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Exclusive: PM's secret mercy dash

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Picture this, dear readers.

It is almost Christmas and in a cell of a forbidding London prison a melancholy and haggard prisoner, an exile from a sunlit land, looks out through the bars at an iron sky from which a cold drizzle is dribbling.

A Christmas miracle! Scott Morrison should be doing more for Julian Assange. Picture: Elesa Kurtz

On the cell's outer windowsill a melancholy and haggard sparrow sits, looking in at the prisoner's rudely furnished room (its only decorations a melancholy and haggard aspidistra in a pot and on the wall a framed, signed photograph of the famous human rights barrister Geoffrey Robertson QC, looking uncharacteristically melancholy and haggard) and thanking its lucky stars for the gift of freedom.

There is a flurry of loud clangings, clankings and key janglings at the cell door and in comes Mr Shadbolt, the heavily-tattooed warder.

"Stand up, 886333!" Shadbolt rasps (for over his 30 years of prison service his voice has eerily taken on the timbre of punitive metal grinding against other punitive metal).

"You've got a visitor."

The small space of 886333's cell door fills with a tall, broad, vaguely bear-shaped figure in a baseball cap. Behind the bear there jostles a small posse of aides, suggesting that the visitor is someone of rank.

The visitor bustles in, his........

© Canberra Times