EXCLUSIVE: ATS Interview With George Galloway

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posted on Jun, 17 2005 @ 08:12 AM
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George Galloway is a British politician, and the RESPECT Member of Parliament for Bethnal Green and Bow in East London. He was previously a Member of Parliament for the Labour Party, representing the Glasgow constituencies of Hillhead (1987-1997) and Kelvin (1997-2005), but he was expelled from the Labour Party in October 2003 because of controversial statements he made about the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

 


Together with some other opponents of that war, in January 2004 he formed a new political party, RESPECT The Unity Coalition, and was returned to Parliament as its candidate in the 2005 general election.

In May 2005, a US Senate report accused George Galloway of receiving the right to buy oil under the UN's oil-for-food scheme. The report cites further documents from the Iraqi oil ministry, and interviews with Iraqi officials. No comment is made on whether the documents have been investigated for evidence of forgery.

After e-mailing his political party, RESPECT and discussion with them the possiblity of George Galloway giving us an interview, they kindly accepted my offer. At first, I thought a press officer was going to answer our questions, but George Galloway answered them himself.

For more information about George Galloway and The RESPECT Party please visit their website: Here.


INTERVIEW



Abovetopsecret.com: 1/ First let me congratulate you on you victory in Bethnal Green and Bow ( I don't want to make the same mistake Paxman did). You've been a Labour Party member for many years. If invited back under different leadership would you accept? Are there any circumstances you can foresee under which you might rejoin the Labour Party ?

George Galloway: Only if the Labour party rejoined me. It's not just a question of leadership - Brown is simply Tweedlee to Blair's Tweedledumb - it's the basic philosophy of the party, which has changed out of all recognition to the one I joined. I cannot envisage any circumstances in which the party I knew can come back to me.


ATS: 2/ Now that you are representing Respect in Parliament and not Labour have your views changed concerning electoral reform ?

GG: Not at all. I've always been in favour of electoral reform, of a fairer representative system, like PR, and, obviously, I still feel that.

ATS: 3/ This is a fun question. Imagine if you would that due to unlikely circumstances the Queen invites you to form a Government of National Unity. Selecting from all sides of both houses, if necessary, which politicians would you choose to serve in cabinet under your premiership and why ?

GG: This isn't a fun question, it's a mad question. There are politicians I admire for their facility, but none I'd want on a tiger shoot with me, or in the next office of state. If you want my tip for a future leader of New Labour, after Brown, it would be David Miliband. Shrewd, clever, televisual. I can't thole (a Scottish term) what he stands for, mind you. But Parliament is a bubble, insulated from the real world and the boys and girls inside it simply don't get it. I'd be looking outside of parliament for my cabinet, and of course the first law passed would be to remove Queen as head of state. I hear she has lately taken possession of an iPod, so i'd give her a bit of advice on playlists, heavily Dylan-centred.

ATS: 4/ One of your main criticism of the Blair government over recent years has been the slavish way it has followed U.S foreign policy. A question I've not heard asked of you is your opinion on a stronger united European foreign and defence policy to act as an alternative and effective counter to the U.S on issues like the Middle East crisis for instance. Should the UK act with total independence on these issues or cultivate this alternative ?

GG: I'm very much a European, although not of the Blair/Chirac sort. They are for the kind of Europe the majority of the population oppose, and for the failed constitution, which tried to impose a neo-liberal agenda on Europe. That idea of Europe is dead, thankfully. What we need is a bond of nation states, united by common interests, like welfare, like defence. The idea, also, that we have an independent military is laughable, if it wasn't so costly. We are almost entirely dependent on the United States, particularly for our so-called nuclear capability. We should scrap our moth-eaten nuclear armoury immediately, which would be a substantial cost benefit to the taxpayer. And I'm not sure the Chiefs of Staff could even tell us who these weapons are aimed at now, since the Cold War is long dead. A European defence force, difficult to achieve I grant you, would, I'm sure, be a cheaper and more sensible option. It won't happen in my lifetime because thee are too many vested interests in
favour of the shrinking status quo. Look at all the fuss there's been about merging regiments recently.

ATS: 5/ You've vehemently critised Saddam Hussein's dictatorship since he came to power yet you've opposed any coordinated international action to depose him because either through sanctions or invasion the innocent Iraqi people have borne the brunt. So how should murderous dictators be deposed or is it not the international communities responsibility to intervene ? Without wishing to pre-empt your answer to this question I'd hope for a more positive response than that you wouldn't of sold him arms in the first place. The geo-politics of the 1970's and 80's during the cold war would have ensured somebody would have.

GG: Where do we stop and who makes the judgment to start? Do you want to invade Zimbabwe and remove Mugabe? Are our troops being inoculated against malaria for their incursion into Darfur? Is there a pecking order of nastiness and do we do a number-count of the dead with a bar, say 10,000 killed, over which we jump into action? Does the UN take action against countries which repeatedly flout its resolutions? In which case, see you in Tel Aviv. But even if I believed in it, and I don't, the United Nations, the manifestation of the international community, would never be able to intervene anywhere, because the US (and British) veto would prvent it. And, anyway, America has created or sustained most of the world's despots. So, you see, I don't accept the premise of your question. I don't believe we have the right to interfere militarily in anybody else's country. I do believe in defence and in the preservation of democracy so I would have been one of the first to sign up if I had been
around in the time of the Second World War.

ATS: 6/ In your opinion why did George W Bush take the U.S.A into war against Iraq ? What were his primary motivations and considerations ?

GG: A mixture of reasons. Unfinished business. He believes his father was weak and should have marched on to Baghdad when he had the chance in the first Gulf War. The preservation of oil. Iraq may well be the most oil-rich country in the world, even more than that well-known bastion of democracy, Saudi Arabia, it's certainly the second-biggest with, also, almost incalculable reserves. The preservation of Israel, having a puppet state in the centre of the richest mineral earth in the world. And it was also playing out the neocon philosophy that this should be the American century. Did I mention stupidity and megalomania?

ATS: 7/ Why, do you believe, did Tony Blair take the UK into war against Iraq ?

GG: I once asked him about his cosy relationship with the US and how he justified it. He answered that it allowed Britain to punch above her weight. That is a strong part of it, although it is difficult to see the tangible benefits we've received for holding Bush's jacket in Iraq. I think, also, religion played a part. I think he strongly believed that Saddam was evil, as he undoubtedy was, but that he had a divine sanction to remove him. God is clearly not talking to him about other evil dictators.

ATS: 8/ Large sections of the British media have waged a concerted campaign against your integrity over recent years. What are your views on press freedom and the balance of power between elected politicians and unelected journalists ? Are libel laws sufficient to protect the British public from similar campaigns ?

GG: I'm a bit of a connoisseur of libel, as you may know. And I've put not just my house and cash on the line but my parliamentary future on suing the Daily Telegraph, because I would be bankrupted and thrown out of Westminster if I lose the final round in October. But the system isn't fair, because the costs involved are huge and there is no legal aid. I'm not saying there should be, but there should be stronger defences against lies and vilifications visited on politicians and others by powerful media barons. I don't have any pat answers, but I know that the PCC and its ilk are a joke. How about a system of suspensions, like in football, so that if, say, The Sun publishes something untrue about someone it's red-carded and suspended from publishing for a month. Or forever?

ATS: 9/ I believe you've said that you will stand down in Bethnal Green and Bow at the next general election in favour of a local candidate. Will you be standing in an alternative London seat ?

GG: I will be standing down at the next election and I hope that someone of Bengali descent will take my place. And I think that is very likely. But I don't intend to give up politics. I will, almost certainly, stand in another seat. And probably in London, but there are four or five years to consider the options. I don't intend to go quietly into the good night, which you may be unsurprised to hear.

ATS: 10/ Your appearance before the U.S senate committee hearing has brought you international acclaimation. Many saw it as a clash of political cultures. What response have you had from the American media and public ?

GG: I think you're right, it was a clash of political cultures. Our adversarial system versus their much more sedate and deferential. I've had more than 15,000 emails to my House of Commons address, the vast majority coming from the US. And that is clearly the tip of the iceberg, because it isn't that easy to find the address. There is clearly a huge body of people there who feel totally disenfranchised by the system and I think I was able to give voice to them, if only temporarily. But I intend to return to the USA and foment as much troble for Bush and his consensus as I can. I'm hoping to go on a speaking tour in the autumn.

I would like to thank George Galloway for taking part and I would like to thank John Bull 1 for providing the questions. I also would like to thank RESPECT for giving us the time to speak to George Galloway.

[edit on 17-6-2005 by John bull 1]




posted on Jun, 17 2005 @ 08:42 AM
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Excellent work whoever you are, a good read.



posted on Jun, 17 2005 @ 09:19 AM
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Cheers,

we are very lucky to have got him



posted on Jun, 17 2005 @ 09:25 AM
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I'm afraid to say i was one of the people that said you wouldn't get him.

How wrong i was
sterling work





[edit on 17-6-2005 by Burgess]



posted on Jun, 17 2005 @ 09:33 AM
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Bravo to ATS for interviewing this wonderful man who had the guts to stand up and say, "I'm mad as hell and not going to take it anymore!" And then actually do something about it. A man of the people for the people. There are few enough like him - anywhere in the world. Respect...now there's a concept because it seems to me that the vast majority of all politicians are smiling to our faces while stabbing us in the back. I am so disillusioned by what I see, George Galloway is a breath of fresh air instead of hot and empty air all the time.

He was just in Toronto this week speaking on his experience with the US Senate. Couldn't make it, but sure wish I had.



posted on Jun, 17 2005 @ 09:38 AM
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Originally posted by Burgess
I'm afraid to say i was one of the people that said you wouldn't get him.

How wrong i was
sterling work



its ok, i didnt think we would get him either...

this is the proudest day of my life



posted on Jun, 17 2005 @ 09:55 AM
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You have voted infinite for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have one more vote left for this month.


Good job infinite, and kudos’ to John Bull and ATS.
I look forward to Mr. Galloway visiting North America again his speaking tour will be very interesting I believe.



posted on Jun, 17 2005 @ 10:20 AM
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Holy crap infinite! If you don't get the way above award then something's wrong!


Brown is simply Tweedlee to Blair's Tweedledumb

But how do you really feel Mr Galloway?


I once asked him about his cosy relationship with the US and how he justified it. He answered that it allowed Britain to punch above her weight. That

Fascinating, the whole interview, fascinating.



posted on Jun, 17 2005 @ 11:06 AM
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Excellent work infinite, good interview. Thanks



posted on Jun, 17 2005 @ 11:27 AM
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Excellent interview. I am sorry I've used all my way aboves for the month (something I've never done before). Next acquisition will get you one of mine, even if it is belated.

Mr. Galloway sounds to be a man I could definitely live with in a political role. Maybe he ought to come to the US and live here a few years ... If it worked for Das Ahnuld, you never can tell!


However... I guess he's probably well enough off where he is and a good man is a good man is a good man. "CHEERS"!



posted on Jun, 17 2005 @ 12:09 PM
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ive e-mail REPSECT to thank them for their time



posted on Jun, 17 2005 @ 01:37 PM
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Wow! What a great coup for ATS! infinite, you did a wonderful job! It must be terribly difficult to pick the right questions to ask, and then ask them so well.

[qoute]Our adversarial system versus their much more sedate and deferential.

That's an understatement! I wonder how a US President would hold up, on the pit of the Senate floor, being directly challenged, and having to defend themselves. That is one thing I really envy about the UK governemnet. You really have to have some grit to be PM, unlike the wimpy Presidents, like Bush, that we have.

Galloway sounds like an intelligent, stand-up guy, full of integrity. I 've heard various allegations, in various degrees of lunacy, leveled against him. From what I've seen, and read, he's no where near as nuts as some claim. In fact, it seems that the lunatics are running the asylum!



posted on Jun, 17 2005 @ 02:01 PM
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Galloway sounds like an intelligent, stand-up guy, full of integrity. I 've heard various allegations, in various degrees of lunacy, leveled against him. From what I've seen, and read, he's no where near as nuts as some claim. In fact, it seems that the lunatics are running the asylum!


Galloway is nothing more than a failed corrupt idiot who frankly will speak to anybody that is prepared to listen.Glad to see Infinite is brining in some British politics into ATS.It is a pity nobody asked George if he has seen this site and which topic (apart from political) interest him, but l doubt he would respond to well if the conversation drifted from the Blair/Bush rubbish he is only intersted in talking about.



posted on Jun, 17 2005 @ 02:58 PM
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Great interview, always good to see what Mr.Galloway has to say.

One of those 15,000 emails was from me to congratulate him on his appearance at the U.S senate hearing.

A man of integrity regardless of what lies the media have tried to tarnish him with. His only faults are to question authourity and to be a firebrand, hardly things not to be proud of



posted on Jun, 17 2005 @ 03:55 PM
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Nice one Infinite! Definately a coup for ATS, good read to boot!

I don't dish them out often, but here it is:




You have voted infinite for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have two more votes this month.


Ps..... Infinite, I thought you where taking some time out recently, or was I mistaken? Seen you about plenty since I read that thread.....



[edit on 17/6/05 by stumason]



posted on Jun, 17 2005 @ 04:15 PM
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Ps..... Infinite, I thought you where taking some time out recently, or was I mistaken? Seen you about plenty since I read that thread.....


I was, but i couldnt leave...ATS means alot to me



posted on Jun, 17 2005 @ 04:19 PM
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An excellent intervew Infinite and John Bull.
I don't agree with his idea to red-card the media though.



You have voted infinite for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have two more votes this month.


dh

posted on Jun, 17 2005 @ 04:47 PM
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Unfortunately, like so many famed left wing types, George fails to address the real truths, appears to think the UN ok, accepts the background ideology and information, accepts the geopolitics and referring to 'within my lifetime' - a vision of failure - anybody with a grasp of the agenda knows we must turn things around- and fast
He fails to penetrate the deception that he's been victim to, and isn't challenged on it
Sorry, infinite, he should have been challenged on 9/11 and wasn't
A grave error - Alex Jones got out of him that a further 'operation' is a possiblity - George knows the score, though he's loathe to expose stuff unless he's put on the spot



posted on Jun, 17 2005 @ 05:14 PM
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Excellent work and a very interesting read.

I actually liked the red card idea.......it would certainly make those lying scumbags think twice with their lies if they were to lose a month or 2 or 3 etc's worth of publishing.

It's not as if we only have one or two papers now is it?



posted on Jun, 17 2005 @ 05:34 PM
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I actually liked the red card idea.......it would certainly make those lying scumbags think twice with their lies if they were to lose a month or 2 or 3 etc's worth of publishing.


I liked the idea too

George Galloway, love him or hate him, he does stand by his guns and he is an intelligent person. Plus he was kinda enough to gives us an interview when many have failed








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