That celeb is Jemima Khan, part-time journo, socialite and former cricket WAG, who last week said she’s gone from “admiration to demoralisation” over the WikiLeaks affair. No wonder: she got stung for a rumoured £20k thanks to Assange skipping bail and holing up in London’s Ecuadorian embassy for the past eight months.
He’s there to dodge extradition to Sweden, where he’s wanted to answer sexual assault charges, which many believe have been trumped up as a ‘holding case’ while the US prepares to prosecute him under the Espionage Act for leaking diplomatic cables.
If Khan’s comments didn’t make her look particularly likeable either – she went a bit off-message by branding Assange an “Australian L Ron Hubbard” who might eventually tolerate only “disciples and unwavering devotion” – they did point towards a turn in the tide. That a high-profile figure who stumped up money for Assange has publicly reversed their opinion shows just how sick we’re all getting of his increasingly nauseating ego trip.
Here’s a man who likes to paint himself as a martyr for free speech, a selfless crusader who confines himself within the walls of an embassy to stand up for his beliefs. Only, Julian Assange has only proven that his top priority is Julian Assange, even when his inability to face the music risks sparking an international incident (things got a little heated between Ecuador and England when the former granted him diplomatic asylum). If Assange believed in his WikiLeaks cause above all else, he’d accept the consequences – that’s what you do when you fight for something. Instead, he’s hiding like a snivelling little kid who’s pushed things too far and is shitting the punishment.
Forget even the naive idealism of Assange’s politics. He’s taken charity from the likes of Khan who backed his ‘beliefs’, only to show how hollow his own attachment is to them. What happened to courage of your convictions? Assange shows no conviction or courage at all.
Agree or disagree? Is Julian Assange actually a brave crusader? firstname.lastname@example.org
More Aussie’s dying abroad
More than 900 Aussies died while travelling overseas last year, new official figures show, with illness the major cause of death, as it emerged less than 50 per cent of Australians bothered with vaccinations before going abroad.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade found there’d been a 13 per cent rise in the numbers of Aussies dying on holiday since 2011, with diseases such as malaria and dengue fever claiming lives in the likes of Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.
It seems nothing short of nuts to me that so many lives should be lost so unnecessarily. There’s a temptation to feel invincible when setting out on an adventure in the tropics – you wouldn’t do half the crazy shit you get up to when travelling otherwise – but a few simple, responsible precautions can go a long way. I’d rather drop a few quid on a needle in my arm than drop dead, that’s for sure.