Your honour we present to you. Mr Neil Masterson, age 39.He is accused of attacking the Honorable George Galloway, six time elected MP (Bradford West) of the Respect Party.
In a bizarre assault the 39 year old Masterson put the boots to the 61 year old Galloway in the Notting Hill district of London on Friday Aug 29. Even with a broken jaw Galloway got up and followed the thug and pointed him out to police.
Interviewed later Galloway said that his assailant wore an Israeli Defence Force t-shirt and was “shouting support for Israel and opposition to my views on Israel” as he unleashed a “torrent of punches and kicks.”
Ironically, Masterson whose rage sent Galloway to the hospital overnight was charged with “religiously aggravated assault” as well as common assault on a passerby who jumped into the fray.
Masterson will appear as Hammersmith magistrate Court next Monday.
Now the term “religiously aggravated” appears to fit the assailant as he described himself as a Catholic Zionist and Anti Islamic. He threatened to slit Galloway’s throat on his Facebook page. As he beat on the face of the well known critic of Israel’s policies, Masterson ranted about Hitler and the Holocaust.
Immediately a drive to cover Masterson’s costs raised $4,000.
In Today’s Telegraph,a Conservative paper, political commentator Peter Oborne took the very high road and made some very salient points:
There is something very disturbing about the response to this event by the mainstream British political establishment. Mr Galloway has received no public message of sympathy from a single MP from any party – nothing from Speaker Bercow, from the Prime Minister, or from any of the other elected political leader.
I know that Mr Galloway is a very controversial figure and that many people, for honourable reasons, disagree very strongly with his views. Yet that is irrelevant. The attack on Mr Galloway is beyond doubt an attack on British democracy itself.
It is a basic principle of our political culture that men and women must be able to speak up for the causes they believe in without threats or violent reappraisal. Had an MP been attacked by some pro-Palestinian fanatic for his support of Israel, I guess there would have been a national outcry and rightly so. Why then the silence from the mainstream establishment following this latest outrageous assault on a British politician?
When I read all of the above, I mused that I too was a Catholic Zionist when I was Masterson’s age. This was before I became a Groucho-Marxist and believed what I saw rather than what was fed to me by books like Leon Uris’s Exodus which I devoured in 1958. That was before I understood the meaning of the biblical Exodus, the exegesis of which has totally escaped the illiterate Catholic Zionist, Neil Masterson.