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This is a question B3ta Villain of the Year 2010

We voted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as B3ta's Person of the Year. Who do you have as 2010's scoundrel and why?

(, Thu 23 Dec 2010, 12:34)
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We, the people
For letting ourselves be conned into believing that, even after decades of political corruptness, we could trust a politician to keep his word,

for letting society get to a point where a man can be jailed for telling everyone what the people who run our lives truly think,

and for, yet again, letting X Factor take the Christmas Number 1.
(, Tue 28 Dec 2010, 11:58, 5 replies)
Why should we trust a politician
when they now are unsure if their private thoughts will remain so?
(, Tue 28 Dec 2010, 12:05, closed)
How are these things connected?
"We can trust them less because they have less privacy"...erm, what?
(, Tue 28 Dec 2010, 19:29, closed)
It was a pretty poor way of saying
that I'm not sure I want to know "what the people who (apparently) run our lives truly think". Full disclosure and total honesty doesn't work on a personal level; that's why we use diplomacy and tact in our relationships. The same thing applies on the international stage. In short, it's unhelpful to assert that we shouldn't trust politicians then wildly applaud those who disclose their banal secrets.
(, Tue 28 Dec 2010, 19:46, closed)
I agree with bits of this
Full disclosure will, in some cases, reinforce the fact/illusion that politicians are not to be trusted, when they've done no more than get found out gossiping that they actually didn't like the hostess's cakes when they told her at the dinner party they did, which is quite damaging when taken out of context.

But another way of looking at the leaks is that these are ambassadors for our various countries, so their "gossip" shapes the world and its political alliances, and what one says about another in an official enough context that it is written down and leakable is actually making policy for the world and is therefore newsworthy, putting a lot of other things which happen before and after in to context.

It's a little like, on a smaller scale, when you read the section in Private Eye which covers journalists and newspapers, telling you who has upset whom and why, putting in context the columns and "news" which go on to shape the current opinions of the country.

The celebration of Assange isn't (on my part) simply for what he has done, it is admiration of his struggle against becoming a political prisoner for his beliefs and for creating a machine which is made from the "little" people and yet (for now) appears to be big enough to make political differences. Whether those differences are good or bad, we have yet to see.

Remember all the marches against war, against poverty, against the government generally, against Blair particularly, over the last 10-15 years which have simply been ignored? This is a big "fuck you" which can't be ignored, which is quite heartening, whatever you think of the substance of it or the consequences. Personally, I'm just enjoying the intense embarrassment being felt at the top and the procession of arguments and justifications wheeled out to contradict or agree with what was actually said to make them look a little better and less hypocritical as they try to wash away the bits previously reported as being said or done which might disagree with the current "truths" being leaked.
(, Wed 29 Dec 2010, 9:31, closed)
why are you sitting here posting. Shouldn't you be in Whitehall stoving Starbucks window in?
(, Wed 29 Dec 2010, 10:26, closed)

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