First things first: thanks to The New Statesman for watching this poison, so I didn’t have to.
Even taken at its worst, if the allegations made by these two women were true, 100 per cent true, and even if a camera in the room captured them, they don’t constitute rape. At least not rape as anyone with any sense can possibly recognise it. And somebody has to say this.
Let’s take woman A. Woman A met Julian Assange, invited him back to her flat, gave him dinner, went to bed with him, had consensual sex with him. Claims that she woke up to him having sex with her again. This is something which can happen, you know.
I mean not everybody needs to be asked prior to each insertion. Some people believe that when you go to bed with somebody, take off your clothes, and have sex with them and then fall asleep, you’re already in the sex game with them.
It might be really bad manners not to have tapped her on the shoulder and said, “do you mind if I do it again?”. It might be really sordid and bad sexual etiquette, but whatever else it is, it is not rape or you bankrupt the term rape of all meaning. . .
I don’t believe either of those women, I don’t believe either of these stories.
Now… let me tell you about the time I went to the pub with George Galloway.
Once upon a time, I met George Galloway in a boozer for a few pints, as you do. “Would you like some lager?” I asked him. “Oh yes,” he replied. The z-list celeb circuit can be hard, and I felt good to be doing someone a good turn who may otherwise have been reduced to a second stint in the Big Brother House, a fate surely worse than death.
I walked up to the bar. “I would like 38 pints of lager,” I said to the esteemed barkeep.
“Nigh on twoscore of my finest carbonated fermentations?” he spluttered.
“Quite,” I replied. “My friend George Galloway and I are fair parched.” I slapped my debit card down on the bar.
“One for me, and 37 for you, George,” I said. How generous I am sometimes. He didn’t look as happy as someone about to get some free booze should have.
“You’d better drink them all up, too. I’ll make sure you do. After all, you did say you wanted lager, didn’t you George? I didn’t ask how many you wanted and now I expect you to drink as many as I choose to force you to drink. That’s how these things work.”
Even taken at its worst, and even if the allegations made subsequently were 100% true, and even though the pub CCTV caught the action in wonderful grainy black and white, what I did doesn’t constitute drowning. At least not drowning as anyone with any sense can possibly recognise it. And somebody has to say this.
George met me, accompanied me to the pub, agreed to have some lager. Claimed he didn’t consent to being force-fed 37 pints of the stuff, but how was I to know that until he was being given the kiss of life by the pub chef? This is something which can happen, you know.
I mean, not everybody needs to be asked prior to each drink. Some people believe that when you go to the pub with somebody, agree to a pint or forty, you’re already in the drinking game with them.
It might have been really bad manners not to have paused between each pint I forcibly poured down his throat and said, “Do you mind if I do it again?” It might be really sordid and bad pub etiquette, but whatever else it is, it is not drowning or you bankrupt the term drowning of all meaning…