A Mobi-Miscellany – some personal reflections
Surprise ! surprise!
The bleeding heart liberals’ favourite whistle blower – the redoubtable Julian Assange – has been revealed as vain, secretive, paranoid and jealous, prone to leering at young women and making frequent sexist jokes. And that’s not the view of one of his many enemies, but of a friend who regards him sympathetically, his would –be ghost writer, Andrew O’Hagen.
O’Hagan, an award-winning novelist and non-fiction author, recounts how he spent months with the Australian computer hacker in an attempt to extract material for the book. But the WikiLeaks founder proved so reluctant to talk about his own past and private life, that O’Hagan was forced to abandon the book .
Assange behaved in front of O’Hagan like an egotistical tyrant, interested more in his own self-publicity than in changing the world. Worse still, he turns on his friends with increasing regularity, rather than focusing his anger on his enemies.
At one stage Assange describes the Ecuadorean ambassador offering him diplomatic asylum as “mad”, “fat” and “ludicrous” for going on a diet because she did not like the photographs of herself in the press.
He was also disparaging of his former ally, Jemima Khan, who put up the surety for his bail before he broke its conditions by seeking refuge in the embassy.
O’Hagan recounts: “He didn’t pause to ask why a loyal supporter might become aggrieved; when I raised it with him he simply made a horribly sexist remark.”
Even Assange’s girlfriend, WikiLeaks researcher Sarah Harrison says of Assange: “He openly chats girls up and has his hands on their a**e and goes nuts if I even talk to another guy.
Indeed, it come as no surprise to this writer that Miss Harrison now appears to be having doubts about Assange’s account of his relationship with the two Swedish women who have accused him of rape.
Really? Your humble blogger was suggesting this 18 months ago. He’s not really concerned about Sweden extraditing him to the USA. He is worried about being found guilty of rape.
The man who is quite happy to reveal the secrets of governments around the world is unwilling to allow the truth about himself to be made public.
Politicians – old world / new world
In London, on 19th September, 2012, a conservative MP, Andrew Mitchell, was accused of calling some policemen ‘plebs’, and as result, he was obliged to resign from his senior post in the British government.
The ramifications of this incident, known as ‘Plebgate’ is still rumbling, some 18 months after the event and made headlines in the press for many months.
In New York, a congressman, Michael Grimm, was caught on camera making a threat to political reporter. The congressman objected to a question about an investigation into his 2010 campaign finances, and said to him:
“Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I’ll throw you off this fucking balcony.”
The reporter replied:
“Why? I just wanted to ask you….”
“No, no, you’re not man enough, you’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half. Like a boy.”
When taken to task over his outrageous – and indeed criminal – threats, he said:
“I verbally took the reporter to task and told him off because I expect a certain level of professionalism and respect….. I doubt that I am the first member of Congress to tell off a reporter and I am sure I won’t be the last.”
The whole incident quickly faded from the news and Michael Grimm is continuing his political career, as though nothing ever happened. Grimm is a Democrat, as are all the major US press.
Can you imagine, in your wildest dreams, any British politician. Labour, Conservative or Lib-Dem, being allowed to get away with such outrageous behaviour??
Here’s another episode in my continuing crusade against disgraceful waste within the European Union’s unelected bureaucracy.
Construction work has begun on a £103 million building for the European Parliament, provoking an angry response from residents of Brussels and MEPs.
The building’s developer has admitted that the 12-storey block is at least 15 per cent more expensive than the average construction cost for office space in the European Union’s capital city.
An EU building boom has continued, regardless of austerity measures, with projects including a £60 million House of European History and a £280 million urn-shaped “jewel case” site for summits.
It is also paying £77 million over 12 years to rent an 11-storey office block on De Meeussquare, near to the Brussels seat of the parliament.
The cost of the new building in Maelbeek has risen by up to £8 million over the past three months as despite unsuitable geological conditions, builders are sinking geothermal bores to harness the power of the Earth’s heat. The wells are over 200 meters deep, which is major challenge on marshy terrain.
A group of Brussels residents has described the building as “very ugly”, and it takes “the form of two bananas connected by a sort of atrium”. Residents have complained that EU offices have driven out local residents.
I ask you, what an effing farce! No wonder ‘our Nigel’ is so successful at the polls.
Woe is me …m’Lords…
Our poor hard done by, under- privileged members of Parliament’s upper Chamber, the unelected ‘House of Lords’ is up in arms about their food.
The poor little senile darlings may be in danger of dying from malnutrition, or even worse, driven to suicide; such is the ‘disgusting’ state of affairs in their catering arrangements.
Yes, it’s true folks, members of the House of Lords have lodged a steady stream of strong complaints about their (taxpayer-subsidised ) restaurants, and have expressed their anger about the size of menus, the “chaotic” table layouts and the “inferior cappuccinos”.
The Lords’ catering facilities receive a £1.3 million pounds per year subsidy, and each peer receives £300 per day in expenses for attending but it seems that they are far from happy – the poor, hard-done by little mites.
Even though our non-elected me Lords and their guests can enjoy seared scallops, foie gras and champagne risotto at the Barry Room private restaurant, and a full roast dinner for £9.50, our hardworking, non-elected politicians are far from happy.
One impassioned Lord complained of a 15-minute wait to be seated, which they said lost “some of the finesse of the afternoon” and left their guests unable to “eat the beautiful cake selection” in time.
Another member decried the “chaotic litter of small tables” in the Lords’ tea room after its rearrangement over Easter.
One peer even appealed for the return of menus printed on light card for guests to take home as souvenirs, while another said he had been left “scarred” after his dinner booking was cancelled suddenly. He complained that his wife was:
“unable to lunch elsewhere because she was wearing a tiara”.
The Lord recalled:
“We were only saved by the kindness of a fellow peer who offered us the use of his nearby home to change in and took us out to lunch.”
The installation of a controversial new coffee machine also attracted a series of complaints, which the Lords said was “inferior” and left them “nowhere to go” for a decent cappuccino in the House.
One member complained that the arrival of the new machine was “insulting” and “staggering”, because peers hadn’t been consulted about the change.
Another handwritten note called for staff at the canteen to:
“Stop asking whether we want butter on jacket potatoes when what they mean is marge.”
Lords also complained about the quality of their subsidised smoked salmon, scallops and the lack of Chilean wine for a distinguished guest.
Last month, an angry Lord said the menu was “flimsy”, there was no melba toast, no rice pudding and that the menu at Christmas did not offer turkey. Writing about an experience with his wife in the Barry Room, he added:
“There were two adequate pasta dishes which we ordered but I could have had these in a downmarket establishment ….With fare like this the place will soon be deserted.”
Doesn’t your heart just bleed for these impoverished patriots who have been so traumatised by the deplorable standards of their catering facilities, that there is a real risk of them jumping wholesale from the clock face of Big Ben?
Chance would be a fine thing….
Just a thought
If the whole world were vegetarians, nobody would have any incentive to own or rear domestic animals – such as chickens, pigs and cows – and they would have long become extinct, along with wolves etc.
If it wasn’t for African Safaris and related tourism, it is highly probable that elephants and other protected wild animals would long ago have become extinct.
In the 1800’s the number of Bison still remaining in America was reckoned to be as low as 541.Today, due to the breeding of bison for food, there is now a population of over 500,000.
Just a thought