George Galloway MP: an apology

April 30, 2012 at 1:17 pm (apologists and collaborators, Asshole, Catholicism, Galloway, Guardian, homophobia, islamism, Jim D, Respect, stalinism, twat)

Shiraz Socialist has on a number of occasions described Mr George Galloway, MP for Blackburn Bradford West, as a “Stalinist,” a term that implies a belief in a form of socialism, characterised by state control of the means of production and opposition to private property.

George Galloway in Dundee in 1978

Above: young Galloway while still a socialist… of sorts 

In view of Mr Galloway’s inteview with Ms Decca Aitkenhead in today’s Guardian G2, in which he states:

But my main political mistake, in retrospect, was that state ownsership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, in which I believed, and for which I campaigned, was a false God…Yes I’m not saying that everything in the private garden is rosy. There’s just more flowers than there were in the state garden. I’m sorry to say that, and, yes it is painful.”

…we accept that it was completely untrue to suggest that Mr Galloway is presently a “Stalinist” or, indeed, a believer in any ideology that could be described as in any remote way, however degenerate, as “socialist.” We unreservedly apologise to Mr Galloway for any distresss caused to himself, any of his wives, or Mr Ovenden.

We accept that Mr Galloway is a godly, religious man, perhaps a Catholic or possibly a Muslim, but either way he opposes secularism and seeks to re-introduce religiously-based communalism to British politics. As Ms Aitkenhead notes:

“We had talked a great deal about the role of religion in politics, and could not have disagreed more. I thought it outrageous to urge voters in Bradford, as he did, to vote for him or fear the wrath of judgment day. Galloway can’t see the problem at all: ‘I believe that, on judgment day, people have to answer for what they did.’ When I ask if he is troubled that many voters thought he had converted to Islam, he replies: ‘Well, I don’t think many of them are interested in my religion’ – which is pretty rich, considering he put out a leaflet all about which candidate was more of a Muslim. Contrary to every report I’ve read, he doesn’t deny writing the leaflet himself. I think he is ludicrously slippery about invoking religion, playing it both ways to suit his own purposes, but, as he says, we are never going to agree because he doesn’t think politics should be secular. ‘So it’s apples and pears, dear’.”


  1. modernity's ghost said,

    I congratulate Shiraz Socialist on a timely Galloway post.

    Clearly, Galloway’s trying to put some distance between his past admiration for the Soviet Union and whatever he believes today (mostly in himself, as far as I can understand) and he does have to play to a constituency, so his comments must be seen in that light.

    Might I contribute this clip, as a token of my admiration for his unrivalled acting abilities!

  2. Rosie said,

    ‘So it’s apples and pears, dear’.”

    She should have kicked him for that “dear”.

  3. sackcloth and ashes said,

    ‘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’.

    Maybe that amoral little scumbag has realised that singing the praises of the state that butchered hundreds of thousands of Afghans during the 1980s won’t play well with his new ‘friends’.

  4. sue r said,

    He can’t resist a pretty face. He lets his tongue run away with him. You’d have to have a heart of stone not to laugh. Hubris.

  5. Fasterpussycat Miaow! Miaow! Miaow! said,

    He’s a conservative populist (and a slimy patronising creep). Galloway and Nick Griffin are two melted-looking cheeks on the same communalist arse. One is the champion of the imagined ‘white community’ and the other is champion of the imagined ‘Muslim community’. Dog and pony shows for the petit bourgeoises and lumpenproles … and various tailenders on the make.

  6. Jim Denham said,

    OOH! I like it, Pussycat!
    Can I use that quote (attributed, of course) here and elsewhere, please?

  7. Fasterpussycat Miaow! Miaow! Miaow! said,

    Oh go on then James.

  8. Sue R said,

    George ‘Two Wives’ Galloway is a rodomontade who stirs mobs with his insolence. End of.

  9. Jim Denham said,

    I had to google “rodomontade.” I’m so glad that I did:

    This is a delightfully imitative word, that rolls swaggeringly off the tongue, like the boastful or inflated talk or behaviour that it describes. It was created from Rodomont, the name of the boastful Saracen king of Algiers, in two famous Italian romantic epics, Orlando Innamorato of 1485 by Count Matteo Boiardo, and the sequel of 1516, Orlando Furioso by Ludovico Ariosto.

    English borrowed the word rodomont in the sixteenth century as a way to describe an extravagant boaster or braggart. Our form appeared in the following century. At first it meant a single brag or boastful act, so that one could speak in the plural of rodomontades. In that form, the first known user was John Donne, in 1612: “Challengers cartells, full of Rodomontades.” Later it became both an adjective and a verb and a mass noun that refers to the whole business of making your point by laying it on rather too thick.

    In that sense, it turns up in many works of literature, including The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë: ”She knows what she’s about; but he, poor fool, deludes himself with the notion that she’ll make him a good wife, and because she has amused him with some rodomontade about despising rank and wealth in matters of love and marriage, he flatters himself that she’s devotedly attached to him.”

  10. Roger said,

    Aitkenhead on Galloway is a combination I cannot bring myself to read – but I presume she was much nicer to him that she was to Hitchens?

    And I am sure I had Galloway Rodomonting first whether down here or at Oslers.

    The point about Rodomont (and anyone who hasn’t read Ariosto should do so – in places it is as funny as Rabelais) is that he is not just boastful but rides incessantly about the walls of besieged Paris insulting the defenders like the John Cleese Frenchman from Monty Python and the Holy Grail in reverse – and then when he goads them to riding out he kills them due to his dragon-skin armour which makes him magically invulnerable.

    The parallels with Galloway are striking – both self-styled holy warriors fighting to destroy western civilisation, both deranged megolamaniacs and both strangely capable of surviving attacks that should kill them stone dead,

  11. Jimmy said,

    I met a few shop stewards in my time claiming to be socialists and waiting to climb the ladder on the back of the Labour Party. Gorgeous is back on the bottom rung.

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