On 18th August 2010, Julian Assange applied for a residence permit to live and work in Sweden, hoping to create a base for Wikileaks there, because of the country’s laws protecting whistle-blowers. Swedish law prohibits extradition for political crimes: Swden have repeatedly said that the ECHR would intervene if Assange were to be extradited to face inhuman or degrading treatment, such as Assange claims to fear in the US.
If Julian Assange were genuinely afraid of being extradited to the US more than anything else, he would have stayed in Sweden. He fled because he did not want to be questioned by the Swedish police about the allegations of rape made against him by two women in August 2010. He has spent two years trying not to go back to a country where he wanted to live and where he would be safe from being extradited – but where he might well spend up to six years in jail for rape, if the Swedish authorities decide to charge him and if he is convicted.
Government sources in Quito, Ecuador, confirmed today the President, Rafael Vicente Correa Delgado, intended to grant Julian Assange asylum in Ecuador. They also admitted that the offer of asylum was made to Assange several months ago – before he walked into the Ecuador embassy in Knightsbridge on 19th June, following “confidential negotiations” with senior staff at the embassy.
A year ago today, an armed Metropolitan police officer shot Mark Duggan in the chest and killed him. There was a gun in the cab but Duggan was not holding it and the gun had not been fired. [Evidence from the inquest: there is no evidence the gun was in the cab at the time the police caught up with him. The only shots fired were from police guns: Duggan was unarmed when he was killed.]
Our mission: Working together for a safer London
Duggan’s parents found out that their son had been killed by the police from a newspaper headline.
Our values: Working together with all our citizens, all our partners, all our colleagues:
The police who had killed Duggan lied: They claimed there had been an “exchange of fire”.
We will have pride in delivering quality policing.
Tottenham police station refused to meet with the peaceful delegation of protesters come to ask questions about the police killing of Duggan. Instead, they sent out a squad with riot shields.
Filed under Racism, Riots
I would not want to imply that I think silliness is a necessary part of going right-wing. But you cannot read the serenely egotistical incoherence of Rush Limbaugh without wondering:
“Of all the things that you want to honour. I mean, the people of Great Britain don’t even like the National Health Service! And then it hit me, and then it hit me. It was actually done on behalf of President Kardashian. They did it for Obama. Nobody will convince me otherwise.”
(Limbaugh, by the way, has long been described as “the Number One voice for conservatism in the US“, God help them.)
Then shortly afterwards I read Douglas Murray in the Spectator. He was quite anxious to point out that not liking the opening ceremony didn’t make him a Nazi. He had perfectly logical reasons for not liking to see the Director of Liberty honoured as a flagbearer:
Among the people honoured with the task of carrying the Olympic flag was the left-wing campaigner Shami Chakrabarti. The stadium voiceover announced that this was because of her ‘integrity.’ The conservative philosopher Roger Scruton is some years Chakrabarti’s senior and I would say rather demonstrably her superior in achievement and ‘integrity’. Yet I do not believe Professor Scruton was asked to be one of the Olympic flag-bearers. Nor was Ayaan Hirsi Ali invited to be honoured for her integrity. Or Margaret Thatcher. Why not? To ask the question is to answer it: all are recognised, like Chakrabarti, to be highly political figures.
Shami Chakrabarti said of her involvement with the Olympics, which Liberty has criticised:
When the emails and texts came in from friends across the political spectrum over the weekend, one in particular noticed the poignant contrast between the Beijing and London approach. In China, human rights campaigners get locked up; in Britain, even the most irritating gets to carry the Olympic flag.
The Olympic Flag has always previously been carried by Olympic athletes only. The nine flagbearers were from the US, Ethiopia, Argentine and Israel, Liberia, South Korea, Brazil, and three from Britain.