Skip to comments.British MP Galloway used fund for leukaemia girl to pay for Iraq trips (sickening)
Posted on 04/05/2003 4:58:24 AM PST by alnitak
GEORGE GALLOWAY has paid for frequent visits to Iraq from a fund set up to save the life of a four-year-old girl with leukaemia. The MP flew Mariam Hamza from Iraq to a childrens hospital in Glasgow and launched a public appeal for money using her name. On House of Commons notepaper, he wrote to donors telling them that the money would all go on hospital fees for Mariam and medical care for other Iraqi children.
But the fund, which is not a charity and refuses to divulge its accounts or trustees, has so far paid for 14 trips by Mr Galloway to 15 countries, including eight visits to Iraq.
It has expanded its activities to become a political group campaigning against the sanctions imposed on President Saddam Husseins regime. It also denounces Israel. The appeal receives a large proportion of its money from the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
Mr Galloway is keeping secret who paid for his trip to Baghdad last August, when he provided a propaganda coup for Saddam by meeting him and praising Iraqi diplomacy. The MP dodged questions from The Times about his foreign expenses. He sent The Times an e-mail yesterday stating: I regard you as a whore writing for a pimp. The Sun is in the sewer, you merely in the gutter; no doubt looking up at the stars (and stripes). Not only will I not speak to you, I feel tainted merely writing to you. Please do not attempt to contact me again.
Mr Galloway was criticised this week for describing the coalition as wolves on United Arab Emirates television after saying in the Commons that British troops were lions led by donkeys.
The Mariam Appeal was set up in 1998. Uranium-tipped weapons used by the allies in the Gulf War were blamed by Mr Galloway for causing the childs leukaemia. The appeal was created by the Emergency Committee on Iraq, itself co-founded by the MP.
Mr Galloway wrote to donors: The Mariam Appeal has had to guarantee the costs of her treatment which could cost up to £50,000. The appeals target is £100,000 with the balance being sent back to Iraq in medicines and medical supplies for the children she has had to leave behind.
He enclosed a postcard showing a photograph of the child. How much money the appeal has raised is uncertain. But the organisation did not limit itself to buying medicine.
In a publicity exercise in 2000, Mr Galloway flew from a private airfield in Kent via Bulgaria to Baghdad to break the British air embargo of Iraq. His flight, said to have been paid for by private donations to the Mariam Appeal, contained no humanitarian aid. The MP brought six men, including Stuart Halford, the appeals director, to an anti-sanctions conference.
The appeal later announced the creation of international work brigades to go on month-long trips to Iraq to help on building sites.
It raised money by promising to buy scientific and academic books for Iraqis, claiming that these were banned by the United Nations in case they had a dual use (military and civilian). It published an e-mail newsletter about Iraq as a means of beating the media blockade.
The appeal paid for 14 overseas trips by the Glasgow MP between September 1999 and January 2002, mostly including flights and frequently hotel bills. He visited Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Hungary, Belgium, New York and Romania.
During his trip to Brussels, on behalf of the appeal, he attended an anti-sanctions conference where delegates expressed solidarity with the Palestinian intifada. The appeal supported a boycott of Israeli goods.
The Mariam Appeal has also openly solicited funds as an anti-sanctions campaign group.
The MP has lately found a new travel sponsor. In June 2000, he launched the Great Britain-Iraq Society with a meeting in the Commons where Scott Ritter, a former weapons inspector, declared that Iraq no longer possessed weapons of mass destruction.
The society charged members £25 and promised to circulate a newsletter, publish material, organise events, exchange visits, organise trade missions, religious and other tourism.
Within six months, Mr Galloway was globetrotting at the groups expense. It has paid for seven overseas visits by the MP, usually including the cost of flights. The destinations were to Jordan, Morocco, Beirut and Kiev, along with four trips to Iraq.
Is there anything that can be done about him? He seems.... not quite right.
I've despised the man for a long time, but that's just me. ;)
Well, that'll show 'em, eh, Mr. Galloway?
(That note sounds like it was written by a indignant schoolboy.)
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