Apparently two Britons, Simon Sheppard and Stephen Whittle, who have been convicted at Leeds Crown Court of publishing race-hate articles on the internet, have skipped bail and flown to America, where they have claimed political asylum
.Given that the first amendment of the US constitution guarantees the right of free speech, such a prosecution would technically be impossible in America, so one might expect the US authorities to view this claim sympathetically. However, in reality, the chances of Sheppard and Whittle receiving a sympathetic hearing in America are remote irrespective of the merits of their claims.
Since the fall of the Berlin wall, very few, if any, white Europeans have benefited from Asylum legislation either here or in the States. Some might argue that most European countries no longer have oppressive governments so their citizens do not qualify for asylum. Others would question that assertion, and in any event how can these two men be considered guilty of anything other than a thought crime and the false belief that the right of free speech existed in Britain?.
These two men have a valid claim for asylum. Indeed it could be argued that the first amendment of the US constitution, was written specifically to protect people like Mr Sheppard and Mr Whittle, however, I suspect that the modern day reality is that they are the wrong colour to benefit from it's protection. I may be being pessimistic but I suspect that the most likely outcome from this case will be that their claim will be rejected and they will be swiftly shipped back to the UK to face sentencing. If so, that will be a shameful day for America, as it will signify the abandonment of any pretence to a belief in Universal civil rights, and expose their Asylum laws as offering protection only for a preferred non white minority. (as many a white South African may soon learn, should their worst fears become reality and they find themselves in need of a safe haven)
Whether or not America shames itself, this case has already shamed Britain, which is exposed again as a land where if you think, say or write something which the state does not approve of you can be subject to a show trial and get sent to prison.
In modern day Britain, telling the truth is no defence against hate crime charges.
The 1976 race relations act is a piece of legislation, amongst others, of which the worst totalitarian state could be proud, because it had the effect of enshrining in law the fact an opinion can be illegal, and that telling the truth can be a criminal act, if it is the wrong truth.Britain calls itself a free country, however, it is many years since it was any such thing.
Some of Sheppard and Whittle's writing remains available on their website heretical.com, so you can judge for yourselves, they certainly express views I do not agree with, but that is the way with free speech. Free speech and the right to hold an opinion however offensive, are essential to a free society, it is in totalitarian states that these things are suppressed.
09/08/2008 - Update Sheppard and Whittle remain in prison, Anyone wishing to write to them can do so at:
0800006404, 4B B2
C/O Santa Ana Jail
PO Box 2200362
Civil Center Plaza