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51:49 Johnson Corbyn debate November 20, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Well, that was a strange one. As Joe notes in comments:

Jez very concerned about potential damage to the Union in the tory Brexit deal, especially concerned about the deal treating Northern Ireland different to the rest of the UK. Strange days indeed 🙂

But that wasn’t the strangest part. I’m a bit surprised that the LP hasn’t crafted a better response for him on a second referendum. And clearly Johnson has decided that is the only real territory worth fighting on in this election.

As to the public, perhaps as mystified as the rest of us:

A snap poll for YouGov suggests that, by a margin of 51% to 49%, viewers thought Johnson won the debate. (See 9.10am.) But the same poll found that more people thought Corbyn did well than Johnson did well – a different measure – and, as ITV’s Robert Peston points out, Corbyn did better on this question with Tory supporters than Johnson did with Labour supporters.

That Corbyn rating, the second one, is fascinating. Michael White once of the Guardian argued years back when Corbyn became leader of the BLP that his appeal might be that he was ultimately seen as a safe pair of hands. Could it be that that might take effect (as it did in 2017, albeit insufficiently) as the campaign continues. Whatever else he remains in the contest.

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1. CL - November 20, 2019

A good result for Labour and Corbyn; a 50:50 tie (YouGov)

That Johnson chap is heading for a precipitous decline,-sooner or later; let’s hope it comes before the general election.

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2. pvnevin - November 20, 2019

Corbyn, a trusted servant of imperialism.

As always was, and always will be, the Labour Party and the unions. Not because they are ‘British’; but because they are social democrats and trade unionists – who live only the life of betrayal and deceit. The world over.
This is a socio-political issue of class.
National differences are used to cover that up.
The evidence is everywhere.

So what is strange about Corbyn’s twists and turns?
It is not that he has reneged on his former self. He was always trusted.
His left posing, pseudo leftism, is a trick as old as the hills.
Does Corbyn fight to free Julian Assange? See here….
Swedish frame-up colapses:
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/11/20/pers-n20.html

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WorldbyStorm - November 20, 2019

Whatever about Corbyn and imperialism – why would Assange loom large in his thinking when he’s fighting a UK General Election?

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pvnevin - November 20, 2019

Assange has just been vindicated officially by Sweden’s withdrawal.
The torture of Assange, a major issue for the defence of democratic rights, is pursued relentlessly by the imperialist power in Lobdon.
Any true socialist, any true fughter, would be raising a clarion call in defence of Assange, and fighting for his freedom.
Assange has stood courageously to expose war crimes. The UN official rapporteur on torture has said Assange may die under the savagery meted out to him.
The excrescence that is Corbyn is part abd parcel if the campaign of filth intended to vilify Assange.
A true socialist uses platforms to fight for the socialist transformation if the world.
A true socialist with the leadsership of millions of workers and youthwould put the Tories down and out.
Corbyn colludes with the right wing in the anti-semitic smear levelled at workers and youth who hate Zionism.
Corbyn, and his ilk, is and always was a phoney. Just like Sanderrs.
A phoney designed to sabotage the struggle of the working class.

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pvnevin - November 20, 2019

Assange has just been vindicated officially by Sweden’s withdrawal.
The torture of Assange, a major issue for the defence of democratic rights, is pursued relentlessly by the imperialist power in Lobdon.
Any true socialist, any true fighter, would be raising a clarion call in defence of Assange, and fighting for his freedom.
Assange has stood courageously to expose war crimes. The UN official rapporteur on torture has said Assange may die under the savagery meted out to him.
The excrescence that is Corbyn is part and parcel of the campaign of filth intended to vilify Assange.
A true socialist uses platforms to fight for the socialist transformation of the world. Not for cushy seats and salaries.
A true socialist with the leadsership of millions of workers and youth would put the Tories down and out.
Corbyn colludes with the right wing in the anti-semitic smear levelled at workers and youth who hate Zionism.
Corbyn, and his ilk, ae and always were phoneys. Just like Sanderrs.
Phoneys designed to sabotage the struggle of the working class.

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WorldbyStorm - November 20, 2019

Writing an rewriting the same comment almost verbatim still does not explain why Corbyn whose self stated and elected position to lead the BLP to state power should prioritise Assange over that frankly enormous task. Insulting him in the terms you do does no service to the cause you say you espouse. And frankly there’s a direct contradiction between your talk of class politics and your demand Corbyn must prioritise a single journalist over the needs of the working class in Britain.

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FergusD - November 20, 2019

Well, it is true that Corbyn has been silent about Assange, and Assange’s treatment by the U.K. is an important issue. Craig Murray covers this issue well.

Corbyn is of course a mildly left social democrat, whose policies are reminiscent of Harold Wilson ( small amount of nationalisation and a National Investment bank, building some council houses) but the media have decided such policies are well outside the Overton window. It is daft to see Jezza as a traitor to socialism, because such policies, and likely some more of a similar ilk, are what he sees as socialism. Which is the problem! Such a programme is inadequate.

Jezza has been too timid, both in wider policies and in the fight in the BLP against the right. He has sacrificed some good people to the anti-semitism slurs to try and appease the right. To no avail. He should have allowed mandatory reelection and supported local parties to deselect Blairite parliamentary candidates, as many wanted to do.

The next few years are going to be tough. The economic fallout from Brexit, oncoming global recession and climate change. This needs a socialist movement with a strong radical programme with grit and determination, is Corbyn up for that?

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WorldbyStorm - November 20, 2019

It’s not a major issue for me and certainly not a litmus test but Corbyn and the LP have actually aired criticism of Assanges treatment and attempted extradition this year. PV may not consider that enough which is a point of view but for them to use such belligerent language against Corbyn despite that fact and to present it as otherwise suggests they’ve a predetermined approach (fair enough but they could try to get the facts straight).

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WorldbyStorm - November 20, 2019

BTW, that’s not directed at your very thoughtful comment FergusD.

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ar scáth a chéile - November 23, 2019

in response to your cousin there was no charge against Assange , but rather an allegation which remains just that , an unsubstantiated allegationWhat is fact is that Assange is facing years imprisonment for exposing war crimes and that surely is the indisputably rotten aspect of the affair.

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WorldbyStorm - November 23, 2019

I’ve a different take on that ar scaith. I’ve always liked Alex Salmond, thought him a thoughtful and interesting politician and his leadership of the SNP hugely important. But… he too faces allegations of equal or greater seriousness. I don’t think the former leaves him immune from the latter, and I also think that the with someone like JA it is therefore important to separate the good from the potentially bad. It would gut me if Salmond was guilty but such allegations should be addressed to my mind. But it wouldn’t delegitimise Salmond’s work for Scottish independence or the project of Scottish independence and nor were the JA allegations found to be solid would it delegitimise what had been revealed by JA.

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ar scáth a chéile - November 21, 2019

Unless im mistaken extradition to US would ultimately be an executive decision. If so, the best thing JC could do for JA would be to become PM.

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WorldbyStorm - November 21, 2019

+1

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yourcousin - November 23, 2019

Just as a note (meant to get to this earlier this week) it must be said that the entire Assange affair is a rotten affair. It always seems the sexual assault charges get viewed as of secondary importance to the extradition process. Or that folks will seek to diminish it by claiming he was set up.

The issue is that he basically sat out the clock on the charges. He never had to face them. That’s not a good precedence to set for dealing with sexual violence. Not a game changing opinion obviously but I do think it deserves to be noted in conversations about Mr. Assange.

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3. CL - November 20, 2019

“The British pound drifted lower on Wednesday as Jeremy Corbyn was perceived as holding his own in the televised debate with U.K.Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson.Sterling has tended to move in line with election expectations for the Conservatives, ever since Johnson reached a pact with the European Union to exit. The risk to financial markets is less that Corbyn’s Labour Party would win outright but that the Conservatives won’t secure a majority.”
https://www.yahoo.com/finance/m/b9024b5e-6cef-377c-96c1-c10e05b54f29/pound-falls-as-poll-shows.html

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4. Dermot M O Connor - November 20, 2019
5. CL - November 21, 2019
Alibaba - November 22, 2019

Whatever one thinks of Corbyn’s politics, this is indisputably a radical manifesto committing Labour to so many pledges. But if you dig into history, you can find for instance equally progressive nationalisations in the times of Clement Attlee and Harold Wilson. Even so, by comparison with decades of Conservative and Blairite setbacks this manifesto surpasses expectations.
 
As put by Corbyn in his launch speech Labour’s rivals will be out to destroy these commitments or some words to that effect. They will rubbish the manifesto as a tax and spend initiative, then comes the scaremongering about markets nervousness, and should Corbyn get to power they will seek to sabotage his efforts, think capital flight and other manifestations of class war.

To win this battle is really truly challenging and important. For that reason alone and despite any reservations (and I have them not least of which is lack of clarity about Brexit) this is a party and leader that must be supported by any right-minded leftist.

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WorldbyStorm - November 22, 2019

+1 This is a pivotal moment.

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CL - November 22, 2019

Capital’s response is weak.

“Jeremy Corbyn’s hard-left programme will wreck the UK economy…
The Labour party manifesto is nothing more than a blueprint for socialism in one country. The combination of punitive tax increases, sweeping nationalisation, and the end of Thatcher-era union reforms turns the clock back 40 years. Set alongside a vast expansion of the state — based on spending amounting to six per cent of national income — Labour’s plans are a recipe for terminal economic decline…

Whereas previous Labour leaders, from Tony Blair to Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband, accepted the market economy, the hard-left clique around Jeremy Corbyn have elected to replace it with their own statist model. This owes more to François Mitterrand’s socialist programme in 1981 than to a realistic prescription for reforming a modern economy, still less preserving the UK’s treasured status as a beacon for foreign investment…
Nearly a decade after the Conservatives returned to power, real wages have still not returned to their pre-crisis peak. Homelessness has risen. Basic public services such as the criminal justice system, social care and local government are dire. Privatised water and rail companies are not delivering for users. Large parts of the population feel excluded from the bright spots of prosperity, mainly in the south-east.”
https://www.ft.com/content/1b35a81e-0c5f-11ea-b2d6-9bf4d1957a67

“Those who claim it will wreck the economy must consider who, ultimately, this economy is for. When the fifth-richest country in the world cannot feed its children, house its working poor or treat its sick, its economy is already wrecked.”
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/nov/22/after-a-decade-of-decay-labours-manifesto-offers-us-hope-for-the-future

” austerity was always their choice, not necessity….

Macmillan then Wilson, both reached more than 300,000 new homes a year, …
It’s a matter of will to do it, that’s all – but that’s everything. Can Labour summon up that will in enough voters to keep Conservative defeatism out? There’s nothing so radical about the popular taking back of rail, mail, water and energy when privatisation of natural monopolies has proved an ideologically driven blunder….
The great question is whether Corbyn can seize these last three weeks and breathe excitement into enough voters with this dazzling array of policies. The ambition is breathtaking. It should frighten Tory complacency, and it deserves to jolt this election into life.”
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/nov/21/labour-manifesto-election-corbyn

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Alibaba - November 22, 2019

A weak response. True enough. Corbyn has no ‘hard-left programme’. He is a radical Social Democrat who believes in reforming the capitalist system. The Financial Times and the Guardian being mouthpieces of British capital and British liberalism dish out inaccurate comments and a load of waffle respectively.

And then to my surprise comes this stinging attack on Corbyn, yet it’s good to know:

‘Maureen’s video has attracted mixed responses online, with many attacking her scathing stance while others have retweeted the video in agreement.’

https://metro.co.uk/2019/11/22/coronation-street-maureen-lipman-accuses-labour-jeremy-corbyn-extremism-video-brexit-labour-11199458/

Coronation Street was old cobblers back in the day, and it’s on life support now, or so I am told by all those who raise eyebrows. The great thing about being a fan is you get to suspend critical judgement and that’s why I keep watching with pleasure. 

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6. Dermot M O Connor - November 21, 2019

Yougov are a great polling company. They can see into the future apparently.

https://skwawkbox.org/2019/11/20/video-yougov-snap-poll-saying-johnson-won-debate-shows-time-more-than-1hr-before-debate-took-place/

A ‘snap poll’ published by YouGov has found ‘viewers split on who won ITV general election debate‘ and states that Boris Johnson narrowly won among 1.646 respondents polled.

However, the date and time on the page highlighting the poll result is one hour and ten minutes before the debate started at 8pm

Found via Craig Murray’s site, in which he refers to YG as ‘tory push pollsters’.

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/11/do-not-despair-of-this-election/comment-page-1/#comments

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Dermot M O Connor - November 21, 2019

More:

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/11/do-not-despair-of-this-election/comment-page-1/#comment-907717

Generally I consider most polls to be balls mainly because they are self selected or vetted responders. As well as the sample sizes and gratuitous ‘weighting’ applied to provide the massaged ‘headline’ numbers – designed to get a message to the consumers along the 9 out of 10 cats.

However here is a short list compiled by a poster at Proff Murphy’s site

Britain Elects (sample size 33,000) – Corbyn 57%, Johnson 28%
ITV (sample size 30,000) – Corbyn 78%, Johnson 22%
Martyn Lewis (23,000) – Corbyn 46% Johnson 25%
The Times (8,000) – Corbyn 63% Johnson 37%
You Gov (1,646) – Corbyn 49% Johnson 51%

I personally have eschewed the polls this time after almost daily scraps with the Obsessive Groans Opinium fantasies over the last few years – once I realised they really didn’t give a shit about barefaced lying.

(My analysis of the raw data was a lot closer than their lies – last time).

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WorldbyStorm - November 21, 2019

That sounds like an error with the page rather than deceit. To give an example, using WordPress to post these blog posts for some reason when I select a time in advance for posting they show an hour later or earlier (can’t recall which) than the actual time ie if I select 8 they’ll post at 9. It’s due I imagine to the internal clock WordPress uses being an hour adrift sometimes. It seems to happen particularly after clocks change (or it could be an issues with my Mac). I genuinely doubt for all the flaws of YouGov that they’d do something quite that stupid. As to the variation, well, smaller sample size etc.

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Dermot M O Connor - November 21, 2019

Would hope so!

Though those other polls with much larger sample sizes and very large Corbyn estimates suggest that YG is a very unreliable pollster.

Britain Elects (ssmple 33,000) – Corb 57% Johnson 28%
ITV (30,000) – Corbyn 78% Johnson 22%
Martyn Lewis (23,000) – Corbyn 46% Johnson 25%
The Times (8,000) – Corbyn 63% Johnson 37%
You Gov (1,646) – Corbyn 49% Johnson 51%

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WorldbyStorm - November 22, 2019

Yeah, surely, though I’d take them all with a pinch of salt. Without question Corbyn had a good night and the key thing is that he exceeded expectations. That’s got to count for something.

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Liberius - November 22, 2019

Those are all Twitter polls though, self-selection makes them an unreliable barometre, using voodoo polls for propaganda purposes is fine but don’t fall into the trap of believing them yourself. Hell I voted in one of those listed and I’m not part of the UK’s electorate!

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WorldbyStorm - November 22, 2019

+1 and 🙂 at your democratic initiative and also hence my scepticism of them all.

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7. CL - November 23, 2019

Tariq Ali on Brexit and on Labour’s ‘common sense’ manifesto.
https://www.democracynow.org/2019/11/22/tariq_ali_uk_election_corbyn_johnson

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8. ar scáth a chéile - November 23, 2019

But WBS, regarding your comment on Assange and Salmond, there is no case for JA to answer. His offer to be interviewed in London wasnt taken up by the Swedes and their investigation is closed ( again). JA clearly had good reason to fear that he would be arrested for extradition to the USA if he returned to Sweden. The idea that he spent 7 years confined in the Ecuadorian Embassy to frustrate the Swedish investigation, rather than to protect himself from the Espionage Act and decades in a US prison, as suggested by yourcousin, is with all due respect to YC, not really tenable. And the conduct of the Swedish investigators over the years and their dealings with the CPS in the UK provide at minimum reasonable grounds for concern over what was driving the Swedish investigation,

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WorldbyStorm - November 23, 2019

I’m not sure there’s no case for JA to answer. The Swedish authorities might have effectively given up so in that sense the case falls. But from 2010 onwards until they did clearly there was a case to answer. I do find it troubling that the case was never answered in Sweden and that was Assanges choice. And I’m not sure the fact the Swedish authorities didn’t think there was a point to interview him in London proves anything one way or another (though didn’t their Chief Prosecutor did go and question him there). They might well have decided there was no point in doing so since they would be unable to exercise any sanction over him given his location.

I also wonder whether Assange would have been extradited from Sweden anyhow whereas from the UK it seems much more likely.

But to my mind the original allegations were serious and deserved a serious response.

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ar scáth a chéile - November 24, 2019

Yes i understand JA was eventually questioned in London by the Swedish before a previous dropping of the case and after some dodgy CPS machinations to try and keep case open. So thats JA giving a serious response in so far as there was a case against him and its over now. Regarding risk of extradition from Sweden id say that whats happened in UK shows whats likely to have happened in Sweden.

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Alibaba - November 24, 2019

A serious response, yes. But there is a very convincing counter argument I’ve come across In Defence of Julian Assange on this site, that is I noticed it on the link proved by CL regarding another matter, but here goes anyway:

https://www.democracynow.org/2019/11/22/julian_assange_tariq_ali_margaret_kunstler

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WorldbyStorm - November 24, 2019

I’m genuinely unconvinced about this. I think that when it comes to allegations of sexual assault the overwhelming need is to take them seriously. From the off JA unfortunately acted in a manner which diminished the seriousness of those allegations. The issue of extradition appears to have come in later, but even taking them into account that would suggest to me that engaging with the central issue was a paramount necessity.

I’ve no particular skin in this game. I’ve no feelings re JA one way or another. But as a relatively disinterested observer it does seem to me that due seriousness wasn’t given to the central issue.

Tariq Ali writes; ‘And many of us close to Julian and defending him right from the beginning felt that there was something fishy, that they didn’t really have a case. ‘

it’s not really up to me or anyone including Tariq Ali to think something is fishy or to base our feelings or actions on that. I think particularly (and I know this from personal experience) when one knows or is ‘close’ to someone it is necessary to stand well back and try to engage with something in the round. It is basic to the situation to listen to those who make an allegation and to ensure that they have some opportunity to have those dealt with in a manner which is fair to both those making them and those who they are made against. And the dropping of charges further down the line doesn’t indicate to me that those charges were not unfounded but rather necessary to be engaged with. Fundamentally we have to go back to the original allegations and deal with that. That’s what I would expect in the context of any woman who made such allegations.

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Alibaba - November 24, 2019

Regarding accusations as serious as the ones against Assange I tend to find that unless I am a member of the jury hearing all the evidence, I am simply unable to make an informed decision about it. The threat of extradition was pertinent from the very beginning and I take the view that a fair trial was always ruled out. There was no grant of bail, and nothing usually given to people facing these allegations. Assange has spent years in seclusion and right up to now in a maximum security prison for having the temerity to defend freedom of expression. The exposure by WikiLeaks of the crimes of the imperialists has given us a treasure of documents and facts and the powers that be are determined to punish those who did it. That is loathsome and must be resisted.

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WorldbyStorm - November 24, 2019

Couldn’t agree more re your point about juries and allegations. That’s why I find the immediate flocking of people to a position that the accusations were false or part of a set up to be so disheartening. And that’s why I think it absolutely necessary that they be examined fully in the correct context.

The thing with extradition though is that it seems to me to have been a much more immediate threat in the UK (as has been evidenced by the more recent history) than in Sweden. JA moved around for two years unimpeded in the closest ally the US has in Europe (and by some distance a closest ally). That’s a particular problem. I don’t blame him for going into the embassy, but that number of years prior to doing that was a window where he could have addressed the initial accusations.

Again there is the need to disconnect or detach the two dynamics ie the accusations and Wikileaks. By the point he went into the embassy those documents were well in circulation. It is indeed not beyond the bounds of possibility that efforts were made to punish him but that still doesn’t detract from the original issue. And I’m deeply dubious about offering anyone a blank cheque on one side of their lives due to another side, even inadvertently. There’s been far too much of that going on across the years on the left as much as elsewhere.

All that said this is why I tend to shy away from stuff like this because in a sense it is so academic in regard to general political activity that most of us can engage in. It’s not that I’m unsympathetic to all of those involved in this, including JA. Nor do I think he should be extradited to the US and in the absence of the Swedish issue continuing that has now closed down to all intents and purposes. But there have to be lessons in all this about how we engage with accusations and ensure that those who have made them are treated with some degree of respect and legitimacy (which is not the same as accepting the accusations to be the objective truth).

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Alibaba - November 24, 2019

I agree about the necessity of treating those with respect who make these accusations. It is vital. That’s why I would like to know what the accusers say now before drawing any conclusions about lessons to learn.

Isn’t it the case that one is innocent until proven guilty and since the Swedish judicial authorities have dropped the charges against Assange a verdict is no longer possible?

Isn’t it the case that Assange had a legitimate fear of not getting a fair trial in Sweden and facing the prospect of extradition to the USA for prosecution because of Wikileaks obtaining secret information and therefore facing life-long imprisonment; the latter of which might still yet happen?

Isn’t it the case that these developments are politically motivated?

The answers are a triple whammy of Yes and that is why we should fight for JA’s freedom and in defence of human rights.

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WorldbyStorm - November 24, 2019

The latter is the problem. I don’t think we can take it that the accusations were politically motivated, but yes, it’s all academic at this point.

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CL - November 24, 2019
Alibaba - November 24, 2019

Hey WBS, it would be wrong to deduce that the accusations were politically motivated. I regret if I gave that impression as I am unfit to say so. But these matters are far from academic now and sides need to be taken, if only to defend freedom of expression and offer some consolation to other leakers who would understandably fear persecution.

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CL - November 24, 2019

“pour décourager les autres”,

“Doctors from around the world have written an open letter to the UK home secretary about the plight of the WikiLeaks’ publisher in London’s Belmarsh prison.”
https://consortiumnews.com/2019/11/23/doctors-petition-uk-home-secretary-over-julian-assange/

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WorldbyStorm - November 24, 2019

Sorry, I wasn’t implying you were saying that. And by academic I mean – as noted, that at this stage Sweden not pushing the issue, and not being in favour of extradition, that leaves that side of the matter to one side, as it were.

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