If you lie through your teeth and unleash hell on the people of Iraq and Afghanistan you receive a standing ovation in parliament and are appointed “peacemaker for the Middle East”.
But if you oppose illegal wars, no stone will be left unturned to smear you and you will be judged to have “damaged the reputation of parliament ”.
That is the thrust of campaign against Respect MP George Galloway. The report by the Parliamentary Standards Committee, released on Tuesday, into the funding of the anti-sanctions Mariam Appeal reheats the same old allegations.
But the commissioner’s report is forced to state unequivocally no less than six times that Galloway did not benefit personally from any money from the former Iraqi regime.
The commissioner’s memorandum also finds no evidence that the sums raised by the Mariam Appeal were spent on anything other than the purposes for which the appeal was established. This is the third report to find that Mariam Appeal funds were properly spent.
It’s not Galloway who has “damaged parliament” – it is those who orchestrated murderous sanctions and a bloody war on Iraq.
Gordon Brown’s ‘better angels’ in a tailspin
“Call it ‘the driving power of social conscience’, call it ‘the better angels of our nature’… they are my moral compass. The party I lead must have more than a set of policies – we must have a soul.”
So said Gordon Brown in his acceptance speech on becoming prime minister. Yet the huge and growing inequality in Britain today ought to send his compass into a spin.
The gap between rich and poor is wider than at any time in the last 40 years, according to a new report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
The report also said that the “average family” – those classed as neither rich nor poor – is disappearing as increasing numbers fall below the breadline.
It is not just academics and experts who know these things. Another Rowntree report released at the same time found that a “large and enduring majority” believes the gap between rich and poor is too large.
Proof that the population has a lot more “soul” than New Labour.
Don’t bring on the clown
The press is full of speculation about whether Boris Johnson – full name Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson – could become the next London mayor, and what would happen if such a Tory clown were running London.
Isn’t there a more serious issue?
London is a city of stark and growing divides between rich and poor. Many of the city’s workers can’t even afford to live in London. They rely on public transport that is more expensive than in most other capital cities.
It was the scene of magnificent anti-war marches, and of the bomb attacks that were the result of Bush and Blair’s wars.
We need a mayor who will stand up to big business, who will fight for a city with affordable housing and decent public services, and who will oppose Labour’s imperialist foreign policy.
That’s why Respect selected Stop the War convenor Lindsey German to stand for mayor.