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Saturday, May 21, 2005


Letter in today's Independent
Sir: The last time I met George Galloway, around the time of his expulsion from the Labour Party, he told me: "Tell your New Labour editor to stick his questions up his arse." So I think it's fair to say I don't particularly owe him anything.

But I will say this: I recall, as a young news agency reporter in, I think, 1989 or 1990, reporting on the unveiling of a memorial in a Glasgow park to Kurds massacred by Saddam Hussein's forces. The main speaker at the event passionately condemned Saddam and his treatment of the Kurds, which at that time had received very little publicity. That speaker was George Galloway. He was the only politician there. And not a single newspaper, in Scotland or further afield, used the copy. And it was quite good copy, even though I say so myself.


I've said it before & no doubt will again, that whenever the media start reporting alleged human rights abuses it is purely because they are working up to getting our approval for killing people. The above is a fair example. A current one would be the way we keep threatening Sudan, which dares to sell its oil to China, but do nothing in the far worse situation in Congo or the reporting of our friend Uzbekistan, where no opportunity has been lost to play down the level of murder & assure us that everything is peaceful now, compared to that in Belorus, which the Americans listed as one of the 8 worst regimes in the world purely because the people had freely voted for a pro-Russian leader.

Of all the politicos who have said it doesn't matter that WMDs were a lie, they always wanted "regime change" I would be interested to see if there is a single one who with a record half as good as George's - or if, in future years, there will be a single one who will publicly support democracy in Iraq when the next Washington installed "strong leader" stops Iraqi Shias democratically voting for friendship with Iran.

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