26 February 2017 | 9 °C

Galloway Over a Barrel?

By sizemore Last edited 141 months ago
Galloway Over a Barrel?
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A US Senate report claims that George Galloway and former French minister Charles Pasqua were granted potentially lucrative oil allocations by Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Galloway has already won one libel suit against the Telegraph over similar claims, although the US is quick to point out that the new allegations "have no relation" to those discussed in the earlier suit.

Galloway never one to shy from taking the offensive claims that "These are the same false allegations which are still the subject of a libel action with the Daily Telegraph - so far I'm £1.6m up." He also stated:

"I have never traded in a barrel of oil... This is a lickspittle Republican committee, acting on the wishes of George W Bush."

The most interesting part of the story so far to Londonist's ears is that Galloway has "written and e-mailed repeatedly" requesting the opportunity to appear before the committee and rebut the claims, but they "have yet to respond".

Galloway standing before the US Senate and letting loose his well practiced rhetoric against his accusers? We're drooling at the thought of seeing that happen. We also feel a little sorry for the Americans involved who are probably more used to people 'pleading the fifth' and their own muzzled press not rocking the boat. Galloway, well used to crossing swords with the likes of Jeremy Paxman, should provide excellent fodder for Jon Stewart if he ever gets to have his say over there.

Last Updated 12 May 2005

James

What makes you think the American press is "muzzled"? In the context of libel law (which, after all, is the gist of your blog entry), surely you'd agree that there's greater press freedom in the US than on this side of the sink?

British libel law is unquestionably more restrictive than its American counterpart -- and Galloway's notorious litigiousness has created a chilling effect on Fleet Street.

So if anyone's able to rock the boat -- and Gorgeous George's in particular -- it'll be a US investigative journalist afforded the protection of the First Amendment and the qualified privileges of American libel law. What's remarkable is that it hasn't happened yet, though this congressional development may well change that.

I would agree with you, however, were you to suggest the US press is restricted by vested corporate interests (not that they would have much bearing on a press investigation of George Galloway, mind you).

Anyway, this is all much of a muchness. And you're right, Galloway on the Daily Show would be bizarre. Personally, I favour letting Triumph the Insult Comic Dog loose on him...

Mike

Agreed on vested corporate interests then. Maybe I should have said 'neutered' instead of 'muzzled'...

The Daily Show had a nice piece on the British election Question Time special in comparison with the Dubya 'Town Hall' sham meetings. It would be fun to see what they did with this story...

Will

Ours isn't as free as it could be, what with so much power concentrated in the hands of a few owners (one in particular) and those lovely D-notices.