Big George, Live from Beirut

August 26, 2006 at 9:17 pm (Uncategorized)

George Galloway has just finished his first of two live shows from Beirut… and it was quite interesting. I’d have to say with all honesty that he was nowhere near as bad as I was expecting him to be – the usual demagogic manner of speaking aside, he was quite effective, and he made a few pertinent points. Some of which surprised me.

For instance, I never thought I would hear George Galloway come right out and say that “People born in Israel have rights there now”. I’m glad he does think this, but it surprised me to hear him say it. It also suprised me to hear him appear to support the PLO position on a Palestinian state – which is for a state of Palestine on the 1967 borders, with its capital in East Jerusalem. I was pleasantly surprised to hear that too – although perhaps I’m not as surprised by it as Galloway’s gofers in the SWP will have been.

He also thought that “Sky (News) in particular had a pretty good war”. Which is interesting, given his recent encounters with them on the subject of Lebanon.

The main bum note was the ex-colonial wing commander who served as the “guest” on the show, hanging about in the studio with Galloway’s pal James Whale and rambling on about how peaceful things were during “the mandate”. What the point of him was, other than to go on about the Stern Gang (who, it should be fairly obvious, did not participate in the recent Lebanese conflict), is beyond me.

Whale also allowed on a fair number of anti-Galloway callers, including some who were possibly a bit over-virulent, for instance a chap called “David”, who called Galloway a “Goebbels talking in an Arabic beer hall”… which just goes to show that sometimes it might be worth some of us remembering that not all fanatics are pro-Galloway.

Overall George, old man, it didn’t have me swooning with admiration; it was never going to. But it was a lot better than I was expecting. I shall listen with interest to the second installment tomorrow.

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