Chelsea and Julian are in Jail. History Trembles. 1010


Tonight both Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange are in jail, both over offences related to the publication of materials specifying US war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq, and both charged with nothing else at all. No matter what bullshit political and MSM liars try to feed you, that is the simple truth. Manning and Assange are true heroes of our time, and are suffering for it.

If a Russian opposition politician were dragged out by armed police, and within three hours had been convicted on a political charge by a patently biased judge with no jury, with a lengthy jail sentence to follow, can you imagine the Western media reaction to that kind of kangaroo court? Yet that is exactly what just happened in London.

District Judge Michael Snow is a disgrace to the bench who deserves to be infamous well beyond his death. He displayed the most plain and open prejudice against Assange in the 15 minutes it took for him to hear the case and declare Assange guilty, in a fashion which makes the dictators’ courts I had witnessed, in Babangida’s Nigeria or Karimov’s Uzbekistan, look fair and reasonable, in comparison to the gross charade of justice conducted by Michael Snow.

One key fact gave away Snow’s enormous prejudice. Julian Assange said nothing during the whole brief proceedings, other than to say “Not guilty” twice, and to ask a one sentence question about why the charges were changed midway through this sham “trial”. Yet Judge Michael Snow condemned Assange as “narcissistic”. There was nothing that happened in Snow’s brief court hearing that could conceivably have given rise to that opinion. It was plainly something he brought with him into the courtroom, and had read or heard in the mainstream media or picked up in his club. It was in short the very definition of prejudice, and “Judge” Michael Snow and his summary judgement is a total disgrace.

We wrapped up the final Wikileaks and legal team meeting at 21.45 tonight and thereafter Kristian Hrafnsson and I had dinner together. The whole team, including Julian, is energised rather than downhearted. At last there is no more hiding for the pretend liberals behind ludicrous Swedish allegations or bail jumping allegations, and the true motive – revenge for the Chelsea Manning revelations – is now completely in the open.

To support the persecution of Assange in these circumstances is to support absolute state censorship of the internet. It is to support the claim that any journalist who receives and publishes official material which indicates US government wrongdoing, can be punished for its publication. Furthermore this US claim involves an astonishing boost to universal jurisdiction. Assange was nowhere near the USA when he published the documents, but nonetheless US courts are willing to claim jurisdiction. This is a threat to press and internet freedom everywhere.

These are scary times. But those may also be the most inspiring of times.

UPDATE

We are reassembling Wikileaks/Julian legal and media team from 10am Friday in Doughty Street Chambers. I and others will be available for further media interviews from then. I can be reached on 07979 691085.

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1,010 thoughts on “Chelsea and Julian are in Jail. History Trembles.

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  • Antonym

    Breaking a password is now cyber hacking in Eastern Virginia? Careful now checking the names of someone’s pets, solving any puzzles, even 9 years ago.
    Anyway good and timely attempt to distract from the present with the Mueller report which will miss out any American DNC leaking but will be full of Russian (NOT Ukrainian) hacking.

  • joel

    The US kills two Reuters journalists and 18 civilians in Iraq. A journalist exposes it. They arrest the journalist.
    That about sums it up.

    But not for the west’s self-described liberals, who cannot be relied upon to defend even the most basic tenets of liberalism.

  • Sharp Ears

    The disgusting MP Stella Creasey and 70 other disgusting occupants of the green benches combine –

    ‘Tonight over 70 parliamentarians stand with victims of sexual violence, and are calling on both the Home Secretary and the shadow Home Sec to urge them both to be champions of action to ensure Julian Assange faces Swedish authorities and is extradited there if they so request:

    The letter. Chuka’s there. So is Milord Robertson of Port Ellen plus several Friends of Israel like Berger and Ryan.
    https://mobile.twitter.com/stellacreasy/status/1116791087585091584/photo/2

    https://mobile.twitter.com/stellacreasy/status/1116791087585091584

    No words.

  • Sharp Ears

    A very wise old man (now 90) speaks to Amy Goodman about Julian –

    AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now! I’m Amy Goodman in Boston, as we sit down with Noam Chomsky for a public conversation. I asked him about the arrest of Julian Assange.

    NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, the Assange arrest is scandalous in several respects. One of them is just the effort of governments—and it’s not just the U.S. government. The British are cooperating. Ecuador, of course, is now cooperating. Sweden, before, had cooperated. The efforts to silence a journalist who was producing materials that people in power didn’t want the rascal multitude to know about—OK?—that’s basically what happened. WikiLeaks was producing things that people ought to know about those in power. People in power don’t like that, so therefore we have to silence it. OK? This is the kind of thing, the kind of scandal, that takes place, unfortunately, over and over.

    /..
    https://www.democracynow.org/2019/4/12/chomsky_arrest_of_assange_is_scandalous

    Also Lula and Roussef are quoted –

    ‘So here is Lula from prison, on Assange:

    “Assange is a hero of our times. His actions contibuted to the revelation of the manipulation of the facts by the intelligence services of the US. He did more for democracy in the world than many elected leaders. His arrest is an attack on freedom of expression. And his eventual extradition, if it occurs, will be a violence against human rights and would put his life in danger.”

    Dilma Rousseff, also an ex-president of Brazil who was deposed in a farcical coup in 2016 which led to the election of Bolsonaro, said, “The intention is to interdict the truth and impede the free circulation of information. His arrest is an attack on democracy and the democratic press must not be silent.”

    It was revealed by the Snowden leaks that the US NSA was intercepting calls even on Dilma’s personal mobile phone as well as those of her aides and indeed the entire Brazilian government was under surveillance by the NSA.’

  • David

    Dershowitz…..there is no [US]constitutional difference between WikiLeaks and the New York Times. (but it is uncertain what the outcome might be)

    Arjun Walia, via lewrockwell ….the world knows why the hunt for Julian Assange has been ongoing for so long, and it’s because he leaked secrets and exposed those who keep them. He exposed the lies, corruption and deceit that represents the backbone of the Western military alliance and the American empire. He exposed, in the words of John F. Hylan, former Mayor of New York City, the “real menace of Republic”, the “invisible government, which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy legs over our cities, states and nation.” He exposes the ones “who virtually run the United States government for their own selfish purposes.”

    Snowden…….Assange’s critics may cheer, but this [dis-asylum] is a dark moment for press freedom.

    BBC R4 on its ‘shipping forecast’ news today was pushing the ‘crimes in Sweden’ angle

    Techdirt has great article on concerns for press freedom
    …..it appears that the DOJ is, in fact, presenting perfectly normal, reasonable and legal, steps that many journalists take to cultivate and protect sources, and using that as evidence of the “conspiracy” here…..the very fact that it has spent all this time and the best thing it could come up with to charge Assange was an alleged attempt to hack a password, is pretty weak. The attempt to puff even that up into a “conspiracy” by describing common journalistic practices is a real worry

    • Sharp Ears

      That’s Dershowitz who conspired to get Norman Finkelstein’s tenure at DePaul cancelled. We know where he’s coming from.

  • Sharp Ears

    Here is Craig ( looking very well I’m pleased to say) on RT yesterday.

    RT UK
    @RTUKnews
    “This is a very important fight and it’s a fight we absolutely must win” says former British ambassador who believes a ‘dishonest game is being played with the courts’ over Julian Assange’s arrest.
    https://twitter.com/RTUKnews/status/1116712576157659136
    5.43mins

  • mouwophouders

    Mr Assange’s halcyon seven years in Hans Crescent behind him, and the mirror crack’d again, perhaps, but now in such toilets as mosquito-infested Belmarsh, so here’s a thought.

    Rather than the impending heavy-handed interventions by our own and the Yanks’ judiciaries on the slimmest of pretexts, instead fine him a peppercorn for the bail breach, and deport him to Australia, and unrestricted freedom, with a generous stipend and cost-free accommodation. That might be tricky to arrange, but all is possibl: think Sergei Skripal. No little chats by the funnies in containers on far-flung aprons of Stanstead Airport either, just a straightforward release from custody and a second chance back home.

    At all times, continue the most intensive monitoring of his activities as are possible, while keeping this activity as covert as possible. If he breaks the law, prosecute him in the normal way.

    This seems to me an Easter egg of a win-win. The UK and US governments show clemency towards his past indiscretions (which are undeniable) rather than brutally sentencing him either to death or a very long stretch. Mr Assange, on the other hand, will more than likely continue “looking for trouble” (or, for the palate of craigmurray.org “blowing his whistle”), thereby committing criminal offences, but is entirely free not to do so.

    Obviously, if he sticks to “straight” journalism and publishing, keeping a weather-eye on what’s illegal, he will live happily ever after. If he starts trying to “rock the boat” again, thereby breaking the law, he swings. Equally obviously, this is a fairy tale which will not become any kind of reality.

  • SA

    So now the usual anti-Corbyn suspects are coming out to demand justice for victims of sexual abuse whilst not presuming guilt. Strange indeed, in this time of national calamity called Brexit and its mishandling :
    “In a letter coordinated by Labour’s Stella Creasy and Jess Phillips and seen by the Guardian, the MPs declare: “We do not presume guilt, of course, but we believe due process should be followed and the [Swedish] complainant should see justice be done.”
    They call on Javid and Abbott to “champion action” to ensure that extradition is a possibility should Swedish authorities choose to pursue it.”

    So it is interesting that these MPS do not see that this is political interference to affect (pervert) the course of justice. The concept that loud discussion of issues that should be sub-judice so as not to influence the course of justice has now been completely abandoned. Those who still have great faith in the justice system please note.
    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/apr/12/give-priority-to-julian-assange-claim-home-secretary-urged

    • Crispa

      I agree. I am disgusted at the actions of these politicians, who are surely premature in writing this letter before it is even known that Sweden will reopen the case. They are clearly more interested in wanting priority given to Assange’s alleged sexual misconduct than to the war crimes that Wikileaks uncovered, which I would have expected to be their main concern. I would be interested to know how many of the signatories voted for the illegal war in Iraq. If so, they are also complicit in the commission of those crimes, and it is they who should be brought to book.

      • Brian c

        Before she became an MP Jess Phillips marched against invading Iraq on a pack of lies. Once she became an MP she voted against an investigation into the contrast between public statements and private actions in the run up to the Iraq war. As did Stella Creasy. Last year both voted to bomb Syria on the basis of unproven allegations of a chemical weapons attack.

      • Ken Kenn

        Crispa.

        Unfortunately they are more interested in damaging Corbyn and his people than the welfare of the woman or the man concerned.

        He is guilty of nothing yet.

        The question is whether the woman in question wishes the case to be re-opened?

        I don’t know the answer to that – does anyone one know – or is the ‘ Plaintiff ‘ referred to in the media the Swedish Authorities and not the woman herself?

        The Guardian’s has gone very coy at revealing what Assange has revealed as if to say to the US ‘ Not us guv – we only said what he said.

        Can UK citizens be subpoena’d to give evidence in these types of Grand Jury Trials?

        Maybe next business for the Yanks as once you open the door a bit (and a cursory glance at history gives us clues )
        they will smash it in.

  • SA

    “Or would you like to see him prosecuted to the fullest extent right now? ”

    So please specify what exactly do you want him prosecuted for? The original charge against him has been dropped twice by Sweden and may be resuscitated to save face again, having been investigated already. Jumping bail? OK lets =be honest and charge him with that and take appropriate action. I am all for applying the law but not selectively.

    • Tom Welsh

      Yes. I have chosen that article as the best succinct and unbiased summary of the matter to give to family and friends.

    • Tom Welsh

      I think the most telling part of Mr Cook’s superb precis is this:

      ‘It was a freedom of information request by an ally of Assange, not a media outlet, that unearthed documents showing that Swedish investigators had, in fact, wanted to drop the case against Assange back in 2013. The UK, however, insisted that they carry on with the charade so that Assange could remain locked up. A British official emailed the Swedes: “Don’t you dare get cold feet!!!”’

      If you think about that for a while, it will be absolutely obvious that it was the UK – not Sweden – that was pushing the matter. “Cold feet”? Why on earth would judicial authorities get “cold feet” about pursuing a possible criminal prosecution – unless they were perfectly aware that the case was fraudulent and that their motive for taking it up was very far from honest?

    • SayLess

      Very useful summary. Some things that would be good to add:
      Ecuador revoked Assange’s asylum. Has Ecuador or any other country done this in the past? How often does this occur, and under what circumstances?
      The media keep saying that two Swedish women accused Assange of rape/sexual misconduct. But in fact the women only wanted to compel Assange to get an STD test; it was the Swedish police that brought the accusations.
      The list would be an even better resource if it had more links to articles to back up the points (for example, that Assange was always willing to be questioned by Swedish prosecutors in London)

  • Casual Observer

    So as may have been predicted, idiot MP’s go from cheering and clapping in the chamber, to the discovery that the potato they have picked up is rather hot, and seek a way to pass it swiftly on to other hands. Thus Sweden becomes the option for the quickest passing on, hence a ramping up of the ‘Sex’ allegations.

    I wonder if the Swedes will play ball ?

  • Roger Wise

    Fundamentally, for all the educated opinion, unless the masses are reached and exposed to the real truth of the manipulation and exploitation made by the few for their own game, this type of scenario will continue unabated.

    Too many organisations who present themselves as wishing to make a difference remain elitist with ‘ the only gay in the village’ mentality, when they should be prepared to engage with all.

  • Grouse Beater

    You’re busted, you Bozo. Get off the site! You don’t even have the correct logo let alone a brain.

  • Republicofscotland

    Well it looks like Moreno got more than thirty pieces of silver for Assange. As the US controlled IMF approved a huge wad of cash for Ecuador.

    “The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today approved a US$ 4.2 billion (435 percent of quota and SDR 3.035 billion) arrangement under the IMF’s Extended Fund Facility (EFF) for Ecuador. The Board’s decision enables the immediate disbursement of US$652 million (equivalent to SDR 469,7 million, or 67.3 percent of Ecuador’s quota). This arrangement provides support for the Ecuadorean government’s economic policies over the next three years.”

    https://www.imf.org/en/News/Articles/2019/03/11/ecuador-pr1972-imf-executive-board-approves-eff-for-ecuador

    Staying on the Great Satan (US) the ICC has dropped its probe into alleged war crimes by the USA in Afghanistan.

    • Tom Welsh

      I can only hope, most devoutly, that Mr Moreno eventually gets what Saddam Hussein and other Washington employees got when their usefulness ended.

    • Tom Welsh

      “Staying on the Great Satan (US) the ICC has dropped its probe into alleged war crimes by the USA in Afghanistan”.

      Reassuring, isn’t it, to see confirmation that the dollar retains most of its value?

      • Republicofscotland

        Not to miss out on the Great Satan’s most obedient minion Britain. Today is the 100th anniversary of the Amristar massacre, for which no British government has formally apologised yet.

      • Republicofscotland

        Also Tom, the recently deposed Al-Bashir of Sudan is wanted by the ICC for alleged charges of war crimes, lets wait and see what happens there. That’s if Sudan decides to hand him over, it may not.

        • Kerch'eee Kerch'ee Coup

          @Republicofscotland
          Documents relating to Kitchener’s massacres and following the Battle of Omdurman in the Sudan remain classified I understand as their disclosure might be sensitive, so Sudan has a good precedent.

          • Republicofscotland

            Kitchner had a superior force at Omdurman, so much so that only a few Brits and Egyptians fell, as opposed to Muhammed Ahmed’s forces.

            Books written on Kitchener on the Great Boer war, claim he was a cold calculating man, aloof from his men and fellow officers.

            He was tasked with hunting down the last of the Boer commando’s and along with Milner oversaw the concentration camps.

            One interesting snippet is that Cronje a prominent Boer general found himself in a camp on the island of St Helena, Cronge and his family stayed in the house that homed Napoleon previously.

    • Alexander

      Can Julian Assange really be worth $4.2 billion (or even $672 million) to Washington?

      Wow. I wonder what he knows. Much more than us, anyway. Strange story.

      • Clark

        It’s a loan, not a gift:

        – “When a country faces serious medium-term balance of payments problems because of structural weaknesses that require time to address, the IMF can assist with the adjustment process under an Extended Fund Facility (EFF). Compared to assistance provided under the Stand-by Arrangement, assistance under an extended arrangement features longer program engagement—to help countries implement medium-term structural reforms—and a longer repayment period.”

        https://www.imf.org/en/About/Factsheets/Sheets/2016/08/01/20/56/Extended-Fund-Facility

        Looks as though Moreno has placed Ecuador under the US/IMF jackboot thumb for decades to come.

      • Tom Welsh

        The $4.2 billion does not belong to the people who are making this happen. It’s the taxpayers’ (directly or indirectly).

        I think we all need to remember, and contemplate, the purpose of power as explained by George Orwell.

        “Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness; only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?”

        – George Orwell (O’Brien to Winston Smith, “1984”)

    • michael norton

      The only outstanding possible charge left on the books in Sweden is Lesser Degree Rape.

      The category of “lesser degree rape” is very problematic. The main problem is the definition (violence, threat of violence). If the violence or threats used were slight and if there were mitigating circumstances when the act is assessed as a whole, the crime committed is coercion into sexual intercourse.
      Secondly, the elements in this category are unclear and may result in very different rulings. It seems that no-one knows what kinds of acts are actually meant by this definition. There are no examples in the preparation papers of this law. This uncertainty may also lead to situations where more severe acts are ruled as “lesser degree rapes”. Coercion into sexual intercourse (“lesser degree rape”) is a complainant offence. The police do not start a preliminary investigation unless a victim demands punishment for the perpetrator. A victim of rape can also exercise her “free will” and ask the prosecutor not to prosecute. Therefore victims are exposed to threats and offer to participate in mediation

      • michael norton

        These definitions would imply it is not up to the prosecutors to initiate or coerce a “victim” to request prosecution but entirely up to the “victim” to either request prosecution or refuse prosecution.

      • Tom Welsh

        Sweden is out of the picture now. It was only ever a trick to get Assange out of the UK, so he could be extradited to the USA (or simply kidnapped).

        Now extradition has been applied for – and very likely will be granted – Washington no longer needs Sweden. No doubt the relevant pawns have been paid off.

      • Michael McNulty

        It’s ironic that while Julian’s detractors refer to this sex case to demonise him in the eyes of the public, it is most unlikely they want him taken to Sweden to be tried for it, because under judicial scrutiny it would show just how weak this ‘holding’ case against him really is. It could see him released in Sweden free to go anywhere he’s able, having never gone to trial.

    • Tom Welsh

      “…Assange if extradited would win his case”.

      Not in the court that has been earmarked for the trial. The Court of Star Chamber was never more biased and deaf to reason or legality. This is what was said by John Kiriakou, the first person to be sentenced in the US for leaking classified material to a journalist as part of President Barack Obama’s crackdown on whistleblowers. Note this in particular: “No national security defendant has ever won a case in the EDVA”.

      “Judge Leonie Brinkema is a Reagan appointee to the federal bench and she was promoted to District Court bench by Bill Clinton in the mid-1990s. She reserves all national security cases for herself. She handled my case, the Jeffrey Sterling case [over leaking details of a CIA op to journalist James Risen], she is Julian’s judge, she has reserved the [NSA whistleblower] Ed Snowden case for herself.

      “No national security defendant has ever won a case in the EDVA. In my case, I asked Judge Brinkema to declassify 70 documents that I needed to defend myself. She denied all 70 documents. And so I had literally no defense for myself and was forced to take a plea.”

      https://www.rt.com/usa/456274-kiriakou-assange-arrest-trial/

      • Republicofscotland

        Good points Tom, ergo more serious charges will need to be forthcoming I’d imagine, as the world will surely be watching from the sidelines.

    • Mary Pau!

      Someone said here that once extradited, the US government cannot add extra charges. That is not what the men is saying today, which is that once Assange gets to the States, other charges will be brought.

      • Ort

        As I’m sure you realize, despite all of the high-flown rhetoric about the nobility and sanctity of the Rule of Law, that learned profession always provides for deviance and exceptions in the interests of the powerful.

        Here, for instance, much is made of the supposed ironclad rule that extradition may only be granted if merited by specific charges that cannot be changed or amended once extradition is granted and executed. (In this case, “executed” is not a poor choice of words.)

        But the loose board, or trapdoor, built into this seemingly straightforward safeguard is that charges based on a specific factual matrix may not be expanded, etc. If state prosecutors claim that “new evidence of criminal wrongdoing” has come to their attention, or become ripe, they are free to file new charges against the extradited defendant based on this alleged previously undiscovered evidence.

        The nice thing about the Golden Thread is that when circumstances call for it, it makes a very handy garrote.

        • Tom Welsh

          It has been well said the purpose of lawyers is not to interpret or explain or implement the law – but to find ways of circumventing it.

          The USA, by a strange coincidence, has far more lawyers than any other country in the world.

  • mark golding

    A clause in the new Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019 makes it a crime to watch or otherwise access information online that is likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing acts of terrorism. It also includes, for example, watching the content over the shoulder of another person who is sitting by a computer.

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2019/3/contents/enacted/data.htm

    Forget a free and open society in the UK; WE ARE ALL PRISONERS!

    • pete

      As far as I know the extradition warrant from the US cites JA because of his assumed hacking skills, but password hacking-type tools are freely available to all, for example the Kali Linux system has them built in (see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kali_Linux). No doubt there are more tools available on the dark web.
      How on earth would anyone know who it was that hacked someone’s password and how strong was it? Modern computers are capable of extraordinary numbers of operations per second, hacking passwords is child’s play to them, this is why people resort to long. difficult to guess pass phrases that require many hours of computer time to crack. Obfuscating the origin and path of a message source is also childishly simple. In addition once a communication is encrypted in PGP – or the open source equivalent – it could take centuries to untangle even with a supercomputer.
      I can see that the only reason the US authorities have locked up Manning again is to get him to say something that will implicate and be used in the trial of JA, otherwise their case may fail the reasonable doubt test. But the evidence against Manning was not that he hacked a system but just that he copied material he could access freely on his computer.
      Was there not an intermediary between Manning and Assange, namely Adrian Lamo, why have we not heard more about his role in this matter. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adrian_Lamo.
      Given the difficulties that the US state would have in prosecuting such a case it is easy to see why they have to resort to resurrecting the Sweden charges to move JA to a country that would have no problem with extraditing him onward.

        • Tom Welsh

          Yes, where “appear” is the operative word. As pete explained, it is very difficult or impossible to determine who carried out any given penetration on the Internet – especially if the attacker(s) are expert.

          What will probably be done, as has become customary, is to invoke the word of “secret” “intelligence services” who must be taken on trust because their identities, qualifications, and findings cannot be revealed “for security reasons”.

          In other words, “Trust us, he’s guilty as sin, and he deserves everything he gets”.

  • Sharp Ears

    Good for Sky News. They are showing Tracey Worcester again. You would never hear or see this intelligent and highly articulate woman on the BBC.

  • chris

    can the media STOP pushing the lies that these 2 patsies ,are some sort of icon’s?

    • Sharp Ears

      The greengrocers’ apostrophe is redundant there chris!

      I have never heard of John Pilger or the eminent lawyer, Geoffrey Robertson, being referred to as ‘patsies’.

      • Doug Mackie

        “Greengrocers’ apostrophes” is permissible, as is “greengrocer’s apostrophes”, but never “greengrocers’ apostrophe”, Sharp Ears. That is both illogical and wrong, a solecism of the worst kind: an example of hypercorrection.
        You are safer using “greengrocer’s” no matter how many incorrect apostrophes there may be.

        • Alex Westlake

          I would argue that “greengrocers’ apostrophe” is not grammatically incorrect, however “greengrocer’s apostrophe” is certainly preferable The former implies that all greengrocers make this error while the latter suggests that it’s typical of a greengrocer but allows for the possibility that some greengrocers are literate.

          • Doug Mackie

            I think another reason for the popularity of the incorrect plural variant is a conflation of the neologism “greengrocer’s apostrophe” with the more prosaic and prolix phrase “apostrophe which is (widely) abused by greengrocers”.

            Similarly, cheese, pickle and bread may well comprise a “lunch preferred by many, or indeed all ploughmen”, but the neologism is still “ploughman’s lunch”.

            Who said anything about useful? ?

        • Noit a Lever

          “Greengrocers’ apostrophe” doesn’t say that *all* greengrocers use the apostrophe in that incorrect way, but rather that some do rather than just one, so I don’t think it is illogical. Of course it may not be the usual form for that phrase.

          • Doug Mackie

            “Greengrocers’ apostrophe” is both illogical as a phrase, and incorrect as a neologism.

            Imagine a Guild of greengrocers, whose members comprise all such shopkeepers in existence. They trade as: Felipe’s, Umberto’s, Carlo’s, Kristof’s, Orloff’s and Framlingham & Framlingham (the latter a joint venture of two brothers). All, except the last, are non-native English speakers, and they are careful with their English and never make this mistake. The Framlingham brothers are less meticulous, but usually get it right.

            Those days when they do, it would be logically true to say no greengrocers made the mistake. When one of them got it wrong one time only, it would be logically true to say there existed a “greengrocer’s apostrophe”, and if twice or more there would then exist “greengrocer’s apostrophes”. If other purveyors of vegetables began making the mistake, you could logically correctly speak of “greengrocers’ apostrophes”, as there are now multiple greengrocers and many apostrophes.

            Only in the rarefied (and frankly silly) case of Framlingham and Framlingham being jointly liable for a single global instance of a “greengrocer’s apostrophe” would it be logically true to say “greengrocers’ apostrophe. . For it to be “greengrocers'”, there must be more than one instance of an abuse of the apostrophe.

            It is incorrect as a neologism mainly because all other such expressions take the singular by (eminently sensible) custom and practice: “teacher’s pet”, “ploughman’s lunch”, “mummy’s boy”, “Captain’s table”.

            You could modify to “teachers’ pet”, “ploughmen’s lunch” (but not so easily “mummies’ boy”, “Captains’ table” – unless the ship had more than one)… but you don’t.

            The problem here is the mainly a distinction between neologism and straightforward parts of speech. If there’s only one apostrophe, there can be only one greengrocer responsible for the faut-pas (apart from the Framlinghams’ above quasi-conspiracy).

            How’s Mr A getting on in Belmarsh? Has anyone requested a VO (Visitor’s Order… or Visitors’ Order) yet? Do we have an email-a-prisoner address to keep up his spirits with the arcane niceties of the English language, inter alia?

            Fuck greengrocers, I’ve not patronised one for years. I choose my words cautiously, and when making clever-dick ad hominem attacks, so should others.

        • Tom Welsh

          Au contraire, Doug, “greengrocers’ apostrophe” is perfectly correct. It refers to one single apostrophe belonging to a number of greengrocers.

          • Doug Mackie

            I fancy I covered that one with the unlikely joint mistake of Messrs Framlingham, Tom, but I’m guessing you missed it.

            The expression exists chiefly as a neologism, rather than as a phrase made up of its two parts of speech. Although “greengrocers’ apostrophe” gains credence, it remains “wrong” by dint of its statistical usage as of 2019, hence its acceptance.

            I’m not asserting that nobody uses the alternate term “greengrocers’ apostrophe”, but rather that they belie an aspect of their character in so doing. It’s kinda wrong, and in the case of Sharp Ears’ comment, more likely than not an excellent, if unedifying, example of hypercorrection.

      • Doug Mackie

        Such usages are usually couched in the singular, eg ploughman’s lunch. It would be odd enough, and quite incorrect, ordering two ploughmen’s lunches; but decidedly bizarre, and a howler, to order one ploughmen’s lunch.
        Similarly, cobbler’s” and “cobblers’: how many shoemakers, and how many awls?

          • Doug Mackie

            Too much on wiktionary.org is inaccurate; just as its parent Wikipedia, it suffers from excessive freedom of editorial input, but unlike the latter never benefits from it. By way of an example, Craig’s rather “fluid” Wikipedia entry courtesy of his nemesis Philip Cross springs to mind.

            Although “greengrocers’ apostrophe” has indeed gained traction (rather like the greengrocer’s apostrophe itself), this alternative, ironically enough, is merely another instance of mistaken punctuation. The reason for the popularity of the incorrect plural variant seems to me an excellent, if rather nuanced, example of hypercorrection. It “looks” cleverer [sic].

            Quite apart from the logically faulty proposition: | one apostrophe of many greengrocers |, in common with all similar constructions, it should be in the singular, and originally exclusively was [see the more reliable and definitive OED]. Many such expressions come quickly to mind, though I’m unable to think of a single counter-example. As such, it’s merely a matter of usage.

            Saying less, Say Less, and I repeat: what a lot of cobbler’s.

      • Clark

        Bromidrosis.

        Well then Fido got up off the floor an’ he rolled over
        An’ he looked me straight in the eye
        An’ you know what he said?
        “Once upon a time, somebody say to me”
        (This is a dog talking now)
        “What is your Conceptual Continuity?”
        “Well, I told him right then”
        (Fido said)”It should be easy to see
        The crux of the biscuit is the Apostrophe
        Well, you know the man who was talkin’ to the dog
        Looked at the dog an’ he said: (sort of staring in disbelief)
        “You can’t say that!”
        He said:
        “It doesn’t, and you can’t!
        I won’t, and it don’t!
        IT hasn’t, it isn’t, it even ain’t
        And it shouldn’t
        It couldn’t!”
        He told me “No no no!”
        I told him “Yes yes yes”!

        I said: “I do it all the time;
        Ain’t this boogie a mess!”

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9FBQ1O5F8k

  • Jack

    The nasty slander continues, I dont even want to share these links but perhaps a reminder of what kind of sick people we are dealing with in Ecuador, media.

    Assange Put Excrement on Walls in Sign of Protest, Ecuador’s UK Envoy Claims
    https://sptnkne.ws/mjQz

  • Peter Gee

    Something often missed/ignored by Assange’s supporters is the fact that he inhibited a very large “leak” of Russian documents from the Russian Ministry of the Interior.

    https://foreignpolicy.com/2017/08/17/wikileaks-turned-down-leaks-on-russian-government-during-u-s-presidential-campaign/

    More attention needs to be paid to facts, rather than simple tribalism in favour of someone that is very happy beating the drum of populism to gain their objectives – whatever they may be.

    • Jack

      Here we go again. Russia Russia Russia. You know they have leaked on Russia.
      Also the FP charges have been debunked so many times by Wikileaks themselves. Perhaps take your own advice.

      • SA

        Jack
        There seems to be a number of mainly new contributors to this blog that keep repeating the messages that JA is either a CIA asset or a Russian asset. Both of them are conspiracists trying to muddy the water.

      • Trowbridge H. Ford

        Robert Gates, SoD when Assange and Manning were conspiring to hack Pentagon files, is the guy leading the pursuit of Assange.

    • Crispa

      Before accepting the contents of this article as fact, consider the sources – partial chat logs and the person who supplied them – hardly primary source data. It’s also hard to think that Assange in his current predicament is “beating the drum of populism”! He’s no Steve Bannon that’s for sure.

    • nevermind

      Warcrime reporting does not equal populusm, Peter, but in todays world black is white and scoundrels crooks and criminals run the puppets in the show.

  • Harry Law

    The letters sent to the Home Secretary and Diane Abbott by those establishment jobsworths – who I would describe as looking like personal injury lawyers in search of a client, are disingenuous, Assange has never been ‘unavailable’ for interview by the Swedish prosecutors, the precedent for such interviews had been established many times. Its true in all those years spent in the embassy Assange was unavailable most mornings when he took his daily walks around Hyde park /s.

  • Bill Dodd

    The presstitutes at the beeb Radio 5 trapped naive assange female lawyer into replying about a non-existent hypothetical swedish extradition request, and used her reply to bang on all day about a FAKE done deal “swedish rape extradition”. We are actually faced with evil of satanic proportions with every presstitute from sky to the FT fully on board. Little do the fools know their seed will turn limp-wristed, the proof is plain for all to see, in the surfeit among the hodges.

  • N_

    Is there a list of the “more than 70” “We’ll do anything for a backhander from the US government” creeps in the House of Commons and House of Lords who have so courageously “signed a letter” urging Sajid Javid to extradite Julian Assange to Sweden?

    Any campaign like that is organised and paid for by someone. Such cowardly hyenas don’t work for free. It would be interesting to examine their records for what else they share. Maybe many of them have voted the same way in the “Mother of Parliaments” on certain issues. Something tells me they didn’t call for Boris Berezovsky to be returned to Russia to answer criminal charges.

    A list of journalists and editors involved with articles mocking Julian Assange, saying he looks like various characters from old British TV situation comedies, associating him with poo, etc., might also be useful. (A lot of propaganda is very unsophisticated.)

    • N_

      One of the scribblers (cut and pasters, more like) is Olivia Tobin at the Evening Standard (proprietor Alexander Lebedev, editor George Osborne). She mentions, poo, dirty underwear, unwashed dishes, ranting, and so on. She also calmly writes as follows: “The Australian national is facing extradition to the US on charges of conspiring to break into a classified government computer and this could attract a maximum jail sentence of five years, the US Department of Justice said. He is expected to face dozens more charges once he arrives in the country, including espionage, which can carry a 20-year sentence.

      Actually, Olivia, espionage in the US can carry the death penalty. That’s when they kill you. Got it? So stop going on about dirty underwear.

    • Sharp Ears

      Interestingly, several are Friends of Israel., such as Berger and Ryan.

      I said earlier:

      ‘You will not be at all surprised at the abject cruelty of this crowd.

      ‘The disgusting MP Stella Creasey and 70 other disgusting occupants of the green benches combine –

      ‘Tonight over 70 parliamentarians stand with victims of sexual violence, and are calling on both the Home Secretary and the shadow Home Sec to urge them both to be champions of action to ensure Julian Assange faces Swedish authorities and is extradited there if they so request:

      The letter. Chuka’s there. So is Milord Robertson of Port Ellen plus several Friends of Israel like Berger and Ryan.

      https://mobile.twitter.com/stellacreasy/status/1116791087585091584/photo/2

      https://mobile.twitter.com/stellacreasy/status/1116791087585091584

      No words.’

      Cheers N_

  • N_

    The list of the 72 signatories is follows. It includes all 11 MPs from the Independent Group, former MI6 officer Meta Ramsey (Labour) and former “British Council man in St Petersburg” Stephen Kinnock (Labour).

    MPs
    Adrian Bailey
    Alison McGovern
    Alison Thewliss
    Angela Smith
    Ann Coffey
    Anna Soubry
    Anna McMorrin
    Ben Bradhsaw
    Ben Lake
    Catherine McKinnell
    Catherine West
    Chris Leslie
    Christine Hardine
    Chuka Umunna
    Dan Jarvis
    Darren Jones
    Diana Johnson
    Emma Reynolds
    Gavin Shuker
    Ged Kllen
    Heidi Allen
    Ian Murray
    Janet Dalby
    Jess Phillips
    Jim Fitzpatrick
    Jo Swinson
    Joan Ryan
    John Woodcock
    Karen Buck
    Kevin Barron
    Layla Moran
    Lillian Greenwood
    Liz Kendall
    Luciana Berger
    Lucy Powell
    Martin Whitfield
    Mike Gapes
    Nic Dakin
    Nick Boles
    Pat McFadden
    Peter Kyle
    Phil Wilson
    Rith Cadbury
    Roberta Blackman Woods
    Rosie Duffield
    Ruth George
    Sam Gymiach
    Sarah Wollaston
    Seema Malhotra
    Sharon Hodgson
    Stella Creasy
    Stephanie Peacock
    Stephen Doughty
    Stephen Kinnock
    Steve McCabe
    Teresa Pearce
    Thangham Debbonaire
    Tonia Antoniazzi
    Wera Hobhouse
    Wes Streeting

    Lords and Ladies
    Baroness Andrews
    Baroness Liddell of Coaldyke
    Baroness Lister of Burtersett
    Baroness Meta Ramsey
    Baroness Prosser
    Baroness Taylor of Bolton
    Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe
    Lord Foukles of Cumnock
    Lord Harris of Haringey
    Lord Kennedy of Southwark
    Lord Knight of Weymouth
    Lord Robertson of Port Ellen

    • nevermind

      A list of lazy selfcentred puppets for keeping. These are careerists who dont care about human rights free speech and journalism. There should be party investigations as to their constituency loyalties.imho these kind of.ignorants do not belong into the House.

    • Ken Kenn

      I imagine that this is half of the group that abstained on the welfare Bill and subscribed to the anti Immigraiotaion mugs en passant.

      A nest of vipers who should disap[pear when reselection happens.

      No doubt they will all claim they have been bullied when in essence they were trying to bully a decent man out of office.

      The phrase was : ” We need to break the man.”

      Nasty stuff.

    • Tom Welsh

      May I object to your use of the term “Lords and Ladies”.

      The term you were probably thinking of is “Cronies”. The “House of Lords” no longer consists of lords and ladies, although a few may occasionally visit it from time to time.

      Mostly it is inhabited by third-rate political hacks, cronies of those in power, who are being rewarded for their cowardice, cynicism and veniality.

    • John2o2o

      Not exactly any surprises in that list. Glad my MP is not among them. Only 11% of MPs.

    • Spencer Eagle

      There are several names on the list who would sign anything put before them if would ingratiate them in some way.

  • giyane

    I’d just like to say , having listened to the sea of verbal diarrhoea from Lord Fork Tonguer to th a assembled feminiles of AnyvWuestiond etc on radio 4, that I have spent the last fifteen years of my life being variously intimidated by low-life Asians who earn their livelihood by a combination of spying and extraordinarily deep prejudice “and also Kurdish Islamistds .who work for trump’s swamp.

    It doesn’t improve your behaviour or your mental health to be spied on and threatened and a lady has just been let off murder precisely for being 24/7 threatened and controlled by her husband.

    Before these high income rentva gobs pass judgement on Julian assange ( which surocorrect still refused to give a capital letter ), Julian has been threatened intimidated and spied on one million times more than myself.

    Him for publishing USUKIS wsrvbestiality; me for entering the religion of Islam and stupidly being English. It makes you behave badly. He may have behaved badly. Psychological torture doesn’t bring out the best in people. Strangely enough.

    Jeremy Corbyn has understood the normal principles of English society : not to judge and not to allow prejudice to diminish the excellence of a person ‘s inimitable gifts.

    It says in the Qur’an that every prophet will be harassed by persecutor and it says in the gospel that the servant is not greater than the master meaning Christ also had persecutors from his own community.

    With that I conclude that anyone pursuing truth will inevitably be persecuted and h arrassed in this life.

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