Galloway is Suspended, Laughs
Here's the full text of the parliamentary report on which the 18-day suspension of George Galloway was based. Within the terms of their investigation the Parliamentary standards committee found that Galloway had used undeclared money from a foreign government to wage a political and advocacy campaign. This fact, while there was no proof that Galloway had personally pocketed money, lay at the root of their decision to recommend suspension.
As we have demonstrated in this report, we agree with the Commissioner that there is strong circumstantial evidence that the Oil for Food Programme was used by the Iraqi government, with Mr Galloway's connivance, to fund the campaigning activities of the Mariam Appeal. In acting as he did, Mr Galloway breached the advocacy rule and damaged the reputation of the House. We believe he was complicit in the concealment of the true source of the funds for the Mariam Appeal. He was also in our view reckless in the terms of the authority he gave Mr Fawaz Zureikat to act in his name in relation to the Mariam Appeal. Further he was clearly irresponsible in refusing to enquire into the source of Mr Zureikat's substantial donations. His obligations to the House under the advocacy rule required nothing less, given the dependence of the Appeal at that point on those donations.
The motion to censure Galloway was based on the narrowest of grounds. He essentially misled Parliament about the fact that he was receiving money from a foreign government, probably paid for by humanitarian funds diverted for the purpose to act as an "advocate". To this Galloway retorted that he ought to be given a medal for his actions. The Respect MP's trademark response to criticism has been to characterize it as illegitimate.
In the broader sense Galloway has escaped censure. The ideological point of view he espouses and even the methods used, are, but for certain procedural ommissions still regarded as legitimate. The Counterterrorism Blog has a roundup which puts Galloway in his proper context. He's not some deranged loner but a canny operator who has found himself a niche in a booming political market.
UK Hospital Security Must Be Tightened.
Daily Telegraph and Sky News reported on the poor security in British NHS hospitals. The Daily Telegraph stated that "Poor security in hospitals could give terrorists working in the NHS easy access to deadly chemicals and viruses, an expert warned yesterday. Hospitals are 'just as vulnerable as any nightclub', a security management specialist based in a London hospital told the Health Service Journal." Sky News reported that security management specialist stated "Most hospitals give staff cards that let them into certain areas, but it's easy to lend someone your pass...That could give them access to X-ray machines, isotopes, chemicals and disease slides. It could be days before anyone realized a virus was missing.' "
UK Security Minister: UK monitoring 30 terror cells, 2000 suspects.
Australian News reported that UK Security Minister Alan West told BBC radio that "Britain's security services believe up to 30 Islamist militant cells are plotting attacks and they are monitoring 2000 suspects and another 2000 sympathisers". Security Minister West was reported as saying: "There are 30 that are actually being looked at very closely indeed because they have got to the stage where they are gathering materials and doing things which could lead in fairly short term to doing something if they wanted to. This means that effectively about 2000 individuals are being monitored in varying degrees of closeness and probably about another 2000 loosely connected to them. The scale of this whole thing is quite dramatic."
As can be seen from the scale of the threat and the depth of their penetration even into that most elite of professions, medicine, the radicalization of Muslims intellectuals, especially in the West, continues apace. That implies that people like Galloway, however egregious and disgusting, will have a measure of protection from a very real political constituency even if he did not already have it from the Left.
Many of the British responses to the problem have been in the character of a European state. Control orders. Restrictions on travel. Speech codes. But it's not clear that these measures are winning the battle of the narrative, which as Colonel Killcullen said, is the fuel of a distributed insurgency. Galloway and the radical Islamists have a simple story with one victim, the ummah; one villain, the Shylock Jew; and one stooge; the Anglosophere which continues to do the Jew's bidding; and one duty which is Jihad.
It is the this repetitive dinning of the narrative, this return ever and again to the same storyline despite any facts it may encounter, which accounts for its persistence. Thus Galloway can say with a straight face, time after time, "I deserve a medal". Why? Because I fought for Palestinians beneath the Jewish bootheel. I opposed the War for Oil. The fact that neither of these events actually exists is beside the point. It exists from continuous assertion. It is willed into fact. I was amused, but not surprised to learn that in a certain Islamic school in Sydney, fully 80% of the students believed that the tsunami which devastated parts of Indonesia was caused by an American nuclear bomb test. In other parts of the world, it is thought that the Jews caused 9/11. That the WTC was destroyed by controlled demolition and that a missile hit the Pentagon. The narrative goes on despite any inconvenient facts. It repeats its points until they are indisputable. And not all the control orders, electronic shackles, preventive detentions and speech codes can substitute for a counternarrative. The West has gone mute from embarrassment, leaving even the chronicling of its injuries to its enemies.
The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it.