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(born 16 August 1954
) is a British
politician noted for his socialist
views, confrontational style, and rhetorical skill. He is currently the Respect Member of Parliament
(MP) for Bethnal Green and Bow
, and was previously elected as a Labour Party
MP for Glasgow Hillhead
and Glasgow Kelvin
Galloway is perhaps best known for his vigorous campaign to overturn economic sanctions against Iraq
, and for his visits to Saddam Hussein
in 1994 and 2002. He was expelled from the Labour Party in October 2003 when a party body decided that he had brought the party into disrepute over the 2003 invasion of Iraq
, when he called the Labour government "Tony Blair
's lie machine",
[cite web|url=http://praxsys.net/indiewest/news_page.php?story=1|title=Galloway accuses prime minister of "lying"|date=2003-04-01|work=Indie ]
and stated that British soldiers should "refuse to obey illegal orders".
[cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/2923849.stm|title=Galloway: I'll fight expulsion|work=BBC ]
In January 2004, he teamed up with the Socialist Workers Party
, leading members of the anti-Iraq war movement such as Salma Yaqoob
, and other figures on the British left such as film maker Ken Loach
to form RESPECT The Unity Coalition
(Respect), a new political party to the left of Labour. He won his seat in the 2005 general election
, the only time Respect has won a Parliamentary election. In January 2006 he sparked controversy for taking part in the television series Celebrity Big Brother
Early and personal life
Galloway was born in Dundee
of partial Irish Catholic
extraction, he also attended Charleston Primary and the Harris Academy
, a non-denominational school. He was married from 1979 to 1999 to Elaine Fyffe
, with whom he has a daughter. He married Dr. Amineh Abu-Zayyad
in 2000: Zayyad filed for divorce in 2005.
Galloway states that he is a non-drinker from a non-drinking family. "My father didn’t drink alcohol and his father didn’t and my daughter doesn’t... I think it has a very deleterious effect on people".
| year = 2005
| url = http://www.sundayherald.com/print51112
| title = I’d like a peaceful life like anyone else, but undoubtedly I rise to the occasion
| format = HTML
| publisher = Sunday Herald
| accessdate = 7 August
| accessyear = 2005
Labour Party organiser
Galloway joined the Labour Party
at 15 years old and within three years was the vice-secretary of the Dundee West constituency
party. His enthusiasm lead him to become vice-chairman of the Labour Party in the city of Dundee and a member of the Scottish Executive Committee in 1975. On May 5 1977
, he contested his first election campaign in the Scottish district elections but failed to hold the safe Labour seat at Gillburn, Dundee, being beaten by an Independent. He became the secretary organiser of Dundee Labour Party - the youngest ever Scottish chairman - in March 1981 at 26 years old.
| year = 1981
| title = George Galloway
| publisher = Dundee Courier and Advertiser
| date = 24 April 1981
His support for the Palestinian
cause began in 1974 when he met a Palestinian activist in Dundee; he supported the actions of Dundee City council which flew the Palestinian flag
inside the City Chambers
. He was involved in the twinning of Dundee with Nablus
[cite news | title=Special Reports : Two views of George: all heart or a pain in the neck | url=http://politics.guardian.co.uk/iraq/story/0,12956,941506,00.html | accessdate=2005-12-15|publisher=The Guardian ]
although he did not take part in the visit of Lord Provost Gowans, Ernie Ross M.P.
and three city councillors to Nablus and Kuwait in April 1981.
During 1981, Denis Healey
, then deputy leader of the Labour Party, failed in a bid to remove Galloway from list of prospective Parliamentary candidates following an article he had written in Scottish Marxist
supporting Communist Party affiliation with the Labour Party. He successfully argued that these were his own personal viewpoints, not that of the Labour Party. Subsequently, Healy lost his motion by 13 votes to 5. Galloway courted further controversy in Dundee, when he and his fiancée were allocated a top-floor flat, though eventually neither moved into the residence. In order to overcome a £1.5 million deficit in the city budget, he quipped that he, M.P. Ernie Ross and leading councillors be placed in stocks
in the city square - "we would allow people to throw buckets of water over us at 20p a time".
| year = 1981
| title = Remarkable idea to raise funds for city
| publisher = Dundee Courier and Advertiser
| pages = 3
| date = August 19 1981
War on Want
From November 1983 to 1987, Galloway was General Secretary of War On Want
, a British charity that campaigns against poverty worldwide. In this post he was much travelled, especially to areas suffering famine; he wrote eye-witness accounts of the famine in Eritrea
in 1985 which were published in the Sunday Times
and the Spectator
['Glasgow Hillhead' (PA number 263) in "General Election Constituency Guide", BBC Data, 1987.]
The Daily Mirror
accused him of living luxuriously at the charity's expense.
| year = 2003
| author = Jamie Wilson, Owen Bowcott and Vikram Dodd
| url = http://www.guardian.co.uk/guardianpolitics/story/0,3605,942233,00.html
| title = Charity, fundraiser or political campaign?
| format = HTML
| publisher = Guardian
| accessdate = April 24
| accessyear = 2003
An independent auditor cleared him of misuse of funds,
| year = 2003
| author = Michael Paterson
| url = http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2003/04/24/ngall124.xml
| title = Leadership of War on Want marked by turbulence and tension
| format = HTML
| publisher = Daily Telegraph
| accessdate = 24 April
| accessyear = 2003
though he did repay £1,720 in contested expenses.
| year = 2002
| author = Simon Hattenstone
| url = http://politics.guardian.co.uk/interviews/story/0,11660,792915,00.html
| title = Saddam and me
| format = HTML
| publisher = Guardian
| accessdate = September 16
| accessyear = 2002
He later reportedly won £155,000 from the Mirror
in an unrelated libel lawsuit.
| year = 2004
| author = Karen McVeigh
| url = http://news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=818&id=1386082004
| title = The rise and fall and rise again of 'Gorgeous' George
| format = HTML
| publisher = Scotsman
| accessdate = 3 December
| accessyear = 2004
More than two years after Galloway stepped down as General Secretary to serve as a Labour MP, the UK government's Charity Commission
investigated War on Want, finding accounting irregularities from 1985 to 1989, but little evidence that money was used for non-charitable purposes. Mr Galloway had been general secretary for the first three of those years. The commission said responsibility lay largely with auditors and did not single out individuals for blame.
Member of Parliament, Glasgow
Galloway was selected as Labour candidate for the Glasgow Hillhead seat, then held by Roy Jenkins
of the Social Democratic Party
. He fought for a place on the Labour Party National Executive Committee
in 1986; in a large field of candidates he finished as second from bottom. At the 1986 Labour Party Conference
he made a strong attack on the Labour Party's Deputy Leader and Shadow Chancellor Roy Hattersley
for not favouring exchange controls.
In the 1987 election
, Galloway won Glasgow Hillhead from Jenkins with a majority of 3,251.
Troubles within the Labour Party
Asked about a War on Want conference on Mykonos
during his previous job, the new MP Galloway notoriously replied "I travelled to and spent lots of time with people in Greece, many of whom were women, some of whom were known carnally to me. I actually had sexual intercourse with some of the people in Greece." The statement put Galloway on the front pages of the tabloid press
and in February 1988 the Executive Committee of his Constituency Labour Party
passed a vote of no confidence in him.
He went on to win reselection over Trish Godman
(wife of fellow MP Norman Godman
) in June 1989, but failed to get a majority of the electoral college on the first ballot. This was the worst result for any sitting Labour MP who was reselected; 13 out of the 26 members of the Constituency Party's Executive Committee resigned that August, indicating their dissatisfaction with the result.
[The Almanac of British Politics by Robert Waller and Byron Criddle (Routledge, London, Fourth Edition 1991 and Fifth Edition 1996) ISBN 0-415-00508-6 and ISBN 0-415-11805-0]
In 1990, a classified advertisement appeared in the Labour left weekly Tribune
headed "Lost: MP who answers to the name of George", "balding and has been nicknamed gorgeous", claiming that the lost MP had been seen in Romania but had not been to a constituency meeting for a year. A telephone number was given which turned out to be for the Groucho Club
in London, from which Galloway had recently been excluded (he has since been admitted). Galloway threatened legal action and pointed out that he had been to five constituency meetings. He eventually settled for an out-of-court payment by Tribune
The leadership election of the Labour Party in 1992 saw Galloway voting for fellow Scot John Smith
for Leader and Margaret Beckett
as Deputy Leader. In 1994 after Smith's death, Galloway declined to cast a vote in the leadership election (one of only three MPs to do so). In a debate with the leader of the Scottish National Party Alex Salmond
, Galloway responded to one of Salmond's jibes against the Labour Party by declaring "I don't give a fuck what Tony Blair thinks."
Although facing a challenge for the labour nomination for the seat of Glasgow Kelvin
in 1997, Galloway successfully defeated Shiona Waldron. He was unchallenged for the nomination in 2001. Although he had a reputation as a left-winger, Galloway was never a member of the Socialist Campaign Group
of Labour MPs.
In 1997, Galloway launched a newspaper, East
, largely bankrolled by the Government of Pakistan
, focusing on Pakistan and promoting a pro-Bhutto position. He also worked with the National Lobby on Kashmir
, promoting Pakistan's claims to the territory. When Bhutto's government fell, Galloway met with the new Government and wrote a series of letters asking them for funding, which he ultimately obtained.
[cite web | title=Why the MP went begging to Pakistan | url=http://www.hvk.org/articles/0403/242.html | accessdate=2005-12-15 ]
While there was no suggestion that any of his actions in the case were illegal, the way in which he apparently put himself under an obligation to the Government of Pakistan damaged his reputation in some eyes.
In the 1997
and 2001 elections
Galloway was the Labour candidate for the seat of Glasgow Kelvin, winning with majorities of over 16,000 and 12,000 respectively. In boundary changes taking effect at the 2005 election, the seat was divided. Galloway chose to stand in Bethnal Green and Bow, in the east end of London.
Expulsion from the Labour Party
In a 28 March
, interview with Abu Dhabi TV
, Galloway said Tony Blair
and George W. Bush
had "lied to the British Air Force and Navy, when they said the battle of Iraq would be very quick and easy. They attacked Iraq like wolves...." and added, "... the best thing British troops can do is to refuse to obey illegal orders." The latter remark briefly led to suggestions that he might be prosecuted for treason
under the Incitement to Disaffection Act
[cite news | title=The Observer : Politics : MP may be tried as traitor | url=http://observer.guardian.co.uk/politics/story/0,6903,944392,00.html | accessdate=2005-12-15 | publisher=The Guardian ]
His most controversial statement, which led to a Sun
headline, "MP blasted over 'kill Brits' call", could be read as inciting attacks on British forces in Iraq: "Iraq is fighting for all the Arabs. Where are the Arab armies?".
On 18 April, The Sun
published an interview with Tony Blair in which Blair said "His comments were disgraceful and wrong. The National Executive will deal with it". Citing Galloway's comments regarding the Iraq war, the General Secretary of the Labour Party suspended him from holding office in the party on 6 May
, pending a hearing on charges that he had violated the party's constitution by "bringing the Labour Party into disrepute through behaviour that is prejudicial or grossly detrimental to the Party". The National Constitutional Committee held a hearing on 22 October
, to consider the charges, taking evidence from Galloway himself, from other party witnesses, viewing media interviews, and hearing character testimony from (among others) veteran Labour MP and ex-minister Tony Benn
. The following day, the committee found the charge of bringing the party into disrepute proved, and expelled Galloway from the Labour Party forthwith. Galloway called the Committee's hearing "a show trial" and "a kangaroo court
[The Trial: How New Labour Purged George Galloway, Galloway, George, Bookmarks. ISBN 1-898876-47-9.]
At all times he had the full support of the Executive and General Committee of Glasgow Kelvin Constituency Labour Party.
wikinews| Surprise win for RESPECT Party in UK 2005 General
In January 2004 Galloway announced he would be working with members of the English Socialist Alliance
and others under the name RESPECT The Unity Coalition
, generally referred to simply as Respect. Many commentators were surprised by this development since Galloway had a track record of antipathy toward Trotskyist
s, and the largest component of Respect is the Socialist Workers Party
, which broadly identifies itself as part of the Trotskyist political tradition. Some former members of the Socialist Alliance, including the Workers Liberty
and Workers Power
groups, objected to forming a coalition with Galloway, citing his political record, and his refusal to accept an average worker's wage
, with Galloway claiming "I couldn’t live on three workers’ wages".
[cite news | title=S2 Monday - Indefatigably yours | url=http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/s2.cfm?id=565562003 | accessdate=2005-12-15 | publisher=The Scotsman ]
He stood as the Respect candidate in London in the 2004 European Parliament elections
, but failed to win a seat after receiving 91,175 of the 115,000 votes he needed.
After his expulsion, he had initially fuelled speculation that he might call a snap by-election
before then, by resigning his parliamentary seat, saying:
If I were to resign this constituency and there was a by-election I can't guarantee that I would win, but I would guarantee that Tony Blair's candidate would surely lose.
Galloway later announced that he would not force a by-election and intended not to contest the next general election in Glasgow. Galloway's Glasgow Kelvin seat was split between three neighbouring constituencies for the May 2005 general election. One of these, the redrawn Glasgow Central
constituency might have been his best chance to win, but had his long-time friend Mohammad Sarwar
, the first Muslim Labour MP and a strong opponent of the Iraq War
in place; Galloway did not wish to challenge him. After the European election results became known, Galloway announced that he would stand in Bethnal Green and Bow
, the area where Respect had its strongest election results and where the sitting Labour MP, Oona King
, supported the Iraq War. On 2 December
, despite speculation that he might stand in Newham
, he confirmed that he was to be the candidate for Bethnal Green and Bow.
The ensuing electoral campaign in the seat proved to be a difficult one with heated rhetoric. In response to a question asking if he thought it was "odd" or "misguided" that he should be attempting to unseat one of the few black women in parliament Galloway, referring to the Iraq war, said "100,000 people lie dead as a result of the decisions she made" including a lot of women who "had blacker faces than her."
[cite news | title=Gloves Come Off in Bethnal Green | url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/vote_2005/frontpage/4432191.stm | accessdate=2006-10-07 | publisher=BBC ]
In one contentious incident the tyres of King's car were slashed and Les Dobrovolski, an elderly Labour Party member, was assaulted by people whom King later claimed were supporting 'Respect' and had left a Respect leaflet by his side. Respect disputed the claim and pointed out that the leaflet had not been issued until a day after the alleged incident;
[cite web | title=RESPECT - The Unity Coalition - London region | url=http://www.respectcoalition.org/index.php?ite=741&rlid=5 | accessdate=2005-12-15 ]
local police did not investigate the party. On 21 April 2005
, it was reported by the BBC
that Galloway had himself been threatened with death by extreme Islamists
from the banned organisation al-Ghuraaba
. All the major candidates united in condemning the threats and violence.
[cite news | title=Politics : Election 2005 : Galloway told to avoid his home | url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/vote_2005/frontpage/4467147.stm | accessdate=2005-12-15 | publisher=BBC ]
On May 5, Galloway won the seat by 823 votes and made a fiery acceptance speech, saying that Tony Blair had the blood of 100,000 people on his hands and denouncing the returning officer over alleged discrepancies in the electoral process. When challenged in a subsequent televised interview by Jeremy Paxman
as to whether he was happy to have removed one of the few black women in parliament, Galloway replied by asking if it would not be better to congratulate him for "one of the most sensational election results in modern history?" Pressed further, he said "I don't believe that people get elected because of the colour of their skin. I believe people get elected because of their record and because of their policies. So move on to your next question."
[cite news | title=BBC NEWS - ELECTION 2005 - WEBLOG - Paxman v Galloway | url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/vote_2005/blog/4519553.stm | accessdate=2006-10-25 | publisher=BBC ]
Oona King later told the Today programme
that she found Paxman's line of question inappropriate. "He shouldn't be barred from running against me because I'm a black woman ... I was not defined, or wish to be defined, by my ethnicity."
"It's good to be back", he said on being sworn in as MP for Bethnal Green after the May election. He pledged to represent "the people that New Labour has abandoned" and to "speak for those who have nobody else to speak for them."
Parliamentary participation statistics
Galloway's participation in Parliamentary activity fell to minimal levels after he was suspended and later expelled from the Labour Party. After speaking in a debate on Iraq on 25 March
, Galloway did not intervene in any way in Parliamentary debates or ask any oral questions for the remainder of the Parliament and his participation in House of Commons Divisions was among the lowest of any MP (the website "They Work For You.com"
[cite web | title= "They Work For You.com" | url=http://www.theyworkforyou.com|accessdate=2005-12-15 ]
has more details). Since being elected in 2005, his participation rate has remained low. At the end of 2005 he had participated in only 15% of votes in the House of Commons since the general election, placing him 634 out of 645 MPs - of the MPs below him in the rankings, one is the Prime Minister Tony Blair, five are Sinn Fein
members who have an abstentionist policy towards taking their seats, three are the speaker and deputy speakers and therefore ineligible to vote, and two have died since the election. Galloway claims a record of unusual activity at a "grass roots" level. His own estimate is that he has made 1,100 public speeches between September 2001 and May 2005.
[BBC Radio 4, Broadcasting House, 22 May 2005, interview with George Galloway.]
In November 2005 Galloway's commitment to Parliamentary activity was again called into question when he failed to attend the Report Stage of the Prevention of Terrorism Bill
in the House of Commons, despite Respect having urged its members to put pressure on MPs to attend.
[cite web | title= put pressure on MPs to attend | url=http://www.respectcoalition.org/index.php?ite=912|accessdate=2005-12-15 ]
It was subsequently confirmed that Galloway had been carrying out a speaking engagement in Cork
on the night (Galloway's spokesman asserted the performance was "uncancellable"
[cite news | title=Special Reports : Lib Dems and Galloway defend absences | url=http://politics.guardian.co.uk/terrorism/story/0,15935,1614944,00.html | accessdate=2005-12-15 | publisher=The Guardian ]
Although that stage of the bill failed by two votes, it initially appeared that the government won by a majority of only one, in which Galloway's attendance would have tied the vote. However, even in the case of a tie the vote would not have resulted in defeat for the government, because the vote was on an amendment (tightening the standard on what constitutes incitement to terrorism) and the amendment would not have passed. It would have taken three more "aye" votes to pass the amendment. All the same, Respect later put out a statement stating that it regretted the vote had been missed. The statement further claimed that Galloway had cleared his diary for all the subsequent votes on the bill.
[cite web | title=RESPECT - The Unity Coalition - News | url=http://www.respectcoalition.org/?ite=917 | accessdate=2005-12-15 ]
Galloway did attend a subsequent debate on the Bill, and voted against
[cite web | title=The Public Whip | url=http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2005-03-10&number=141&display=allvotes | accessdate=2005-10-07 ]
the final reading of the bill, which passed.
Political views and characteristicsthumb|right|Galloway at Faslane Naval Base
, Scotland.">[CND blockade of Faslane Naval Base
Galloway has a reputation as a fiery left-winger
and advocates redistribution of wealth
, greater spending on welfare benefits
, and extensive nationalisation
of large industries. He opposes Scottish independence
and supports the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
. Raised as a Roman Catholic
, he left the church for a time but returned to Christian
belief in his mid-20s, and he is opposed to abortion
, although he supports Respect's pro-choice
stance. However Nick Cohen
, has suggested he is in fact a far right-winger like Oswald Mosley
for lining up with, as Cohen sees it, Ba'athist and Islamic fundamentalist regimes hostile to everything the left stands for.
In 1994 he voted to support the equalisation of the age of consent
(which was then 21 years) with that for heterosexuality
at 16 yearshttp://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199394/cmhansrd/1994-02-21/Debate-16.html
, and then voted against a reduction of the homosexual age of consent to 18http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199394/cmhansrd/1994-02-21/Debate-23.html
. He voted in favour of permitting unmarried and gay couples to adopt children. http://politics.guardian.co.uk/person/howtheyvoted/0,9310,-1864,00.html
Critics have claimed that his involvement in the leadership of Respect - which made no explicit mention of gay rights in its 2005 election manifesto
[cite web | title=Galloway’s Party in Gay Rights Row | url=http://www.ukgaynews.org.uk/Archive/2005nov/2202.htm | accessdate=2006-01-07 ]
and accepted donations from certain Islamic, homophobic sources
[cite web | title=Gay group tells Galloway to cut ties with donor | url=http://politics.guardian.co.uk/otherparties/story/0,9061,1650526,00.html|accessdate=2006-01-07 ]
- raise questions about commitment to those issues. However, Respect's 2005 conference which Galloway took part in, resolved that explicit defence of equal rights and calls for the end to all discrimination against lesbian
s and transgender
people would be made in all of its manifestos and principal election materials. http://www.respectcoalition.org/?ite=932
Galloway voted in support of the government's original draft of the religious hatred bill, which many people had feared would restrict artistic freedom and free speech. http://politics.guardian.co.uk/homeaffairs/story/0,,1698850,00.html
In the 2001 Parliament, he voted against the Whip
27 times. During the 2001-02 session he was the 9th most rebellious Labour MP. He has attracted most attention for his comments on foreign policy, taking a special interest in Libya
, Iraq, and the Arab-Israeli conflict
. Galloway is a prominent critic of Israel, frequently condemning Israel's military actions. In an interview with the Guardian
[cite news | title=Interview: George Galloway MP (See above) | url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,3604,792765,00.html | accessdate=2005-12-15|publisher=The Guardian ]
Galloway stated "I am on the anti-imperialist
left... If you are asking did I support the Soviet Union
, yes I did. Yes, I did support the Soviet Union, and I think the disappearance of the Soviet Union is the biggest catastrophe of my life. If there was a Soviet Union today, we would not be having this conversation about plunging into a new war in the Middle East, and the US would not be rampaging around the globe."
[Simon Hattenstone, The Guardian, September 16, 2002, http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,3604,792765,00.html "Saddam and me"]
Some critics have said Galloway does not support democracy, citing his saluting of Saddam, his lavish praise for Fidel Castro, and his stance on the coup in Pakistan. At the time of the 1999 coup in Pakistan, he wrote, "In poor third world countries like Pakistan, politics is too important to be left to petty squabbling politicians. Pakistan is always on the brink of breaking apart into its widely disparate components. Only the armed forces can really be counted on to hold such a country together... Democracy is a means, not an end in itself and it has a bad name on the streets of Karachi and Lahore." As published in the Mail on Sunday, November 10th, 1999
. When Galloway was questioned in regards to this statement in Ottawa, Canada on 19 Nov 2006, Galloway responded that he never said that. Galloway then denounced Musharrafs dictatorship, made a comment about how he was proud of his work in Pakistan about pushing for Democracy with Bhutto in the 70's and then expressed his desire for democracy in Pakistan.
Iraq and Saddamframe|Galloway meeting with Saddam Hussein.
In the late 1970s, Galloway was a founding member of the Campaign Against Repression and for Democratic Rights in Iraq (CARDRI), which campaigned against Saddam Hussein
's regime in response to its suppression of the Iraqi Communist Party
. He was critical of America and Britain's later role in supporting Saddam during the Iran-Iraq War
and was involved in protests at Iraq's cultural centre in London in the 1980s.
Galloway opposed the 1991 Gulf War
and was critical of the effect the subsequent sanctions had on the people of Iraq. He visited Iraq several times and met senior government figures. His involvement caused certain critics to deride him as the "member for Baghdad
North". In 1994, Galloway faced some of his strongest criticism on his return from a Middle-Eastern visit during which he had met Saddam Hussein "to try and bring about an end to sanctions, suffering and war." At the meeting, he reported the support given to Saddam by the people of the Gaza Strip
and infamously ended his speech with the phrase "Sir: I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability."
[cite web | title=http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/George_Galloway | url=http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/George_Galloway | accessdate=2005-12-15 ]
Additionally he said "hatta al-nasr, hatta al-nasr, hatta al-Quds" (Arabic for "until victory, until victory, until Jerusalem
"). When later pressed to explain why he would make such a speech, he claimed he had been addressing the Iraqi people as a whole.
In a House of Commons debate on 6 March
, Foreign Office Minister Ben Bradshaw
said of Galloway that he was "not just an apologist, but a mouthpiece, for the Iraqi regime over many years." Galloway called the Minister a liar and refused to withdraw, resulting in the suspension of the sitting. Bradshaw later withdrew his allegation, and Galloway apologised for using unparliamentary language. In August 2002, Galloway returned to Iraq and met Saddam Hussein for a second time. According to Galloway, the intention of the trip was to try and persuade Hussein to re-admit Dr. Hans Blix
, and the United Nations weapons inspectors back into the country.
[cite web | title=Free Speech Radio News lineup - Friday, August 09, 2002 | url=http://www.fsrn.org/news/20020809_news.html | accessdate=2005-12-15 ]
Giving evidence in his libel case against the Daily Telegraph
newspaper in 2004, Galloway testified that he regarded Saddam as a "bestial dictator" and would have welcomed his removal from power, but not by means of a military attack on Iraq. Galloway also pointed that he was a prominent critic of Saddam Hussein's regime in the 1980s, as well as of the role of Margaret Thatcher
's government in supporting arms sales to Iraq during the Iran/Iraq war. Labour MP Tam Dalyell
said during the controversy over whether Galloway should be expelled from the Labour Party that "in the mid-1980s there was only one MP that I can recollect making speeches about human rights in Iraq and this was George Galloway."
[cite news | title=Special Reports : Two views of George: all heart or a pain in the neck (See above) | url=http://politics.guardian.co.uk/iraq/story/0,12956,941506,00.html | accessdate=2005-12-15|publisher=The Guardian ]
When the issue of Galloway's meetings with Saddam Hussein is raised, including before the U.S. Senate, Galloway has argued that he had met Saddam "exactly the same number of times as U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
met him. The difference is Donald Rumsfeld met him to sell him guns and to give him maps the better to target those guns."
[cite news | title=Times Online | url=http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-1616578,00.html | accessdate=2005-12-15 | publisher=The Times ]
In 1999, Galloway was criticised for spending Christmas in Iraq with Tariq Aziz
, then Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister. In the 17 May
, hearing of the United States Senate
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Galloway stated that he had had many meetings with Aziz, and characterized their relationship as friendly.
[cite web | title=Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs | url=http://www.senate.gov/~gov_affairs/index.cfm?Fuseaction=Hearings.Detail&HearingID=232|accessdate=2005-12-15 ]
After the fall of Saddam, he continued to praise Aziz, calling him "an eminent diplomatic and intellectual person." In 2006 a video surfaced showing Galloway enthusiastically greeting Uday Hussein
, Saddam's eldest son and an alleged rapist and murderer, with the title of "Excellency" at Uday's palace in 1999. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,182797,00.html
"The two men also made unflattering comments about the United States and joked about losing weight, going bald and how difficult it is to give up smoking cigars," according to The Scotsman
. http://news.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=127252006left|thumb|Galloway signing an asylum seeker
s petition, sitting on the edge of the StWC
stage at the 2005 Make Poverty History
Galloway is Vice-President of the Stop the War Coalition
(StWC). He is actively involved, often speaking on StWC platforms at anti war demonstrations. During a 9 March
, interview at the University of Dhaka
campus Galloway called for a global alliance between Muslims and progressives: "Not only do I think it’s possible but I think it is vitally necessary and I think it is happening already. It is possible because the progressive movement around the world and the Muslims have the same enemies. Their enemies are the Zionist occupation, American occupation, British occupation of poor countries mainly Muslim countries."
[cite web | title=Iraq News Network - Galloway calls for global unity between Islamic and Left forces | url=http://www.iraq-news.de/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=461&Itemid=113 | accessdate=2005-12-15 ]
Views on Blair and Bush
At the national conference of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers
, on 30 June
, he apologised for describing George Bush as a "wolf", saying that to do so defamed wolves:
"No wolf would commit the sort of crimes against humanity that George Bush committed against the people of Iraq."
On 20 November
, George Galloway gave an interview on Abu-Dhabi
TV in which he said:
The people who invaded and destroyed Iraq and have murdered more than a million Iraqi people by sanctions and war will burn in Hell in the hell-fires, and their name in history will be branded as killers and war criminals for all time. Fallujah is a Guernica, Falluaja is a Stalingrad, and Iraq is in flames as a result of the actions of these criminals. Not the resistance, not anybody else but these criminals who invaded and fell like wolves upon the people of Iraq. And by the way, those Arab regimes which helped them to do it will burn in the same hell-fires.
[cite web | title=MEMRI TV | url=http://www.memritv.org/Search.asp?ACT=S9&P1=372 | accessdate=2005-12-15 ]
On 20 June
, he appeared on Al Jazeera TV
to lambast these two leaders and others.
Bush, and Blair, and the prime minister of Japan, and Silvio Berlusconi, these people are criminals, and they are responsible for mass murder in the world, for the war, and for the occupation, through their support for Israel, and through their support for a globalised capitalist economic system, which is the biggest killer the world has ever known. It has killed far more people than Adolf Hitler. It has killed far more people than George Bush. The economic system which these people support, which leaves most of the people in the world hungry, and without clean water to drink. So we're going to put them on trial, the leaders, when they come. They think they're coming for a holiday in a beautiful country called Scotland; in fact, they're coming to their trial....Ancient freedoms, which we had for hundreds of years, are being taken away from us under the name of the war on terror, when the real big terrorists are the governments of Britain and the United States. They are the real rogue states breaking international law, invading other people's countries, killing their children in the name of anti-terrorism, when in fact, all they're achieving is to make more terrorists in the world, not less, to make the world more dangerous, rather than less.
[cite web | title=MEMRI TV | url=http://memritv.org/search.asp?ACT=S9&P1=697 | accessdate=2005-12-15 ]
Galloway has accused Tony Blair of "waging war on Muslims at home and abroad".
On 3 February
, Galloway was refused entry to Egypt
Airport and was detained "on grounds of national security", where he had been invited to 'give evidence' at a 'mock trial' of US President Bush and UK PM Blair. After being detained overnight, he said Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak
"apologised on behalf of the Egyptian people", and was allowed to enter the country. After initial derogatory comments from Galloway and a spokesman from his Respect party regarding Mubarak's pro-western stance and ties to Bush and Blair, Galloway later commented: "It was a most gracious apology which I accept wholeheartedly. I consider the matter now closed" (seehttp://www.respectcoalition.org/?ite=981
In an interview with Piers Morgan
for GQ Magazine
in May 2006, Galloway was asked whether a suicide bomb attack
on Tony Blair with "no other casualties" would be morally justifiable "as revenge for the war on Iraq?". He answered "Yes it would be morally justified. I am not calling for it, but if it happened it would be of a wholly different moral order to the events of 7/7. It would be entirely logical and explicable, and morally equivalent to ordering the deaths of thousands of innocent people in Iraq as Blair did." He further stated that if he knew about such a plan that he would inform the relevant authorities, saying: "I would tell the police
, because such an operation would be counterproductive because it would just generate a new wave of anti-Muslim, anti-Arab sentiment whipped up by the press. It would lead to new draconian anti-terror laws, and would probably strengthen the resolve of the British and American services in Iraq rather than weaken it. So yes, I would inform the authorities.".
[cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/5020222.stm|title=Blair attack 'morally justified'|work=BBC ]
Some news analysts, notably Christopher Hitchens
, took this to be a call for an attack while appearing not to.
July 2005 London bombings
In the House of Commons
, on the day of the 7 July 2005 London bombings
that killed 56 and injured hundreds, and following a visit to the Royal London Hospital
in his constituency where many of the victims had been taken, Galloway condemned the attacks strongly, but argued that they could not be separated from the hatred and bitterness felt among Muslims because of injustices in Palestine, Iraq, and Afghanistan, including injustices, he said, suffered as a result of British foreign policy:
I condemn the act that was committed this morning. I have no need to speculate about its authorship. It is absolutely clear that Islamist extremists, inspired by the al-Qaeda world outlook, are responsible. I condemn it utterly as a despicable act, committed against working people on their way to work, without warning, on tubes and buses. Let there be no equivocation: the primary responsibility for this morning's bloodshed lies with the perpetrators of those acts... The hon. Member for North Durham (Mr. Jones), in an otherwise fine speech, described today's events as "unpredictable". They were not remotely unpredictable. Our own security services predicted them and warned the Government that if we invaded Iraq we would be at greater risk from terrorist attacks such as the one that we have suffered this morning... Despicable, yes; but not unpredictable. It was entirely predictable and, I predict, it will not be the last.
[http://www.respectcoalition.org/index.php?ite=821 RESPECT Website press release] [cite web | title=House of Commons Hansard Debates for 7 Jul 2005 (pt 26) | url=http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200506/cmhansrd/cm050707/debtext/50707-26.htm | accessdate=2005-12-15 ]
*http://democracyrising.us/content/view/280/164/ See full text of Galloway's speech in Parliament
Winding up the debate for the government in the last moments allotted, Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram
described Galloway's remarks as "disgraceful" and accused Galloway of "dipping his poisonous tongue in a pool of blood."
[cite web | title=http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200506/cmhansrd/cm050707/debtext/50707-30.htm#stpa_398 | url=http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200506/cmhansrd/cm050707/debtext/50707-30.htm#stpa_398|accessdate=2005-12-15 ]
No time remained for Galloway to intervene and he ran afoul of the Deputy Speaker
when trying to make a point of order
about Ingram's attack. He later went on to describe Ingram as a "thug" who had committed a "foul-mouthed, deliberately timed, last-10-seconds smear."
[cite web | title=House of Commons Hansard Debates for 7 Jul 2005 (pt 31) | url=http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200506/cmhansrd/cm050707/debtext/50707-31.htm | accessdate=2005-12-15 ]
The men had previously clashed over claims in Galloway's autobiography (see below
Galloway is seen as an adept wordsmith and debater. For example, according to the Boston Globe
[cite news | title=News / World / Europe / Britain's Galloway turns into media hero | url=http://www.boston.com/news/world/europe/articles/2005/05/19/britains_galloway_turns_into_media_hero/ | accessdate=2005-12-15 | publisher=The Boston Globe ]
he is "known, even in the highly articulate world of British politics, for his memorable turns of phrase," whereas the Times
[cite news | title=Times Online | url=http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-1616897_2,00.html | accessdate=2005-12-15 | publisher=The Times ]
finds that he has "the gift of the Glasgow gab, a love of the stage and an inexhaustible fund of self-belief." The Guardian
[cite news | title=Special Reports : Bagdhad, Washington, South Shields | url=http://politics.guardian.co.uk/otherparties/story/0,9061,1501189,00.html | accessdate=2005-12-15 | publisher=The Guardian ]
finds him "renowned for his colourful rhetoric and combative debating style" and the Spectator
once awarded him Debater of the Year. Sometimes this general acknowledgment of Galloway's rhetorical capacity is accompanied by criticism that he is evasive (Scotsman,
[cite news | title=George Galloway - Galloway bluster fails to convince Senate | url=http://news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=818&id=540962005 | accessdate=2005-12-15 | publisher=The Scotsman ]
"ducked the question"). His remarks can be sampled at Wikiquotes.
[cite web | title=http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/George_Galloway (See above) | url=http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/George_Galloway | accessdate=2005-12-15 ]
Controversies at University debating societies
On 2 November 2006
, The Times
reported that Galloway was in a fracas at the Oxford Union
He was there to discuss his book
(cite book | title=Fidel Castro
Handbook | year=2006 | id=ISBN 1-84072-688-1 | last=Galloway | first=George | publisher=MQ Publications
| authorlink=George ).
His views on democracy
were barracked by the audience, whom he described as "hunting, shooting and fishing types" and from the "rugby club". Three former state school
students who met him afterwards and disputed this description received offensive foul-mouthed abuse from Galloway in return, who claimed: "I don’t represent anyone’s views. I represent me. I don’t give a f**k what anyone else thinks."
He also told them: "You are confusing me with someone who gives a f**k." When the students tried to get Galloway to apologise, he asked for them to be removed from the room, but they left of their own accord.
His comments have been criticised by several MPs, including Boris Johnson
, who said: "there’s no need to swear"; and Steven Pound
, who said: "If he wishes to be respected by anyone other than Fidel Castro he should apologise." http://www.cherwell.org/news/i_dont_give_a_f_k http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2432861.html http://www.oxfordstudent.com/mt2006wk4/Editorial/gallo_go_away
On the 6 November 2006
in a debate
at the University College Cork
, Philosophical Society
, speaking in proposition of the motion "That this house believes the US foreign policy
is the greatest crime since World War II
", Galloway controversially stormed out after being accused of collusion with dictators by the opposition speaker; Irish film
and television producer Gerry Gregg
. The accusations of the producer were not well received by Mr. Galloway. Galloway confronted Gregg directly and insisted that he withdraw the allegations. After Gregg, a former member of Sinn Féin
and the Workers' Party
, refused to withdraw the comments, Galloway left the auditorium and abandoned the debate. Many of the audience of 500 walked out in sympathy with the MP. Galloway threatened legal action and informed Gregg that his solicitor
would contact him the following morning. He also remarked that Gregg would probably be able to afford the lawsuit with an abundance of counterfeited money. Despite being afforded the right to reply, he declined it and he was subsequently spotted in a local kebab shop
adjacent to the college . The debate continued and the motion was defeated by those present by a clear margin, mainly due to the fact that most of Mr. Galloway's supporters had already left. http://www.uccphilosoph.com/wiki/index.php/157th_Session_%282006/2007%29
In 1998 Galloway founded the Mariam Appeal
, intended "to campaign against sanctions on Iraq which are having disastrous effects on the ordinary people of Iraq". The campaign was named after Mariam Hamza, a single child flown by the fund from Iraq to Britain to receive treatment for leukaemia
. The intention was to raise awareness of the suffering and death of hundreds of thousands of other Iraqi children due to poor health conditions and lack of suitable medicines and facilities, and to campaign for the lifting of the Iraq sanctions
that many maintained were responsible for that situation.
The fund received scrutiny during the 2003 Gulf war, after a complaint that Galloway used some of the donation money to pay his travel expenses.
[cite web | title=Galloway cleared on appeals fund | url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/3847287.stm | accessdate=2006-10-12 ]
Galloway said that the expenses were incurred in his capacity as the Appeal's chairman. Although the Mariam Appeal was never a registered charity and never intended to be such, it was investigated by the Charity Commission
. The report of this year-long inquiry, published in June 2004,
[cite web | title=The Mariam Appeal | url=http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/investigations/inquiryreports/mariam2.asp | accessdate=2005-12-15 ]
found that the Mariam Appeal was doing charitable work (and so ought to have registered with them), but did not substantiate allegations that any funds had been misused.
Oil for Food
On 22 April
, 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 program
[cite news | title=Vindication: There Is An Unholy Alliance | url=http://frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=18223|publisher=Front Page Mag ]
Galloway completely denied the story, insisted that the documents were forgeries, and pointed to the nature of the discovery within an unguarded, bombed-out building as being questionable. He instigated legal action against the newspaper, which was heard in the High Court from 14 November
(HQ03X0206, George Galloway MP vs. Telegraph Group Ltd.)
On 2 December
, Justice David Eady ruled that the story had been "seriously defamatory", and that the Telegraph
was "obliged to compensate Mr Galloway... and to make an award for the purposes of restoring his reputation". Galloway was awarded £150,000 damages plus costs estimated to total £1.2 million. In UK libel cases, the winning party is also normally awarded costs, with the loser paying the bill. The court did not grant leave to appeal; in order to appeal in the absence of leave, the defendants would have to petition the House of Lords.
The libel case was regarded by both sides as an important test of the Reynolds qualified-privilege defence.
[cite web | title=Reynolds v. Times Newspapers Ltd and Others 1999 UKHL 45; 1999 4 All ER 609; 1999 3 WLR 1010 (28th October, 1999) | url=http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKHL/1999/45.html | accessdate=2005-12-15 ]
The Daily Telegraph
did not attempt to claim justification (a defence in which the defendant bears the onus of proving that the defamatory reports are true): "It has never been the Telegraph's
case to suggest that the allegations contained in these documents are true".
[cite news | title=UK : Politics : Galloway wins Saddam libel case | url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/4061165.stm | accessdate=2005-12-15 | publisher=BBC ]
Instead, the paper sought to argue that it acted responsibly because the allegations it reported were of sufficient public interest to outweigh the damage caused to Galloway's reputation. However, the court ruled that, "It was the defendants' primary case that their coverage was no more than 'neutral reportage' ... but the nature, content and tone of their coverage cannot be so described."
The issue of whether the documents were genuine was likewise not at issue at the trial. Each side had tried to get some independent confirmation that they were genuine (the Telegraph
) or were not (Galloway). The Telegraph
hired Ibrahim Marashi, the author of the so-called second "dodgy dossier", to verify the documents. In his opinion they were genuine, although this has never been verified in court.
lost their appeal on 25 January
, the same day as Galloway's Big Brother
eviction, and on 15 February
, the newspaper announced it would not be seeking leave to appeal
The Christian Science Monitor
also published a story on 25 April
, stating that they had documentary evidence that he had received "more than ten million dollars" from the Iraqi regime. However, on 20 June
, the Monitor
[cite news | title=Galloway papers deemed forgeries : csmonitor.com | url=http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0620/p01s03-woiq.html | accessdate=2005-12-15 | publisher=Christian Science Monitor ]
that their own investigation had concluded the documents were sophisticated forgeries, and apologised. Galloway rejected the newspaper's apology, asserted that the affair was a conspiracy against him, and continued a libel claim against the paper.
The Christian Science Monitor
settled the claim, paying him an undisclosed sum in damages, on 19 March
[cite news | title=UK : Politics : Galloway accepts libel damages | url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/3549679.stm | accessdate=2005-12-15 | publisher=BBC ] [cite news | title=Guardian Unlimited : Special reports : Galloway wins damages for Iraq libel | url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1174073,00.html | accessdate=2005-12-15 | publisher=The Guardian ]
It emerged that these documents had first been offered to the Daily Telegraph
, but they had rejected them. The documents' origin remains obscure.
In January 2004, a further set of allegations were made in al-Mada
, a newspaper in Iraq. The newspaper claimed to have found documents in the Iraqi national oil corporation showing that Galloway received (through an intermediary) some of the profits arising from the sale of 19.5 million barrels (3,100,000 m³) of oil. Galloway acknowledged that money had been paid into the Mariam Appeal by Iraqi businessmen who had profited from the UN-run programme, but denied benefiting personally, and maintained that, in any case, there was nothing illicit about this:
It is hard to see what is dishonourable, let alone "illicit", about Arab nationalist businessmen donating some of the profits they made from legitimate UN-controlled business with Iraq to anti-sanctions campaigns, as opposed to, say, keeping their profits for themselves.
The report of the Iraq Survey Group
published in October 2004 claimed that Galloway was one of the recipients of a fund used by Iraq to buy influence among foreign politicians. Galloway denied receiving any money from Saddam Hussein's regime. The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards
had begun an investigation into George Galloway but suspended it when Galloway launched legal action. On December 14, it was announced that this investigation would resume.
wikinews|U.S. Senate subcommittee accuses UK and French politicians of accepting Iraqi oil thumb|Evidence presented to the Committee (contract M/9/23); George Galloway's name appears next to Fawaz Zureikat in a different font and at an angle to the rest of the text on that line (number 23 in the list).
In May 2005, a U.S. Senate committee report
[cite news | title=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/11_05_05_psi_report.pdf | url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/11_05_05_psi_report.pdf | accessdate=2005-12-15 | publisher=BBC ]
accused Galloway along with former French
minister Charles Pasqua
of receiving the right to buy oil under the UN's oil-for-food scheme. The report was issued by the US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations
, chaired by Senator Norm Coleman
, a Republican
. The report cited further documents from the Iraqi oil ministry and interviews with Iraqi officials. No comment was made on whether the documents have been investigated for evidence of forgery.
Coleman's committee said Pasqua had received allocations worth 11 million barrels from 1999 to 2000, and Galloway received allocations worth 20 million barrels from 2000 to 2003. The allegations against Pasqua and Galloway, both outspoken opponents of U.N. sanctions against Iraq in the 1990s, have been made before, including in an October report by U.S. arms inspector Charles Duelfer
as well as in the various purported documents described earlier in this section. But Coleman's report provided several new details. It also included information from interviews with former high-ranking officials now in U.S. custody, including former Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz
and former Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan
. Among the claims is that there is new evidence to suggest that the Mariam Appeal, a children's leukaemia
charity founded by Galloway, was in fact used to conceal oil payments. The report cites Ramadan as saying in an interview that Galloway was allocated oil "because of his opinions about Iraq."left|thumb|Detail of contract M/12/14 (click on image for high-resolution version)Socialist Worker
[cite news | title=How they forged case against Galloway:21May05:Socialist Worker | url=http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/article.php4?article_id=6511 | accessdate=2005-12-15 | publisher=Socialist Worker ]
(also reproduced in the weekly printed publication) reported what they say is evidence that the key Iraqi oil ministry documents regarding oil allocations, in which Galloway's name appears six times (contracts M/08/35, M/09/23,
[cite web | title=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Galloway_Evidence.jpg | url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Galloway_Evidence.jpg | accessdate=2005-12-15 ]
[cite web | title=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Galloway_Evidence_2.jpg | url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Galloway_Evidence_2.jpg | accessdate=2005-12-15 ]
[cite web | title=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Galloway_Evidence_4.jpg | url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Galloway_Evidence_4.jpg | accessdate=2005-12-15 ]
) have been tampered with. They published a copy of contract M/09/23 and allege that George Galloway's name appears to have been added in a different font and at a different angle to the rest of the text on that line. In these documents (relating to oil allocations 8-13), Galloway is among just a few people whose nationality is never identified, whilst Zureikat is the only one whose nationality is identified in one instance but not in others.
[In the relevant oil allocation tables 8-13, there are 634 allocations (in the main tables, excluding unsigned contract sections). Excluding the Zuraykat/Galloway entries, only 17 do not name the nationality either in brackets or as part of the entity name. 8 of those 17 are accounted for by just three names - which are also the only non-Zuraykat/Galloway entries to be unsigned in allocations 10-13 (Abu al Abbas: 13/40, 11/50, 10/28; Mrs Hamida Na'ana: 8/70, 11/100, 13/26; Shakir al Khafaji: 8/117, 10/24). In allocations 8-9, a further 9 names are listed once, with nationality unsigned. See http://www.lib.umich.edu/govdocs/pdf/duelfer1_eab.pdf Duelfer Report Annex B for the original and full version of the oil voucher accounting forms.] Socialist Worker
is a publication of the Socialist Workers Party, which is in alliance with Galloway in RESPECT - the Unity Coalition.
On 17 May
, the committee held a hearing concerning specific allegations (of which Galloway was one part) relating to improprieties surrounding the Oil-for-Food programme http://hsgac.senate.gov/audio_video/051705video.ram video
. Attending Galloway's oral testimony and inquiring of him were two of the thirteen committee members: the chair (Coleman) and the ranking Democrat
[http://hsgac.senate.gov/index.cfm?Fuseaction=Hearings.Detail&HearingID=232 Full Realvideo and Transcripts of SubCommittee 'Galloway' Hearing]
Upon Galloway's arrival in the US, he told Reuters, "I have no expectation of justice from a group of Christian fundamentalist and Zionist activists under the chairmanship of a neo-con George Bush". Galloway described Coleman as a "pro-war, neo-con hawk and the lickspittle of George W. Bush", who, he said, sought revenge against anyone who did not support the invasion of Iraq.
In his testimony, Galloway made the following statements in response to the allegations against him:
[cite news | title=Galloway v the US Senate: transcript of statement| url=http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-1616578,00.html | accessdate=2005-12-15 | publisher=The Times ]
Senator, I am not now, nor have I ever been, an oil trader. and neither has anyone on my behalf. I have never seen a barrel of oil, owned one, bought one, sold one - and neither has anyone on my behalf. Now I know that standards have slipped in the last few years in Washington, but for a lawyer you are remarkably cavalier with any idea of justice. I am here today but last week you already found me guilty. You traduced my name around the world without ever having asked me a single question, without ever having contacted me, without ever written to me or telephoned me, without any attempt to contact me whatsoever. And you call that justice.
He questioned the reliability of evidence given by former Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan
, stating that the circumstances of his captivity by American forces calls into question the authenticity of the remarks. Galloway also pointed out an error in the report, where documents by The Daily Telegraph
were said to have covered an earlier period from those held by the Senate. In fact the report's documents referred to the same period as those used by the The Daily Telegraph
, though Galloway pointed out that the presumed forgeries pertaining to the Christian Science Monitor
report did refer to an earlier period.
Galloway also took the occasion of his Senate testimony to denounce the invasion of Iraq as having been based on "a pack of lies". The U.S. media, in reporting his appearance, emphasized his blunt remarks on the war. The British media, however, gave generally more positive coverage; TV presenter Anne Robinson
said Galloway "quite frankly put the pride back in British politics" when introducing him for a prime time talk show.
[cite news | title=Galloway and the mother of all invective | url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,1486417,00.html | accessdate=2005-12-15 | publisher=The Guardian ] [cite news | title=UK ovation for U.S. showdown MP - May 19, 2005 | url=http://edition.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/europe/05/19/galloway/ | accessdate=2005-12-15 | publisher=CNN ]
The transcript of George's evidence to the Senate was added to the Senate Committee's website and then removed approximately 24 hours later. There is now just the comment on the website that "Mr Galloway did not submit a written statement". http://hsgac.senate.gov/index.cfm?Fuseaction=Hearings.Detail&HearingID=232 http://www.poe-news.com/stories.php?poeurlid=48343 http://www.opednews.com/hartmann_052905_galloway_interview.htm
Alleged false or misleading testimony
A report by the majority (Republican party) staff of the US Senate Committee on Investigations published in October 2005 asserted that Galloway had given false "or misleading"
[http://hsgac.senate.gov/_files/PSIREPORTGallowayOct05FINAL.pdf Report Concerning the Testimony of George Galloway before the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations - MAJORITY STAFF OF THE PERMANENT SUBCOMMITTEE ON INVESTIGATIONS 10/25/05]
testimony under oath when appearing before them. The report exhibits bank statements seeming to show that £85,000 of proceeds from the Oil-for-Food Programme had been paid to Galloway's then-wife Amineh Abu-Zayyad. Galloway reiterated his denial of the charges and challenged the U.S. Senate committee to charge him with perjury. He claimed Coleman's motive was revenge over the embarrassment of his appearance before the committee in May.
[cite news | title=UK : UK Politics : Galloway challenges US senators | url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/4374534.stm | accessdate=2005-12-15 | publisher=BBC ] [cite web | title=RESPECT - The Unity Coalition - News | url=http://www.respectcoalition.org/?ite=905 | accessdate=2005-12-15 ] [cite news | title=America, United States, Times Online, The Times, Sunday Times | url=http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,11069-1841396,00.html | accessdate=2005-12-15 | publisher=The Times ]
Later he said that his "...wife has denied ever having received any money from Dr al-Chelabi.".
[cite web | title=RESPECT - The Unity Coalition - News | url=http://www.respectcoalition.org/?ite=908 | accessdate=2005-12-15 ]
Former Iraqi deputy prime minister Tariq Aziz
, according to his lawyer, denied claiming that Galloway had received illicit funds, as has been reported by some newspapers.
[cite news | title=http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/newsArticleSearch.aspx?storyID=45619+30-Oct-2005+RTRS | url=http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/newsArticleSearch.aspx?storyID=45619+30-Oct-2005+RTRS | accessdate=2005-12-15 | publisher=Reuters ]
Galloway has been involved in several publishing companies
. He owned Asian Voice
, which published a newspaper called East
from 1996. An investigation by BBC
programme found that Galloway had secured payments of £60,000 and £135,000 from the Pakistani governments of Benazir Bhutto
and Nawaz Sharif
. Galloway insisted this was for advertising space and bulk copies, but Newsnight alleged that it was for favourable coverage of Pakistan.
He is currently one of two Directors of Finjan Ltd.; the other Director is his former wife. In May 2005, he launched a new publishing house, Friction
, an imprint that will publish "books that burn, books that cause controversy and get people talking."
His autobiography, I'm Not The Only One
, was published on 29 April 2004
. The book's title is a quotation from "Imagine
" by John Lennon
. Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram
applied for an interim interdict to prevent the book's publication. Ingram asserted that Galloway's text, which stated that Ingram "played the flute in a sectarian, anti-Catholic, Protestant-supremacist Orange Order
band", was in bad faith and defamatory, although Ingram's lawyers conceded that for a year as a teenager he had been a member of a junior Orange Lodge in Barlanark, Glasgow, and had attended three parades. The Judge, Lord Kingarth, decided that he should refuse to grant an interim interdict, that the balance of the arguments favoured Galloway's publisher and that the phrase "sectarian, anti-Catholic, Protestant-supremacist" was fair comment on that organisation. Although Ingram was not and never had been a flute-player, the defending barrister observed that "playing the flute carries no obvious defamatory imputation ... it is not to the discredit of anyone that he plays the flute."
. The judge ruled that Mr. Ingram should pay the full court costs of the hearing. The interim edict was denied, but Mr. Ingram is still entitled to pursue a damages-seeking defamation action.
|title=George Galloway - Minister fails to stop Galloway sectarian claim
Celebrity Big Brother
In January 2006 Galloway made an appearance on Channel Four
's Celebrity Big Brother
in which he lived in a house for three weeks with another ten celebrities (model Jodie Marsh
, US basketball star Dennis Rodman
, entertainer Michael Barrymore
, television star Traci Bingham
, actress Rula Lenska
, Dead or Alive
singer Pete Burns
, Singer Maggot from the satirical rap group Goldie Lookin' Chain
, ex-FA Secretary Faria Alam
, Singer Samuel Preston
and unknown model Chantelle Houghton
). He said it was a "chance to show a large and different audience what I'm really like" and that he went in "to get away from constant telephone and email traffic, and for the chance to make new and unexpected friends". His spokesman Ron McKay revealed that if he won, he would give the prize money to Interpal
, a Palestinian charity. A percentage of the proceeds from viewers voting by phone and text also goes to the charity of the participant's choice.
Galloway's decision to enter the Big Brother house for up to three weeks was criticised. The actress Helen Mirren
- a constituent who had endorsed Oona King
in 2005 - described his actions as "deserting" his constituency and said that his interest in participating in the programme was just self-interest.
[cite web | title=The Sun online, Galloway 'deserter' blast | url=http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2006000002-2006010178,00.html | accessdate=2006-01-07 ] The Guardian
posed as a constituent wanting their MP's involvement in solving a problem with their home, but claimed after many phone calls that they could only get through to his media agent.
[cite web | title=Guardian online, In search of gorgeous George | url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,1681096,00.html | accessdate=2006-01-07 ]
Galloway's consistuency office denied the substance of this article. Galloway's office issued a prepared statement which said he went on Big Brother "for Palestine" and to reach "the biggest audience I will ever have" for his political message. He added that he hoped "to reach this mass, young, overwhelmingly not yet political audience with our simple case".
[cite web | title=Galloway gives his reasons for taking on Big Brother | url=http://www.respectcoalition.org/?ite=960 | accessdate=2006-01-07 ]
Although Galloway often talked politics while in the house, Channel Four edited out almost all of his statements and opinions because of rules set by the regulator Ofcom
requiring broadcasters to present a balance of views on a subject of controversy. At one point, however, the producers organised a UK vs USA debate, where Galloway took the side opposed to the USA. After leaving the house, Mr Galloway expressed surprise at the censorship, stating "Not only did I not know I'd be censored, I was told by the Big Brother
producers I would not be".
[cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4655324.stm|title=Galloway: I was promised soapbox|work=BBC ]
Galloway was seen and heard telling Rula Lenska
(with whom he got on well) that Saddam Hussein was "not hated" by ordinary Iraqi people.
[cite news|url=http://politics.guardian.co.uk/backbench/comment/0,,1684479,00.html|title=Diary|author=Hugh Muir|work=The ]
On day four the housemates were asked to arrange themselves in order of fame from most famous to least famous and he placed himself at number four out of the eleven. He later suggested - in a conversation with Rula Lenska
- that globally he may have the most fame, claiming that practically all of the 1.3 billion Muslims in the world know of him. To win food and drink for his fellow housemates, the Big Brother
producers set a task in which Galloway or Lenska had to pretend to be a cat. As a result, Galloway was seen on all fours, licking 'cream' from a 'bowl' (the cupped hands of Lenska). Those critical of Galloway have suggested that he did not show himself in a good light.
Many media organisations found local people in Bethnal Green who stated their regret for having supported Galloway following his appearance on Big Brother
. The Sunday Mail
suggested that "all those disgruntled constituents were Labour Party activists in Bethnal Green who are raging because George ousted their candidate".
[cite news|url=http://www.sundaymail.co.uk/news/tm_objectid=16612912&method=full&siteid=64736&headline=who-cares-quiff-george-is-on-bb---name_page.html|title=WHO CARES QUIFF GEORGE IS ON BB?|work=Sunday ]
On Wednesday, 25 January 2006
, Galloway was evicted from the show. He was shocked to learn of the impression people had of him inside the Big Brother
House as well as the political interest. He had a particularly public spat with BB Aled
from The Chris Moyles Show
, which had carried out a light-hearted non-scientific survey which found 92% of responders disliked Galloway. When questioned about it by Aled, Galloway seemed dismissive.
[cite web|url=http://www.eastlondonadvertiser.co.uk/content/towerhamlets/advertiser/news/story.aspx?brand=ELAOnline&category=news&tBrand=northlondon24&tCategory=newsela&itemid=WeED26%20Jan%202006%2012%3A08%3A23%3A640|title=Galloway press conference sparks row|work=East London ]
Fellow contestant Dennis Rodman
leapt to Galloways defense, saying that he was a '...very respected person in this country...', and that if Aled called Galloway an "old man
", he would be '...in his ass.' This caused much amusement to Chris Moyles
and the other members of his show.
George Galloway said he "meant everything he said" inside the house. Labour MP Stephen Pound
assessed the likely reaction in the world of politics, saying "When he returns to the House of Commons there's going to be such a chorus of 'Meow.' He'll have a saucer of milk waiting for him and a litter tray." Pound called Galloway's stint on the reality show a "slow-motion car crash.".
[cite web|url=http://thisislondon.com/showbiz/articles/21516694|title=Claws out for Galloway|work= Galloway however said that "that two out of three objectives have been successful. The Palestinian charity has benefited from my time in the house. The employment of two new constituency workers from my £150,000 fee has been achieved. The third goal of engaging with younger people remains to be seen".] [cite web|url=http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/article341261.ece|title=So what if he wore a leotard? Constituents back Galloway|work=The ]
Galloway compared his activities in the house to the sort of things news readers do to raise money for charity on Children in Need and Red Nose Day. He added that "Other MPs might have been at the House of Commons, and some of them might have been propping up the bars. Other MPs might have been on exotic foreign trips, fact-finding in the Seychelles or the Maldives. I was trying something different".
[cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4649200.stm|title=Galloway 'not ashamed' by antics|date=2006-01-27|accessdate=2006-09-17|work=BBC ]
He is set to earn £150,000 from his appearance on Celebrity Big Brother, but will write a cheque to the taxpayer for the percentage of his parliamentary salary he has drawn during his stay in the house.
[cite news|url=http://www.sundayherald.com/53564|title=Galloway: pledge to pay back taxpayers’ money to cover absence|work=Sunday ]
On 11 March 2006, George Galloway started broadcasting on Britain's biggest commercial radio station, the UTV-owned talkSPORT.
Billed as 'The Mother Of All Talk Shows', Galloway starts every broadcast by playing the theme from the Top Cat cartoon series. Being the only left wing presenter on the station, he's attracted some biting criticism from fellow presenters - including Charlie Wolf - but has stayed firm and has had some memorable blazing rows with callers.
UTV said that Galloway was pulling in record call numbers and the highest ever ratings for its weekend slots, even pulling in more than the station's Football First programme.
In March 2006 Galloway claimed that Mazher Mahmood, an undercover reporter for the News of the World who uses a disguise as a sheikh to frame celebrities, targeted him in an alleged sting operation. Galloway claims that Mahmood and an accomplice tried and failed to implicate him in illegal party funding, and to agree with anti-semitic statements. Galloway has written to the Metropolitan police commissioner, Sir Ian Blair, and the speaker of the House of Commons about the incident. He has also said that he will reveal Mahmood's true identity and other aspects of his activities. http://media.guardian.co.uk/site/story/0,,1742346,00.htmlhttp://www.respectcoalition.org/?ite=1027 The News of the World lost a High Court action to prevent publication of photographs of Mahmood, but immediately won a temporary injunction preventing Galloway from doing so, allowing it to appeal the judgment. http://media.guardian.co.uk/presspublishing/story/0,,1747520,00.html
Fidel Castro Handbook
Galloway also published the Fidel Castro Handbook, a biography of the Cuban leader in 2006 (MQ Publications. ISBN 1-840726-88-1).
* Actor John Malkovich once said Galloway was one of two people "he'd like to kill" (CBC)http://www.cbc.ca/thehour/video.php?mode=q&save=1&id=1185
*http://georgegalloway.com/ GeorgeGalloway.com. Official George Galloway website.
*http://www.respectcoalition.org/ RESPECT - The Unity Coalition. Official party website.
*http://www.mrgallowaygoestowashington.com mrgallowaygoestowashington.com official site for book tour.
*http://politics.guardian.co.uk/person/0,9290,-1864,00.html Guardian Unlimited Politics - Ask Aristotle: George Galloway MP
*http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/george_galloway/bethnal_green_and_bow TheyWorkForYou.com - George Galloway MP
*http://publicwhip.org.uk/mp.php?mpn=George_Galloway The Public Whip - George Galloway MP voting record
*http://www.traprockpeace.org/international_movement/ mp3s of Galloway speaking at London International Peace Conference, 10th Dec 2005
*http://ia300837.eu.archive.org/1/items/grapple-in-the-big-apple/grapple-in-the-big-apple_64kb.mp3 Galloway Vs. Hitchens Debate Sept 2005
*http://hitchensweb.com/GallowayLeafletFINAL.pdf Christopher Hitchens' attack leaflet of selected Galloway statements, including quotes admiring unelected dictators.
*http://slate.msn.com/id/2126121/ George Galloway Is Gruesome, Not Gorgeous by Christopher Hitchens, Slate.com, September 13 2005.
:(Prequel to Galloway vs Hitchens debatehttp://www.baruch.cuny.edu/bpac/calendar/event.php?id=142 held at CUNY, September 14 2005.)
*http://www.archive.org/details/Galloway_21Feb06 Galloway speaks in Manchester, UK, 21st Feb 2006 about local elections. Video, Chris Edwards
*http://tv.oneworld.net/article/view/104450 Galloways speaks in Manchester, UK, 6th Oct 2004 about European Social Forum. Video, Chris Edwards
*http://www.indybay.org/news/2004/03/1672626.php Galloway speaks at Manchester Town Hall, UK, 29th Feb 2004 about launch of Respect. Video, Chris Edwards
*http://tv.oneworld.net/article/view/104573 Galloway speaks in Manchester, UK, 22nd November 2003 on future of anti-war movement. Video, Chris Edwards
*http://tv.oneworld.net/article/view/104591 Galloway speaks in Manchester, UK, 8th Nov 2003 about next steps for the anti-war movement. Video, Chris Edwards
*http://tv.oneworld.net/article/view/104466 George Galloway speaks in Manchester, UK, 9th May 2003 about media witch hunt. Video, Chris Edwards
*http://www.thecouchtripper.com/georgegalloway/ Audio and video archive
*http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=EvilGoblin Unofficially Gorgeous - Huge video archive
Articles and news reports
*Sky News Interview - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Box3JJ2o2RM&mode=user&search= Clip of George Galloway's interview on Sky News - Lebanon-Israeli War of Summer 06
*Al-Jiran. http://www.memri.org/bin/opener_latest.cgi?ID=SD103705 Iraqi author Fadhil Rashad: George Galloway, You Will Be Tried Just Like Your Friend and Benefactor Saddam Hussein. November 30, 2005.
*The Independent http://news.independent.co.uk/world/politics/article312968.ece George Galloway vs. Christopher Hitchens, September 16, 2005.
*Zirin, Dave. http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=15&ItemID=8718 Mr. Galloway Goes to Washington. Znet September 13, 2005
*Sunday Herald http://www.sundayherald.com/51112 George Galloway - personal interview August 7, 2005.
*BBC. http://rinf.com/news/jun-05/galloway.html George Galloway interview on "What's the problem?". June 10, 2005.
*McKay, Ron. http://www.sundayherald.com/49602 Galloway Beats New Labour and the Ghost Voters. Sunday Herald. May 8, 2005.
*Greenslade, Roy. http://politics.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,9115,1483078,00.html No need for balance. The Guardian. May 13, 2005.
*Alliance for Workers Liberty. ">http://www.workersliberty.org/node/view/3967?PHPSESSID=3c3118119bdab992100b3aeabdd0fe2c Would You Vote For This Man?: "Respect" and George Galloway. Solidarity 3/70. March 31, 2005.
*Waraich, Omar http://www.CounterPunch.org/waraich02242005.html The Galloway Saga: Smearing an Antiwar Politician. CounterPunch (newsletter). Feb 24, 2005.
*BBC. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4061165.stm Galloway Wins Saddam Libel Case. December 2, 2004.
*Abu Dhabi TV. ">http://www.memritv.org/Search.asp?ACT=S9&P1=372 British MP Galloway: US and British Governments Will Burn in "Hell-Fires". November 20, 2004.
*The Scotsman. http://news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=818&id=742532004 Galloway Iraq appeal cleared of impropriety over funds. June 29, 2004.
*The Guardian. http://politics.guardian.co.uk/labour/page/0,9067,1069422,00.html Special Report: George Galloway Expulsion from the Labour Party. April 25, 2004.
*Al Jazeera. http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/F70955DA-D1AA-41DF-AC4D-40001BCE0403.htm So what do I believe in? transcript of speech. October 30, 2003.
*Watson, Richard. http://www.hvk.org/articles/0403/242.html Why the MP went begging to Pakistan. The Daily Telegraph, April 26, 2003.
*The Scotsman. http://news.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=565562003 Indefatigably yours. Personal interview, 19 May 2003
*New Worker.http://www.geocities.com/ncpcentral/galloway.htm End the blockade on Iraq 1998 interview
*Cherwell (newspaper) http://www.cherwell.org/news/i_dont_give_a_f_k 'I don't give a f**k' 2006
US Congressional testimony & related
*http://traprockpeace.org/george_galloway_tour_sep05.html mp3s of Galloway's speeches made during his tour of US, 13-24th Dec 2005
*http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/article.php4?article_id=7676 Unspinning the US’s web of lies against Galloway, Socialist Worker, 5 November 2005
* http://www.nysoundposse.com/2006/02/event-mp-george-galloway-and.html?wikipedia mp3 of George Galloway vs. Christopher Hitchens, September 14, 2005
*http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article322108.ece Galloway lied over Iraqi oil payments, says Congress report, Rupert Cornwell, The Independent, October 25 2005
*http://hitchensweb.com/OilForFood.pdf Christopher Hitchens' documentation of the Oil for Food issue, September 2005
*http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/005/641kyjkk.asp Unmitigated Galloway, Christopher Hitchens, Weekly Standard, May 30, 2005
*http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/article.php4?article_id=6511 How they forged the case against Galloway, Socialist Worker newspaper, May 21, 2005
*http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,1486417,00.html "Galloway and the mother of all invective", The Guardian newspaper, May 18, 2005
*Link to full video recording of hearing in this BBC News report:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4556113.stm Galloway takes on US oil accusers, BBC, May 17 2005
*http://www.crooksandliars.com/2005/05/17.html#a2978 UK's Galloway blisters US policy on Iraq on MSNBC Crooks & Liars: audio and video
*Two http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,156803,00.html Fox News reports: one short and sceptical; the other is a longer recording of Galloway's testimony, Fox News, May 18 2005
*http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0505/17/se.01.html Transcript of Galloway's comments, CNN
*http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-1616578,00.html Full Text of Galloway's statements, Times online
*http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article8869.htm Galloway's statements including senators questions
*US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, 12 May 2005, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/11_05_05_psi_report.pdf "Report on oil allocations granted to Charles Pasqua & George Galloway"
succession box | before=Roy Jenkins | title=Member of Parliament for Glasgow Hillhead | years=1987-1997 | after=constituency
succession box | before=constituency created | title=Member of Parliament for Glasgow Kelvin | years=1997-2005 | after=constituency
Incumbent succession box|title=Member of Parliament for Bethnal Green and Bow|before=Oona