Galloway’s tanky projection
Question Time was a real treat last night. Yvette Cooper kicking Theresa May when she was down, as Baroness (portfolio of nothing) Warsi tried and failed to defend her honour, while Tim Farron was a hoot, trying to hold the inharmonious position as comic and reluctant defender of the coalition government.
Of course the main event was George Galloway and David Aaronovitch, head to head.
Scarcely a few moments had passed until the pair were at each others neck, and the attempts to de-legitimise Aaronovitch’s arguments were quite familiar.
Instead of answering questions Galloway instead made reference to Aaronovitch’s previously held Communist convictions.
He did this, too, to Christopher Hitchens in that famous debate back in 2005, in New York. Unprepared to tackle the issues, he appealed to the lowest form of argument: the ad hominem.
You will remember the lines:
“What Mr Hitchens has done is unique in natural history; the first-ever metamorphosis from a butterfly back into a slug. I mention ‘slug’ purposefully, because the one thing a slug does leave behind it is a trial of slime”.
On Question Time, Galloway made mention of the fact that in the way he believes in God, Aaronovitch believes in Stalin.
These “blows” were used instead of engaging with the point raised that Galloway has done nothing by way of condemning the behaviour of Assad – in fact, going so far as to “flatter” him.
But is this projection of Galloway’s?
Did he not protest-too-much in the 2002 interview with Simon Hattenstone:
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. If there was a Soviet Union today, we would not be having this conversation about plunging into a new war in the Middle East, and the US would not be rampaging around the globe.”
He wouldn’t define it that way because of the “pejoratives” loaded around it – any anti-Stalinist would have far better reasons not to define their politics in that way.
What about when George Galloway described his old chum John Reid:
“John’s a very good political operator – remorseless, unremitting and practical. Just like Stalin.”
Clearly complimentary there.
But lastly, to throw one final log on the fire, what about Galloway’s criticisms of anti-Stalinist George Orwell, and the comments that he was traitorous (via Paul Anderson):
“But for a bullet in the brain on the Ebro […] Rupert John Cornford [English poet who fought in the Spanish Civil War] might have loomed as large as George Orwell in the British left-wing lexicon […] Orwell would probably have informed on him to his bosses in British Intelligence. For Cornford was a Communist […] their memory has been sullied by Orwell’s slanders, unfortunately reinforced by Ken Loach’s film Land and Freedom.”
Indeed as Anderson in his commentary about this writes:
“Orwell did nothing to sully the memory of the International Brigade volunteers. He did expose the vile role of the Stalinists in suppressing the Spanish revolution in 1937″
Why would Galloway, here, be doing Stalin’s work for him? You don’t think, maybe, perhaps…
Galloway dishes it out, but it looks, on deeper inspection, like projection.
As David Aaronovitch posted on Twitter last night:
Just back in the hotel after
#bbcqt. GG [George Galloway] brought a whole retinue with him. They ate the food and returned to Blackburn or Bolton or Bradford.