Random musings from the front line (well, more like the support trench, or perhaps the castle 10 miles away, supping Chateau Lafite with the General Staff) in the battle for curiosity, inertia, grammar and a Dachshund called Colin.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

The List - Episode 4 (A New Hope?)

Would you buy a lawnmower off this man?Is this "Gorgeous" George Galloway, giving the forces of neocon darkness at the Senate the unexpurgated truth? I read an article in the Sunday Telegraph today (who's sister paper recently lost a £150,000 libel suit to him, but who are appealing) saying that he may be a bastard, but he's our bastard and we should be proud of him (or words to that effect). I beg to differ...

Yes, it was a very impressive rhetorical performance from the former garden centre worker, but I've never been much of a supporter of the "My enemy's enemy is my friend" theory of politics, and just because he gave a well-rehearsed anti-war speech in the heart of Washington DC, it doesn't (or shouldn't, at least) make him a folk hero all of a sudden. American bloggers, "comment-lite" commentators and peace activists have seized on this previously-unknown, telegenic, eloquent MP as a new standard bearer for democracy and the anti-war movement, but caveat emptor applies just as much to speaking engagements as it does to washing machines, and this particular speaker comes with a closet so full of outspoken skeletons it makes Michael Moore look like a director of Halliburton.

Here are some of George Galloway's words of wisdom over the years.

In 1987, after a visit to the Greek resort of Mykonos, he (a married man) told a journalist, “I travelled and spent lots of time with people in Greece, many of whom were women, some of whom were known carnally to me. I actually had sexual intercourse with some of the people in Greece.”

In 1994, at his first (of two) meetings with Saddam Hussein he is on the record (and on camera) as saying "Sir, I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability”. This, and many other episodes of shameless brown-nosing to the dictator, earned him the nickname in Parliament of the 'Honourable Member for Baghdad South'.

In 2002, in an interview with the Guardian, he stated "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."

In the 2005 election campaign, when accused of 'carpetbagging' a constituency with the highest Muslim population in the UK, represented by one of the very few female black MPs, he replied that she (Oona King, the sitting MP) was responsible for "the deaths of many people in Iraq with blacker faces than hers". A nice touch, considering that she was not a minister (therefore not a member of government), and had not exactly pulled any triggers on the ground in the Middle East.

Last week, as he arrived in Washington, he announced "I have no expectation of justice from a group of Christian fundamentalist and Zionist activists under the chairmanship of a neocon George Bush." Is this a shade of religious intolerance, or at least a lack of RESPECT for other religious viewpoints?

S Hussein Esq shows off his lovely palace to a foreign admirerCombined with his suspiciously-large expense account when General Secretary of the soon-to-be insolvent homeless charity War on Want (£21,000 in 1985/6), his call on British servicemen to disobey orders (an offence under the 1934 Incitement to Disaffection Act), his repeated naming on Iraqi "Oil for Food" documents (that he admits, but claims are all forgeries), and his terrier-like litigious streak, it appears to me that he may be considered a rather shifty character. Thus, in my humble opinion, George Galloway should be added to The List.

3 Rants & Replies:

Blogger Willie Lupin said...

I'm puzzled as to the relevance of George having been a 'garden centre worker' for one year 33 years ago, as compared to his five years as General Secretary of War on Want. However for me it's another point in his favour as I'd be more inclined to trust anyone who knew how to handle plants and I'll be emailing him about a problem with my Lupins.
More worrying is if right-wing papers like the Telegraph are starting to print nice things about him. I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

4:19 pm, May 23, 2005

Blogger Merkin said...

'Tis mere background, my dear fellow. After all, the profile of any (alleged) rogue should include some colour, and having once been a Saturday boy at Toad Hall garden centre myself (I even helped to fix Michael Caine's ride-on mower once!), I was truly delighted to find something I have in common with ol' George. That and my imminent investigation by the US Senate.

4:24 pm, May 23, 2005

Blogger Willie Lupin said...

OK, I accept that good writing, like a herbaceous border, needs background colour.
As George is so busy and in view of your experience I shall consult you instead on horticultural matters. I could do with a Saturday boy to ensure that my Lupin spikes thrust vigorously upwards.

9:42 am, May 24, 2005


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