John Reid and the theatre of politics

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Dr John Reid

The Arnold Schwarzenegger of British politics, Home Secretary John Reid, compared his recent visit in East London on 20 September with being in East Belfast – the message being that he took on the Republicans then, and can take on the Muslims now!

But George Galloway asks the questions that has crossed all our minds:

Dear Home Secretary,

I have been watching open-mouthed the altercation you have provoked in East London with your ill-judged, patronising and provocative foray into territory you clearly barely understand. There is much that will be said about the child-like – Patricia Hewittesque! – performance you gave your audience. I want to concentrate on the altercation.The man who harangued you – Abu Izzadine – is a well-known and violent extremist from an organisation your own government has proscribed. Yet he was allowed within punching distance of the British Home Secretary.

How ? Why ? This is the same man who led a group of fanatic thugs in the brief “hostage-taking” of myself and my daughter and several innocent members of the public during a general election meeting last year. This is well known to the Special Branch and senior police officers in East London – the very people in charge of your security today.This man has appeared on many occasions on television and in the press as a dangerous extremist who has praised the terrorist attacks on July 7th and 9/11. His comments were amongst those adduced in your own government’s case for the proscription of the Al Ghuraba organisation.There are only two conceivable explanations as to how this man, at this sensitive time, was allowed to hijack your Potemkin Village performance today.

Either our police and security services are so fantastically incompetent that Bin Laden himself might have slipped in to beard you at your podium. Or someone somewhere wanted to engineer precisely this confrontation to show you in a certain light and to portray the Muslims of Britain in the most aggressive violent and extreme way possible, as a justification for the utterly counter-productive policies you are following.Which is it ?¬†Because, as you know, I am not a believer in conspiracy theories I am leaning towards the first explanation. If I am right then yet again the Metropolitan Police have proved almost comically incompetent. The sight of a small, slight, helmeted police officer being dwarfed by a giant ranting fanatical thug – talk about a thin blue line! – as all that stood between you and a violent attack will certainly have provided food for thought and encouragement to the country’s enemies. Yet again the justification for continuing in office of Sir Ian Blair must be called into question.But if I am wrong, and this all turns out to have been some Nixonian “dirty tricks” operation..then of course the questions raised are much more profound and dangerousI await your response with interest.

Yours sincerely George Galloway MP

George Galloway’s forensic skills now help us understand some earlier conjectures of journalists after the mid-August airline plot drama and the powerplay behind the scenes.

1. The Economist, 17 August 2006

…In the days that followed, Mr Reid did what he does best: to convey both
calm and menace with an aura of almost super-human confidence in his own
ability. He may have overstepped the mark when he claimed that the police had caught “the main players”, but most concede his performance as warrior leader has been highly impressive. So much so that one member of the Conservative shadow cabinet reportedly described it throughgritted teeth as “contemptibly brilliant”.
Some at Westminster now believe that the crisis has propelled Mr Reid into a position that might make him a serious contender against Mr Brown when Mr Blair goes.

2. Wayne Madsen:

“According to knowledgeable sources in the UK and other countries, the Tony Blair government, under siege by a Labor Party revolt, cleverly cooked up a new “terror” scare to avert the public’s eyes away from Blair’s increasing political woes….However, what prompted Murdoch and Blair to hype a new global “terror” threat was what Murdoch learned from eavesdropping on the phone calls of Prince Charles’ staff at the future king’s office, home, and limousine. The eavesdropping revealed that Charles was working with Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown, who is to the left of Blair, to conduct the same type of political manoeuvre that John Major used to oust Margaret Thatcher from office. London’s left-wing Mayor, Ken Livingston, was also in on the Charles-Brown plan and it was expected that in return for his support, Livingston would get a senior position in a Brown cabinet — a development that sent shock waves through the neocon circles in London, Washington, and Jerusalem, including British Home Secretary John Reid and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.

The disclosure of the Charles-Brown plot has already created a backlash from the neocons. The Murdoch media is already floating the rumour that Home Secretary Reid is now Blair’s chosen successor, while there will be an effort to scandalize Charles in an effort to convince the British public that it would be best to skip over him and have Prince William assume the throne upon Queen Elizabeth’s death or abdication.

British commentators are noting that it is Reid, a noted neocon, who is chairing national security “Cobra” meetings in Blair’s absence. Blair bypassed Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott and many political observers believe that Prescott was passed over because of evidence that he was involved in supporting the Charles-Brown coup. Prescott chaired Cobra meetings in the wake of the July 7, 2005 (7/7) London transit bombings”.

3. Craig Murray’s blog:

“We then have the appalling political propaganda of John Reid, Home Secretary, making a speech warning us all of the dreadful evil threatening us and complaining that “Some people don’t get” the need to abandon all our traditional liberties. He then went on, according to his own propaganda machine, to stay up all night and minutely direct the arrests. There could be no clearer evidence that our Police are now just a political tool”.
4. Christopher Reed:

Actually the “Blair-Bush duo” has been on vacation during the alleged plot disclosure. Blair’s stand-in, the minister for home affairs, John Reid, spoke in London in a manner that the Arab newspaper would find familiar. He said police had caught the “main players” in the plot, without using the word “alleged” and thus possibly jeopardizing any trial by “prejudging” the evidence in Britain’s far stricter rules of criminal justice proceedings. He also dismissed with contempt the charge that Britain’s recent foreign incursions into Muslim nations had exacerbated extremist hatred of its policies.

More suspiciously, he suddenly changed his mid-week schedule to deliver an extraordinary speech, on Wednesday itself. Instead of an address about immigration and the justice system, he switched to “protecting the public” from “fascists with unconstrained capability” because of their “access to modern chemical, biological, and other means of mass destruction.” He could have been talking about the new case — but the arrests did not happen for another 12 hours. No official explanation was offered for the changed speech but “something changed” a ministry spokesman admitted, without saying what.