Israel plans to outlaw children born to foreigners

George Galloway submitted the following motion about Israel's plan to refuse to register or provide birth certificates for children born in the country to people who were not Israelis. This is in breach of the UN convention on children's right.

That this House condemns the plan by the Israeli government not to issue birth certificates for babies born to foreigners; points out that this breaches articles 7 and 8 of the United Nations convention on the rights of the child, relating to every child's right to a registered name, nationality and the preservation of identity; notes that is another flagrant and unpunished contravention of a UN convention by Israel; but nevertheless urges the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to urge his opposite number to drop this proposal and preserve the enshrined rights of children, whoever they are born to within Israel.

Lebanese Black Market: Syrian Refugees Sell Organs to Survive

In the shadow of the Syrian civil war, a growing number of refugees are surviving in Lebanon by illegally selling their own organs. But the exchange comes at a huge cost.

The young man, who called himself Raïd, wasn't doing well. He climbed into the backseat of the car, in pain, careful not to touch any corners. He was exhausted and dizzy. A large bandage looped around his stomach, caked with blood. Despite that, the 19-year-old Syrian wanted to tell his story.

Seven months ago, he fled the embattled city of Aleppo, in Syria, to Lebanon with his parents and six siblings. The family quickly ran out of money in the capital, Beirut. Raïd heard from a relative that the solution could be to sell one of his kidneys, and then he spoke to a bull-necked man, now sitting in the passenger seat, smoking and drinking a beer.

His acquaintances call the man Abu Hussein. He said he's employed by a gang that works in the human organ trade - specializing in kidneys. The group's business is booming. About one million Syrians have fled into Lebanon because of the civil war in their home country and now many don't know how they can make a living. In their distress, they sell their organs. It's a dangerous and, of course, illegal business. That's why the gang has its operations performed in shady underground clinics.

Abu Hussein's boss is known in the poor areas of Beirut as "Big Man." Fifteen months ago, Big Man gave the 26-year-old a new assignment: find organ donors. The influx of Syrian refugees from the war, Abu Hussein's boss argued, made it more likely people would be willing to sell organs.

Galloway's motions on Roma and private schools

George Galloway submitted two motions to the British parliament on Friday 15 November 2013 - in support of the Roma immigrants attacked by former Home Secretary David Blunkett, and in favour of social mobility and curbs on private schools.

Roma immigrants

That this House condemns the derogatory comments of the member for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough about Roma immigrants; agrees that describing their presence here as likely to lead to an 'explosion' is widely inaccurate and could well lead to stigmatisation, prejudice and Romaphobia; understands that these migrants have been driven to our country through poverty and prejudice; believes that they should be welcomed and notes that repeated studies have shown that immigrants contribute more to our economy than they take out 

Private schools

That this House wholeheartedly agrees with the Prime Minister that there must be much greater social mobility in British society; wonders he has appointed the number of members of his cabinet and close advisers from Eton and other private schools; notes that his government has scrapped the educational maintenance allowance, allowed private school fees to be exempt from VAT, permitted universities to massively hike their fees to the detriment of working class aspirants; and urges him to insist to his Chancellor that one significant way of tackling this problem would be to remove the charitable status of the public school sector.

Galloway calls for police inquiry into Lewis land deal

Bradford West MP George Galloway has written to West Yorkshire chief constable Mark Gilmore asking him to ensure that the police inquiry into Kings Science Academy investigates the role of Tory vice-chairman Alan Lewis over the lease of land on which the school stands.

"Lewis' name is all over the initial report of financial irregularities at Kings but has been redacted in the published version," said Galloway. "He was a patron or benefactor of some sort of the academy. His company signed a 20-year deal to lease the land he owns on which the academy is built - at the quite extraordinary sum of £296,000 a year. According to a whistleblower who has come to me and who was involved in this farrago that is many times the going rent in Bradford. And on top of the £6 million in rent Lewis's company will inherit the £10 million building; all of this public money, all of this the very definition of a scandal."

Galloway added: "There is clearly the question of whether there is a conflict of interest here. But what the public needs to know is just who at the school was involved in agreeing this land deal and why a rent way over the odds was signed-off and paid for by the taxpayer. We already know that someone at the school forged and submitted invoices in the name of Lewis' company. The police must include this highly-questionable deal in their investigation, which is why I have written to the chief constable today."

Galloway pursues free school 'fraud'

A highly-critical investigative report into apparent fraud at one of the government's flagship free school was not investigated.

George Galloway has put down dozens of questions in parliament demanding to know why the Department of Education did not ensure that the police were called in to look at the financial irregularities at Kings Science Academy in Bradford, a free school which has been visited and praised by Prime Minister David Cameron and education secretary Michael Gove.

"The report makes clear that more than £80,000 of public money was misappropriated," said Galloway, "and the department singularly failed to make this known to the police. Instead it appears that someone made a telephone call which was logged as 'information only' and what any reasonable person having read the report would conclude as fraud was not investigated."

The Bradford West MP continued: "Mind you, if the report which was made public was handed over it would have made no sense because all of the crucial information has been redacted. And the DfE will not publish a clean one. At the beginning of this I wondered if there had been incompetence or a cover-up. Now it is clear there was both."

Galloway calls for urgent action on air pollution

The Bradford West Respect MP George Galloway today called for urgent action to improve air quality in the city which has the fourth-highest number of emergency hospital admissions for asthma in the country. And he hit out at the "churlish, petty and damaging" views expressed by the Conservative and Liberal Democrat leaders on Bradford council "who clearly believe this isn't a problem".

According to campaigning group Asthma UK, which is to give evidence to parliament next month, the city is one of the worst places in the country if you are an asthma sufferer. And air pollution is the principal cause.

"It's not often I commend an initiative by the Labour-controlled council but I hope the recommendations by its Defra-funded study on air quality improvement are rubber-stamped next week," Galloway said." It's obvious that vehicle pollution, particularly from heavy goods vehicles and buses, is one of the major causes of some 853 emergency hospital admissions last year of asthma sufferers. Pollution is particularly high in parts of my constituency, like Manningham for instance.

Asylum: Britain is an open-air prison for the most needy

Once again, a report on the asylum system in Britain has revealed the cruel and unusual punishment of applying for help from Great Britain.

Some applicants are waiting up to 16 years for a decision. A backlog of 32,600 cases from 2011 is yet to be resolved. The number of applicants waiting over six months rose by 63% last year. Some 3,500 people who applied for asylum in 2012 have yet to receive an initial decision.

The cruelty of the asylum system is not in the decisions it reaches. It is in the legal and financial limbo it puts asylum seekers in while they get lost in the machine.
Those having their asylum status decided are not allowed to work and they are not allowed to claim benefits. They are given £36.62 a week, to be collected from the Post Office, for sustenance.

They can apply to the UK Border Agency for help with accommodation if they are destitute.  The housing, provided by private contractors like Serco and G4S, was attacked as "sub-standard" by MPs today. The anecdotal evidence is of grey, despairing places in a state of disrepair, full of lost people.

The asylum system turns Britain into a vast open-air prison. One asylum seeker who arrived in the UK after being held in a jail in Iran told me that his prison had merely been expanded. Without the right to work, or claim benefits, or volunteer, he was trapped in a state of inaction, of half-presence. The system would not respond to questions. For years on end, you would hear nothing. It is a legally mandated half-state, a state-imposed lethargy.

It really doesn't matter which side of the immigration or asylum debate you're on. You can be as anti-asylum as you like. Whichever way you look at it, this system is intolerable. It doesn't just condemn the vulnerable to an excuse of a life. It also, as home affairs committee chair Keith Vaz pointed out today; potentially allow war criminals and terrorists into Britain, hiding in the grey areas of a convoluted and malfunctioning bureaucratic system.

The system must be fixed and made to function, not just to provide help for those who most need it, but also to get rid of those who don't. But for that to happen there must be public pressure. Today is a rare day when asylum won a place in the news headlines. Unless that happens more often, the system will remain a forgotten mechanism, letting down the country and the needy at once.

by: Ian Dunt

Congestion charge rip-off

George Galloway has written to every member of the London Assembly about the websites which rip-off motorists by appearing to be official ones to pay congestion charges. In fact they levy a healthy premium and are probably illegal.
The text of the letter is here:
Dear London Assembly Member,
You may have seen the ITV London News at 6pm last night, the excellent top item of which was a story from Simon Harris about the unofficial websites that exist to rip off London’s motorists trying to pay the congestion charge online. I tabled a motion in parliament (see link below) in early September after my chief of staff, an Oxbridge graduate no less, was conned by such a website and I then discovered these websites had been in existence for a long time conning and ripping off an untold number of London motorists. The sites are deliberately designed to look like an official site and the people behind them manipulate google so that their site comes first when you google, say, “pay congestion charge”.

Burma's Violence Demands Greater International Attention

Religious violence in Burma, also known as Myanmar, has become the new breeding ground for sectarian violence. Much of the violence this past week has been instigated by radical Buddhist mobs belonging to the notorious 969 Movement at Rohingya Muslims, which constitute less than 5% of Burma’s total population, and are of Bengali heritage. The 969 Movement is led by Ashin Wirathu, a relatively unknown Buddhist monk who claims to preach nonviolence but actively loathes Muslims, who he sees as part of a malevolent mission to eradicate the country’s Buddhist majority.
Rohingya Muslims face draconian social and economic restrictions, and they are not entitled to full citizenship. Moreover, they are unable to marry individuals outside their faith. Beginning this year, mosques were heavily looted and destroyed, inciting greater animosity between the two groups.

Galloway submits motions of soldiers' sectarianism and MPs extra allowances

George Galloway today submitted two parliamentary motions which should appear on the order paper tomorrow (Tuesday) or Wednesday.

British soldiers and sectarianism

That this House condemns the reprehensible and ill-disciplined behaviour of members of the Armed Forces including some Royal Marine soldiers at Ibrox Park, the home of Glasgow Rangers, on Saturday 28th September 2013 on what was dubbed an “armed forces' day”; notes the sickening scenes as they chanted songs attacking Catholics, embraced braying fans and held up sectarian banners; questions the role of the senior officers who apparently sanctioned the event and appeared to take no action to halt the behaviour; and demands that those marines who joined in this hatefest are severely disciplined.  

 The bedroom tax and MPs’ allowances

That this House notes that under the bedroom tax more than 600,000 social tenants with spare rooms must either move or pay an average of £14-a-week penalty; further notes that  members of parliament with a spare room in their London homes can claim an additional allowance if a child or children routinely resides with them; notes that the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has ruled that they will still be eligible for the additional allowance if the child visits just once a month; condemns the 29 hypocritical MPs who, while backing the bedroom tax, have claimed an additional £64,000 and a further 20 who claimed £37,000; and urges the government to end this unfair allowance which can only reflect badly with members of the public.