John Pilger resolves my #wikileaks dilemma
While I am not known for being short on opinions, I have found myself utterly ambivalent on the question of Julian Assange, which is to say I am not sure what to think about him as a cultural, media and political entity. As a person, I have loads of opinions about him, including:
- Both Julian and Assange are terrible names, and are doubly awful in combination.
- Depending on the photo, he can either look like the kind of person who might be cast to play the villain in the porn spoof of a Bond film or the type of husband who takes his wife’s name and wears a BabyBjorn carrier around his emasculated torso.
- He is almost certainly a narcissistic megalomaniac.
- He wouldn’t look out of place in possession of a windowless white van.
But is the whole Wikileaks thing a positive development for the world or not? That is the hot topic around which I struggle to summon any enthusiasm. Obviously, Wikileaks is an immensely good thing as long as the revelations contained therein continue to push KRudd inexorably towards the door marked EXIT. In a broader sense, I am neither shocked nor horrified that diplomats turn out to be incorrigible gossips with a propensity for stating the obvious. It doesn’t strike me as earth-shattering that the Americans think Berlusconi is crooked, Putin thuggish or Sarkozy vain. As a rule, I err on the side of more disclosure rather than less and have a nagging suspicion that good democracy and secretiveness have a directly inverse relationship.
But then came John Pilger to bat for Assange and I am ambivalent no longer!
While I am a unapologetic creature of the Left, I have had nothing but disdain for John Pilger since I was too young to even know the meaning of the word “sanctimonious”. If Pilger is on the Assange team, with his furrowed brow and holier-than-thou tut-tut-tutting, then stand aside while I collect my torch and pitchfork and join the witch-hunt.