The British Politics Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by DarthKarde, Apr 8, 2003.

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  1. AJA Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 1998
    star 4
  2. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 7
    400?! Out of what 600 and some.

    What?!
  3. AJA Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 1998
    star 4
    Not the House of Commons, local elections.
  4. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 7
    [face_laugh]

    Ahh. I was going to say: wipeout!
  5. DarthKarde Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2002
    star 5
    It is not a surprise, but it is the biggest problem I have with Europe, and it goes back to what I was talking about. Nazism and Communism were both spawned from European socialism. No good has come of it, and it is the sole cause of the economic stagnation that causes present-day Europe to resent the US. It is an ideology that, when it wins out completely, results in repressive dictatorship. I have no problem in offending those sensibilities.

    While I don't seek to keep this thread off topic but I have to respond to this. Socialism does not in any way lead to repressive dictatorship any more than free market economics. Both left and right wing systems have led to dictatorships all around the world. Furthermore neither nazism or communism are the same ideology as socialism, both nazism and communism (in the forms that it has mainly been implemented in the 20th century) have revolved arounded Authoritarian ideas where the goal is to give greater power to the state. Socialism is not based on giving greater power to the state, although this is an inevitable result, but using the aparatus of the state to help the individual and the pursuit of social justice. While it may share some economic ideals with nazism and communism it is a completely different ideology. Your refusal to accept this shows you ignorrance and simplistic view of the situation.

    We already know that the French and Russians were opposed to the war for similar reasons. Chirac is a personal friend of Saddam, for pete's sake. The anti-war movement as a whole is funded and organized by organizations that work hand-in-hand with Kim Jong Il. Why would this Galloway situation be any surprise? It fits a pattern that should be clear as day by now, but for the willful obfuscation of the media and academic community.

    Since you refer to him as 'this Galloway' it appears that you know nothing of him other than the fact that he is anti-war. From this you draw conclusions that have no evidence in support of them and are based on generalisations.

    I understand the Tories may pick up as many as 400 seats in May.

    400 gains would be a very good night, the party is predicting only 30 gains although that is a classic case of under estimating your predicted gains. Anything less than 200 will probably be seen as a failure.
  6. Undomiel Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2002
    star 4
    AJA,

    Yes please! I enjoy reading your writing. You didn't think I was condescending to you did you??? Nope. Completely serious.
  7. AJA Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 1998
    star 4
    Undomiel- I have to admit I didn't even considered that possibility. I've gotten so used to sarcastic abuse here I guess it's made me cynical. Much appreciated.

    DarthKarde- Since this discussion keeps going I've started another thread, wherein I've responded to your point about socialism.

    As for Galloway, I read the news article, along with an editorial, on the Telegraph website. I think I have a fairly good idea what his story is. He was resoundingly heckled in Parliament when the war was won from what I recall.
  8. AJA Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 1998
    star 4
    Does not look good for Mr. Galloway.

    Memo from Saddam: We can't afford to pay Galloway more
    By David Blair in Baghdad
    (Filed: 23/04/2003)



    Saddam Hussein rejected a request from George Galloway for more money, saying that the Labour backbencher's "exceptional" demands were not affordable, according to an official document found by The Daily Telegraph in Baghdad.

    The letter from Saddam's most senior aide was sent in response to Mr Galloway's reported demand for additional funds. This was outlined in a memorandum from the Iraqi intelligence chief disclosed yesterday in The Daily Telegraph.

    Mr Galloway denies receiving any money from the regime. He claims that any documents purporting to show this are forgeries planted by western intelligence agencies to try to discredit him.

    The latest document purported to convey a personal decision from Saddam and was circulated to four of the most senior figures in the former regime, including Tariq Aziz, the deputy prime minister. It indicates that Mr Galloway's affairs were discussed at the highest level.

    Its disclosure, if accurate, shows that there were limits to Mr Galloway's success in wresting commercial opportunities from Iraq. But it adds to the impression that he was working closely with the most senior apparatchiks of a regime that he repeatedly professed to oppose.

    The letter, which was found in the files of the foreign ministry, was dated May 2, 2000, and marked "Confidential and Personal". It refers to the date and reference number of the intelligence chief's memo, which specifically asked for Saddam's decision on Mr Galloway's alleged requests.

    The letter opens by saying that "Mr President, our leader, God bless him", was ordering a committee to look into the matter. The committee's members were the recipients of the letter and read like a who's who of the elite of the Saddam regime.

    Taha Yassin Ramadan, the vice-president, Izzat Ibrahim, Saddam's deputy on the Ba'ath Party's Revolutionary Command Council, Ali Hassan al-Majid, a senior general who ordered gas attacks on Kurdish villages, and Mr Aziz were all included.

    So was Mohammed Said al-Sahaf, then foreign minister, who was later nicknamed "Comical Ali" when he served as the ever-optimistic information minister.

    But Saddam pre-empted any conclusions that the committee might have reached. Referring to Mr Galloway in the dictator's familiar idiom as the man "promoting the right path", the letter says: "The belief is that . . . even using western methods [he] needs exceptional support which we cannot afford and I do not think we can promise to do that if we consider it according to our policy. Please act and let us be informed."

    The letter is signed by Gen Abid Hamid al-Khattab, of the president's secretariat. Gen al-Khattab ran Saddam's private office and was included in the handful of officials who had constant access to him.

    He was widely viewed as one of themost powerful figures in Iraq. A copy of the letter was sent to the foreign minister, Mr Sahaf, hence its presence in the foreign ministry files. It was found in the same pale blue folder, stamped with the Iraqi eagle, as the intelligence chief's memorandum.

    Saddam was rejecting two specific requests allegedly made by Mr Galloway, as recorded in the intelligence chief's memorandum. The first was for a greater share of the profits from oil exports.

    The memorandum said that Mr Galloway was already receiving between 10 and 15 cents per barrel of three million barrels exported every six months: an annual sum of at least £375,000.

    Mr Galloway's second reported request was for "exceptional commercial and contractual" opportunities with three ministries and the state electricity commission. These requests for more sources of income fell on deaf ears, but Saddam's decision not to allow them did not apply to Mr Galloway's existing deals.

    Before Saddam issued his rejection, Mr Galloway sent his "work programme" for 2000 to Mr Aziz. Saddam's office had approved it and Mr Aziz passed the document to four cabinet m
  9. DarthKarde Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2002
    star 5
    As for Galloway, I read the news article, along with an editorial, on the Telegraph website. I think I have a fairly good idea what his story is. He was resoundingly heckled in Parliament when the war was won from what I recall.

    It's not unusual for him to be heckled in Parliament and during the war he was heckled by the Chief Whip.

    Anway I wouldn't write him off just yet. If he does win his libel case he will be able to portray himself as the victim of a smear campaign. A huge battle will be taking place inside the Labour Party in Glasgow, Mr Galloway's constituency, Glasgow Kelvin disapears at the next election as part of boundary changes, most of it will be replaced by the new Glasgow Central constituency where Mr Galloway expects to stand. He has a lot of support amongst local activists and his constituency chairman has already come to his defense calling this a smear campaign. Attempts by the party to deselect him will not be easy and will probably be long and messy. He also plans to stand as independant if he is deselected, with the strength of local support for him it could be an interesting fight. Of course if he loses his libel case he will be finished.

    While I don't know all the facts of the matter I don't see how anyone could have received money from the Iraqi regime through the oil for food programme. It is my understanding that all money raised through this programme is held by the UN on behalf of Iraq. I await the libel case with interest.
  10. TheScarletBanner Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Oct 19, 2002
    star 4
    Heh, if it's true that Galloway was in Saddam's pay, that's one in the face for all the anti-war protestors over here, who continually had him at their marches, promoting their so-called "moral cause."

    I don't see why the Telegraph would make such a claim without substantial evidence. As far as I can tell, it's not right-biased, and it is quite a reputable broadsheet.

    - Scarlet.
  11. AJA Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 1998
    star 4
    Sounds to me like Galloway is knee deep.

    To my earlier point about the BNP, this execerpt from an article in the Guardian seems to back up my analysis:

    Mr Bourne's words echo those famously used by Margaret Thatcher in 1978. The then leader of the opposition's comments about Britain being "swamped by an alien culture" were held to be partly responsible for the collapse in the National Front vote the following year and the subsequent Conservative election victory.


    The rest of the article, which characterizes the reaction to this comment as a "race row", bears out the fact that anyone who brings up asylum is branded racist. The comment was:

    "We do have concerns about asylum. It is an issue of great concern for those of us who feel there is a part to play for genuine asylum seekers. But we don't want to be swamped by the massive numbers we have seen coming in so far," the Welsh assembly member told BBC Radio Wales.

    Mr Bourne later told the Press Association: "I don't think it is a pejorative term.

    "That is how people see it. I was very careful in my choice of language. People do feel swamped. It is a very real concern. Obviously genuine asylum seekers are welcome. But a great many are not genuine. They are economic migrants.

    "I am proud of being British as are most people, including asylum seekers. But it does not assist good race relations by not talking about it and saying there was not a problem. People are rightly concerned about it."
  12. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 7
    So, the BNP is descended from the National Front, or "is the" formentioned.

    Not good.
  13. TheScarletBanner Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Oct 19, 2002
    star 4
    The BNP and the NF were/are different organisations. I think the NF still exists, albeit on a microscopic scale. The BNP became prominent after the NF began to decline.

    - Scarlet.
  14. DarthKarde Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2002
    star 5
    I don't see why the Telegraph would make such a claim without substantial evidence. As far as I can tell, it's not right-biased, and it is quite a reputable broadsheet.

    Well the Telegraph is by far the most right wing of all British daily newspapers but I agree that it would not make up such a story. If these documents are fakes or forgeries then I would imagine that the Telegraph were simply duped as opposed to being involved in a conspiracy.
  15. GivePeaceAChance Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 18, 2002
    star 1
    The Telegraph is definitely very right wing but The Guardian (a left-wing paper) today ran an article basically backing The Telegraph up. There seems to be something fishy about the way in which the journalist stumbled across the files (The Guardian is hinting that there might be a high-level smear campaign) but the reporter and the paper seem to be legit.
  16. DarthKarde Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2002
    star 5
    Some interesting analysis

    Should Labour fear the Muslim vote?

    And here is proof if anyone needed it that it is utterly impossible for mainstream political parties to take a hard line on asylum without being branded racist.

    Morgan attacks Tories over asylum

    The first minister said: "The Tories, when they think they're about to lose really heavily, always play the race card. That's what Nick Bourne is doing.


  17. Red-Seven Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 21, 1999
    star 5
    Blair to rule out early vote on Euro

    Tony Blair has agreed to rule out an early referendum on British entry to the euro after Gordon Brown insisted this week that the Treasury's five economic tests point to a decisive no.


    The chancellor flew on Tuesday from his Scottish constituency to Chequers, the prime minister's country residence, to try to thrash out a deal on the issue that has become a running sore between the two men.

    Mr Blair, who had already privately ruled out a referendum this year, is still determined to keep open the option of joining the single currency later in this parliament. But the chancellor's downbeat assessment of his five economic tests also makes the prospect of a referendum next year look highly unlikely.

    A document presented to the prime minister by the chancellor two or three weeks ago suggested Britain would fail four of his five tests. It concluded that only the least important test - whether joining would benefit the financial services industry - was likely to be passed. The document raised fundamental questions about whether the eurozone economies were flexible enough to allow for the effective operation of a single monetary policy.




    Political posturing is one thing, but my opinion (albeit that of an anglophilic yank) against adopting the Euro has always been based on economic, fiscal and monetary reasons. It appears Gordon Brown is finally throwing his full weight against the Euro in the short term, not just his looming (though receeding in the past year) shadow.



    Guardian - Galloway story
    From the left-liberal broadsheet...
    George Galloway conceded last night that intermediaries in his fund-raising activities could have siphoned off money from Saddam Hussein - but insisted he had never done so.

    As the Labour MP fought to counter allegations that he received up to £375,000 a year from the Iraqi regime, Mr Galloway revealed the full amount given to the Mariam Appeal - the organisation he founded to fly a young Iraqi leukemia victim to Britain for medical treatment and which then became a campaign against Iraqi sanctions - and pledged to release further figures today.

    Speaking to the Guardian from his holiday home in Portugal, Mr Galloway said there was a "possibility" that third parties had taken money from the former Iraqi dictator.

    He also conceded he was open to criticism for collecting money from what he called "unlikely quarters". But he insisted he personally had received "no money from anybody".

    Mr Galloway's comments came after the Daily Telegraph printed documents, discovered in a burnt-out foreign ministry building in Baghdad and purporting to be from an Iraqi spy chief, that suggested he had demanded money from the Iraqi regime under the oil-for-food scheme. "Irrespective of the provenance of the documents the material in them is false", the MP for Glasgow Kelvin said yesterday.

    There was no evidence he had ever traded in oil, or food, or money, Mr Galloway said. "I have not," he insisted.

    Yesterday, the allegations intensified as the attorney general, Lord Goldsmith QC, in his capacity as protector of charities, confirmed he was considering whether to inves tigate claims Mr Galloway had misspent money raised by the Mariam Appeal

    It has been alleged that he had spent the money - purportedly intended to treat sick Iraqi children - on extensive travelling expenses. But Lord Goldsmith is taking legal advice to assess if he has the power to investigate the appeal, which has not registered as a charity.

    ...The information failed to satisfy colleagues in Westminster, however. Downing Street refused to be drawn on the allegations - with the prime minister's spokesman saying that, with a libel action in the offing, they would not comment on the "serious allegations". But MP
  18. Darth_Asabrush Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2000
    star 5
    I'm gonna vote Green if a candidate stands at the local elections.

    I tend to vote Tory but I'm fed up with them. They need to get it together as a Party before they get my vote.


    I can't bring myself to vote Labour. They have had plenty of opportunity to do great things with Southampton but have failed. Our council leader also supports the expansion of the port (Dibden Bay) on to wetlands. a key area for breeding birds and a sight of natural beauty. While this may have positive economic factors it will have a disastrous environmental impact. Our council leader is a Labour councillor.

    Some will say its a wasted vote but it only takes few to start things rolling.
  19. Red-Seven Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 21, 1999
    star 5
    Galloway is cooked. The Telegraph, the Guardien...now the Monitor joins the fray with documents.

    I know nothing is proven (nothing really ever is), but my inclination is that this is for real, and not fabricated. Full disclosure: I can't hide my loathing of the man, and bias. Colour me utterly unsurprised, though.

    New Files raise heat
    A fresh set of documents uncovered in a Baghdad house used by Saddam Hussein's son Qusay to hide top-secret files detail multimillion dollar payments to an outspoken British member of parliament, George Galloway.

    Evidence of Mr. Galloway's dealings with the regime were first revealed earlier this week by David Blair, a reporter for the Daily Telegraph in London, who discovered documents in Iraq's Foreign Ministry.

    The Labour Party MP, who lambasted his party's prime minister, Tony Blair, in parliamentary debates on the war earlier this year, has denied the allegations. He is now the focus of a preliminary investigation by British law-enforcement officials and is under intense scrutiny in the British press, where the story has been splashed across the front pages.

    The most recent - and possibly most revealing - documents were obtained earlier this week by the Monitor. The papers include direct orders from the Hussein regime to issue Mr. Galloway six individual payments, starting in July 1992 and ending in January 2003.

    The payments point to a concerted effort by the regime to use its oil wealth to win friends in the Western world who could promote Iraqi interests first by lifting sanctions against Iraq and later in blocking war plans.

    The leadership of Hussein's special security section and accountants of the President's secretive Republican Guard signed the papers and authorized payments totaling more than $10 million.

    The three most recent payment authorizations, beginning on April 4, 2000, and ending on January 14, 2003 are for $3 million each. All three authorizations include statements that show the Iraqi leadership's strong political motivation in paying Galloway for his vociferous opposition to US and British plans to invade Iraq.

    ...Galloway - a colorful Scot who is sharp of suit and even sharper of tongue - made regular visits to Iraq, and was dubbed by conservatives in Britain as an "apologist for Saddam Hussein." He once told the dictator, "Sir, I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability."

    In Parliament, Galloway, an MP since 1987 and a controversial figure, has championed the plight of Iraq, and blasted Blair for going to war in league with President Bush in his "crusade" against the Muslim world. He labeled Blair and Bush "wolves" for attacking Iraq, sparking a firm rebuttal from Blair, who called the remarks "disgraceful."

    Galloway has vehemently denied he accepted any cash payments from the regime, initially, suggesting the documents may have been forged. The outspoken Labour Party member called earlier Daily Telegraph stories about his dealings a "smear campaign" against war opponents, and his lawyers have initiated legal proceedings against the newspaper.

    Repeated efforts to contact Galloway, who is currently traveling in Portugal, were unsuccessful. No one answered at his House of Commons office, and his mobile phone was switched off.

    David Blair, the British reporter who first broke the story, told the BBC: "I think it would require an enormous amount of imagination to believe that someone went to the trouble of composing a forged document in Arabic and then planting it in a file of patently authentic documents and burying it in a darkened room on the off-chance that a British journalist might happen upon it and might bother to translate it. That strikes me as so wildly improbable as to be virtually inconceivable."
  20. TheScarletBanner Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Oct 19, 2002
    star 4
    Galloway could, in theory, be tried for treason under a several-hundred year old act that prevents people from receiving monetary compensation from a known enemy of the Crown, I believe. I shall have to look into it. That is, if he doesn't commit suicide or is bumped off before.

    Either way, Labour must drop him immediatley, and if Galloway knew what was good for him, he'd resign. He has brought the name of the House of the Commons and the Labour Party into disrepute.

    - SCarlet.
  21. Darth_Asabrush Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2000
    star 5
    Yes. He could be tried from teason. This holds a maximum sentence of life in prison.
  22. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 7
    Now, is Galloway just a member of the Commons or does he have a place in the Labour gov't too?

    If he resigns, will they have to hold a "special election" or what happens?
  23. DarthKarde Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2002
    star 5
    He is not a member of the government but a Labour party backbencher. There would only be an election if he resigned his seat in the House of Commons. If he resigned from the party he would see out this parliament as an independant MP.

    I don't see him resigning, he will play the 'victim of a conspiracy' role and use his libel case to darg this out. The Labour party is unlikely to take action over this incident until after the case as this would be 'sub justice'.

    I must admit he looks guilty as sin although I stand by comments when I said I hope he didn't do it. While disagreeing with him on most subjects I have always had a grudging admiration for Galloway. IMO society needs men who will break taboo's and support unpopular causes, and who speak for minorities who feels that politics doesn't normally represent them. Galloway has done this throughout his 16 years in Parliament and before that as a Councilor in Dundee. If this is spoiled by him being in the pay of one of the most evil men on the planet I will be saddened.

    One thing that cannot be taken away from Galloway however is that he was one of the first people to see the dangers of western support for the Mujahideen in Afghanistan. As far back as 1987/88 he warned of the consequences of creating a beast that would never be controled.
  24. AJA Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 1998
    star 4
    IMO society needs men who will break taboo's and support unpopular causes, and who speak for minorities who feels that politics doesn't normally represent them.

    Even if they're doing it at the behest of foreign dictators? ?[face_plain]

    One thing that cannot be taken away from Galloway however is that he was one of the first people to see the dangers of western support for the Mujahideen in Afghanistan. As far back as 1987/88 he warned of the consequences of creating a beast that would never be controled.

    The supposed link between the Afghan Mujahedeen and Bin Laden is not what it's been made out to be. Bin Laden travelled there from Sadui Arabia and fought with them, but it was these same Mujahedeen who made up the Northern Alliance that helped us overthrow the Taliban. Another empty accusation that only works on people who don't know the truth.
  25. BlueMules Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 3
    So, the Talibans and the Tajiks are the same Mujahiddins that was supported by the US/ Westerners?

    While I found that hard to be true.. I guess I should take your word on it?
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