15 May 2005


Not a lot in the Sundays on George Galloway apart from this in the Independent on Sunday – not bad in that some of the key issues are dealt with towards the end, but spoilt by leading on Galloway's bluster about McCarthyism and far too concerned with the side-issue of whether Galloway benefited personally from the oil-for-food scandal.

As I've said, as Harry has said (much more convincingly and at greater length), whether or not Galloway personally trousered the cash isn't what matters – it's whether his political campaigning for Saddam Hussein was financed directly or indirectly by Saddam Hussein.

As for Galloway's fate compared with the victims of Senator Joe McCarthy – well, give us all a break. McCarthy was a right-wing populist demagogue who had no evidence for his claims that there were 205 (or was it 57, or was it 81?) card-carrying members of the Communist Party in key positions in the US administration. He exploited fear about (real) Soviet espionage to create a climate of hysteria.

Galloway is accused specifically, on the basis of evidence that deserves, prima facie, to be taken seriously, of at least accepting and possibly procuring money from a murderous totalitarian regime that had failed to comply with UN resolutions after invading one of its neighbours. And he did so, the evidence suggests, to act as a propagandist for that regime. It's not McCarthyism to demand that he accounts for his actions.

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