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July 24, 2007 8:57 AM   Subscribe

George Galloway suspended from parliament after uk parliamentary inquiry- gives speech prior to being ejected - (nsfw?). "It has come to something," he continued, "When the leading anti-war MP could get a fairer hearing in the Republican Senate than in the British House of Commons."
posted by sgt.serenity (64 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
It's amazing that he is only being suspended for 18 days for selling himself to a foreign government leader. Why isn't it permanent? Why isn't he being tried for treason?
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 9:19 AM on July 24, 2007


Is there a transcript of his speech anywhere?
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 9:21 AM on July 24, 2007


The full text of Galloway's speech and the debate that followed.

I think it's pretty obvious from that that Galloway was doing his damnedest to get himself thrown out.
posted by flashboy at 9:23 AM on July 24, 2007


'the leading anti-war MP'?

Surely that's Ming Campbell?
posted by Geezum Crowe at 9:24 AM on July 24, 2007


That fucking half a man. I'll ring his scrawny neck.

(My balanced and fair response).
posted by Jofus at 9:26 AM on July 24, 2007


Never really thought of Galloway as anti-war so much as pro-George Galloway.

[Obligatory screen cap of Galloway's stint on Big Brother]
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:29 AM on July 24, 2007


It's amazing that he is only being suspended for 18 days for selling himself to a foreign government leader. Why isn't it permanent? Why isn't he being tried for treason?

Ask Richard Armitage. I'm sure there are technicalities involved.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:34 AM on July 24, 2007


It's amazing that he is only being suspended for 18 days for selling himself to a foreign government leader. Why isn't it permanent? Why isn't he being tried for treason?

The whole Galloway-Hussein thing is deep and murky, with no 'smoking gun' on either side. Here (also in pdf) is the report of the Standards and Privileges Committee.
posted by Aloysius Bear at 9:35 AM on July 24, 2007


Shall I be the cat?
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 9:35 AM on July 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Uh...is this article a little more meaningful if you've got the proper context (like a knowledge of current UK politics that extends beyond who the PM is)? Because the link is a little on the oblique side as far as what he's accused of doing goes.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:35 AM on July 24, 2007


George Galloway is the Richard Dawkins of British politics! Also, Hitler, everyone, Hitler! Declaw this post at once.
posted by Mister_A at 9:39 AM on July 24, 2007


Diamond Geezer has the links showing what a dreadful MP he is. Apparently George earned £150,000 from Big Brother.
posted by patricio at 9:42 AM on July 24, 2007


Well, he's the same chap that told a meeting of his constituents that anyone who voted for Labour would go to hell.

He's a narcissist, an idiot and a good ol' corrupt Glaswegian politician of the worst sort. I've found ignoring him to be the best bet.
posted by Happy Dave at 9:42 AM on July 24, 2007


Galloway vs the huns
posted by fire&wings at 9:43 AM on July 24, 2007


It seems like this happens every year, certainly not best of the web!

Call me back when you brits have torrential floods.
posted by Esoquo at 9:48 AM on July 24, 2007


The real point here is that he never shows up to the Commons anyway, and had already been banned for 18 days at the point at which he decided to get himself "thrown out". He's protesting at the injustice of what's been done to him, but he has no interest in participating in the democratic process in the first place.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 9:49 AM on July 24, 2007



posted by Mister_A at 9:52 AM on July 24, 2007


He's one of my favorite entertainers. As a politician, however, I'm just glad he's not mine. But when you get right down to it, it's worth mentioning that the U.S. Congress doesn't often throw anyone out for being a self-dealing whack job. They're more likely to get a committee chair.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:54 AM on July 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


Being lectured by the current House of Commons on the funding of political campaigns is like being accused of having bad taste by Donald Trump or being accused of slouching by the hunchback of Notre Dame.

That's what I call a burn.
posted by nasreddin at 9:57 AM on July 24, 2007


That's what I call a burn.

Not much of a denial or refutation, though.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:05 AM on July 24, 2007


George Galloway is here fighting hard. The Labour party establishment is really trying hard to kick him out. Labour also fucked 'Red' Ken Livingston pretty hard, when he rebelled against the Labour establishment. And Labour had many funding scandals under Tony in recent years.

So we hardly have a honest issue before us.
Ugly politics.

I hope Galloway stays a MP. Otherwise he could make a great career as political commentators.
posted by homodigitalis at 10:10 AM on July 24, 2007


... and we can always put Mr Galloway and born-again-new-american Hitchens in a Death-Match against each other.
posted by homodigitalis at 10:11 AM on July 24, 2007


Galloway has an ego the size of Brazil and his bombastic delivery gets wearing after a while but there is much less of a shit stink around him than there are around umpteen Tories in the UK and Republicans in the U.S. when it comes to allegations of profiting from what's gone in Iraq in the last thirty years.
posted by ClanvidHorse at 10:12 AM on July 24, 2007


It's amazing that he is only being suspended for 18 days for selling himself to a foreign government leader. Why isn't it permanent? Why isn't he being tried for treason?
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 5:19 PM on July 24


Maybe because nobody can find any substantial and compelling evidence that he's actually, y'know, committed treason? Just a thought.
posted by kaemaril at 10:23 AM on July 24, 2007


... and we can always put Mr Galloway and born-again-new-american Hitchens in a Death-Match against each other.

I'd pay money to see that!

Actuyally I'd pay money for it to happen on a deserted island where no-one could see it, and for no one to bother to pick up the victor...
posted by Artw at 10:25 AM on July 24, 2007


His argument, though prolix, seems pretty sound, to me, from quick perusal of the speech. Galloway's great crime seems to be his love of the camera, rather than anything else, & the fact he has more charisma than the other stodgy old fuckers in UK parliament (which wouldn't be hard). He's apparently not done anything any of the other bastards haven't done.

Am I correct in parsing that his ties to money from Iraq apparently haven't even been proven?
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 10:39 AM on July 24, 2007


umpteen Tories in the UK [...] allegations of profiting from what's gone in Iraq in the last thirty years.

Could you expand on that, ClanvidHorse? It's not something I've heard much about.
posted by Drexen at 10:41 AM on July 24, 2007


It's amazing that he is only being suspended for 18 days for selling himself to a foreign government leader

Tony Blair didn't get suspended at all!

Galloway may be a loudmouth, an egoist and a stentorian self-publicist, but he does talk truth to power, which we are in great need of these days.

To censure him for not operating within the rules of the house in his defense is a weak and cowardly response.

From the comments in the link:
You may not like him as a person. You may not like his political views. However, if you believe in a democratic process, you are bound to find this whole affair as an insult to 'democracy'. It was a hatchet job on someone who has never hid or compromised his views. Institutions will always attack those from within to seek to expose the hypocrisy he sees and, biggest crime of all, attempt to make the commons more representative of the people and not the vested interest of industry and finance.

I don't agree with some of his views and actions but I applaud this man for his tenacity and his core beliefs.
posted by asok at 10:42 AM on July 24, 2007


To censure him for not operating within the rules of the house in his defense is a weak and cowardly response.

Amen to that.
posted by homodigitalis at 10:48 AM on July 24, 2007


"Speaking truth to power" is the new "he/she doesn't have enough gravitas." It's the pretentious political babble cliche of the year. Just wanted everyone to note that. God, I hate hearing that phrase. None of us here are nuns in the El Salvador of the late '70s or early 1980s or something. Cut that shit out!
posted by raysmj at 10:52 AM on July 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


He is an unmitigated ass, and undoubtedly wanted to be thrown out for the marginal extra publicity and faux victim-hood.

He's not the UK's leading anti-war politician (and neither is any Lib Dem). That would have been Robin Cook.

Galloway has compiled a festering excuse for a political party from three unpleasant parts. 1: his gargantuan ego, 2: the most illiberal parts of the Muslim community, and 3: the most appalling part of the British left, the SWP. I'm happy to point out what's wrong with any individual element of this ghastly triad if required.

Do not want.
posted by imperium at 10:58 AM on July 24, 2007


To censure him for not operating within the rules of the house in his defense is a weak and cowardly response.

To expand what I said above: it is pretty clear from the Hansard text of his confrontations with the speaker that Galloway - an experienced parliamentarian, even if he hardly ever turns up any more - is deliberately trying to get himself thrown out. He repeatedly returns to the same personal attacks again and again, despite knowing full well it's against the rules.

He almost seems to be goading the speaker into having no choice but to kick him out - which, of course, makes perfect sense, as Galloway's favoured tactic is to play the lone martyr fighting against a machine that's conspiring against him. Helps him avoid answering difficult questions.

(By the way, to clarify the stuff about how long the speaker Michael Martin and Galloway have known each other - Galloway was the Labour MP for Glasgow Hillhead, and later Glasgow Kelvin, from 1987 until 2005; Martin has been the Labour MP for Glasgow Springburn, then Glasgow North East, since 1979. So they go way back, even if they're from opposite wings of the party.)
posted by flashboy at 11:00 AM on July 24, 2007


Am I correct in parsing that his ties to money from Iraq apparently haven't even been proven?

"The commissioner did, however, find clear evidence that his former wife, with whom he shared a joint account, had received two substantial sums from the oil for food programme."
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:12 AM on July 24, 2007


Wait, is this Galloway chap a democrat or republican? How does this related to Hilary or Obama? Does he support or oppose illegal immigrants? Why can't anyone give me a straight answer?
posted by blue_beetle at 11:20 AM on July 24, 2007


asok, you going to be saluting his indefatigability next? Galloway is a nasty, lazy, self-serving little shit. He votes so infrequently that, in the period 2001-2004 he cost nearly three times as much per vote, in expenses, as the average MP. Only 4 people cost more per vote than him, all of them ministers and three of them in the most senior cabinet roles.

Galloway's election to his Bethnal Green and Bow constituency was beset by accusations of manipulation, racial hatred, anti-semitism and basic nastiness. We discussed this at some length at the time.

I was fervently and actively opposed to the invasion of Iraq, and believe that current policy there is still a shambles, but I do not subscribe to the idea that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. I certainly do not subscribe to in when this fat pathetic twat is offered to me as a potential ally.

The report of the Standards and Privileges Committee seems fair, and the punishment lenient. It's not simply a matter of "not operating within the rules of the house", as if he had broken some trivial rule or other. Galloway's links with the former Iraqi regime help no-one, except those who wish to undermine the very real arguments about the mistakes that were made, and are still being made in Iraq.

Fuck him.
posted by howfar at 11:23 AM on July 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


Why isn't he being tried for treason?

Because treason is more than just liking the wrong people, you fascist toad.
posted by dhartung at 11:37 AM on July 24, 2007 [4 favorites]


It's amazing that he is only being suspended for 18 days for selling himself to a foreign government leader.

A British newspaper said much the same thing and had to pay him substantial damages. The accusations made in Parliament were made under parliamentary privilege or he would have sued them (and won) again.
posted by bobbyelliott at 11:53 AM on July 24, 2007


A British newspaper said much the same thing and had to pay him substantial damages.

The actual veracity of the claims the Telegraph made, or the authenticity of the documents, was neither fully tested in court, nor did it form any part of the judgement against the Telegraph. So your comment's fairly misleading.
posted by flashboy at 12:00 PM on July 24, 2007


That would have been Robin Cook.

Hardly. Robin Cook was in a unique position when he resigned. He could have stopped Tony Blair's war. If he had stood up on 17 March 2003 and stated that he would not support any government that would entertain this war, Blair would have fallen that night, and the UK would not have been in the war -- and who knows what else might have changed.

Instead, he washed his hands and walked away. His only good was to establish that at least Parliament debate -- and take responsibilty -- for the wars that HM Armed Forces fight. But he could have done so much more, but loyalty to Tony Blair overcame loyalty to the people he was supposed to represent as an MP and a minster of the government.
posted by eriko at 12:30 PM on July 24, 2007


I was impressed with his firm and unyeilding responses during the senate hearing... but when directly asked if he knew donations to the Mariam Appeal were channelled illegally from Oil for Food, he gave his usual evasive answer but his eyes shot hard left for a moment.
posted by CynicalKnight at 12:45 PM on July 24, 2007


What Robin Cook stood up and said on 17 March 2003. It may not have been the speech you would have given, but it was bold, it was clear, it was precise and it was unwavering. It hardly counts as washing his hands and walking away.
posted by flashboy at 12:53 PM on July 24, 2007


asok, you going to be saluting his indefatigability next? Galloway is a nasty, lazy, self-serving little shit. He votes so infrequently that, in the period 2001-2004 he cost nearly three times as much per vote, in expenses, as the average MP. Only 4 people cost more per vote than him, all of them ministers and three of them in the most senior cabinet roles.

Of course his votes, if made, would be meaningless and any cause he is pursuing is probably better served by publicity and the potential for that to shape other parliamentarians votes. It's not like the labour gang are going to give his constituents anything even if he plays by the rules.

If you really want to ask about value for money why the hell do they even bother to do anything about him? He is a gadfly that they expend disproportionate resources trying to swat.

Could it be that he is both annoying and effective at getting his causes attention even if it damages his own reputation?
posted by srboisvert at 12:53 PM on July 24, 2007


CynicalKnight: ...he gave his usual evasive answer but his eyes shot hard left for a moment.

Even if you buy the NPL stuff (which I don't) this is meaningless by the text of your own link unless you know his handedness,whether he is "normally organized" and are interpreting it within a context of known behaviour.
posted by srboisvert at 12:59 PM on July 24, 2007


A British newspaper said much the same thing and had to pay him substantial damages.

Under British law, truth is not a defense against a claim of libel. You can be sued for telling the truth, so this doesn't prove anything except that what the paper said was damaging to Galloway's reputation. Which it probably was, because it should have been.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 1:00 PM on July 24, 2007


Under British law, truth is not a defense against a claim of libel.

This is bullshit. Truth is the principal defense against libel in Britain, just as it is everywhere else. The difference is that the burden of proof is on the defendant; that is, the person accused of libel must prove that what they said is true, not merely that they beleived it to be true at the time. In the U.S., the burden of proof is on the accuser to prove that it was false and, in most cases, that the defendant has no credible claim to having believed it to be true. This makes the U.K. far more plaintiff-friendly than the U.S. for libel suits, so much so that it experiences quite a bit of "libel tourism", but it is completely untrue that truth is not a defense.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:19 PM on July 24, 2007


Under British law, truth is not a defense against a claim of libel.

Not quite. (Caveat: me not lawyer.) It is a defence, just not an absolute one; simply proving that what you said was true is not necessarily enough. For example, you can libel someone or some institution by publishing nothing but true facts, but selectively doing so and the facts out of context so as to create a false, defamatory impression. This could be something as mundane as printing a price comparison between two supermarkets, in which you selected only unrepresentatively high-priced items from one of the stores.

The point about the Telegraph case is that they had several possible defences they could use; they chose not to use the one based on the truth of their claims (and yes, you can read that as suspicious in itself, but it is not necessarily so.) Instead, their defence was that the publication of the claims was justified by the public interest, whatever their truth - essentially, that the issue was so important that it deserved to be known about. They failed in their case because that defence required that they publish the claims in a neutral, unbiased way; they manifestly did not.
posted by flashboy at 1:20 PM on July 24, 2007


"It's amazing that he is only being suspended for 18 days for selling himself to a foreign government leader."

I'll have to look into it, but that sounds more like very convenient, conservative, pro-war gossip than hard facts.

However, we do know that Bush and Cheney manipulated intelligence to trick a gullible public into war.

Why aren't they being tried for treason?

Oh! I remember. Because there are so many stupid Republican assholes who supported him lie for lie.
posted by rougy at 1:51 PM on July 24, 2007


Because there are so many stupid Republican assholes who supported him lie for lie.

What's with the use of past tense?
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:55 PM on July 24, 2007


Under British law, truth is not a defense against a claim of libel.

Indeed not. As Halsbury's Laws puts it:

"The defence of justification is that the words complained of were true in substance and in fact.

Since the law presumes that every person is of good repute until the contrary is proved, it is for the defendant to plead and prove affirmatively that the defamatory words are true or substantially true. If a defendant pleads justification, where the words complained of consist of statements of fact and comment, he must prove that the defamatory statements of fact are true or substantially true and that the defamatory inferences borne by the comment are true. Truth may be pleaded as a defence to the whole of the defamatory statements or in the alternative as a defence to a severable part of them."
posted by patricio at 2:02 PM on July 24, 2007


"On 22 April 2003, the Daily Telegraph published an article describing documents found by its reporter David Blair in the ruins of the Iraqi Foreign Ministry. The documents purport to be records of meetings between Galloway and Iraqi intelligence agents, and state that he had received £375,000 per year from the proceeds of the Oil for Food programme."

(source)

Wow! Wasn't that convenient?

An anti-war politician is discovered to be working with the enemy by a conservative pro-war newspaper!

From documents that survived a bombed out, burned out building!

Nothing fishy about that!
posted by rougy at 2:10 PM on July 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the notion that a reporter happened to be wandering through the burning, being-looted remains of the Iraqi foreign ministry and happened to chance upon one box out of probably hundreds or thousands, happened to open it, and happened to quickly understand that it was about George Galloway is patently ridiculous on its face.

I'm no tin hatter, but clearly there's a conspiracy against Galloway, and it makes me want to support him just out of spite.
posted by felix at 2:44 PM on July 24, 2007


From the house of commons report:

266. The forensic analysis of all the papers obtained by Mr Blair conducted by Mr Thorne at my request concluded, however, that the vast majority of them were authentic.[444] Mr Thorne also found "a high probability that all the disputed Telegraph documents are also authentic". He found "no evidence that they are forgeries or altered", and considered this possibility to be "extremely unlikely". Further he found no evidence to suggest that any of the disputed Telegraph documents were found at a different time and place to the others.

Not to mention that Galloway claimed he kept terrible records of the charity's dealings, claimed to have transferred all the paperwork to Jordan (where it was subsequently "lost") and asked the director of the appeal to destroy all the paperwork he had.
posted by Challahtronix at 2:47 PM on July 24, 2007


On April 25, 2003, this newspaper ran a story about documents obtained in Iraq that alleged Saddam Hussein's regime had paid a British member of Parliament, George Galloway, $10 million over 11 years to promote its interests in the West.

An extensive Monitor investigation has subsequently determined that the six papers detailed in the April 25 piece are, in fact, almost certainly forgeries.


(source)
posted by rougy at 2:50 PM on July 24, 2007




There's different sets of documents that we're talking about; the first set found by the Telegraph, which is what I was referring to, and a second set sold to the Christian Science Monitor that was "found" later.
posted by Challahtronix at 3:09 PM on July 24, 2007


The statement made in the Commons by George Young, one of the members of the committee investigating Galloway, is fairly convincing regarding the authenticity of the documents:

"The hon. Gentleman denounces the documents as fakes or forgeries. Let us examine that proposition. He asserts that some, or possibly all, of the Telegraph documents were not found in the burnt-out Foreign Ministry building in Baghdad, as the journalist David Blair described in sworn testimony during the libel proceedings and confirmed in evidence to the commissioner, and as has been independently confirmed by other witnesses. Instead, the hon. Gentleman asserts that they were handed to David Blair by agents of our intelligence service. On that scenario, those behind his alleged plot would have needed not only to have operated a shadow office over a period of some four years to create 2,500 documents of the wide-ranging appearance found by Mr. Blair, but also somehow to have stolen the various original documents in the files without arousing any suspicion from the Iraqi authorities who held them. This incredibly sophisticated, dangerous and expensive exercise would have been undertaken by the very agency whose energies at the time were primarily focused on a search to discover whether Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. The House might agree that that seems to be a wholly disproportionate effort for our security forces to have expended to silence a Back Bencher, however troublesome.

The other proposition advanced by the hon. Gentleman is that the shadow office that produced the fakes or forgeries might have been run by someone within the then Iraqi regime, but that is even more far-fetched. Is it likely that at a time when the country faced the imminent threat of invasion so much resource would have been committed at the highest level to a plot using extraordinarily skilful forgery techniques, to bring down one of the few friends the then regime had—and a plot whose ultimate success, undertaken for motives never explained, depended on Mr. Blair or some other inquisitive journalist happening to come across the documents among a mass of files on the floor of one room in one specific Iraqi Government building following a successful coalition invasion, assuming of course that they survived the process? I have seen all the documents in the files—the several originals as well as the copies, including documents certified as true by the hon. Gentleman, and all the many post-it notes and annotations in Arabic on them, and the careful indexing—and I and the Committee were struck by the sheer implausibility of the forgery or fake theory."
posted by snoktruix at 3:29 PM on July 24, 2007


From the house of commons report:

266. The forensic analysis of all the papers obtained by Mr Blair conducted by Mr Thorne at my request concluded, however, that the vast majority of them were authentic.[444] Mr Thorne also found "a high probability that...
[SNIP CONJECTURE]

Believe me, if any politician or newspaper could nail Galloway they would. The fact that he is walking the streets if proof that the combined forces of various governments and media empires can't find any real evidence against him.
posted by bobbyelliott at 3:31 PM on July 24, 2007


I should have included:

"We then addressed the alternative theory: that the documents were authentic. We went to some trouble to do so. Mr. Oliver Thorne, the head of the questioned documents group at LGC, a leading forensic science firm, and also the man originally instructed by the hon. Gentleman's legal representatives in his libel action against The Daily Telegraph, was asked to conduct a forensic analysis of the documents. His conclusions are to be found at document 32 in volume II of our report. They are as unequivocal as any careful scientist is likely to be. Mr. Thorne found that neither the possibility that all the documents are forged, nor the possibility that some forged documents were later seeded among genuine ones, is at all credible. In short, the hon. Gentleman's various accounts of the origin of the Telegraph documents are not underpinned either by the evidence or by expert opinion."
posted by snoktruix at 3:32 PM on July 24, 2007


Yeah, the notion that a reporter happened to be wandering through the burning, being-looted remains of the Iraqi foreign ministry and happened to chance upon one box out of probably hundreds or thousands, happened to open it, and happened to quickly understand that it was about George Galloway is patently ridiculous on its face.

Really?

Peter Galbraith was there:

Ten days after the US took over Baghdad, I went through the unguarded Iraqi Foreign Ministry, going from the cooling unit on the roof to the archives in the basement, and rummaging through the office of the foreign minister. The only other people in the building were looters, who were busy opening safes and carrying out furniture. They were unarmed and helped me look for documents.
posted by verstegan at 3:32 PM on July 24, 2007


I’d forgotten about that little escapade. Says volumes about everyone’s post-war priorities, doesn’t it?
posted by Artw at 3:36 PM on July 24, 2007




Why would any pro-war cabal be interested in putting Galloway out of action? He does nothing but serve their interests. Everyone involved in the socialist movement, or the antiwar movement, really needs to understand this. George Galloway is not on our side! He's a self-serving demagogue, always has been, always will be. As such, he is a much greater asset to our opponents than he is to us.
posted by howfar at 4:37 PM on July 24, 2007


It's amazing that he is only being suspended for 18 days for selling himself to a foreign government leader. Why isn't it permanent? Why isn't he being tried for treason?

From what I've seen Galloway is a disgusting man. He shows adoration toward fascist dictators, and regrets the fall of the Soviet Union.

I disagree with him on nearly every matter, except the wisdom of the war.

That said, I've seen no publicly available evidence that he committed treason. Just lots of evidence that I disagree with him vociferously.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 7:48 PM on July 24, 2007


Speaking of people getting their just deserts, Ward Churchill has been fired by the University of Colorado.

He was not fired for calling the victims of 9/11 "little Eichmanns", nor should he have been. Rather, he was fired for lying about his credentials, fabricating evidence in his research, and for plagiarism. And that is entirely proper.

It doesn't seem as if this justifies an FPP, but it does seem as if it should be noted here.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 10:02 PM on July 24, 2007


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