Social media gets its revenge:
Jake Wallis Simons is better than the average Tory, certainly the Daily Telegraph could do with better writers and a wider intellectual pool of ideas.
Nevertheless I was somewhat shocked and pleased to read his In defence of Laurie Penny:
“Call me contrarian, but I quite like being friends with people who come at life from markedly different perspectives. Not only does it broaden one’s own point of view, but it prevents one from plumping for one’s political preconceptions, and instead consider each issue on its own merits. If you’ll indulge me for a moment, I feel an Adorno quote coming on: “Thought that does not capitulate before wretched existence comes to nought before its criteria, truth becomes untruth, philosophy becomes folly”. Indeed. Facebook is nothing if not a stream of “wretched existence”, and sometimes it is wise to allow thought to capitulate before it – or at least allow for that possibility.
Here’s the thing. In recent weeks and months, it has been impossible to read Laurie’s status updates without being shocked at the sheer volume and viciousness of the hatred she is subjected to online. If you have the stomach for it, google something like “Laurie Penny hate”. The results are appalling. People have threatened and insulted her in the very worst terms, and have even gone so far as to post cartoons of her being abused and beaten up.
Now, Laurie Penny is a provocative and controversial figure, and a lot of people find her intensely irritating. It is only to be expected that she will attract a fair amount of friction. Even David Starkey took leave of his manners and tried to intimidate her in the most atrocious way. But look: call me old-fashioned, but didn’t there use to be such a thing as a civilised disagreement? “
I hope he enjoys his Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, here’s an extract:
” IN the present state of society it appears necessary to go back to first principles in search of the most simple truths, and to dispute with some prevailing prejudice every inch of ground. To clear my way, I must be allowed to ask some plain questions, and the answers will probably appear as unequivocal as the axioms on which reasoning is built; though, when entangled with various motives of action, they are formally contradicted, either by the words or conduct of men.
In what does man’s pre-eminence over the brute creation consist? The answer is as clear as that a half is less than the whole; in Reason.
What acquirement exalts one being above another? Virtue; we spontaneously reply.
For what purpose were the passions implanted? That man by struggling with them might attain a degree of knowledge denied to the brutes; whispers Experience.
Consequently the perfection of our nature and capability of happiness, must be estimated by the degree of reason, virtue, and knowledge, that distinguish the individual, and direct the laws which bind society: and that from the exercise of reason, knowledge and virtue naturally flow, is equally undeniable, if mankind be viewed collectively.
The rights and duties of man thus simplified, it seems almost impertinent to attempt to illustrate truths that appear so incontrovertible; yet such deeply rooted prejudices have clouded reason, and such spurious qualities have assumed the name of virtues, that it is necessary to pursue the course of reason as it has been perplexed and involved in error, by various adventitious circumstances, comparing the simple axiom with casual deviations.
Men, in general, seem to employ their reason to justify prejudices, which they have imbibed, they cannot trace how, rather than to root them out. The mind must be strong that resolutely forms its own principles; for a kind of intellectual cowardice prevails which makes many men shrink from the task, or only do it by halves. Yet the imperfect conclusions thus drawn, are frequently very plausible, because they are built on partial experience, on just, though narrow, views. “
Wollstonecraft is neglected in the media dominated by men. I hope these links will, in part, helped to reverse that trend, her ideas are as relevant today as they were in the 18th century.
History Guide on Mary Wollstonecraft.
Virginia Tech’s electronic version of A vindication of the rights of woman.
Spartacus on Mary Wollstonecraft.
Some quotes from Mary Wollstonecraft.
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy’s entry.
If you know of any other informative links, please leave a comment.
Julian Assange is exceedingly annoyed at the Guardian, as can be seen from @Wikileaks timeline on Twitter:
I am not terribly interested in Assange.
But the activities of his supporters and how they attacked a female Guardian columnist I do find very disturbing. It reinforces the view that Assange’s supporters have no difficulty attacking women, verbally or otherwise:
So I thought it appropriate to have my own Sexist of the Year poll in support of the End Violence Against Women Coalition.
Obviously, any poll is incomplete and it probably could contain many more entries but these are, in my view, a representative sample.
I would welcome reader’s comments and observations. No sexism please, that’s a reminder to Assange’s supporters!
Update 1: A reminder to read Cath Elliot’s excellent, Assange, and feminism’s so-called male allies.
Update 2: I have been remiss and didn’t explain why Julian Assange was so cheesed off at the Guardian. In short, he and his followers tried to rig the Guardian’s person of the year, but they found out.
His reason for wanting to cheat is clear enough.
The narcissistic Assange could not stand the very idea of a brave and injured 14 year old girl winning.
Had Malala Yousafzai won the Guardian poll then it would have taken attention and admiration away from Wikileaks, which would come with Bradley Mannings’ victory.
Assange wants to bathe in the reflected glory of Mannings’ win. He needs the limelight. So he arranged to fiddle it.
Update 3: I forgot to say, but you can vote for several individuals in this poll, not just one.
“George Galloway MP has been voted ‘Sexist of the Year 2012’ in a poll run by the End Violence Against Women Coalition (1), and will be sent a copy of Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman as a prize.
The MP for Bradford West received more than a quarter of all votes cast, and around one and a times as many votes than his nearest runner up, the Prime Minister David Cameron. He received four times as many votes as the ‘bronze medal winner’, Julian Assange. Mr Galloway said, in a broadcast on YouTube in August, of having sex with a sleeping woman, “It might be really bad sexual etiquette but whatever else it is, it is not rape.”(2)
The poll, which was launched at the end of October and was open for a month, saw supporters of the EVAW Coalition and members of the public encouraged to send their nominations by email and on the twitter hashtag #sexist2012.
Voters nominated prominent institutions as well as individuals for their sexist attitudes and behaviour during 2012, including the BBC for its handling of the Savile crisis, The Sun for its ongoing Page 3 ‘feature’ and the Taleban for the attempted murder of schoolgirl campaigner Malala.
Other prominent UK politicians who were nominated included George Osborne, Jeremy Hunt and Ed Miliband (nominated by former MP Louise Mensch for his failure to censure sexist MP Austin Mitchell).
The EVAW Coalition has more than 60 members around the UK who are working to end sexual and domestic violence, forced marriage, FGM, trafficking, stalking and other forms of abuse. They include service providers, lawyers and academics who are on the frontline of tackling abuse and campaigning for government to take a more strategic approach to ending violence by aiming to prevent it in the first place.”
A random pile of US election insights, links and wit.
Fox News didn’t have a good night, Watch Fox News Chew Its Own Leg Off in a Fury of Recrimination.
Huff Post and idiotic GOPers, US Election: The Funniest Angry Republican Twitter Responses To Barack Obama’s Victory.
How Wall Street gambled on Romney and lost! Wall Street left to rebuild Obama ties after backing Romney.
Gary Younge from Chicago, Obama’s second victory is more low key, but in some ways more impressive.
Bigots can’t take it, Obama’s reelection sparks racially charged protest at Ole Miss.
At Labour List, 5 lessons for Labour from Obama 2012.
Again, Fox News provides their own excuses as to why Romney lost.
Netanyahu handling of Obama has backfired, so he’s told his MKs to shut up for fear of causing more offence.
Peter’s The Times They Are A Changin’.
Elizabeth Ann Warren’s win.
Most racist moments of the election, not pretty but Donald Trump gets a lookin.
Ever the politician, Boris Johnson buries news.
Markos Moulitsas is good and thoughtful.
Photos from the NYT.
GOPers might like this, How To Cope If Your Candidate Lost.
Talking of losers, Fox News Slowly Loses Its Mind Over Election Results.
From the Middle East, Likud and Islamic Jihad Decry Election Results.
Finally, as younger readers might say, Mel Phillips, has jumped the shark. Unbelievable nonsense, completely detached from reality, like reading a poisonous discharge from the John Birch Society. Glad I never read her in the first place!
There is one marvellous aspect to Twitter, its egalitarianism.
Class, skin colour, gender, sexual orientation and wealth are all irrelevant.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a billionaire, a millionaire or just someone with access to the Internet, you are all equal.
Twitter judges you on the contents of your tweets, not your wealth, and this has proved to be a problem for the likes of Donald Trump.
He is a regular Twitter user, but despite a vast wealth his idiocy is laid bare on Twitter.
Trump rants and raves with ease yet struggles to make the most elementary arguments.
He tries to delete his more idiotic comments but thankfully New York magazine has captured a few of them.
Update 1: One of Trump’s previous stupid tweets.
Crooks and Liars have more.
Rupert Murdoch ate a mountain of humble pie at the Levinson inquiry and looked distinctly uncomfortable with his newfound humility.
That’s a thing of the past. Murdoch reveals his true feelings on Twitter:
“Told UK’s Cameron receiving scumbag celebrities pushing for even more privacy laws. Trust the toffs! Transparency under attack. Bad.”
Charlotte Church was a bit annoyed.
Over at the NHS they are not happy, according to one of its honchos:
“The head of the NHS has laid bare his fears that the government’s controversial reforms of the health service could end in “misery and failure”.
Women in the media, why the disparity?
An ex-Wikileaks supporter explains why:
“For a long time now I was a strong supporter of Julian. I used to donate regularly to him. I defended and supported his actions because I believed in the cause that he was fighting for. Since the days of the original attack I ran the primary South African Wikileaks mirror (www.wikileaks.za.org). Back in those days thousands of us rallied to support Wikileaks when it was under constant DDOS attack.
Now I see the absolute disdain the Assange`s treat this cause with I can no longer put my support behind the idea. To the Assange’s it has become the Assange Road Show. Wikileaks is all about them and their own personal agenda. “
Malatesta covers the activity of the British Far Right with humour, look out for Mike Mosley, yet another neo-Nazi that likes guns.
This is a piece of understated reporting if ever there was one.
French antisemitism comes to the fore on Twitter.
An indicator, if one was needed, of Tory failures, food banks serving more.
In Australia, the definition of misogyny is being updated.
Radovan Karadžić’s lying know no bounds.
When you think about buying an iPhone remember that Foxcon are still using youngsters to make their bits.
Worried by Americanisms? Linguistic traffic is not one way, as the Beeb shows.
Good news, neo-Nazi’s plans for social media thwarted by Twitter.
Tens of thousands have disappeared in Syria.
Paramilitary abuse and raped in Colombia, one woman’s tale.
Thanks to the UK Human Rights Blog and Irène Solomon there is an unofficial English translation of the Rachel Corrie judgment.
The Beeb and its mistakes over the Jimmy Savile investigation.
The New Yorker on Romney:
“Romney’s conviction is that the broad swath of citizens who do not pay federal income tax—a category that includes pensioners, soldiers, low-income workers, and those who have lost their jobs—are parasites, too far gone in sloth and dependency to be worth the breath one might spend asking for their votes. His descent to this cynical view—further evidenced by his selection of a running mate, Paul Ryan, who is the epitome of the contemporary radical Republican—has been dishearteningly smooth. He in essence renounced his greatest achievement in public life—the Massachusetts health-care law—because its national manifestation, Obamacare, is anathema to the Tea Party and to the G.O.P. in general. He has tacked to the hard right on abortion, immigration, gun laws, climate change, stem-cell research, gay rights, the Bush tax cuts, and a host of foreign-policy issues. He has signed the Grover Norquist no-tax-hike pledge and endorsed Ryan’s winner-take-all economics. “
Finally, the CST’s Online radicalisation. ‘Lone wolves’ of all stripes.
“Your facts relating to this case are plain wrong. Julian Assange is facing four serious allegations. One of rape, two of sexual molestation and one of coercion relating to two Swedish women.
The allegations of sexual molestation and coercion relate to Miss A. The entire sexual experience she described to police appears altogether unpleasant and she details what exactly went wrong in her police statement. She does NOT claim she was raped.
The case involving Miss W is the one that constitutes rape. Judge Riddle in the UK said after reviewing the evidence that this would also be classified as rape in the UK.
Miss W is consistently misrepresented in what has become entirely inappropriate trial by twitter. Her police statement is consistent with a victim statement and she makes no indication in interview that she wants to retract her claim. This is entirely myth.
Miss W told police: “She cycled home, showered, and washed the bed sheets. Because she had not gone to work on time, she called in sick and stayed home all day. She wanted to clean up and wash everything. There was semen on the bed sheets; she thought it was disgusting. She also went to the chemist’s and bought a morning-after pill.
When she talked with her friends afterwards, she understood that she was the victim of a crime. She went to Danderyd Hospital, and from there to Söder Hospital where she was examined and where samples with a so-called rape kit were also taken.”
That does not sound like a women who has been tricked into reporting rape to the police.
Police reports states:
“They dozed off and she awoke and felt him penetrating her. She immediately asked, “Are you wearing anything?”, to which he replied, “You”. She said to him: “You better don’t have HIV”, and he replied, “Of course not”. “She felt that it was too late. He was already inside her and she let him continue. She didn’t have the energy to tell him one more time. She had gone on and on about condoms all night long. She has never had unprotected sex before.”
Police report includes this comment from the interviewer:
“In the course of the interview, Sofia and I were informed that Julian Assange had been arrested in absentia. After that, Sofia had difficulty concentrating, as a result of which I made the judgement that it was best to terminate the interview. But Sofia did mention that Assange was angry at her. There was not enough time to obtain any further information about why he was angry at her or how this was expressed. Nor did we have time to discuss what had happened afterwards. The interview was neither read back to Sofia nor read by her for approval; but Sofia was informed that she could do so at a later date.”
That to me reads that Miss W was in fact frightened of Julian Assange and that he had already indicated to her he was angry with her. Hearing that he had been arrested would have made her even more fearful as now he would probably be furious. There is no indication that Miss W wanted to withdraw her claim or was concerned for Assange’s well being.
What is clear is she is frightened of him.
Where does it say anywhere that Miss W wanted to withdraw her statement, refused to sign her statement or felt sorry that Assange was being misrepresented?
I have read enough about this case to see there is a legitimate serious of allegations that Julian Assange must answer and that he appears to be at best a reckless sex creep or at worse a rapist. It remains up to a formal trial to determine his guilt or innocence but to claim Julian Assange has nothing to answer is to indeed, in my books, to be seen as a rape apologist.
There is no real evidence that the US plans to extradite Assange from Sweden and in fact there is a wealth of evidence supporting the notion it would be impossible for them to do so. These incidents occurred a month after Bradley Manning was arrested and when Assange had applied for residency in Sweden. No mention of possible US extradition or rendition back then.
Facts are adding up that Julian Assange is doing everything he can to avoid having to go back to Sweden, as he earlier promised. Should all the legal barriers to him returning be exhausted and he is forced back I suspect he will renew his character assassination of these two women.
How any women, or man for that matter can support active avoidance of a proper Swedish trial here is beyond me.
Jeffrey Goldberg explains it:
“This last theory of his was largely forgotten until last week, when Greta Berlin, a co-founder of the Free Gaza Movement, published a message on the group’s Twitter feed: “Zionists operated the concentration camps and helped murder millions of innocent Jews.” It contained a link to a video of Mullins delivering his message.
The Free Gaza group, the leading edge of the international campaign to delegitimize Israel and bring about its end as the national home of the Jewish people, has always argued that it isn’t anti-Semitic, and is merely trying to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip. The group came to public attention in May 2010, when it organized a flotilla of ships to attempt to break the blockade. Israeli commandos boarded the ships and were set upon by passengers wielding pipes and knives. In a terrible overreaction, they responded by opening fire, killing nine. The incident has nearly destroyed Turkish-Israeli relations, and helped make the flotilla cause popular across the Middle East and Europe.
Then Berlin’s Twitter message was discovered last week. Berlin said she posted the video without watching it, and that the message was meant for a private Facebook group. Her critics pointed out that the private sharing of Nazi propaganda doesn’t fall into a different moral category than the public sharing of Nazi propaganda, and so she then argued the message was meant to be part of a broader discussion about the nature of hateful propaganda. Free Gaza has officially disowned the post and taken it down.
But this isn’t Berlin’s first dalliance with purveyors of anti-Semitism. She has also endorsed the work of an ex-Israeli Holocaust revisionist (yes, such a person exists) named Gilad Atzmon, author of “The Wandering Who?” Atzmon has argued, among other things, that it was the Jews who persecuted Hitler, and that Jews who commemorate the Holocaust are followers of the “the most sinister religion known to man.”
George Galloway is a slick politician and often knows what buttons to press to galvanise his supporters, but his weakness, as with many men, is ego.
Galloway hates apologising, admitting that he could have been wrong, so it was when he attended the Bradford Muslim Women’s forum, the Telegraph and Argus reports:
“Mr Galloway said his remarks about consent were made in the context of Mr Assange, who he said was being set up by the US, in league with the Swedish and British governments to punish him for the revelations made through Wikileaks.
He said: “That is the context of my remarks. I cannot and will not apologise for what I said, for what I said – not for what The Sun said I said – because it’s my belief. Now, I may well forfeit your political support as a result, but I do not do things to win political support.”
Mr Galloway refused to comment about the resignation of Respect Party national leader Salma Yaqoob. He also faced criticism about his use of the term “window-licker” in a heated Twitter exchange.
He told the audience he should have used the word “moron” instead to describe the “bigot” who had taunted him on Twitter.”
“George Galloway was the man who, just months earlier, was being championed for his ability to galvanize Muslim women in a campaign which gave them a voice for change. Now he seems to have lost his way. The MP appears to have forgotten that it was Muslim women who were credited with being a key component of his stunning victory in Bradford West. Galloway went from making us feel important to making us feel totally ignored. He didn’t appear to be promoting our local agenda, so whose was it? Moreover, his religious tone was alienating, giving the meeting the air of a sermon rather than a Q&A session.
The political maverick didn’t even appear bothered about retaining our support. If we didn’t agree with his views, then he was happy, he told us, “to forfeit” our political support as a result. Asked why he had chosen Bradford, he replied: “I didn’t choose Bradford. Bradford elected me… with a 10,000 vote majority…. So I don’t have to explain to you why I chose Bradford. You have to try and work out why Bradford chose me.”
This feels like one step forward and two steps back for Bradford politics. Surely one of the adverse legacies of Pakistani male politics is precisely this complacency to sidestep women, and that’s the one thing that Galloway’s campaign appeared to have surmounted.
Bradford and its sizeable Muslim population have always been a great combination for attention grabbing headlines. Throw George Galloway into the mix and you have something far more explosive. I’m now left wondering if Galloway’s stunning victory in Bradford West will scar Bradford’s memory like the 2001 riots and the 1988 Rushdie book burning. Is George Galloway alienating himself from his own constituents? An accomplished orator he might be, but last night, George Galloway failed to speak to the Muslim women that voted him in. “
Although I do not normally follow the activities of smaller fringe groupings in Britain the resignation of Salma Yaqoob from Respect is intriguing.
Ms. Yaqoob, as leader of Respect, was placed in an incredibly difficult position recently by George Galloway’s comments.
Additionally, there were many deprecating comments to be found on a one-time, Respect supportive, blog,
Time For The Left To Stand Up For Galloway
As for Salma, hers was an act of betrayal against someone who’s always stood by her. She absolutely should have articulated her issues with George’s comments in private.
Posted by John 5 September, 2012 at 9:04 am
17. Just to clarify, Salma Yaqoob engaged in an act of rank betrayal by sticking the boot in along with the rest of this liberal chorus of faux moral outrage. There is simply no other way to describe it.
Posted by John 5 September, 2012 at 9:38 am
Salma Yaqoob is leader of the Respect Party, and its second most high profile figure. Kate Hudson was the prominent candidate in a forth-coming parliamentary by-election. That is the context in which they are being criticised, not becasue they are women, nor do I think it is colluding with sexism to express disappointment with them.
Posted by Andy Newman 5 September, 2012 at 9:49 am
Shame about Kate Hudson. Good riddance to Salma Yaqoob.
Posted by jock mctrousers 5 September, 2012 at 2:26 pm”
A few posters tried to caution restraint, but as the subsequent thread showed many male contributors couldn’t resist attacking their one time leader, In Defence Of George Galloway:
“15. Brave post Andy, in this atmosphere of liberal hysteria it is a revolutionary act to speak the truth. Salma Yaqoob’s stab in the back was not entirely unexpected and neither should her sometime soon ascension to New Labour be. Remember, you read it here. Kate Hudson’s is a stranger case. Politically promiscuous as her recent party-hopping has been one would’ve thought she would have been made of sterner stuff.
Posted by Molotov 5 September, 2012 at 6:19 pm
43. Tony, what’s happened here is that characters like Salma Yaqoob and Owen Jones have immediately capitulated to the US government’s agenda on this.
They’ve both taken the easy way of accepting the ruling class’s narrative here – “it’s about catching a rapist.”
This is because they’re both, in essence, the ruling class’s “pet left wingers” and this is where their instincts lead them.
Posted by Marko 5 September, 2012 at 9:04 pm”
There is a lot more, all exceedingly unpleasant.
I think what this tells us is, that women when they stand out, or go against a male dominated culture, will be denigrated and attacked. With Respect supporters like that, who needs enemies?
Across the blogosphere, there’s much speculation concerning Ms. Yaqoob’s future.
I do not see her joining the Labour Party, there is too much bad blood over Iraq, etc. Rather she might open an avenue for the Greens outside of their traditionally middle-class base.
For the Greens this would be a real coup, another MP and a broadening of their party. She and the Greens could fudge the politics to find some accord. In turn, the Greens would gain greater national publicity, new members and she would have the position of MP (or MEP).
Whatever happens, it has shown that last century’s Left are unwilling and incapable of dealing with the sexism, misogynistic thinking and vulgar geopolitics which epitomises much of their politics nowadays.
We should not forget, they are a product of a bygone age’s thinking and it shows in their attitudes towards women and reality.
Update 1: Liberal Conspiracy provides some intelligent and informative points on the dispute with Galloway:
“I’ve heard from multiple sources that the disagreement over George Galloway’s comments on rape was the final straw – not an abrupt decision based solely on that incident.
There have long been skirmishes and disagreements, including the persistent rumours that Salma was never really kept in the loop about the Bradford by-election.
Nevertheless, Salma Yaqoob held the Respect party together. She was a strong voice in the media and a popular local figure that rallied people to support the party.
With two women now the victim of Galloway’s refusal to admit he was wrong, this incident reinforces the obvious: George Galloway is only interested in promoting and supporting George Galloway.
He didn’t even bother to apologise or retract his comments to keep his party leader on side. That is how much of a team-player he is. He did nothing for the constituents of Tower Hamlets while he was an MP, and he will do nothing for the people of Bradford West. “
Update 2: George Galloway’s comments at the Bradford’s Muslim Women’s Forum, as reported by Liberal Conspiracy demonstrated that Salma Yaqoob must have had a great deal of patience with Galloway:
“‘Every word I said in my podcast I stand by.‘ #GeorgeGalloway talking to #Muslim women in #Bradford on his comments about #rape. ”
Update 3: A weak defence is put by Left Futures with talks of “witch hunt” rather than acknowledge Galloway’s many faults (supporting dictators, poor attitude towards women, taking £80,000 from Syrian TV channel, fronting very dodgy material on Press TV and his recent insults about disability, etc, etc):
“It is true that George has had much to answer for, of late. Not only what he said about rape but his failure to to acknowledge any error afterwards, in spite of the difficulties he had clearly caused his party. His intervention has made it harder for Julian Assange to have a fair hearing — for the British public, rape has now become the paramount issue. Of course, Assange must answer the rape charges but, even if he is guilty of those charges, he is entitled to protection from the wrath of the United States. “
A cynic should never be surprised, but I was, once.
When I first read Craig Murray’s awful blog I was astonished at the vitriol within the comment boxes aimed at Julian Assange’s victims.
I suppose I expected an ex-diplomat to have more decency, commonsense and empathy, but it’s fairly apparent that it is no holds barred when it comes to Murray’s support of Assange. Murray goes into gruesome details (and no, I am not linking to his misogynist filth). The whole shooting match, questioning the victims statements, giving their names out, all of the grim details.
Murray takes sneering almost to Olympic levels, as only the English upper-class and Oxbridge types can do.
Louise McCudden in the Indy looks at some of the issues:
“Of course you have a right to legal retribution if your anonymity is violated but when a search for your name in Google brings up results like ‘Slut of the Year’, then what consolation is it?
Wolf’s reasoning for removing the right to anonymity, as she explained in a live chat with Mumsnet, is that granting anonymity to the victim implies it is he or she who has something to feel shame over, not the rapist. That’s fair. Indeed, being able to stand up say ‘stop’ with your own voice can be a powerful thing. Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s accuser waived her right to anonymity so she could do just that.
But Wolf’s solution seems to assume you can create the world you’d like to see by acting as if you already live in it. Nafissatou Diallo didn’t waive her right to anonymity in the Strauss-Khan case because anonymity itself was making the case difficult for her. Diallo had already been named in the French press. She says she had to give up her anonymity in order to adequately defend herself against counter-accusations and gossip. It’s that process of putting the alleged victim on trial, often for things which are irrelevant to the incident in question, which need fixing to end the shaming of victims, not the right to anonymity. “
Keeping track of the Julian Assange saga is frequently troublesome and tiring, but to make life easier this is a round up. If I have missed anything, please leave a comment and I will update the post.
Peter’s always on the ball, More WikiWeirdness.
Göran Rudling on The Assange case: Naomi Wolf errs on facts and basic geography.
WikiWatch details how ABC Australia’s 4 Corners program contained inaccuracies and omissions.
Louisa Loveluck’s Julian Assange extradition: six myths debunked is a few weeks old, but very relevant.
Carl Packman’s Conspiracies and Insensitivity – Everything the Left Should Avoid is good.
Owen, characteristically, doesn’t want to criticise his fellow socialists so merely comments that it is, Socialism with heart cut out.
It leads to a thread, Time For The Left To Stand Up For Galloway.
Both Salma Yaqoob and Kate Hudson, once allies of Galloway, have distanced themselves from his detestable comments. Yet for their principled stance they are attacked by their one-time comrades in nasty, sexist and demeaning language.
Still, amongst the mess on another thread, In Defence Of George Galloway, there is one thoughtful and non-sexist comment, which pulls the rug from under the paranoid and crazed at Socialist Unity blog:
“21. Who needs to attempt demonise Galloway, it’s not like anyone except for a few misogynistic men cannot see that he shoved his foot so far down his mouth that he can scratch his arse.
Galloway is a rape apologist and denier, he was the minute he tried to claim the allegations did not constitute rape in English courts, they do. The statements which I have read, describe acts that are considered rape, not “bad sexual etiquette”.
Also his attempts to “dissect” the behaviour of the women to “prove” they weren’t raped, also rape apology. Comments like that are why women don’t come forward, because people like Galloway will try to dissect and will HARM victims in an attempt to explain how no man could ever be a rapist.
Addressing the whole “But I’ve had sex like that with someone”, I am presuming whoever you did it with was someone you were in a long term relationship with and someone you could reasonably believe wouldn’t mind, which is quite different to the described situation in the statements.
Seriously, if Galloway and co believe that there is a US witch hunt against, they should be able to muster a better argument than rape apology and claiming that the alleged actions aren’t actually rape when in fact what is described in the statements is rape.
Bradley Manning’s treatment for being a traitor does not prove that the US is in any shape or form after Assange, Assange is not the only person in charge of Wikileaks, yet nobody seems to think they’ll chase anyone else.
In my personal opinion, all claims of persecution made by Assange have issues.
1. For starters prior to this issue, Assange was trying to gain Swedish Citizenship, if the US have been after him since 2010, why wasn’t it a concern then? All Sweden would have had to do was to give him citizenship and then hand him over. A simpler and easier plan.
2. What does Sweden get out of it, that they would spend their money and time pursing a man on the behalf of another nation? and get badmouthed to boot?
3. Why on earth would the US if it wanted someone that badly put together a plan that would involve a double extradition? Not only is it ridiculously complicated, but it means twice as much chance of failure.
Fact: The US could have just applied to the UK who would have handed him over quite readily.
4. If the US was so gungho to get him, the simplest option would be to “disappear” him, via kidnapping. Not a press circus, they’d be suspected by conspiracy theorists either way but they’d definitely have the guy and nobody would ever be able to prove that it was them.
The whole point of conspiracies is that nobody can prove shit, for this to be a conspiracy would make it a fucking stupid one.
5. For such a large and convoluted double extradition scheme to work? The US would have to suborn an awful lot of people, that alone could and probably would blow it in a second.
6. Since Sweden have gone to such efforts to chase him presumably because they do believe he did commit rape. Sweden are damn well going to charge him, after this, they cannot drop the charges, so the US would have to sit and twiddle their fingers while waiting on his jail sentence to finish if he’s convicted.
7. Lastly if we for arguments sake accept that the US felt that a very silly and unnecessarily convoluted scheme was the right way to grab him and they were willing to go that far? It is still perfectly possible that Assange is a rapist and the two women coming forward was a useful coincidence that is being taken advantage of.
Also “hysteria” has a sexist origin.
The problem isn’t believe Assange to be innocent, the problem is people arguing that X actions are not rape, when they are. The two women who have come forward have had their privacy violated, received threats and been publicly attacked, that is rape culture in action.
You want to believe that there’s a global conspiracy against Assange? Go right ahead, but come up with a plausible conspiracy angle that isn’t just another rape apology argument.
Posted by Dawn 5 September, 2012 at 7:32 pm “
Amid the detritus and sediment of male posturing that gem stood out as it dealt with the issues, logically, and showed the fatuous reasoning so often employed by Julian Assange’s supporters.
But when you read those threads it’s not surprising that people are turned off by politics given all of the idiocy, rank sexism and defamatory language found amongst these so-called socialists.
Finally, I can’t help thinking reading those terrible comments, with allies like that Assange and socialism don’t need any enemies. Women’s rights are denigrated when male socialists seek to shift blame from perpetrators to the victims of rape. Women can’t rely on male socialists willing to drop every conceivable principle because of political expediency or the supposed need to defend another faulty male leader.
This shallow approach to politics and principles is part of the reason that the Left has declined, where ends are constantly dragged out to justify means. Who wants to be around such calculating and manipulative politics? No one, and certainly not women.
Update 1: I should have pointed out earlier, but both of those threads at Socialist Unity blog were closed for comments after a comparatively short period of time.
Update 2: One blogger persisted and was eventually banned:
“So when I pointed out that the reasons that these things happened over, and over AND OVER again – because women who raised sexual assaults, and the narratives that sustained them were silenced, I was banned from the site. I was banned from the site because I stated that someone who thought that rape was acceptable behaviour was a potential rapist. I was shut off from the site because it “shut him down”. I wasn’t allowed to contribute because it made a potential rapist feel like he “couldn’t contribute”.
I don’t know how I feel about getting banned from the cesspit of the left. There is a bit of me that is quite happy to let them roll around in their own stinking shite, but on the other hand, I’m well aware of the pollution that it generates well beyond its boundaries. Pollution that generally ends up infecting the bodies of female comrades. “
I had missed this, but the Indy covers the racism faced by Jessie Ware:
“When a Twitter “troll” sent an anti-Semitic tweet to acclaimed new singer Jessie Ware, he made a huge mistake. The offender has now felt the wrath of an angry Jewish mother, furious that her daughter’s otherwise jubilant weekend was marred by online abuse.
On Sunday, Ware, a south London singer set to become the most successful British Jewish performer since Amy Winehouse, shot into the album chart at number five with her debut Devotion, a collection of electro-tinged soul music.
But her elation was tempered after she was sent an anti-Semitic tweet which contained an ethnic slur about her nose and called employees at the Jewish Chronicle “c***s”.
Ware, 26, who worked as a trainee journalist at the newspaper before launching her music career, tweeted: “Pretty shocked by my first encounter with an anti-Semitic Twitter troll last night. I won’t stand for it.”
Brixton-based Jessie, daughter of the former award-winning Panorama reporter John Ware, credits her mother, Helena, with giving her the confidence to sing. Helena, who tweets under the name @thelionLennie, with the catchline “a Jewish mother speaks”, immediately sprang to her daughter’s defence. “You are revolting and I am reporting you for outright racism,” she replied to the offensive tweeter. “
And at the JC.
Aside from old men, Galloway, Pilger and Benn there are some Julian Assange supporters that don’t like the type of debate, which his conduct has brought about.
One such is at the Loud mouth collective’s Don’t Call Me A Rape Apologist.
The arguments put forward are fairly feeble, involve special pleading and an almost Brendan O’Neill grasp of rape law.
“Assange is the subject of a legal prosecution for allegations of rape. People judging the merits of the accusations based on what they’ve read on the internet are called “rape apologists” because making that judgement call means accepting the idea that public opinion, not a court, should determine the facts of the matter. That minimizes rape as a crime, as if it doesn’t need a court proceeding to assess.
Taking rape seriously means supporting the idea that every rape accusation should be heard in a court of law, not just have its details pored over by the public, as if it’s something anyone could judge from home by reading blogs and witness statements, without actually talking to the alleged victims or having forensic training. It means respecting that these allegations about Assange are being examined by a court and due process should go forward the same as for any such accusation, regardless of who is accused or what their defense team claims is the truth.
Assange may well be innocent. If you’re correct that the woman who’s allegedly his victim denies she was raped, he could call her to the stand and have her say so. What better way to prove the prosecution was biased and politically motivated? If he’d done that immediately, this whole matter would be nothing more than a tiny footnote by now, not the major issue causing speculation that the entire WikiLeaks organization will fail because its head refuses to step down to take care of his personal legal trouble.
As for asking for an advance guarantee against extradition to the USA for any and all possible future charges, Swedish law professors don’t agree it’s possible. Sweden’s government could veto any extradition to America after its courts have weighed in about it, but the government can’t say in advance that no matter what the courts decide, it is going to ignore them and make a predetermined decision, based on the identity of the accused. The central point of the rule of law (rather than rule by whim of a dictator) is that each case is judged on its merits, not on who the accused is.
Assange should take comfort that even if he’s charged with assisting Bradley Manning in hacking Army computers, Sweden would likely consider that a “political offense,” which its treaty explicitly exempts from extradition. “
“Sleeping people cannot consent and what reasonable person could think that they can?
What has been discussed is some presumption of ongoing consent from earlier consensual sex but that is untenable since nobody can tell from a sleeping person whether they do or do not want to repeat the experience.
None of this affects the consensual nature of the earlier sex. “
Wonderful reasoning, but I doubt that will convince the army of apologists and misogynists that excuse Assange’s conduct.
Not forgetting Ellie Cumbo On Brendan O’Neill’s Gallowayism contribution.
Colette Browne in the Irish Examiner looks at some of the tortuous arguments advanced by Julian Assange supporters, including Noam Chomsky:
“AS A HUGE fan of the immensely important work that Wikileaks has done in recent years, it has been depressing to watch the deranged cult that surrounds its founder sully its brand.
There is little doubt that Julian Assange, having exposed some of the barbarities perpetuated by the American military in its ill-fated war in Iraq, has reason to fear the wrath of an enraged US government — particularly given the appalling treatment meted out to whistleblower Bradley Manning, the army private accused of orchestrating the biggest leak of state secrets in US history.
However, outlandish claims that a sovereign Western state, Sweden, has morphed into a deferential colonial stooge, desperate to arrest the journalist on the flimsiest of pretexts in a nefarious plot that would ultimately see him incarcerated in Guantanamo Bay, are laughable.
Assange supporters paint his plight as one of a trail-blazing political prisoner, who has been stitched up in an elaborate plot hatched between the US and Swedish governments.
They spin a convoluted tale the details of which, it has to be said, would make an excellent summer blockbuster. Hang onto your tin-foil hats, the story goes something like this.
Assange, in Sweden in 2010 to deliver a lecture, had the misfortune to sleep with two vindictive harpies who later filed complaints against him with the police, alleging a number of serious offences, including sexual molestation and rape.
Absolutely no credence should be given to these fanciful claims as the women are clearly nothing more than scorned groupies and the allegations, even if true, amount to, in the words of noted feminist George Galloway, “bad sexual etiquette” on the part of suave ladykiller Assange.
Enter stage right, in incontrovertible evidence of a high-level conspiracy, none other than Karl Rove, George Bush’s former chief of staff and evil empire spin doctor, who is now acting as an advisor to Sweden’s governing Moderate Party and demanding that country deliver Assange’s head on a plate to the Obama administration. “
Meanwhile, his misogynistic supporters, like the odious Galloway, who have apparently developed psychic abilities which allow them to preempt due process and definitively state that the alleged offences are works of fiction, seem to think that, in Assange’s sole case, trial by their gut feeling, that he is an honourable and innocent patsy, is reason enough to dispense with the remainder of the investigation.
This belies the inconvenient truth that if the case against Assange is as weak as is being claimed it will never see the light of a Swedish court and, in the event that it does, Assange will be vigorously defended and his legal team will have ample opportunity to poke holes in the prosecution’s case.
Of course, the only way he can do any of that, clear his name and save Wikileaks from the ignominy of being imminently reduced to a grotesque parody of itself, is to get on a plane and go to Sweden — a scenario that remains, for now, as incredulous as the hyperbolic conspiracy theories swirling around the case. “
A Swedish legal expert answers:
“The conclusion is: the possibility of extradition exists, but a number of conditions must be met (including that the crime is not political), and it is far from certain that a U.S. extradition request would meet such requirements. In addition, the UK – which hands over Assange to Sweden – has a veto, under Sec 28 of the Framework Decision on the European Arrest Warrant. “
Later on, Associate Professor of Public International Law, Pål Wrange argues:
“On the site http://www.justice4assange.com it is alleged that in the Swedish extradition agreement with the U.S. there is a special summary procedure that so to speak bypasses the usual requirement that the crime may not be political, that the death penalty may not be imposed, etc. On the same site is also stated that there is no such procedure in the US agreement with the UK (see here). Both of these claims are completely wrong. (The other arguments are hardly worthy of comment.) “
Update 1: Mark Klamberg, Doctor in Public International Law, has covered these issues before on his blog, Extradition of Assange to the US via Sweden for espionage.
Faith Matters, an NGO which works to reduce extremism, intra-faith tensions and promotes interfaith dialogues, published an interesting report on the EDL in 2010.
Download the English Defence League: Challenging Our Country and Our Values of Social Inclusion, Fairness and Equality, [as a PDF].
Apparently, they will be releasing another report shortly.