I cannot warm to Julian ‘Very’ Asstrange, the Wikileaks founder and all round ‘pain in the arse’! With the Press and the Media having a quiet day at the office, we were flooded with pictures and reports of ‘Very’ Asstrange on the balcony of the Ecuadorean Embassy, spouting sanctimonious claptrap to a handful of his supporters.
He reminded me of those tin pot South American dictators addressing their adoring supporters,or those who had been paid a few pesos to be adoring, the sort you used to see on the balcony of the presidential palace in downtown Quito, sporting a ridiculous uniform straight from a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta and festooned with self awarded medals.
Peron from Argentina was one of the first, quickly followed by Fidel Castro, whose contribution to population control was to bore his supporters to death, and more recently Chavez of Venezuela, who is barking mad. And now, to cap the lot, we have ‘Very’ Asstrange in the theatre of the absurd, not in Quito, the capital of his adopted country, but in London.
Reporters Without Borders, a French NGO, ranks countries by press freedom, with Finland in first place, and Ecuador at 120 out of 179. Interestingly, Sweden is in third place.
The reports of press persecution in Ecuador make for uneasy reading, and these reports come from such august bodies as Human Rights Watch, RWB and Amnesty International. In short, if ‘Very’ Asstrange harbours any hopes of making the same London speech in Quito, he’s got another think coming!
Here in the United Kingdom, we have a proud tradition of offering shelter to those who have suffered persecution in their own countries. We also have a tradition, proud or otherwise, of opening our doors to misfits, embryo terrorists, and benefits scroungers. In short, we are too nice for our own good, so when ‘Very’ Asstrange, an Australian national, turned up uninvited after a questionable sojourn in Sweden, instead of sending him back home, we get stuck with him. The long suffering taxpayer foots the bill trying to get him out, and just when we thought it was all over bar the shouting, up he pops like a bad dream in the role of the self made martyr.
Why us? Why here? What have we done to deserve him?
Despite his protestations to the contrary, ‘Very’ Asstrange is short on good and reliable friends to march with him to the ramparts. As if to prove the point, the absolutely ghastly George Galloway has come out in support, describing the sexual allegations against him as merely “bad manners”, and accusing his two accusers of a conspiracy against him. With friends like that, who needs enemies?
It’s too late to storm the Ecuadorean Embassy, and the affair has been badly handled. As things stand, the only option is to let him remain indefinitely in the Embassy until Ecuador gets as fed up with him as the rest of us. If he pokes his head round the net curtain for a repeat performance, hose him down with a water cannon, and pack him off to Sweden.
One final thought. Quito is Spanish for ‘I left’. Hope springs eternal!