Author Archives: Diana Wallis MEP

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 | Tagged , and | 11 Comments

Opinion: The Member States should each propose one female and one male candidate for the next European Commission

Simone Veil’s historic address to the European Parliament on the subject of gender equality last week, thirty years after her election as the first President of the directly elected European Parliament prompted us to observe that the current college of European Commissioners (where only a third of whom are female) does not exactly shine in terms of gender balance. We believe that a further step is needed, drawing on the model of the European Court of Human Rights.

Judges at this court are elected from a shortlist of three candidates put forward by governments. Only lists containing at least …

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Tagged , and | 9 Comments

Diana Wallis MEP writes… Time for the Liberal Democrats to let the people in!

It may sound like a strange assertion but our British model of democracy is in danger of becoming, if it is not already, less democratic and accessible than the much-criticised European Union; indeed this would definitely be the case if the Lisbon Reform Treaty came into force.

During the period of the non-debate on the Lisbon Treaty in this country, I was the only one of my Lib Dem colleagues in the European Parliament who constantly held and, perhaps, quietly tried to argue that we too should have had a referendum. People will know that I take that stand as a …

Posted in Conference and Europe / International | 6 Comments
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