The whistleblower debate: Mehdi Hasan on Assange

Me and Julian Assange v Douglas Murray and Bob Ayers.

"This house believes that whistleblowers make the world a safer place." That was the motion on Saturday at the New Statesman/Frontline Club debate at Kensington Town Hall, with WikiLeaks's Julian Assange (watch his video here), al-Jazeera's Clayton Swisher, the neocon Douglas Murray (watch his video here), the former spook Bob Ayers, the ex-diplomat David Richmond and yours truly.

Unsurprisingly, my side, the proposition side, the side of truth and righteousness, the side of Daniel Ellsberg and Mordechai Vanunu, triumphed (you can read a summary of the debate here and here).

Here (below) is a video of my short speech:

 

 

Mehdi Hasan is a contributing writer for the New Statesman and the co-author of Ed: The Milibands and the Making of a Labour Leader. He was the New Statesman's senior editor (politics) from 2009-12.

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What did Jeremy Corbyn really say about Bin Laden?

He's been critiqued for calling Bin Laden's death a "tragedy". But what did Jeremy Corbyn really say?

Jeremy Corbyn is under fire for describing Bin Laden’s death as a “tragedy” in the Sun, but what did the Labour leadership frontrunner really say?

In remarks made to Press TV, the state-backed Iranian broadcaster, the Islington North MP said:

“This was an assassination attempt, and is yet another tragedy, upon a tragedy, upon a tragedy. The World Trade Center was a tragedy, the attack on Afghanistan was a tragedy, the war in Iraq was a tragedy. Tens of thousands of people have died.”

He also added that it was his preference that Osama Bin Laden be put on trial, a view shared by, among other people, Barack Obama and Boris Johnson.

Although Andy Burnham, one of Corbyn’s rivals for the leadership, will later today claim that “there is everything to play for” in the contest, with “tens of thousands still to vote”, the row is unlikely to harm Corbyn’s chances of becoming Labour leader. 

Stephen Bush is editor of the Staggers, the New Statesman’s political blog.