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Curious George

July 13, 2005

One of the characters who’s in the news a lot here is ‘Gorgeous’ George Galloway. He is certainly one of the more arresting of the talking heads we see on TV.
He is a former Labour MP from Glasgow, and he is a very old school, old labour socialist. He was expelled from the Labour party for his vocal opposition to the war in Iraq, as was slandered in the ‘red top’ press (most tabloids have read mastheads) as being in Saddam’s pay.

While he did meet Saddam in suspicious circimstances in the early 1990s, so did a lot of people, including many of the American architects of the war.

So Gorgeous George – so called for his penchant for sharp suits – got involved with the Respect party, a left wing coalition formed out of the anti-war movement, and stood in the recent general election in the east London seat of Bethnal Green and Bow. It was considered a safe Labour seat and he won, humiliating Labour. He absolutely kicked their arse, and they hate him for it.

Then he was summonsed to answer charges of conspiring with Saddam before the US senate. He marched in there and kicked arse again, in that intimidating Glaswegian accent of his. He called the chair a ‘shaking drunk who couldn’t wait for his next drink’, and one of the other members a ‘lickspittle’ and a ‘popinjay’. What made it so powerful was that he was right, too. The Americans are still talking about it. They take their institutions so seriously and he is no respector of power.

He has been vocal around the G8 summit too, threatening ‘blood on the barricades’ if the authorities didn’t allow Wednesday’s protest to go forward. He was right about that too.

With the terror attacks, he said that the war in Iraq had created a ‘cesspit of hatred from which these monsters [terrorists] climb’, and that we need to ‘drain the cesspit’, not create more hatred. The government accused him of having a poison tongue and of spreading hatred, and denied – can you believe it – that the war in Iraq had anything to do with the attacks. In a panel discussion with Galloway on TV, the government spokesmen tried to follow the US line by saying that ‘these people hate our lifestyle’ and that the war in Iraq was necessary for that reason. Next to Galloway, he looked like the stupid, blustering fool he was, Galloway not afraid to say things like ‘shut up, you’re an idiot and everyone can see it.’

From the Left on TV we see Monbiot and Galloway. Monbiot talks more sense, is more radical and he has a more sophisticated anaylsis. But he is far too polite and middle class. Galloway is not afraid to offend. I don’t entirely trust the man, but I think that now, at least, he is having a very positive influence. It’s really nice to have him in there causing that slime Blair untold grief.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Chris permalink
    August 19, 2005 6:29 am

    Galloway is “off the map” to the left. My people (right wingers, neocons, etc..) even call the Mayor of London “Red” Ken Livingstone, so you have to understand that we don’t even take Galloway seriously. I did read a story about him, and another MP getting stoned (literaly) while campaigning in an Arab neighborhood, where they thought his reputation would be respected. Kind of sad, if true. I wonder if his opposition to the Iraq invasion mattered at all to these constituents of his. Tough scene over there. I’ll keep reading.

  2. Chris permalink
    August 19, 2005 6:29 am

    Galloway is “off the map” to the left. My people (right wingers, neocons, etc..) even call the Mayor of London “Red” Ken Livingstone, so you have to understand that we don’t even take Galloway seriously. I did read a story about him, and another MP getting stoned (literaly) while campaigning in an Arab neighborhood, where they thought his reputation would be respected. Kind of sad, if true. I wonder if his opposition to the Iraq invasion mattered at all to these constituents of his. Tough scene over there. I’ll keep reading.

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