Tag Archives: julian assange

Lib Dem MPs join calls for Assange to face Swedish justice

The four Lib Dem women MPs this weekend signed a letter to the Home Secretary asking him to co-operate with the Swedish authorities should they seek to extradite Julian Assange to face extradition requests.

This is particularly important given that there is a statute of limitations on these allegations which expires next year.

From the BBC

In their letter to Sajid Javid, 70 parliamentarians – chiefly Labour MPs and peers – urged him to “stand with the victims of sexual violence” and ensure the rape claim against the Wikileaks founder could be “properly investigated”.

“We do not presume guilt, of course, but we believe due process should be followed and the complainant should see justice be done,” the letter said.

I have very little sympathy for Assange generally. Using transparency as an excuse to put people in harm’s way, when a much more responsible approach could have highlighted the problem is just not acceptable as far as I am concerned.

I don’t agree with those, mainly on the left, who treat him as some sort of hero.

I think Dani Garavelli, as she often does, summed it up perfectly in today’s Scotland on Sunday.

Indeed, in the last few days, Assange has served as a useful barometer for a certain kind of misogyny. If your immediate response to his capture was to refer to him as “a political refugee protected by international law” – à la John Pilger – or to quote Orwell as saying: “During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act,” then you are most likely a brocialist happy to throw women under a bus in pursuit of your own agenda.

It was this issue, and Corbyn’s poor response to it, that finally led my friend Cat Headley to leave the Labour Party on Friday.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 17 Comments

12 April 2019 – today’s press releases

Lib Dems: No woman should miss out on education because of period poverty

Reports in The Independent this morning that Daisy Wakefield, a student at the Univeristy of the West of England spent her entire student loan on sanitary products to distribute to poorer students, has reignited calls to end period poverty.

Layla Moran, the Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson tabled an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons last month calling on the Government to extend its policy on free sanitary products to primary schools, colleges, universities and NHS GP surgeries.

Commenting on Daisy’s campaign for the University of the West of …

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Assange: From Townsville to Knightsbridge via Cloud Cuckoo Land

In Evelyn Waugh’s “Handful of Dust”, the fortunate owner of a fantastic Gothic English country pile, Tony Last, has an idyllic life which is gradually brought crashing down by a series of unfortunate events including betrayal by his wife. He ends the book trapped as a prisoner in the Brazilian jungle – the plaything of an insane tribal chief – having to continually read Charles Dickens’ “Little Dorrit” to the inhabitants.

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It would be fabulous if Julian Assange sued Nick Clegg

You see, if you sue someone, you actually have to turn up in Court to press your case, or else it’ll be struck out. Of course if Wikileaks founder Assange sets foot outside Ecuador’s Embassy, he could find himself extradited to Sweden to face allegations of rape. That would be what many people would call a result.

The Huffington Post has details of the spat between Assange and Clegg which began after the Liberal Democrat leader said on his weekly radio phone-in that he thought the sooner Assange were to “face justice in a country where due process is well established” the better.

Assange’s response was to threaten to sue Nick.

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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 …

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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 …

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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.
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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 …

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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’!

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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 …

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