Galloway and the Fake Sheikh

Galloway posts ‘fake sheikh’ photos – Daily Mail

Unmasking the ‘fake sheikh‘ – Channel 4 News (Video) 

So the pictures of the NoW’s ‘Fake Sheikh’ have been posted at George Galloway’s website.

Few questions…when exactly were these pictures taken? Surely the ‘Sheikh’ would have changed his hair cut since THE 1960s!! If he hasn’t, well he probably deserves to be beaten-up by "the hundreds" of gangsters who NoW claim to have put behind bars.

"Mr Mahmood, the News of the World’s "fake sheikh", claimed that the Bethnal Green and Bow MP’s release of the photos on a Respect website posed a risk to his well-being and that of his family." –

…..Well, one of the (very old) photos published today has been available on the web for ages. Just Google it! It was also printed in The Observer a couple of years ago. So what’s the issue?

But it raises the debate over legitimate undercover investigations versus the use entrapment. It appears that the ‘Sheikh’ probably employs both of these methods.   

I can’t forget the rather pathetic attempts at entrapment employed by the TV journalist Donal McIntyre. Surely his lowest moment was during his attempt to get mugged in Brixton. The TV critic David Rowan makes some interesting comments on his blog here about this style of undercover investigation. The Indie described McIntyre as having: "all the journalistic impulses of a soft-shelled crab" – which seemed quite appropriate.

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The concept (part 2)

I’ve still not explained the reason for starting this blog.

Well, first and foremost, the aim is to experiment with TypePad and Moveable Type.

  • Second, the aim  is to act as an online dumping ground for articles that I quite like (and I don’t want to forget about). 
  • In regard to the above, I hope that my students will also find some of the articles and links on the site interesting and useful.
  • I want to investigate a VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) known as Moodle. We currently use something called Learnwise from Granada Learning (now part of ITV!). Learnwise is expensive and isn’t very good. Moodle is cheap/possibly free and Open Source – we like!
  • Keen to experiment with Podcasts.

There are things I care deeply care about which, I hope, I can AVOID talking about. These subjects include any issues to do with the running of South West Trains. Or any talk of replacement lifts and Homes for Islington.

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“The concept”

The idea behind this blog is inspired by Yahoo! and The Guardian. I’m a big fan of Yahoo! Yes, I use the email and have My Yahoo! page set up. I know, in these days of Google, it’s increasingly uncool to support the old guy. But a couple of months ago I found myself investigating  Yahoo! 360. This is the company dipping its toe into the world of blogging and "Social Networking".

To cut a long story short, after two minutes of investigating 360, I found the service was easy to set-up, but limited in scope (i.e. you can’t customise it all).

I still liked the idea of setting up a blog, so yesterday (I’m on Easter break) I checked out a few of the rivals. Blogger was an obvious start. I had tried setting up a blog before here and it works fine. It’s not particularly customisable, but it is very easy to use. I looked at MSN Spaces (similar probs to Yahoo!), Worldpress (which I still quite like the look of) and this one – namely Typepad.

I am interested in getting into Moveable Type – so, with a bit of luck, I will be able to host it on Blueyonder eventually.

The Guardian comes into it, mainly because I am fed up with reading zillions of articles (on a daily basis), proclaiming that this is some kind of revolution in journalism. I will talk more about this in the future. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I dismiss it totally. But surely there must be some consideration of audience size and reputation.

For those still selecting a host for their blog(s), PC Mag has an old-ish, but still useful, review of all the blog services. Web User* also has a moderately well-written article on the topic. But ZDNET has a better review.

(Notes: Web User was a rival to my old magazine. We were better, but we folded – thanks Emap).   

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