But I don’t want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
'Oh, you can’t help that,' said the Cat. 'We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.'
'How do you know I’m mad?' said Alice.
'You must be,” said the Cat. 'or you wouldn’t have come here.'
We all went a bit mad here last week. Suffering from post-Olympics depression, we had to have a new show, and we did. It’s called Julian of Leaks, or Don’t Cry for Me Ecuador. It features in a starring role Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, a man who makes Narcissus look like a rather retiring and positively self-effacing sort of chap.
Anyway, there he was, Mister WikiLeaks, addressing a rag-tag army, Evita-style, from the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in London’s Knightsbridge district, where he has been holed up for the past two month, poor man. Well, anyone forced to throw themselves on Ecuadorian hospitality surely deserves to be pitied.
He was ‘forced’ to take ‘political asylum’ there because of a ‘witch hunt’ being carried out against him; because he fears that some massive international conspiracy is at work, set to spirit him away to the United States.
There is only one thing wrong with this scenario: Washington has not asked for his extradition. Sweden has, something he neglected to mention to the swooning multitudes across the street. He is wanted not because he is “making a stand for justice”, as he put it, but to answer charges of rape and sexual assault. He spent a good bit of the past two years fighting extradition in the British courts. It was only when his case failed that he jumped bail and took refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy.
Why Ecuador? I really don’t know. I suppose the reason might be that this banana republic – are there bananas? – is a bastion of truth, justice, human rights and panama hats. Or it might be that Rafael Correa, its leftist president, is almost as childish a narcissist as Assange himself, a little man who wants to cut a figure on a bigger stage, preaching from the balcony of his ridiculous little fiefdom.
I have a question for you. When is rape not rape? Representative Todd Akin knows. He knows all about legitimate and illegitimate rape. Yes, shocking, shocking for all shades of progressive opinion, for whom rape is rape is rape, for whom no means no means no. Unless, of course, the alleged rapist happens to be a hero of the nursery left, as Rod Liddle wrote in a Spectator blog; unless the alleged rapist happens to be Saint Julian of Leaks.
George Galloway is Britain’s leading left-wing ayatollah, a political crazy man by most normal standards. As the leader of Respect, a party without respect, he leapt to the defence of the Divine Julian. It wasn’t rape at all, he said. He simply had sex with a woman while she was asleep, not bothering to bother with a condom. It was merely a case of “bad sexual etiquette.” In other words, there is no need to ask before an insertion. Respect indeed. All I can say is that any woman who might care to spend the night as a guest in Chez Galloway best keep awake, just to avoid the risk of ‘bad sexual etiquette.’
Galloway has since tweeted that “it’s about WikiLeaks, stupid.” Stupid I may be, but so far as I can see it’s nothing of the kind. It’s about a man full of self-serving and abstract notions of truth and justice while believing himself to be above all such petty considerations as law and due legal process.
Actually, it seems obvious that Assange, for all his protestations, is more afraid of Swedish than American retribution. Oh, but you see, it’s easy to beguile the stupid crowd with talk of injustice and witch hunts, with nebulous conspiracies of all sorts, though there are perfectly sound reasons why he should also face charges in the United States, theft being high among them.
America is an easy target. It would not do at all to talk of the “dark forces” at work in Sweden, the “Saudi Arabia of feminism”, a “nest of revolutionary feminism”, pronouncements the leaky one has made in the past. Sweden, you see, is the sort of place that clearly has rather old fashioned notions of what constitutes good sexual etiquette.
Assange is fleeing from Swedish justice. Quite right, too. Sweden is notorious for its lack of democratic accountability, its biased system of law and its atrocious abuse of human rights. Then there is Correa’s Ecuador, the victim of another campaign of spite and misinformation. It’s simply not true that the country has no culture of human rights and freedom, not true that dissidents are jailed on trumped up charges, not true that journalists are arrested and TV stations shut down for daring to criticise El Presidente. Assange really would be at home there.
The show goes on, unfortunately, one of the more deadening West End productions. Personally I rather hope that the police spirit the star away while he is still asleep, sending him on his way to Sweden. After all, it’s not really extradition if he’s sleeping, merely a case of bad political etiquette.