The fake Sheikh exposed: Mazher Mahmood and the Dirty Digger foiled by Galloway.
George Galloway has come good. After stroking his ego by appearing on Celebrity Big Brother, he's managed not only to avoid being entrapped by the News of the World's infamous "investigative" reporter, the fake sheikh Mazher Mahmood, but he's now exposed the NotW for exactly what it is: the very worst of "journalism".
George was invited to meet Sam Fernando and Pervaiz Khan at the Dorchester Hotel in London. He was apparently suspicious of their motives from the beginning, but nonetheless following cajoling from some of his associates eventually met them last Saturday night. During a meal, the two asked whether they could sponsor members of parliament, on which Galloway quickly corrected them and rejected any such suggestions that they would do so. They then went on to make a number of anti-semitic remarks, clearly trying to get Galloway to either agree with them or somehow incriminate himself. They questioned how many Jews died in the Holocaust, and when Galloway mentioned that the Daily Express was the most anti-muslim and pro-war paper in the land, one apparently asked, "because it's owned by a Jew?" Galloway said, "no, it's because it's owned by a pro-war pornographer." The clincher though seems to have been the appearance of a man with a mouthful of gold teeth, who asked to have his picture taken with Galloway. This man with gold teeth has appeared in other tales about Mazher Mahmood, and is apparently his bodyguard. Both Andrew Marr and Carole Caplin have seen him while they were with Mahmood. Roy Greenslade, in his article on the Victoria Beckham kidnap plot that never was (see below), identifies him as Mahmood Qureshi, a second cousin of the fake sheikh.
Galloway also reports that Mahmood tried the same trick with Jeremy Corbyn. What links Galloway and Corbyn? They are both the leading MP members of the Stop the War coalition. It's worth remembering that not a single one of the newspapers owned by Rupert Murdoch opposed the war in Iraq. Every one of them, including those in China, supported Bush and Blair's adventure. Murdoch had his own idea about what would be the best thing to come out of the Iraq war. It wasn't freedom for the Iraqi people, oh no.
"The greatest thing to come out of this for the world economy, if you could put it that way, would be $20 a barrel for oil. That's bigger than any tax cut in any country."
Murdoch and his minions are out to smear all opponents of the war as corrupt, or as having ulterior motives. Instead of investigating the corruption at the heart of the Labour and Tory party loans, they are more interested in attacking politicians who actually have some principles.
The News of the Screws is predictably licking its wounds, but says that it was investigating the campaign funding loans-for-peerages scandal. How Galloway and Corbyn relate to the scandal which not even Jack Dromey or Gordon Brown knew about is unclear. The News of the Screws entrapment attempt on Galloway is remarkably similar to its story a couple of years ago about a plan to kidnap Victoria Beckham, aka Posh Spice, and demand a ransom from her husband, the footballer David. The men in that case were entrapped by Florim Gashi, who was the one who kept bringing up Victoria. The trial of the men collapsed once it became clear the Gashi was a convicted criminal, who had been paid £10,000 by the News of the Screws. Whether the plot was Gashi's idea, or indeed the fake sheikh's, is unknown. Roy Greenslade called then for an investigation in the "investigator". That now seems even more urgent.