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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.

Not convinced?

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.

Categories: General Politics
  1. April 20, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    I skipped Question Time and opted for The Wrestler. Theatrical and contrived sparring between washed-up and absurdly inflated performers…seemed much less appealing than Darren Aronofsky’s film.

    • April 20, 2012 at 1:18 pm

      Haha, you missed a treat – the best bits are on this page

  2. Rock
    April 20, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    This is a poor hatchet job. Galloway has never been a Communist. How is it untrue to say that Stalin saved Europe from the Nazis, or that the Soviet Union were a counterbalance to American imperialism?

    Freedom for Palestine, troops out of Afghanistan.

    • April 20, 2012 at 2:02 pm

      Save the whale, Xiaoping for China, hats for Dogs, Motherhood for Apple pie etc

  3. AB
    April 20, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    Galloway also spoke on a panel recently with Harpal Brar’s Stalin Society, which has this to say about George Orwell:

    “George Orwell: Anti-communist Propagandist, Champion of Trotskyism and State Informer”


  4. April 20, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    Aaronovitch has never said that he had been wrong at the time. They never have said that. Nor have their friends among the old Pretoria and Santiago bag men and spokesman, the likes of Michael Gove. That is the point.

    • sackcloth and ashes
      April 20, 2012 at 10:04 pm

      Michael Gove a shill for Botha and Portillo. When exactly did that happen, David? And do tell us what happened to the British People’s Alliance, the party that was going to take British politics by storm after its launch in 2007.

  5. skidmarx
    April 20, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    ” the attempts to de-legitimise Aaronovitch’s arguments were quite familiar.”
    Not quite the way I recall it. Aaro started it in precisely that delegitimising manner by referring not to the argument Galloway was making, but to statements he made about Syria some years ago. It was quite entertaining to see Galloway tu quoque him.

    The ranting about Communists does help to remind us that he ain’t the socialist messiah.

    • sackcloth and ashes
      April 20, 2012 at 10:06 pm

      I’ll say one thing for Galloway – he kicked the SWP out of RESPECT in 2007 and told them to ‘Fuck off, fuck off the lot of you’. Now the swuppies are trying to crawl back into his favour. I wonder how far they’ll get up his arse …

  6. rosie
    April 20, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    Galloway is a cheeky bugger is what it amounts to. After Christopher Hitchens’s death he described CH as “the man who once praised Saddam Hussein in adoration” which is (a) not true of CH, and (b) true of Galloway himself.

  7. BuddyDuddy
    April 20, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    So, what we can safely say is that George Galloway is a liar. Oh, and an arsehole.

  8. AB
    April 20, 2012 at 10:34 pm


    Source for Galloway saying that?


    I thought we knew that already.

  9. Monsuer Jelly est Formidable
    April 21, 2012 at 7:34 am


    I think that Galloway is referring to this old NS article that was dredged up here by tossers at the New Statemen recently:

    On where he (Galloway) remarks on Hitchens and the first Gulf War, Hitchens felt betrayed by Chomsky during the first gulf war. Chomsky initially persuaded Hitchens to not support the first George Bush in Iraq but then Chomsky changed his mind when he believed that an invasion was necessary to save Kuwait.

  10. skidmarx
    April 21, 2012 at 8:24 am

    “And it has a leader — Saddam Hussein — who has sprung from being an underground revolutionary gunman to perhaps the first visionary Arab statesman since Nasser”

    Either Rosie is lying or she’s blind to the truth.

    • Monsuer Jelly est Formidable
      April 21, 2012 at 11:09 am

      you are a thick cunt shittpants.

    • sackcloth and ashes
      April 21, 2012 at 4:49 pm

      Referring in detail to the NS, we can see that shitstain – an apologist for Rwandan genocide deniers, amongst other unpleasant things – is lying through his teeth when he claims that Hitchens was an apologist for Saddam:

      ‘Dining with an old man on a houseboat moored in the Tigris. I discovered that he inadvertently embodied the history of modern Iraq. He had been imprisoned in 1941 for opposing the British, again in 1959 for hostility to Kassem’s pro-Russian line and finally in 1969 by the present regime. The last of these had, he said, been easily the worst. He was personally interrogated by Nadim Kzar, then head of the secret police and since executed for his crimes. There had been torture and brutality of a far worse sort than his previous incarcerations …
      In their different crusades, both Iraq and Iran take a distinctly unsentimental line on internal opposition. Ba’ath party spokesmen, when questioned about the lack of public dissent, will point to efforts made by the party press to stimulate criticism of revolutionary shortcomings. True enough, there are such efforts, but they fall rather short of permitting any organised opposition’.

      So Iraq is (in this article) presented as a brutal dictatorship that’s on a par with the Shah in Iran. That’s not quite the same as the repeated visits to Baghdad to salute the indefatigability of the man who gassed the people of Halabja. Nor is it on a par with ‘Socialist Wanker’ expressing the hope that Saddam beats the USA and Britain (on 20th March 2003).

      Swanker scum.

  11. Rosie
    April 21, 2012 at 8:56 am

    There’s Galloway’s article after the death of Hitchens:-


    Here’s a fisk of it:-


    As for Hitchens’s remarks re Saddam Hussein they fall a long way short of “adoration”, were uttered in 1970 something and were certainly taken back in spades.

    Given Galloway’s readiness to fall in prostration at the feet of Arab/Iranian dictators, he’s a cheeky sod chucking that out as an accusation (cf “Stalinist” accusations).

  12. Edgar
    April 21, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    More Galloway bashing from the ‘decents’. I agree with Skidm, Aaaaaaronovitch does not engage with the argument but with Galloway the man, this is difficult for someone outside the debate. Hitchens did the same thing when he debated the Iraq war with Galloway. He spent more time slagging Galloway off than actually debating the issue, as if Galloway was the issue! As someone who was against Iraq but had never met Saddam it was frustrating that the pro war exponents were using Galloway’s record as justification for the war!

    • Monsuer Jelly est Formidable
      April 21, 2012 at 2:33 pm

      “Hitchens did the same thing when he debated the Iraq war with Galloway. He spent more time slagging Galloway off than actually debating the issue”…

      no he did not. and he slaughtered all Galloway’s shite. and Your shite as well no doubt. thick boot-licking piece of shit to be expunged from earth.

  13. Ellis
    April 21, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    It is peculiar that anyone feels that Galloway has a duty to criticise the Syrian government. That is really not the way it works: his duty is to oppose imperialism. Galloway has many faults, no doubt, but he is not an apologist for the murderous US regime and its satraps in NATO.
    Aaronivitch is, and Hitchens was, a highly paid apologist for an imperialism revving itself back up into the demented suicidal criminality that it last achieved in the 1940s: Brecht’s bitch back in heat and surrounded again by doting renegades and bootlicking cowards.

    • sackcloth and ashes
      May 3, 2012 at 1:20 pm

      That’s it, comrade. We don’t need to worry about pesky things like human rights and crimes against humanity. Just shout about imperialism, imperialism, and imperialism, and let’s forget those of us who toady to thugs and mass murderers.


  14. April 22, 2012 at 6:21 am

    Please see my comment on the CSM/ Labour web-site

  15. Spartacus Mills
    April 22, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    this could only possibly interest self-important middle class types who think any of the fucknuts appearing on the pedants’ wankfest of Question Time actually matter to anyone in the real world.

    Wanking over an Arronavitch / Galloway smugfest. One works for Murdoch and one for Press TV. Both cunts.

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