I listened to the host's version of Julian Assage's forced eviction from about seven years self-imprisonment with considerable interest this week.
|More than bed and breakfast ... but Mr Assange's stay in UK prisons is likely to a big improvement on his accommodation for the previous seven years.Photo by Yoav Aziz on Unsplash|
And how extraordinary to actually survive locked in one room for seven years.
I spent eight years and fourteen days in prison after a totally corrupt prosecution and I seem to remember every one of those 2,934 days and nights.
Ill-luck and outrage
However, that was far from self-imposed. In fact, even a minute or two before it began, in an ambush at a friend's home, I had not the least idea that such astonishing ill-luck and outrage was about to happen, or could happen.
However, in Mr Assage's case, the news is that he entered the Ecuador embassy in London voluntarily seeking asylum. That was seven years ago, and it seems he lived/survived in one office room for all of that time.
At least the law ensured that I was allowed out into fresh air for an hour a day, and had access to a gym, and often to a library, and to university study, and even work (£5 a week, to begin with).
|Upmarket accommodation ... Mr Assange's change of address is definitely a step up in the huge Belmarsh prison estate. I saw in the new millennium from a window here. It may not have four stars, but at least the basics are reliable. He won't be alone this time. More than 900 live here.|
That excrement charge
It seems a change of presidents in Ecuador brought the change, a change from one who wanted to help Mr Assange, to the new man who didn't, at least according to the news.
However, the journalist in me doubts the account of the new Ecuador politician when he claimed this week that the office walls were being smeared with excrement.
It may well be a protest action popular in Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno's land, but you won't find many instances of it in UK, as I found when I searched Google.
It doesn't make sense that a prisoner would because, after all, who is going to be affected by it most? The prisoner himself, of course.
Were I sitting in an editorial news conference back in newspaper days, we would have asked who had the most to gain from removing Mr Assange from the embassy?
We'd have had to be saints not to see a connection with the continual bad political news of brexit non-negotiations.
Who knows if it is so - and we are not very likely to be told - but as a plot for a novel on this subject, a pretty realistic scenario is UK calling on the friend across the Pond to lean on Ecuador to invite police in to shift the fellow.
Perhaps persuasion came in the reminder of the friend's new skill at erecting gigantic walls far from Washington.