Julian Assange is one of my best enemies. For my part it was hatred at first sight. He was only slightly slower on the uptake. Our relationship was consummated last year when we debated in London, and he fluttered those strange dead eyes at me, and threatened to sue me, and then didn’t, and I wrote about it afterwards and revealed to the world (or Spectator diary readers at least) that his backstage chat is like aural rohypnol.
Anyhow – in recent months I have not had the time to keep my hatred active. Partly because Julian has now even discredited himself with the left. Indeed, even the poor man who gave Julian sanctuary in his house all this time (and Julian is by all accounts a somewhat teenage houseguest for a weekend let alone a year) was screwed over by him once Julian jumped bail and headed to the Ecuadorian embassy (leaving nearly all his friends with thousands of pounds in bail to cough up as a final thank you). Yes, in terms of enemy quality, Julian really is one that keeps on giving. This is, it should be remembered, a man who fell out with the author of his autobiography.
Until Julian moved in, passing by the Ecuadorian embassy in London was an unexciting event. But in recent weeks it has had a thrill which I shall miss. Would Julian be standing at the window, stroking his locks? Would he suddenly make a dash for a Boris bike? Or would successive Ecuadorian ambassadors simply inherit this odd Australian in the attic?
We will soon know the answer. For Julian’s drama must now be reaching its final act. The Ecuadorians have given him citizenship, but if he steps out of the embassy he will be arrested by Britain’s police. I suppose that even now Ecuadorians in high places are considering whether Julian could get out of the window on a zip-wire, land in an Ecuadorian embassy car and get straight onto an Ecuadorian plane. But I think it is unlikely to work. Having amused everybody greatly with their offer, the Ecuadorians should now do the world one more service (as well as take the lesson learned by Julian last hosts). They should ensure that the zip-wire fails and Julian ends up dangling, Boris like, a few metres above Hans place. There he could be left, not quite an Ecuadorian, neither captive nor free, in a no-man’s land of his own unique creation.