by Rob Marchant
Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks currently claiming asylum in the Ecuadorean embassy, is only the last in the long line of distinguished anti-Western campaigners, so adored by the liberal left.
Assange may or may not be guilty of rape, and you may or may not agree with the motivation of Wikileaks as a liberating force for the masses. That said, we might start to smell a rat if we scratch the surface, to find that Wikileaks also includes the rather unpleasant Israel Shamir, whose overt racism and sexism, not to mention connections to the odious regime of Belarus, the great Bob from Brockley exposes here.
But, leaving that on one side, the case is very simple: Assange is on the run from prosecution for a serious alleged crime, in Sweden a country which is hardly well-known either for its unfair legal system, or for its propensity to do what the US tells it to (as one wag commented on Twitter, if it were any less minded to do American bidding, it’d be China).
Along the way he has jumped bail and, at the very least, let down his friends who put up the money in good faith. And, within the Stockholm Syndrome world of those who support Assange, there is a strong desire to misinform about the case (if you want to know the real facts, a good place to start is to follow the excellent legal blogger David Allen Green. It is also deliciously ironic that he has sought asylum at the embassy of Ecuador, a country recently criticised for human rights abuses, and which is fast going the same way of the demagogic Hugo Chávez’ Venezuela.
The pattern is familiar: the person starts off seeming like a freedom fighter, sticking it to the man; the man in question being the establishment, the government or simply the west.
A short time later, the same person, puffed up by their loyal supporters, feels that ordinary rules and laws do not apply to them: feeding off their own ego, they gradually say or do more and more unacceptable things, until finally, the liberal left reaches its tipping point and switches to criticism. Only in rare cases, however, are they entirely disowned, because people have already invested much emotional energy in them, and no-one likes to be wrong. Instead they are benignly classified as “part of the broad church of left-wing thought”.
But such people are not benign, and they are not really “left”, either. The psychological profile is often that of someone at once intelligent, manipulative and with a worrying lack of empathy for humanity.
And so it is with some irony we find our old friend, Respect MP George Galloway, taking up the cause of a man with which he shares a number of such traits. And in the most bizarre, and stomach-churning way: Galloway yesterday decided not only that Assange should not stand trial for rape, but that the reason for this is that sex with a sleeping woman does not require her consent.