Rod Liddle on Julian Assange

I’m never sure whether I should like Rod Liddle or not. He has had some, shall we say, ‘unfortunate’ outbursts, with a tendency to come across as a broadsheet version of Richard Littlejohn. However, he tempers this by frequently writing articles that I largely agree with. He’s at his coruscating best when prodding the complacent and self-satisfied moral reasoning of the liberal leftists that largely reside at The Guardian (where he used to write a weekly column, of course). It’s something he’s very good at, too.

He’s bang on target in today’s Sunday Times article (subscription only, thanks to Murdoch’s firewall) about the left’s attitude to the allegations against Julian Assange.

The British left is in a wonderfully entertaining dilemma over Julian. There he is, a hero of the bien pensant liberals for having embarrassed America with his various WikiLeaks — but at the same time someone who is accused of having sexually assaulted and even raping a woman. That’s an incredibly non-left-wing thing to have done, if he did it. And don’t forget that in normal circumstances, when a woman complains that she has been raped or sexually assaulted, and the accused man somehow avoids prosecution, the liberal left becomes incandescent with rage and demands redress.

Ah, but this is different of course, because the allegations have obviously been fabricated by unconfirmed powers desperate to sully his good name and to put a stop to the brave work that hs organisation does. Although if this is the case they’re not doing a very good job at it because the allegations are fuzzy to say the least. You’d have thought that the all powerful forces would have come up with something a bit better really. Something, I don’t know, more convincing. How disappointing for the conspiracy theorists, then, to be confronted with the mundane reality that the all-powerful shadowy entity that they are fighting against would appear to be somewhat ineffective and underwhelming. How…unexciting.

I listened to Assange being interviewed by John Humphrys on the Today Programme the other morning and it was fascinating. Assange’s answers were just as guarded, equivocal and carefully worded as any politician you can care to name. This buccaneer for truth and transparency was as slippery as anyone else operating within the ‘machine’. Perhaps the most bizarre response he gave was describing the women who raised the allegations against him as getting themselves into a “tizzy”. Back to Liddle:

In a tizzy. Can you imagine in any case, ever, where rape or sexual assault had been alleged by a woman, any man on earth, except for Julian Assange, could get away with claiming that their accusations were the consequences of them being “in a tizzy”? They’re just being a bit silly, these women — ha, let’s forget it.

And so it is that the left, doctrinaire and immovable, has decided that Assange is innocent. Like a game of Top Trumps — his work for WikiLeaks slightly outscores the allegation of rape. And, therefore, in this mindset, he is innocent.

100% correct of course. There is a significant portion of the left prepared to overlook any transgression as long as the person in question is suitably anti-western enough.

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Centrist. Atlanticist. Dry liberal. Anti-totalitarian. Post-ideological pragmatist. Child of The Enlightenment. Toucan.

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