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Congratulations George Galloway

March 31, 2012

Congratulations George.

I salute your indefatigability and your victory in the Bradford West by-election. Seriously.

If I was a constituent of Bradford West I’d have voted for you without a moments hesitation. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like you much but I don’t think liking or loving candidates is either here nor there in politics.

If I was, perchance, somewhere remote and stepped into the jaws of a bear trap and had only you for company, I’d probably chew my leg off at the ankle to escape but I’d still hobble into the polling both to put my mark against your name.

This is despite hearing that you are an appalling constituency MP.

This is despite your mortifying appearance on Big Brother.

This is despite reading somewhere that you’re anti-Semitic, which, frankly, I don’t believe. The pro-Israeli lobby has played that card too often, with too many others who have spoken up for the Palestinian cause.

Still, I’m sure the charge sheet against you is long enough but when compared to the contemptible and unprincipled behaviour of the mainstream political class, your own failings pale into insignificance.

You see, George, as I see it we are ruled by a shower of corrupt, contemptible, Tory bastards and their Lib Dem lickspittles, who are waging a vicious class war in the teeth of an economic crisis. They are eroding the systems of welfare, heath care and education that working class people depend upon. At the same time they are presiding over mass unemployment, underemployment and precarious employment. And they are doing this purely to preserve the power and wealth of the already privileged. This isn’t austerity its a fucking robbery.

All this is hard enough to take but it’s compounded by the complete absence of any sort of decisive and clear programme of opposition coming from Labour. When public sector unions went on strike over pensions, its leader Ed Miliband’s performance was so embarrassing, so lacking in principle, that I couldn’t have been more embarrassed for him had he donned a leotard, acted like a cat and lapped imaginary cream from the cupped hands of David Cameron.

For all your obvious faults, George, you compare very well with many of your political detractors.

So Congratulations Gorgeous. I have no great expectations of your victory but you are an infinitely preferable politician to the wank-stains that regularly irritate the fuck out of me on Newsnight and Question Time.

Best Wishes,

Rab

Additional:

In the clip below, George Galloway participates in local BBC politics studio discussion with other candidates before voting. His performance is head and shoulders above that of his competitors…

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 31, 2012 4:11 pm

    really?!…it takes a whole lot more than railing against the awfully obvious issues of the far right to make someone worth listening too…dear good man,as smart as you are, you’re mad if you think nothing could come of his victory…that man is a freak of nature..totally fearless in what he says in any given situation…unhinged…..and with all of hilters charm and charisma….if last summers riots show us one thing,it’s that things are too easily lit right now ….galloway has the power of personality to polarize things to a terrible level,and he’s perverse enough to sit back and watch it all go off whilst smoking one of his lovely cigars…he’s dying for his condor moment…….summer is just around the corner,and it could all kick off again under the blazing sun…we don’t need any *charismatic* men in politics right now..we need mensches who can bring people together,not divide the room by pushing the usual buttons….do you really think george galloway has any less propensity for corruption?..he sat very well and easy beside saddam… LOVES the smell of flashbulbs….it’s time to be more fluid in our world views and to stop being all left or right like it’s flippin rangers or celtic….he’s not gonna pied piper me anymore than any other impressive big talking trouble maker ..left or right…. none of these people are ever gonna save the day…they’ll only be agents to the spilling of blood,and that’s no use…..the ones who’ll crawl out of this hole will have a big quiet personal moment…and they’ll find a way in spite of everything..they’ll be all about peace and using their wits….quietly….i have awful ominous feelings about this summer.

  2. Strategist permalink
    April 1, 2012 12:19 am

    Don’t fret about what might or might not be in the summer, Mary, enjoy the Bradford spring!

    Rab, you have indeed heard GG is a terrible constituency MP, but the good news is that that was & is a black lie put out by the Labour party as part of their attempts to snuff him out. In fact in BG&Bow he had a well staffed operation covering constituency caseload. What he did have was a very low voting record in the Commons, but as he always said, he was in his Commons office every day but too busy pursuing the main project of trying to build a left challenge to Labour to waste time going through the lobbies to either vote for a Blair govt bill or a Tory amendment to it. GG works hard, let nobody doubt.

    I would also mention that going on BB was a noble try at getting some air time on the mainstream media to a working class audience, and he was stitched up because they censored him with birdsong every time he tried to talk politics in the BB house. His second try at reaching a wkg class audience, the Talk Radio show, has been a much greater success.

    And to complete my hat-trick of disagreements with you, I think Ed Miliband is doing better now and is undoubtedly the best we can realistically available Lab leader at the present.

  3. Rab permalink*
    April 1, 2012 9:13 am

    Hi Mary and Strategist,

    Mary,
    I’m as suspicious of the ‘charismatics’ as you. God knows you and I have seen some of them up close back on the old sod and they’re not pretty. But…

    England might well erupt this summer again but it won’t be because of George Galloway. It’ll be because the political mainstream believe that the markets exist like a force of nature – something beyond the capacity of human agency, like God or the weather. It’ll happen because the political class is generally seen as corrupt and self-serving. It’ll happen because our democracy is a sham – a minority government of toffs that can be influenced by donations and pushes through legislation it has no mandate for. It’ll happen because a huge swathe of young people have been utterly sold out.

    Just consider the life-chances of those teenager looking to do the ‘right’ thing and go to university and become useful, paid up members of society. They’ll have 50 grands worth of debt before they’re 21; they’ll enter a job market of flexible labour and precarious work, where if they need further retraining they’ll in all likelihood have to pay for it themselves. They’ll work for less money in shitty conditions. If they’re unemployed they’ll be at the mercy of a massively impoverished benefits system, and face public opprobrium (scroungers), heaped upon them by politicians and press. If they fall ill they’ll be left in the care of an emaciated health service. And when they retire (if they can afford to retire) they’ll have a greatly reduced pension compared to previous generations. Now consider what that life-narrative looks like if you’re a teenager with already narrow horizons and low expectations.

    All those public institutions, all those ways of getting along with each other as a community are being torn up so that the rich don’t have to feel the pinch. The ‘fabric of society’ is unwinding, so how can venal politicians appeal to (or demand) that young people respect the integrity of that society, when those self same politicos are doing more damage to it than the kids?

    But we have bequeathed the kids something, but it’s absolutely toxic – neo-liberalism’ foundational ‘philosophy’ of aggressive individualism and human worth based upon the capacity to consume. If the high streets burn and are over run with young people in search of brand-named products again, then maybe Marx was right: capitalism does produce its own grave diggers, and they come this time in the shape of disenfranchised consumers.

    In the overall scheme of things George Galloway’s election doesn’t amount to a hill of beans. The flames – if indeed there are flames – will be ignited and fanned by the political mainstream’s abject failure to address (or even acknowledge) the problems that confront them. We live in a world where the all the wealth and power is concentrated in the hands of very, very, few people. This was tolerated while things were going smoothly and everybody felt that they were getting enough of what they needed. People will put up with a lot as long as the little lives they need are not made unbearable; as long as they are not subject to cruelty and want without conceivable end.

    Maybe in the overall scheme of things, most of us are just canon fodder in the gargantuan struggles for greatness engaged in by our illustrious leaders. But, fuck it, we don’t like being made to feel like canon fodder – our lives expendable in pursuit of the ‘big picture’. I am reminded of Thomas Rainsborough when he said: ‘…for really I think that the poorest he that is in England hath a life to live as the greatest he…’

    It feels like the capitalist-Titanic has struck an economic iceberg. The big ship is going down and all the lifejackets and lifeboats are being secured for the rich. And those people who don’t mind suffering the enormous condescension of history, politics and capitalism in the good times might get a little uppity now that they look like they’re going to drown. This is not George Galloway’s fault. His crime, by all accounts, is that he seems to be speaking to the problems of our time.

    Strategist,
    I’m glad to hear that George is a better constituency MP than I’d previously been told. No doubt Labour and the media will want to make him a whipping boy. The knives will be out for him and there’ll be more lies and misinformation… because that’s the sort of behaviour our democracy thrives upon.

    Although I wish George had consulted me before he went on Big Brother. As every media studies student (should) know, form and content are inextricably linked. The trivialising form of BB will always undermine any attempts at political content.

    Ed Miliband… I actually ache when I think of Labour these days. It hurts. I see occasional flashes but nothing that amounts to political lightening.

    If Galloway’s victory does anything, I hope it sends a message to Labour that it can’t take working class votes for granted.

    • August 14, 2012 9:02 am

      in the fullness of time,it turns out you’re right…the summer delivered no fires…only rain.

  4. April 3, 2012 8:27 am

    What point were the media and Galloway’s opponents trying to make when they repeatedly harangued him during the by-election campaign for “targeting Muslim voters” – as if that was some sort of underhanded electoral campaign? Every time that charge was put to him, he robustly defended himself by stating simply that he stood for election as MP for the whole constituency of Bradford West regardless of colour or creed. But given the size of the British-Asian population in the constituency, he would have been a fool not to address their concerns and appeal for their vote. It was basic electoral campaigning and to criticize him for it or infer that there was something devious about it is akin to pinning down the Labour, Tory and Lib Dem candidates and charging them with deliberately targeting Middle England. Of course, we never heard that put to them during the campaign.

    I don’t know where these stories come from about Galloway’s record as an MP but I smell a rat. Let’s wait and see what he does for the citizens of Bradford West for the remainder of this current parliamentary term.

  5. charliemcmenamin permalink
    April 3, 2012 10:15 am

    Ahem.

    I advise a careful distinction between the Victory (which I welcome) and the Victor (which I, erm…well,not so much).

    You may care to peruse the earlier parts of Galloway’s Wikipedia entry. There a story behind his first, failed attempt to run for the council in Dundee, and I have personally been told by more than one impeccably leftwing former staff member at War on Want of Galloway’s fairly unique management style at that organisation.

    I’m glad Respect won Bradford West. I just wish they had won with another candidate.

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