lack of accountability in their international agenda. And the UK government wants neither to hand these gentlemen over to the Americans (they only have one of them at present, of course) for waterboarding and/or execution, not unduly to piss the American govenment off.
A smart thing for the Americans to do would be to give both Assange and Snowden pardons, put them both on some Congessional Committee that is supposed to look into this stuff, and ensure they are outvoted whenever the US government wants. That way, everybody would be reasonably happy. It is what the Brits have been doing with its amiable lunatics (eg Tony Benn) for years, with considerable success.
In the long run, tolerance outdoes oppression every time.