Tag Archives: julian assange

Lynne Featherstone MP writes… George Galloway’s comments on rape are totally unacceptable, and they have an effect

In recent days, on both sides of the Atlantic, there have been not one, but two expressions of the kind of attitudes on rape you had hoped died with the Dark Ages.

First, a US Republican Senate Candidate, Todd Akin, suggested that most women do not become pregnant after being raped as their body can, and I quote, ‘shut that whole thing down’.

Then Britain’s own George Galloway, while offering his opinions on the Julian Assange case, took it upon himself to assert that certain acts of sexual violence are nothing more than ‘bad manners’, and that having …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 49 Comments

Opinion: It’s time for Assange to stop using WikiLeaks as a smokescreen

On Friday, three women in Russia were handed two year prison sentences for walking into a Moscow cathedral and performing a three minute protest song about the rotten state of their government, led by one man (Putin) in some shape or other, for nearly 13 years. The verdict has been condemned by the UK, US and German governments, human rights groups and the EU, who see this as a real test of Russia’s and Vladimir Putin’s credentials as a the leader of a ‘democratic’ state, something that has been …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 102 Comments

Opinion: Interesting proposal, Mr Kendall, but who is “us”?

George Kendall’s piece on Julian Assange was quite good. If it wasn’t I’d scarcely bother replying. And no, I am not Mr Assange’s spokesman, but as Mr Assange’s spokesman is quite busy I thought I’d jump in and attempt a defence.

Firstly I think Tunisia is a bit of a red herring here, and it would in any case provide only an empirical proof to say that Wikileaks is good or bad based upon one revolution or several. It would say nothing about the general morality. I’d much rather argue from general principles, as George Kendall then goes on to do.

As I can see it there are two elements to his proof:

  1. That some things do need to be kept hidden
  2. That the decision as to what those things should be should be taken by elected leaders.
Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 6 Comments

Opinion: Interesting proposal, Mr Assange, but when will you let us vote on it?

Wikileaks has a theory, that “if acting in a just manner is easier than acting in an unjust manner, most actions will be just.”

Their argument has been strengthened by what has been hailed the “first Wikileaks revolution” in Tunisia. For those who want the corrupt autocracies in the middle East replaced with democracies, this may be seen as a ringing endorsement of Wikileaks.

But is it as simple as that?

Wikileaks talks about the “unintended consequences of failing to publish”, but, of course, there can also be unintended consequences to publishing.

When diplomats of a democratic country send frank briefings …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 18 Comments

Diana Wallis MEP writes: Turning Julian Assange from poacher to game keeper

As Julian Assange reappears in court this week and as the Wikileaks saga continues to play out in the national media I am tempted to ask if Julian Assange is the new ‘Catch me if you can’ figure of the internet. Not the iconic image of imposter Frank Abnagale Jnr as portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio in a pilot’s uniform striding through the airport with glamorous air hostesses in the film, but a correspondingly, bright, articulate and believable Robin Hood of the internet. In short: an attractive rogue with a frighteningly forensic mind.

The ending could be similar: finally captured by his antagonists having maybe taken a step too far, but with them having a sneaking admiration for him. One only has to look at the previous legal case in which Assange was involved, in Australia, where he walked free after years of prosecution attempts to obtain a serious conviction against him. In that case the judges admitted that all his hacking activities up until then amounted to nothing more than ‘an intelligent inquisitiveness’!

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 11 Comments

Opinion: Wikileaks – Time for Liberal Democrats to act

Recent revelations from Wikileaks have revealed comments about Nick Clegg that I made at a private event. That might be a problem for some but I personally don’t want to see Assange end up in jail for what he has revealed about me or anyone else. To paraphrase a British diplomat talking to Hilary Clinton about other Wikileaks revelation “You should hear what he says about me in private!”

Disclosure is far more important than that in a democracy which seeks to keep its public servants accountable. Revelations may be awkward for some, but those who have most to fear …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 31 Comments
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