Julian assange

Dame Vivienne Westwood and model Alice Dellal told to frack off by Guido Fawkes gang

Mr S was in one of Westminster’s finest watering holes last night to toast Guy Fawkes. And who better to do it with than his old muckers from Guido Fawkes, who had whacked a hefty wodge of cash behind the bar in honour of their patron saint. The guest list was terribly exclusive: Jo Johnson, Buzzfeed’s Jim Waterson, and various libertarians from the Adam Smith Institute made the cut, but Dame Vivienne Westwood and the heiress model Alice Dellal were turned away. The pair disappeared off into the night to join the gaggle of Anonymous protesters getting their hemp knickers in a twist about fracking/Julian Assange/capitalism. But given that Dellal’s grandfather was British property tycoon ‘Black

Julian Assange is a narcissist and a nut — and if America comes for him we should take his side

Poor Julian Assange. Call me a contrarian but I’m genuinely starting to feel sorry for the guy. He’s just made such a mess of his life, hasn’t he? And with such promise. Only a few short years ago he was the world’s most prominent anti-everything activist, with hair like an indie guitarist, feted and worshipped wherever you might find hot Scandinavian revolutionaries, smug old men who work for ‘theguardian’ and Jemima Khan. Now he’s a hermit with hair like Noel Edmonds who lives in a cupboard. It’s a hell of a fall. Most crushingly, he’s become a figure of fun. Perhaps you noticed him holding a press conference last week,

Rod Liddle

George Galloway’s fifty shades of rape

The supporters of that exhibitionist monkey Julian Assange are becoming ever more bizarre. George Galloway MP, for example, has been sounding like a High Court judge in 1973: those women were not ‘raped’, he says of the accusations against Assange; calling that sort of thing rape diminishes the concept of rape — it was just “bad sexual etiquette”. So, there are — as Ken Clarke once pointed out before he was eviscerated by the liberal hate mob – different gradations of rape and some things which are called rape are not rape at all. As it happens, I think Galloway has a point. But as far as George is concerned

Isabel Hardman

‘Rape as most people understand it’

George Galloway got a spade out today and made a statement in which he attempted to clarify his comments about the allegations against Julian Assange. He dug himself a little deeper, saying that ‘what occurred is not rape as most people understand it’. Assange is wanted in Sweden – but not yet charged – on allegations of rape, unlawful coercion and sexual molestation. Rod Liddle blogs that he thinks Galloway has a point. The law says he does not. There is a lesson to be learned from Galloway’s comments, though, which is that rape is not well understood at all. When he says something is ‘not rape as most people

Douglas Murray

Appearing on TV with a fevered Assange campaigner

I had the pleasure of doing Al Jazeera’s ‘Inside Story’ programme yesterday on Julian Assange’s positively pontifical balcony scene at the Ecuadorian Embassy the other day.  I was at pains to point out that: 1 – Listening to Mr Assange a stranger to the case would never have got the impression that he had skipped bail in order to avoid being questioned on serious sexual assault allegations made by two women in Sweden. 2 – Even if the US government were interested in Wikileaks it would not constitute a ‘witch hunt’ but rather a legitimate investigation into the stealing and publishing of secret government communiques.  Witches do not exist.  Someone who stole

Julian Assange is a narcissist and a nut. But if America comes for him we should take his side

This is an extract from Hugo Rifkind’s column in this week’s Spectator, out on Thursday Poor Julian Assange. Call me a contrarian but I’m genuinely starting to feel sorry for the guy. He’s just made such a mess of his life, hasn’t he? And with such promise. Only a few short years ago he was the world’s most prominent anti-everything activist, with hair like an indie guitarist, feted and worshipped wherever you might find hot Scandinavian revolutionaries, smug old men who work for ‘theguardian’ and Jemima Khan. Now he’s a hermit with hair like Noel Edmonds who lives in a cupboard. It’s a hell of a fall. Most crushingly, he’s

Dick-swinging filmmakers like Ken Loach constantly write real women and our struggles out of history

I hadn’t seen a Ken Loach film in years because I got sick of his schmaltzy sexism but yesterday decided to give him another try and popped along to see his latest, Jimmy’s Hall. Set in 1930s Ireland, it tells the true-life story of self-educated, community-serving James Gralton, who enraged the Catholic church and the local land owners by setting up a community centre that served as a meeting place for ideas and, God forbid, dancing. Perhaps he’s returned to form, I thought on my way to the cinema, and produced something gutsy like Cathy Come Home or Kes. These story lines usually warm my cynical old heart, so I approached Jimmy’s Hall

So is Moro a Tory restaurant now?

Moro (‘moorish’ or ‘sexist’) is a Spanish restaurant on Exmouth Market, near the bones of the old Guardian and Observer building on Farringdon Road. I don’t mind telling Spectator readers (‘you people’) that I once kissed the bricks of this building, quite seriously, like Jews kiss the tarmac at Ben Gurion Airport. (At least that is the story; but I have never seen anyone do it. Kiss some dirty tarmac. What for?) Moro is distinguished as the restaurant in which Guardian journalists first realised Julian Assange is mad. He stood up near an olive and announced he didn’t care if the leaks led informants to be murdered, which is a

Who is more powerful: a backbench MP or Alan Rusbridger?

Well Alan Rusbridger has certainly received a glowing review from his own newspaper for his appearance in Parliament yesterday. In a moving paen, Roy Greenslade today describes how his boss ‘was able to bat away MPs’ concerns without raising a sweat, despite bluster from a couple of them who sought to suggest he might be guilty of breaching the Terrorism Act.’ Which, if it is true, says more about the MPs than it does about Rusbridger. As it happens, I don’t know why some of the Select Committee MPs went into some of the cul-de-sacs they did. Why the ‘outing’ of the sexuality of some people working at GCHQ should have

Four good reasons not to watch The Fifth Estate

Just how interesting you find The Fifth Estate may entirely depend on how interested you are in the whistle-blowing site WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange, in the first instance. This does not do what Senna did, for example, or what The Social Network did, and grip you in the places you didn’t know you could be gripped with a subject matter you’d no idea could be gripping. It’s not like that and I’ll tell you for why, in bullet points, because I’m just in a bullet-y mood today, and if you don’t use your bullet points — we are all allocated a certain amount at birth — they will

Rod Liddle

Rod Liddle: Is Hugh Grant a pawn of the mad metropolitan left?

It is a peculiar alliance, when you think of it, which wishes to bring to an end 300 years of press freedom in this country. The handsome actor Hugh Grant would rather the press didn’t find out about him being ‘noshed’, as I believe the term has it, by a prostitute on some Los Angeles freeway. I can understand that, even if I do not think he has the right to make that call, given the image he adopts to sell himself to the public. The absolutist metro liberal left, meanwhile, would have no doubt -whatsoever who was the victim in that particular scenario: the nosher, not the noshee. Grant should

Rod Liddle

The left might not believe it, but The Guardian was morally wrong

The Guardian seems to be hurt that larger selling Fleet Street newspapers (ie almost all of them) have not rallied to its side since Andrew Parker, the boss of MI5, stuck the boot in. Parker eviscerated the North London local paper for publishing material stolen by Edward Snowden, which he said had given a ‘gift’ to terrorists lurking within our midst. It amounted to, he said, the ‘greatest damage to western security in history’ and was ‘hugely harmful’. The Grauniad cheerfully published various details relating to our own information gathering centre, GCHQ, without giving a monkey’s as to the possible ramifications. Of course, it did the same with the indiscriminate

Alexander Chancellor: Why was Bradley Manning ever allowed to join the army?

I have been puzzling about why the United States authorities ever thought that Bradley Manning, who was jailed last week for 35 years for leaking military secrets on an unprecedented scale, was a suitable person to join the army. His size alone might seem to be an impediment to effective military service, for he is only five feet, two inches tall and weights 105lbs (7.5 stone). But his stature, though tiny, nevertheless comes within the army’s prescribed limits. He would have had to be two inches shorter and a stone lighter to have been rejected on grounds of size or weight. (If he had weighed over ten stone, he would

Bradley Manning awaits sentence. Would the real Julian Assange please stand up?

Bradley Manning’s relationship with Wikileaks has, inevitably, brought Julian Assange back into the papers. Viewed on the frontpage, Assange is egimatic. We know what he’s done; but we know little of him. Alex Gibney’s compelling new documentary film We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks presents an extensive and revealing biography of Assange — and much more besides. Gibney’s camera is impartial. We hear from Assange cultists, former collaborators and alleged rape victims. No two people will react in the same way to what they see. A white-haired Icarus formed before my eyes; a charismatic brought down by his own narcissism and hubris. Gibney captures one deeply ironic moment when Assange is reading fawning

Could Malcolm Tucker take on Alan Rusbridger?

Sad news has broken. If the online speculation is true, it appears that casting agents for the upcoming Guardian movie have overlooked Daniel Radcliffe for the part of Alan Rusbridger. Given that Harry Potter and AR are dopplegangers, Mr Steerpike reckons that the agents have missed a trick. For those who haven’t heard, the film will chart the paper’s stormy relationship with Wikileaks. Benedict Cumberbatch is already getting to grips with the role of Julian Assange; the question now is, who will play Rusbridger? Incongruous rumours are circulating that the softly spoken editor will be portrayed by Scottish actor Peter Capaldi, aka Malcolm Tucker. The foul mouthed ranter from the BBC’s The Thick

The metro left turns on Julian ‘L. Ron Hubbard’ Assange

Ah, at last the scales have fallen from Jemima Khan’s lovely fluttery little doe eyes. Having forked out £20,000 towards Julian Assange’s bail, the pouting metro-lefty socialite has come to the conclusion that the bloke is a bit of a rum chap, all things considered. She has even compared him to the barking charlatan who founded Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard and described Assange as demanding from his followers ‘blinkered, cultish, devotion.’ Well, sure – we tried to tell you that at the time, poppet. But you’re still not getting your money back. I wonder if the Ecuadoreans are sick of Assange yet, sitting in the basement of their embassy, referring

Down-turn Abbey, the movie

A brief flurry of excitement in Guardian-land over the festive period as the news trickles out about who might be cast in Dreamworks’ silver-screen adaptation of the paper’s turbulent love-in with Julian Assange and subsequent fall out with the Wikileaks chief. Benedict Cumberbatch will play the reclusive protagonist, but enter stage (liberal) left Dan Stevens, who was last seen with blood pouring out of his ear on Christmas Day after being clumsily written out of Downton Abbey. Last week’s Mail on Sunday reports that he is now in talks to play Guardian deputy editor Ian Katz. Being played by such a high profile star would surely do wonders for Katz’s

Steerpike returns in this week’s Spectator

Mr Steerpike is delighted to appear in print this week, with several pieces of juicy  gossip. First off, Team Miliband are serenading Westminster’s favourite left-wing Tory, ResPublica director Phillip Blond: ‘A new rumour suggests that Miliband’s wingman, Lord Wood, has been despatched to persuade the Conservative oddball to disappear into the changing room and re-emerge as a Blue Socialist. ‘Good God no,’ Blond says when I ask if he’s tempted to join the Two Eds’ I also reveal that outgoing Tory MP Louise Mensch attempted to pursue some future employment opportunities before running away to her family in New York: ‘Shortly before the ex-MP dashed off to Manhattan to spend

Why did Pete Townshend play the finale to the Olympics?

I returned from holiday to discover that the silly season has turned into something much more serious. The daily list of horrors from Syria, the Eurozone crisis and the terrifying state of the UK economy: they had all been there when I left (for Greece by the way, where people are genuinely scared about the future — stockpiling food and preparing for civil conflict in some cases). But the Olympic fiesta atmosphere seems to have been replaced by something darker following George Galloway’s moronic comments about the Assange case. There are plenty of men of the Left whose sexual politics don’t bear much scrutiny, but Galloway really is the prize

Galloway and Murray’s smears ignore how simple the Assange case is

The remorseless smears of the alleged victims of serious sexual assault by George Galloway MP and Craig Murray, our former ambassador to Uzbekistan will have serious consequences for the victims of sexual assault on British shores. Both men are guilty of some of the most callous behaviour of modern political times in their intemperate outbursts, which are about much more than Julian Assange. The victims of these crimes in this country already suffer from a unique combination of trauma and stigma. It is no surprise that rape and associated crimes are perennially underreported. An authoritative study commissioned by the Home Office in 2007 found that ‘between 75 and 95 per