By John Pilger
February 18, 2020 "Information
Clearing House" -
On Saturday, there will be a march from Australia
House in London to Parliament Square, the centre of
British democracy. People will carry pictures of the
Australian publisher and journalist Julian Assange
who, on 24 February, faces a court that will decide
whether or not he is to be extradited to the United
States and a living death.
I know Australia House well. As an Australian
myself, I used to go there in my early days in
London to read the newspapers from home. Opened by
King George V over a century ago, its vastness of
marble and stone, chandeliers and solemn portraits,
imported from Australia when Australian soldiers
were dying in the slaughter of the First World War,
have ensured its landmark as an imperial pile of
As one of the oldest “diplomatic missions” in the
United Kingdom, this relic of empire provides a
pleasurable sinecure for Antipodean politicians: a
“mate” rewarded or a troublemaker exiled.
Known as High Commissioner, the equivalent of an
ambassador, the current beneficiary is George
Brandis, who as Attorney General tried to water down
Australia’s Race Discrimination Act and approved
raids on whistleblowers who had revealed the truth
about Australia’s illegal spying on East Timor
during negotiations for the carve-up of that
impoverished country’s oil and gas.
This led to the prosecution of whistleblowers
Bernard Collaery and “Witness K”, on bogus charges.
Like Julian Assange, they are to be silenced in a
Kafkaesque trial and put away.