Saturday, August 26, 2006

Big George, Live from Beirut

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.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes Galloway is often pleasantly suprising except when:

(a) in front of Arab dictators
(b) On Celeb Big Brother
(c) Quoted in "Solidarity"

It's interesting to see the gulf between the Priest and Grim Venom on this blog: I forsee a split that will make the SSP crisis look like childs play. I mean Denham has been adamant in the past that Galloway is a fascist (a "Stalino-fascist"). Can a revolutionary Shatchmanite and a pro-fascist peacefully co-exist on the same blog?

3:21 PM  
Blogger voltaires_priest said...

And I would be which one of those last two choices, "Anon"?

(I do love "Anons" - so brave ;-))

4:21 PM  
Anonymous Jason S. said...

what the hell is a "Shatchmanite"? I swear, no one knows how to spell S H A C H T M A N.

7:11 PM  
Blogger Renegade Eye said...

The subject of Galloway and Lebanon, came up on the comments section at my blog.

I come from the James Cannon path of Trotskyism. I didn't know until I started blogging, the amount of influence Schachtman had.

11:44 PM  
Anonymous Brynley said...

Pleased that Volt is now analysing Georgeous George's politics in all their vain complexity, rather than just hurling insupportable insults in the manner of Grim Venom.

1:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Priest - By Denham's past criteria you are a "pro-fascist" or at least a fascist sypathiser - i was just kiding.

I do enjoy this blog, both yours and Denham's contrubutions. Denham - who's views i generally don't agree with has nonetheless got a lot of character and very strongly held views.

It's also interesting reading your posts because they reveal the doubts and concerns of a normal person who has just been liberated from a sect ghetto.

It's unusual to read a blog with such divergent views from it's contributors.

I enjoy it though, keep it up.

1:50 AM  
Blogger voltaires_priest said...

Cheers dude. Glad you like the blog. :-)

Yes I know what you mean about the diversity of contributions - for instance it saddens me to see obviously clever people like those at Lenny Lenin's site and Harry's Place, basically congregating on their own sites so that they can publicly agree with each other, or snipe at "the opposition". If they only realised just how similar in modes of operation they really are. That rather takes away from the point of politics, in my view.

To be honest, for Denham and myself, and for Lala, who's currently in Morocco but who will be back in action when she returns, it's just obvious. We can all disagree with each other about particular political issues, and still get along. For the same reason we widened out the posting membership of this blog to include Larry and Wanders, our two newer correspondents from the Taafeite tradition (current and ex ;-)) who were interested in joining up. Debate should be relished, not shied away from, and it's in that spirit that this blog was set up.

One of the reasons why groups like the SWP will never really get far beyond the sect ghetto IMO, is that they still haven't grasped that simple fact - they seem to think they have to either exlude those who disagree (as with the Socialist Alliance), or else suppress their own politics in order to mollify whatever interest group they're cuddling up to (as in Respect).

Incidentally, there is still an open invitation to any SWP'er who'd like to post articles here, be they rejoinders to myself and Denham, or anything else at all. I don't expect that anyone will take it up, but it remains on the table.

4:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Stern Gang was represented in the current coflict by Ehud Olmert. Olmert was a leader of the fascist Betar youth movement inspired by Jabotinsky whose followers formed Lehi (the Stern Gang). Olmert chose the name Kadima for his party as a tribute to Jabotinsky who used it as a slogan.

The link goes Jabotinsky - Sterb Gang - Betar/Herut - Likud - Kadima.

8:30 AM  
Blogger voltaires_priest said...

That doesn't make Olmert a member of the Stern Gang, any more than if you traced my ancestry back to the days of Richard the Lionheart, it would make me a participant in the Third Crusade.

3:10 PM  
Blogger El Tom said...

yeah, have to say i never thought i'd hear that from catman. That means I share my view on the Israel with him!

7:26 AM  

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