Unknowable Celebrity

Julian Assange is one of the most unknowable celebrities of the modern era. I say unknowable because despite his successes with Wikileaks the public know little of his history and former life. Assange, an Australian born political activist was a digital hacker from a young age. Combining both has allowed him to produce the gargantuan online publisher Wikileaks responsible for exposing the notoriety of government war efforts, espionage and censorship.

Currently having taken refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in the United Kingdom, he is continuing his effort long distance. The residency where he has spent over 400 days in asylum is also home to his own studio where he can take interviews, broadcast powerful videos on the goings on of parliaments around the world and even his up and coming election campaign.

Wikileaks became internationally renowned over the past few years when it released information and reports ranging from the 2007 Baghdad Airstrike to secret files published about Guantanamo Bay prisoners. This has caused widespread condemnation by many governments affected by the issue of the information. Vice-president Joe Biden called him a ‘high tech terrorist’ while others politicians openly called for his assassination. Others still have sought to uphold the unfolding of this secrecy behind closed doors. Assange however is the one who is caught in the middle. It is for this reason that Assange has set forth his new party’s core principles as ensuring the free flow of information to the public especially from those outside legislative power.

Australian politics has seen The Wikileaks Party enter the fray for the next election in September of this year. Its objectives include commitment to transparency of governmental and corporate action, policy and information. Furthermore it will protect human rights and freedoms while fighting corruption and injustice. While not looking to win the major election just yet, the fledgling party is hoping to make inroads into the Australian Senate. Of the six senate spots in Victoria, five usually go to both Labor and the Liberals. In 2010, the sixth spot went to independent John Madigan with 2.3% of the vote. With Assange’s high profile, he is undoubtedly capable of garnering large numbers to place him in Senate.

Few would guess that Wikileaks can make large inroads into Australian politics come September. However, there are even fewer who would have guessed that a small group headed by Assange could have turned the world on its head back in 2010. Despite not being traditional politicians, they are willing to make radical changes for a more transparent and accountable system to be put in the incumbent’s place.

Hari Konchada