Friday, August 03, 2007

1 x 1 = 11

I've been enjoying the Facebook group 'F*ck You- George Galloway and Ken Livingstone'. The Right Honourable Member for Bow and Bethnal Green, who has just been suspended from Parliament, has long been allocated a special corner in my reservoir of disgust.

The Respect Party candidate, who was swept to power on the back of a motley collection of alienated anti-war voters, misogynistic, homophobic, Jew-hating Islamists and nasty little Trot agitators, has taken part in just 13% of parliamentary votes, preferring to spend his constituents money on cosying up to dodgy, self-appointed 'representatives' of Britain's Islamic community, touring the world with his clownish lectures, pretending to be a cat on Big Brother, and arguing with Christopher Hitchens. In May 2006 he surpassed himself by stating that it would be morally justified for a suicide bomber to murder Tony Blair. Regardless of what anyone thinks of Blair, this statement shows up Galloway for the murderous thug he is. Tony Blair was in the embarrassing position of deposing Saddam Hussein then having to sit back and watch as his own people hanged him. Not easy for a Labour administration who is rightly opposed to capital punishment, but an intervention would have undermined the sovereignty of Iraq's newly democratically elected government. Blair wanted Saddam tried for war crimes. Galloway just wants Blair dead.

Perhaps it's not surprising; Galloway was an old chum of the Ba'athists. A brief glimpse of his foaming, fire and brimstone speeches shows how he epitomises the 'any enemy of America is a friend of mine' dogma of the unthinking Left. An ideology that recognises only two extreme positions on an endlessly complex and constantly changing world is no better than the Bush administration's old 'With Us Or Against Us' nonsense. Even Bush has now toned down the bellicose rhetoric. Galloway hasn't.

A crudely dualistic weltanschung is okay for adolescents (I was a member of the Socialist Party Of Great Britain when I was twelve; it didn't last), but it's not okay for a careerist money-launderer who is paid from our pockets.

Maybe that's just a complicated way of saying:

19 comments:

Neil said...

Agreed on all points Nick, except I think more people should be encouraged to argue with the "drink soaked former Trotskyist popinjay", otherwise known as Christopher Hitchens.

Nick Talbot said...

It's annoying that the arguments over foreign policy have been annexed into a Hitchens vs. Galloway side show. Hitchens is the classic Left To Right ex-Trotskyist. Whether he is right about foreign policy or not, it's clear he has kept his zealous fervour, changed his views but not his convictions. Like many now, his spur seems to be the silly contradictions of the Left, not the rightness of the Right.

Neil said...

See also Nick Cohen. I think that their jumping into bed with the neo-cons is just as dubious as Galloway and the SWP campaigning with the likes of the Muslim Council of Britain, though.

Nick Talbot said...

I'm not sure it is that dubious; some of their justifications are pretty good. The best justifications are provided by Paul Berman in his book 'Terror and Liberalism'. He puts the whole thing in an impressive historical context.

Many of the 'muscular liberals' (silly name) have been influenced by Berman. Many are lesser writers though.

ajohnstone said...

Are you sure you made the right decision from resigning from the SPGB. Seems as if their view of the World hasn't been undermind but reinforced over the years .

"Youth is happy because it has the ability to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old" - Franz Kafka

Nick Talbot said...

I was attracted to their non-violent revolution-via-the ballot-box beliefs. They believe that socialism can only come through democratic process, and must be non-violent.

I resigned because I'm no longer a socialist. That's seems a pretty good reason to leave.

If I had to put myself in a box I suppose I'm a liberal libertarian.

I'm pretty centrist on economic issues. I believe free trade can be a force for good but it needs to be done much fairer. I deplore wasteful government spending but think we have a moral duty to make sure everyone can get healthcare.

On social issues, like drugs reform, ID cards, censorship and privacy I'm a complete libertarian. I believe it's no business of the government what we do to our own bodies, and there is no compelling reason for ID cards. There should be no state intervention into people's personal lives. The purpose of government is to protect us from each other, not ourselves.

Unlike many of a libertarian bent I support the smoking ban. Smoking harms people who don't want to be harmed. It's a libertarian no-brainer.

The only Right-wingers I respect are the true libertarians. There aren't any in this country. There are a few in the USA, like Ron Paul, for instance. I disagree with them on various issues, but I respect their consistency.

Similarly, I respect Tony Benn as a true left winger. I admire his consistency, but I think he has his head in the clouds. Top bloke though.

Nick Talbot said...

Oh, and the SPGB called each other 'Comrade'.

Oh dear...

Yet they weren't Soviet-apologists, unlike most of the British Left from the 50's through to the 80's.

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