I’m not the only one

According to this Belfast Telegraph report, George Galloway is maximising his time, and fees, while in Northern Ireland this week by doubling up his speech-making. As well as the Belfast Festival event on the 3rd, he is due in Derry on the 4th, a delayed Gasyard Feile booking – originally scheduled for 4th August[PDF file]. Now, I’m no fan of the Bethnal Green and Bow MP and I won’t be contributing to his attendance fees.. but if you do decide to attend, do yourself a favour and familiarise yourself with the details of at least some of the criticisms.. There’s the most recent UN report – Harry has links, as well as the US Congress report [PDF file] Harry has more again, on the Oil for Food Scam. Also this Crooked Timber post, and this Guardian article by Andrew Anthony. But, foremost among his critics, see the many posts at Harry’s Place, like this one.. and a wonderful satirical touch in this photo

And a corrective to the PR text at the Belfast Festival site, which claims that Galloway was

“A central organising force and mobilising figurehead for the Stop The War Coalition opposed to the war in Iraq- which lead to him being expelled from the Labour Party.”

As this BBC report, and this Guardian report point out.. Galloway was actually expelled from the Labour Party for slightly different reasons, as the BBC report put it –

He faced five charges relating to a television interview during the war in which he accused Mr Blair and George Bush of acting “like wolves” in invading Iraq.

The charges faced by Mr Galloway were understood to be that:

he incited Arabs to fight British troops
he incited British troops to defy orders
he incited Plymouth voters to reject Labour MPs
he threatened to stand against Labour
he backed an anti-war candidate in Preston

He was found guilty of all but the third charge.

The accusations were judged to break a rule which bans “bringing the Labour Party into disrepute by behaviour that is prejudicial or grossly detrimental to the party”.

While the Guardian noted –

But he did tell Guardian Unlimited in an online interview back in April: “If I am sacked, what message will they [the British people] take about the nature of Mr Blair’s regime from that? If necessary I will defend the new Glasgow Central constituency on a platform of real Labour values, and I believe I shall win.”

As we now know.. he decided Bethnal Green and Bow might provide a more convenient platform…

  • Brian Boru

    I greatly respect him. He put his head above the parapets and was rewarded by the electorate. Everyone knows now that this war was based on lies about WMD. The true goal of the war was to seize the oil-fields of Iraq.

  • Pete Baker

    Yeah.. he was well rewarded according to the UN report.

  • darth rumsfeld

    well at least he won’t be able to salute Gerry and the boys for their indefatigability now they’ve claimed to give up the racketeering for the chat show circuit.

  • OIlbhéar Chromaill

    It’s wrong of Pete to rely on tainted and unreliable documents from the US congress to support his allegations against Mr Galloway. It’s wrong of him also to accuse Mr Galloway of something his estranged wife is accused of . There is a strong whiff of an ad hominem attack in this posting by Pete and given the substantial damages paid out already by the D T perhaps it’s unwise of Slugger to allow Pete to launch his own baseless attack on Mr Galloway here.

  • Wonder if the ‘Left-wing maverick’ will tell his republican/socialist audiences about his support for the Iraqi ‘resistance’ which have been busy blowing Iraqi workers and trade unionists to smithereens…

    Having said that, he’s feeling the heat a wee bit more himself as the money trail gets closer…www.hurryupharry.bloghouse.net

  • ch in dallas

    The U.N. report, the BBC, the Guardian. Not friends of the US and anti-war themselves. They see through this guy. I can respect someone who was against the war for heart felt reasons. GG however had monetary interests, and now has the gall to go round charging fees to act like Joan of Arc. May his 15 minutes be at 14:59.

  • mick hall

    Im not a fan of Mr Galloway, but im even less of a fan of the vast majority of those who sit in the US senate, who almost to a man/woman swallowed the lies about WMD. Now they are asking us to believe, and from much the same sources as far as I can tell, that Mr Galloway was on the take.

    Sorry but im not going to blight my biography on this evidence, there is no rush, I will wait and see some evidence before making up my own mind. By the way if it comes to George Galloway or those ex leftists over at Harry’s Place who swallowed Blairs lies over WMD and are full of bile for their former comrades who did not, then as I said, put up some evidence.

    Think about it, even if guilty all Galloway will be is yet another politician on the take, nothing new there, Blair is defending yet another one in his government at this time. Whereas Bush and Blair are war criminals responsible for countless deaths and worst of all, sending young men and women to war, who believed they were honorably serving their country, to kill and be killed on a lie and knowing it to have been so. For me there is no way back from such a crime.

  • “Bush and Blair are war criminals”…my goodness, should we demand their public execution Mick Hall? Should we set Saddam back on his gilded throne, and let the Taliban move Afghanistan back to the stone age?

    Listen, Galloway is beyond contempt and Deaglan makes a great point re garguantuan hypocrisy. The thing is that there is a section of the people, as this thread shows, who have such hatred of the democratic west that they see nothing wrong with cheer-leading for Saddams little helper….Maybe someone could ask Gorgeous George if he knows where we could get cheap oil. Us chickenhawks cheered on the “invasion” in order for us to get lower oil prices but for some odd reason we haven’t got ’em yet – so please Mr. George – where’s the cheap oil?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Should we set Saddam back on his gilded throne, and let the Taliban move Afghanistan back to the stone age?

    The governments of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are almost as bad as the Taliban were, and were both instrumental in assisting the 9/11 attackers, and yet weirdly we aren’t attacking them. In fact they’re our allies. Why ?

  • Greetings – I know from working with Scott Ritter, Doug Rokke and Christopher Pyle the ridiculous lengths that the government will go to in order to ruin the reputation of people it finds dangerous. With Mr. Galloway, it’s innocent until proven guilty, for me.

    Even if he did what he is accused of doing, he has spoken the truth about the war against Iraq. Who among us – even when speaking truth on the one hand – is pure on the other? I’m not, I know that.

    I take issue in a friendly way with what Mike Hall (#7) above wrote. Mr. Kerry et al did not swallow lies about WMD’s. Rather, they turned their eyes and covered their ears to the truth. Christopher Hitchens, of all people, referred to my article on Kerry in this regard.
    http://traprockpeace.org/hewasmisled.html

    Charlie Jenks
    Traprock Peace Center

  • D’Oracle

    Pete,

    There is a certain bias, a hostility even in your perspective here.

    Galloway is one of the last hopes of the worlds free citizens ; one of the few effective public opponents of the Merkan Emperors’s plans for dictatorship and world chaos who hasnt (yet)been assassinated -bodily or in character, by the Imperial corporate media running dog’s.

    This could all be a bad dream – Merkans dont exist, Galloway’s is just another British public representative and the world is its usual self but, you have to admit, the whole nightmare begins to seem real and not some schloch B-movie plot

  • Emily

    I really wish more people could express their criticism about the US and its policies without sounding like a communique from the Weather Underground.

  • Gonzo

    he incited British troops to defy orders

    From memory, did he not chose his words more carefuly and merely exhort troops not to obey “illegal orders”.

    Nowt wrong with that, even if his motivation wasn’t perhaps the most honest.

  • Pete Baker

    Gonzo

    That was the charge put to Galloway in the Labour Party disciplinary meeting, as quoted by both the BBC and the Guardian –

    The Guardian report also notes some of the quotes that caused the controversy at that time, no memory required here –

    Mr Galloway told Abu Dhabi TV that the war in Iraq was illegal and urged British troops not to obey “illegal orders”.

    And he asked: “Why don’t Arabs do something for the Iraqis? Where are the Arab armies? We wonder when the Arab leaders wake up? When are they going to stand by the Iraqi people?”

  • Pete Baker

    In any event, even without those comments, his support for anti-Labour Party candidates would have been enough to see him ejected from the party.. and, indeed, from any other party in similar circumstances.

  • foreign correspondent

    ´´Even if he did what he is accused of doing, he has spoken the truth about the war against Iraq. Who among us – even when speaking truth on the one hand – is pure on the other? I’m not, I know that. ´´

    Hear, hear.

    ´´Us chickenhawks cheered on the “invasion”.´´

    The inverted commas are superfluous there as it WAS an invasion.

    As far as I am concerned Bush, Blair, Aznar, Berlusconi (now backtracking furiously) and their fellow-travellers and supporters are warmongering and/or opportunistic scum. I´ll back Galloway over them any day.

    PS Welcome back, Slugger 🙂

  • Richard Dowling

    Remember that famous little scenario when George Galloway
    greeted Saddam Hussein in glowing terms? Well, on Pat
    Kenny’s “Late Late Show” (last Friday night), old George
    pretended that he was really addressing the Iraqi PEOPLE —
    but because of the inadequacies of the English language, it
    just seemed as if he was using ‘YOU’ in the singular ….
    However, what he said was … “Sir (quite obviously singular), I
    salute your courage, strength and indefatigability” ,,, etc.

    Even Tariq Aziz (and the rest of the company) looked decidedly
    sheepish. George, you are chancing your arm… as usual.

  • Oliver Zarmy

    The wonderful thing about George is that when you first come across him you think he’s just the most talented, able, committed, sincere, just superb person. Simply The Best. He exudes charisma.

    You are vaguely aware that there are some people who take a dim view, but they are begrudgers who just don’t get it. For a while you just love the guy. Stories about money, and dodgy dealings keep coming up, and at first you set them aside. You know he’s litigious. People from his past, with an axe to grind. Dundee Labour Party and Dundee District Council. War on Want. Benazir Bhutto. Glasgow. Tariq Aziz and Saddam.

    Eventually, the scales fall from your eyes, but he’s moved on. You’re one of the begrudgers, and he’s got a new fan club. “Galloway is one of the last hopes of the worlds free citizens…”!

  • Richard Dowling

    George is on RTE 1 right now. LIsten to what he says about
    Saddam now.

  • D’Oracle

    Yeah -the LL replay !

    OK – even George turn out not be perfect -who cares ; he will always have more cajones and moral authority than the creepy conniving second-rate slimer cabal plotting his downfall- even if they do manage to silence him in the finish.

    Hows them apples, Emily -not too Weather Underground for one, one heaps.

  • ch in dallas

    Any of you Galloway sycophants care to address charges in the UN Report, esp. Chapter II, pages 79-81? You Euros love the UN I’ve heard. Either GG undermined one of its programmes, or they can’t write a report. Which is it?

  • Brian Boru

    Pete Baker, the allegations against Galloway were just part of the ongoing smear by the Bush administration against anyone who opposed the war. Look at what happened to Joe Wilson’s wife who was outed as a CIA agent after Wilson came back from Niger with proof that allegations of Saddam seeking uranium there were bogus.

    David Vance, the accusation many would have as to the motives of the Iraq War would be that the intention – rather than reducing oil prices – was partly to inflate them. Instability in the Middle East always causes the oil-price to rise, and that is just wonderful for Halliburton (Dick Cheney’s old company). No doubt the GOP will be richly rewarded by the US oil-industry for its role in the tripling of oil prices from $25 to $75 a barrell. Imagine what they will be if Iran is the next target for the neocons?

    The greed of the American oil-industry is insatiable. As to the motives of the British government for involving itself in this fiasco, I put it down to Blair being a sycophant of Bush and whatever American president is in power at the time. Britain has got nothing out of this except dead soldiers. Bush refused to even grant British companies some of the contracts for rebuilding Iraq. Such unconditional obedience is reckless and dangerous. It encourages Bush to ever more dangerous behaviour by giving an entirely undeserved aura of respectability to an illegal act of aggression.

    The ultimate nightmare will be when less liberal regimes such as China and Russia decide to follow the example set by the US and Britain by their own “pre-emptive strikes” against neighbouring states, on equally false pretences as the ludicrous WMD one in the case of Iraq. Where are the WMD by the way? What have all these deaths been for? Countries must find their own way to democracy, rather than having it imposed by others. A likely casualty of the supposedly more liberal regime imposed on Iraq will be women’s rights, with them likely on the way to being reduced to the same second-class citizenship as pertains in almost all other Arab countries. The de-facto partition of Iraq will create a new zone of Iranian influence in the South (already happening with the so-called “Criminal Investigation Unit” monitoring the Iraqi security forces). So the US is actually in the long run increasing the remit of that odious regime in Tehran, while ranting about its unproven desire for nuclear weapons at the UN.

    Maybe that is what the Bush regime wants. After all, it would provide another excuse for invading Iran, which I predict is next on the hit-list.

  • Oliver Zarmy

    If you’re really, really lucky, George will come to NI for good and lead you out of your miserable state of oppression. All that lovely American money! Go on, you know you want him!

  • darth rumsfeld

    and that’s all from Spart’s corner for tonight folks. Tune in tomorrow for more anti-American paranoia, post colonial guilt , and deluded tree-hugginh crap. Please God let GW find oil in Cookstown and mount a regime change here-Peter Hain in Guantanamo- now there’s perfect Christmas present !

  • Jo

    I’m quite happy to go along and listen to George himself on Thursday evening and make a judgement for myself.

    As the horror of this illegal war has dragged on, those on the Right have become apoplectic that their mass control of the media and careful screening of war-dead returning to the USA hasnt actually persuaded any more than a demented ultra-violent minority that there is any value in this continued slaughter. 90% of the conflict in Iraq is now nationalistically-inspired. The sooner the troops go the sooner true deomcracy can be achieved.

  • darth rumsfeld

    now Jo, I appreciate I’m going to regret asking this, but in your world just how is true democracy going to be achieved if 90% of the violence is nationalistically inspired? Am I to assume that in our own wee province you would similarly discount events like Bombay Street, the attacks on the Protestants of Lenadoon and Suffolk in the 1970s as not interfering with democracy because they were “only” nationalistic (in the sense of sectarian)?

    Perhaps you would remind us of the last time democratic elections were held in Iraq?
    Perhaps your superficial study of the media convicnes you that Iraq is now worse off than in 2002- you know, the way people in GB used to think that NI was so bad you needed covering fire to get out the front door every morning -because of the meejah coverage entirely devoid of objective analysis

    Anyone with any objectivity can see that nothing would please GW more than a quick and painless exit strategy, but one doesn’t exist. And anyone with any objectivity can see what type of person Galloway is, but as he is notoriously litigious let’s wait until the Daily telegraph appeal and the Senate’ hoped for perjury hearings before committing our judgments to public scrutiny

  • mick hall

    I wish those on the Right would show common decency and get their heads around the fact that when we on the left criticize the role of the US government in Iraq we are doing just that; and not being anti American full stop. We do understand more than half of the US population did not vote for George Bush jn and thus have no direct responsibility for his criminal acts in the middle east.

    regards to all

  • “90% of the conflict in Iraq is now nationalistically-inspired. The sooner the troops go the sooner true deomcracy can be achieved”

    You are an Iraqi and Western troops pull out; Who would you rather be murdered by: a Baathist or a jihadi?
    Perhaps you would welcome the re-establishment of a Baathist regime or perhaps you would look forward to an Islamic theocracy?
    Oh and just ignore the voices of Iraqi communists, feminists, Kurds, secularists and trade unionists who would face the chop (literally) from either Saddam’s former chums or their Islamist rivals.

    This sort of attitude accurately sums up how many “anti-war” Westerners don’t give a damn about the Iraqi people and are more thrilled by the idea of giving Bush a bloody nose.

  • micktvd

    Re the neocon motives for invading Iraq, I would say that it had more to do with organising a compliant regime in the heart of the world’ s richest oil zones. Controlling regimes which control the oil is more important than the actual price of oil. Saudi Arabia would be the model. Keeping the oil out of the hands of the local population and in the right hands is also important.

    Re george Galloway, I thought his answer to the Senate committee was appropriate when he said that the UN sanctions were a major crime against humanity,(a form of genocide, according to Halliday) and that the Oil For Food Programme was no remedy. Focus on corruption within the programme is a smokescreen. These words ring true, but of course would never justify corruption or self aggrandisement.

  • Pat

    Thnak you for a remarkably civilized discussion thread.
    Mr. Galloway’s guilt (or innocence) reflects merely on the Mr. Galloway’s character, not the worth of his cause.

  • Great to see the Moonbat tendency in full cry!

    For a start, Iraq was not “invaded”. It was liberated from the butcher of Baghdad, a tyrannical mass murderer who Mr. Galloway hero-worshipped.

    Second, those liberals who whinge that “the sooner the troops go the sooner true democracy can be achieved” need to stop and remember that most Iraqi’s don’t want that. Do they pretend to know better than Iraqis, living in their little pristine ivory towers.? I suggest they visit sites such as Iraq the Model and check out what real Iraqis want, cos it sure ain’t what Guardian reading Galloway groupies wish.

    As for Brian Boru’s little lecture on Oil – could he share with us where the currentprofits for Iraq oil accrue – and how this compares to where they went when Saddam was in power? Please give the facts here and not idle leftist fantasies. If this proves problematical, I can help. I’ll await a detailed response.

  • Thank you David.. et al.. but the focus of this thread is not the focus of the international war in Iraq.. it’s the past activities of Mr George Galloway, MP, and his forthcoming speeches in NI.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    BB: “Pete Baker, the allegations against Galloway were just part of the ongoing smear by the Bush administration against anyone who opposed the war. Look at what happened to Joe Wilson’s wife who was outed as a CIA agent after Wilson came back from Niger with proof that allegations of Saddam seeking uranium there were bogus.”

    Seeing as your rambling is amazingly untainted by anything resembling fact, let us get down to cases.

    First, Joe Wilson did NOT come “back from Niger with proof that allegations of Saddam seeking uranium there were bogus.”

    The assertion that Wilson’s inquiry in Niger “turned up nothing” is false. As the Senate Intelligence Committee reported in its July 2004 report on pre-war intelligence, Wilson learned from a former prime minister that an Iraqi delegation had sought to buy uranium from Niger. The ambassador reported this information to the CIA when he returned to Washington.

    See here (“Wilson’s reports to the CIA added to the evidence that Iraq may have tried to buy uranium in Niger.”) and here (Conclusion 13, p. 72, “For most analysts, the information in [Ambassador Wilson’s] report lent more credibility to the original Central Intelligence Agency reports on the uranium deal.”).

    Wilson himself, in a letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee, wrote, “I never claimed to have ‘debunked’ the allegation that Iraq was seeking uranium from Africa.”

    Secondly, the war for cheap oil is now suddenly the war for expensive oil? Keep blowing hot and cold with the same breath, BB…

    Lastly, you say “The ultimate nightmare will be when less liberal regimes such as China and Russia decide to follow the example set by the US and Britain by their own “pre-emptive strikes” against neighbouring states, on equally false pretences as the ludicrous WMD one in the case of Iraq. Where are the WMD by the way?”

    Lesee, off the cuff, there was that one 155mm shell filled with VX. While perhaps not deliberate, it is proof that not all stores of VX gas were destroyed. Additionally, there is the small matter of the large depots of “pesticides” found near Iraqi armories. Do you know what Sarin gas is, BB? Care for a clue? It was one of the products of German research in improving a substance called Tabun, which, by some strange coincidence, was a pesticide. Throw in the components for reconstituting their nuclear program hidden in the garden and the fact that all it would take would be, say, an amount of Sarin or VX the size of a soda can to kill thousands and a whole country to hide it in, the issues should be obvious.

  • micktvd

    Is this post having problems?

  • Emmett Rob

    Although not a great Galloway fan and would wait to see the outcome of the accusations against him, I saw Galloway speak in Galway on Saturday past and it was well worth the 3 Euro (student) I paid. I don’t know what his fees were for this or any other sessions but it seems to me that the implication in Pet Baker’s article is unfounded. With one other speaker it lasted for two hours including the Q&A which was supporting and critical of his stance in equal message (at least until until I skipped off to the pub). Great Speaker, excellent value for money and hugely entertaining, even if I disagreed with much of what he said.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    BB: “Pete Baker, the allegations against Galloway were just part of the ongoing smear by the Bush administration against anyone who opposed the war. Look at what happened to Joe Wilson’s wife who was outed as a CIA agent after Wilson came back from Niger with proof that allegations of Saddam seeking uranium there were bogus.”

    Actually, if you read his sworn testimony to the Senate and the like, you will find he did no such thing. As a matter of fact, Joe Wilson learned from a former government minister that a delegation of Iraqis had come to Niger seeking uranium.

    BB: “David Vance, the accusation many would have as to the motives of the Iraq War would be that the intention – rather than reducing oil prices – was partly to inflate them. Instability in the Middle East always causes the oil-price to rise, and that is just wonderful for Halliburton (Dick Cheney’s old company). No doubt the GOP will be richly rewarded by the US oil-industry for its role in the tripling of oil prices from $25 to $75 a barrell. Imagine what they will be if Iran is the next target for the neocons?”

    This is starting to remind me of the “coming Ice Age / global warming” arguement from the enviros — if the meat of your charges fails to materialize or is contradicted by fact, simply change your charges to agree with the new conditions and pretend those were always your objections.

  • Brian

    ‘he incited Arabs to fight British troops
    he incited British troops to defy orders
    he incited Plymouth voters to reject Labour MPs
    he threatened to stand against Labour
    he backed an anti-war candidate in Preston ‘

    For your information:

    1. The british are in iraq illegally. They did not have UN Security council orders to be there, and iraqis have the right to defend their country from invaders.
    2.British troops in invading a country are commiting war crimes: so its quite write for a member of parliament to tell them to defy orders that are illegal under intenational law.

    Galloway is the last politician in Britain with any sort of integrity….he is admirable.