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Thursday, January 12, 2006

He is a dick, but he's our dick. (George Galloway)

I originally posted this in the comments of a post on Chicken Yoghurt entitled:
Let's play house
But there's more. I've mirrored the relevant parts "Off The Main Page" to preserve the train of thought from the leaves of technological failure, or human whimsy, on it's track. It seems that the infallible logic of my position has defeated all comers there because nothing more was said, either that or they just thought that if they ignored the horrible little twat he'd go away (oh no, DLA's, oh the fuck no indeed: you know me better than that, eh?).

At 1:31 PM, January 10, 2006, edjog said...

Tell you what nosemonkey, let's assume we're both adults and leave Hitler out of it for a change, eh?

[Which relates to a previous comment, obviously, but that's why you might want to read them "Off The Main Page" or at the original thread. It makes no odds to me, there's no ads OTMP (precisely so i can rip off other people's stuff without bugging them copywrite wise) and anyway the derisory micropence i get for the ads here is never likely to be actually paid me because Google AdSense only pays out once you've earned $100. It's also a condition of the contract that i don't solicit you to click on the ads, so i'm not doing, right? Because that would be wrong! Of course one lives in fucking hope.]

I'm not saying that Galloway isn't a dick and as far as i can tell from what he actually says, rather than overinflated media reportage taking some of his illconsidered statements out of context, he's got some ideas which i disagree with. His much vaunted 'stance' on Stalin would be one of them, however i must confess to having been too lazy to find out what his full position actually is.

The fact remains however that he is vociferously anti-war and has got off his arse to provide himself with a platform to be heard on the matter. Whether his prime motivation for this is actually, as i suspect, self-aggrandisement matters not at all: anyone who challenges widely trumpeted ideas will inevitably come in for ad hominem criticism. It is both the nature of our personality driven culture and the first fallback of those who cannot debate the issues. (i don't mean you BTW [nosemonkey], i'm on about what passes for 'journalism' in this age of bullshit) [or as i will henceforth be calling it: the misinformation age]

To the extent to which i have a "Galloway logic" [also relates to previous comment] it is simply that he is doing the do. He is an MP and able to get on Celebrity Big Bollox: you're not and neither am i. In fact if i was to try what he's about, assuming i had the wherewithall to succeed, the headlines would read,
"Stop The War Coalition: bunch of junkies and criminals!"
So more power to his elbow, it's not like he's going to be forming the next government or anything. To take 'your Galloway logic' to it's absurd conclusion (and thus, hopefully, illumine the fallaciousness of this style of debate) we should wait for the second coming of Christ to champion the cause, because only 'He' could be immune to the criticism of our detractors.

No, he is a dick, but he's our dick.

Now, i must confess that, since writing the above, i still haven't bothered to find out exactly what George's views about Stalin actually are, but i do remember some hair-pulling and shrieking going on about it on Harry's Place when i first entered the blogosphere last year. As i remember, the gist of it was that George had apparently said that the day The Soviet Union fell was the worst of his life.

So hey, leaving aside the sheer fucking idiocy of taking someone's idiom literally, how can anyone conclude that he is a Stalinist, when the USSR had undergone massive changes from Gorbachev onwards? I wasn't best pleased myself, not because i wanted oppression of the ordinary Soviet Citizen to continue but because the Sino-Soviet accord was a credible counter-balance to the forces of rampant capitalism in the west and it seemed such a shame that just when 'left-wing' politics was emerging from the bad old days (and let's have it right: cruelly oppressing one's populace in the name of political leadership is far from confined to communist governments), despite the difficulties they've faced as a result of the combined weight of economic and scientific restrictions and western propaganda sapping the will of all concerned and promoting corruption, the only new political model which has ever held out even a hope of an alternative to top down oppression was overcome, literally, by the forces of reaction.

Was it working? No. Quite apart from the effects of western propaganda, the Soviet Citizens were pissed off: there were shortages, people had to queue for basic foodstuffs which sometimes ran out. But just bear this in mind: before the revolution it was not uncommon for people to starve and/or freeze to death there; that wasn't going on under Gorbachev (go on, find a few links to isolated incidents where the system failed completely and that did happen, while you're at it: you'll no doubt be able to find similar about disadvantaged people here in the west also; so fuck off before you even start). Who knows where communism might have led however, if they weren't labouring under punitive trade and scientific restrictions? Who knows where the reform process of Perestroika and Glasnost Gorbachev instigated might have led despite that? We'll never know.

Ah, but the people would never have been happy to accept their leaders living it up in luxury whilst their own lives only improved in incremental minutiae. Absolutely. It makes my fucking blood boil to see that happening here too! But somehow the vast majority of people seem able to accept it, even if they don't like it, and at least communism as a starting philosophy might have allowed that situation to change, whereas we are stuck with the blatant hypocrisy of
"In God We Trust"
printed on a Dollar bill, and no possibility of anything except civil disobedience on a scale never seen outside India at the end of the British Raj, or States in open Revolution, shaking the power of government/corporate oligarchy. Don't be fooled by the oft-touted idea that we live in a Democracy (from Greek (demokratia), (demos) the people + (kratein) to rule + the suffix (ia), literally "the people rule") [greek letters deleted due to the failings of Blogger in reproducing them]: in the vast majority of cases, and certainly always when regarding anyone with a chance to form a government, the only people we can vote for as our representatives belong to a select group who are acceptible to those with the money and/or power to support a political campaign. The word for that is Oligarchy (from the Greek words for "few" oligo and "rule" arkhos). "Ah but" all you like, you'll not get away with trying to redefine the english language to suit political spin on this blog, pal.

So yeah, i was well pissed off when The Soviet Union fell and, given the events we've had to endure since, me an' George (best mates we are mind! Ha!) were proved right to be. Does anyone think that the US would have got away with Iraq when the USSR had it's clout?

So then, what's actually the problem with him? I suspect it's because he's a flash cunt, coming over as pretty egocentric: he offends the sensibilities of often self-effacing liberals. He gets up my arse with it, frankly, and on balance i think he rocks. What can we do about it? Well, i'm not sure, i don't know him personally, but it seems likely to me that a lot of it is a defence mechanism he's built up over the years in the face of relentless ad hominem criticism. It's no good repeating said and expecting him to suddenly go all "turn the other cheek": when people start into me, for my personal mistakes when i'm trying to expound a viewpoint, the only cheek they see of mine is my skinny backside while i fart in their face. If he did anything less, people would start having a go at him for 'not having what it takes' or 'lacking the courage of his convictions'.

What about these allegations of financial irregularities then? Who knows? He's involved to some degree in international business which, as far as i can tell, is a wide open vista of the dodgiest practices known to man, where it's open season on anyone who cannot or will not defend their own position by engaging in them. Has he used companies headed up by his wife on paper to move money around thus keeping his own name out of it? Well, he wouldn't be the first one, would he? Do i give a shit? No. What i'm looking at is what he's done with whatever wealth he has aquired, which is maintain and increase his public profile and thus make himself heard on the scandalous, immoral and illogical position we find our society in over oil. Given that he has dedicated his life to these issues, i find it a much more likely proposition that any moody transactions on his part are the result of mistakes rather than outright rapaciousness anyway and so what if he's a bit woo, a bit weah, who do we believe is a bigger thieving cunt? "Gorgeous" or Rupert Murdoch?

Fucking leave him alone, he might calm down a bit and stop being such a dick.

[Right, you're definately gonna have to wait for the one i promised in "Promises, promises..." i'm off to the chippy!]

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Blogger wardytron said...

This is the interview where he gave his position on Stalin. The relevant paragraph is:

He says his political position is no different now than it was then; that while there are so many politicians marching across the ideological spectrum without explanation, he has stayed put. What is that position? "I am on the anti-imperialist left." The Stalinist left? "I wouldn't define it that way because of the pejoratives loaded around it; that would be making a rod for your own back. If you are asking did I support the Soviet Union, yes I did. Yes, I did support the Soviet Union, and I think the disappearance of the Soviet Union is the biggest catastrophe of my life. If there was a Soviet Union today, we would not be having this conversation about plunging into a new war in the Middle East, and the US would not be rampaging around the globe."

13/1/06 08:56  
Blogger edjog said...

Thanks for that wardytron, i'd have got round to it eventually but you've saved me the trawl. From that isolated paragraph it would be easy, if one were of a mind to, to conclude that the only reason George would not describe himself as a Stalinist was because it would alienate him politically and possibly socially also. One could further postulate that in reality he is one, just not prepared to say so. I'd urge you all, DLA's, to read the entire thing however.

Simon Hattenstone's piece for The Grauniad, of Monday September 16, 2002, begins with a description of George which frankly borders on the homo-erotic and, having thus placed 'the thrust' (fnah fnah) of his article firmly into George's person rather than his politics, Simon proceeds to subtly caress the notion that George is in fact nothing more than a fop whose political ideas are hardly worth even considering, they are so outr�. What he actually achieves is as subtle as a grab of the bollocks.

Now, do you see how easy it is to take the "inverted pyramid" style of writing to set the whole tone of a piece so as to rubbish a person's image whilst seeming to be merely commenting on their efforts? Here i've called the credibility of The Guardian into question by repeating Private Eye's satire which referred to a propensity for spelling mistakes way back in the day. I've then gone on to suggest that Hattenstone's objections to Galloway are based in homosexual jealousy or, for the nastier of mind, simply that he lacks credibility because he is gay. Is he gay? I have no idea and i'm not interested. I further compound the notion that he is however by the use of first names, sexual innuendo, pretentious French and sexual idiom.

That's not what we're about at DLA however: we're not interested in Hattenstone; what we want to know is, "What the fuckin'ell is Galloway about?" Well, i'll tell you what i think, based on this evidence.

We do not get a verbatim report of the full interview and, given the tone of the piece, if Galloway had said something like, "I abhor the atrocities committed under Stalin's regime as much as I oppose and have consistently protested, as an MP and private citizen, against Human Rights abuses by the US, UK and Saddam Hussein's regime." It's unlikely to have made it into Hattenstone's copy. Why? Not simply because the purpose was to marginalise Galloway, but to marginalise the issues by concentrating on personalities.

That is the purpose of bringing Stalin into it in the first place. Wooo, Stalin: "The Man of Steel;" death camps; brutal suppression of dissent; plain grey uniform and 'uncompromising' moustache; wasn't he a course jumped up peasant too? In response to Galloway's "anti-imperialist left" the question wasn't, "Marxist-Leninist left?" Because, whether one believes in it's tenets or not, Marxism-Leninism is widely understood to be a political, economic and social belief structure which cannot be dismissed as a 'fringe lunatic' idea, but rather begs debate about the issues it seeks to address. Then again, what is Stalinism actually about? Find out.

If asked, the fact that Galloway is likely to have said something very similar not only chimes with what we've heard from him elsewhere but is reinforced by Hattenstone's later:

"Galloway is quick to remind you that he, and his comrades on the left, were among the first to condemn Saddam's human rights record, even if the chief motive was that the country had become a virulently anti-communist puppet of America."

Of course in the context of the piece, he is trying to further the undermining by suggesting that Galloway is merely blowing his own trumpet. Is he? Well, he's not shy anywhere else, so i'd say yes, but not "merely," as what he says is the plain and simple truth. Hattenstone goes on to state his opinion of the "chief motive" and suggest it would have included glossing over similar in the USSR. But Galloway never said any such thing, because if he had, Hattenstone would have delightfully reported it verbatim.

There are countless examples of this kind of arse in the piece, but i'm sure you're getting bored: read it yourself; draw your own conclusions. There are two points i'd like to draw to your attention however:

1. Galloway's "Sir, I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability," statement to Hussein. Was he really speaking to the Iraqi people, or was it a serious political mistake? I suspect the latter. However, i have to tell you that i salute the skill with which the team that put Dubya in The White House undermined the US electoral system and manipulated the media to get away with it. If i ever get within two feet of him however, his broken nose will be all anyone needs to determine my opinion of the man himself, but that's me. I'm not a statesman: i'm not trying to build bridges. The fact that Galloway is capable of admiring facets of a man despite what he may think of his overall contribution to humanity is pointed up later in the article when Hattenstone reports Galloway's admiration of Churchill, surely not a person one would expect to find in the list of a self-confessed "anti-imperialist's" list of heros.

2. Harold Pinter thinks Galloway rocks. If you've got this far in this article of mine, you must be interested in left issues: the word of a Nobel Laureate must surely carry some weight.

Actually, it occures to me that i may have done Simon Hattenstone an unwarrented disservice here, because it's possible that by concentrating the critical rhetoric into the beginning of the piece, but including these tidbits later, he may have been just pandering to editorial policy, but that achieved sneaked some balance in by the back door, as it were (fnah fnah) [i'm sorry but i couldn't resist it!].

13/1/06 18:40  
Blogger wardytron said...

I've only just seen this, 6 weeks or so later. I hope your lengthy response wasn't just for my benefit, or, if it was, that you didn't have to cancel any plans to find the time to write it.

Er, anyway, Stalinism, Marxism-Leninism, Communism generally: all solely the preserve of nutters these days, given the comparative ease of life in liberal democracies - look! We can even argue despite being in different places at different times, thanks to the magic of computers. Good old capitalism.

But! When Galloway said "Sir, I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability", I can think of no grammatical reason to believe, as so many people apparently do, that the word "sir" means he must have been referring solely to Saddam Hussein. He could have said "Sir, I salute their courage, their strength, their indefatigability", or he could have said "Sir, I salute my mum's courage, strength, and indefatigability". The point being that "sir" wasn't necessarily anything more than a salutation.

24/2/06 00:09  
Blogger edjog said...

No, just working out my own position really wardytron. If it gets read, so much the better. I put it on the main page in the end. But dude,

"Stalinism, Marxism-Leninism, Communism generally: all solely the preserve of nutters these days, given the comparative ease of life in liberal democracies"

That's either excessively flippant or very Euro-centric. I suspect you can, but i'd hope you will produce more than media spin to back that up.

As i said, i couldn't give a fuck what Galloway said to Hussein, his actions speak louder, anyway. I'd be willing to bet something fairly significant that he'd have prefered to nut the horrible cunt in the face, but that was just never going to happen.

25/2/06 02:55  

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