Tag Archives: George Galloway

Scotland: No to independence campaign lumbered with George Galloway

George Galloway, March 2008
If ever there was a way to sway an undecided voter in the up-coming Scottish independence vote, it would be to place George Galloway, in all his odious rape apologizing, Assad excusing, conspiracy theory believing self, on the opposite side of the debate. 

It must have been with great cheer then within the Yes to Independence campaign that The Guardian today highlighted Mr Galloway’s previously little noticed “Just say ‘naw'” campaign – his months of campaigning for a no vote to independence. 

Already those supporting the no vote have responded with dismay:

He is a laughing stock to most, but to the ‘better together’ campaign, he is a walking liability. 

In such a tightly contested vote, could Galloway be what weights the scales towards a yes vote? 

Think I am overplaying this? Well…remember when he described North Korea as a ‘Cohesive, pristine, innocent culture’

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Daily Mail’s defence, we’re not as bad as George Galloway…

The Daily Mail isn’t letting the furore over their article on Ralph Miliband die down (see yesterday’s Hynd’s Blog article).

Stephen Glover has taken to the pages of the Mail to say, “How typically hypocritical of the Left, who danced on the grave of Mrs Thatcher, to be upset about debate over Red Ed’s Marxist father.”

Well, where to start?

Firstly, it isn’t just the left that were upset with the Mail’s hatchet job on Ralph Miliband. David Cameron said he “completely understood” why Ed would want to get his point of view across while Nick Clegg (let’s not pretend he is on the left) tweeted:

Secondly though, I feel obligation bound to point out that as someone who self-identifies as left wing, I didn’t take to the streets to “dance on Thatcher’s grave” and nor did most people who self-identify as left-wing that I call friends. I accept though that thousands did, and that was distasteful. But at the time I repeatedly wrote articles arguing for respect, see:

Thirdly, as I argued before, these debates are not rooted in left or right wing politics but notions of respect and decency that are found across the political spectrum. Trying to make this about political affiliation is a desperate attempt to use in/out group mentality to defend the indefensible.

Lastly, it has to pointed out that Glover’s crass attempt to draw in Thatcher’s death into this argument is a desperate attempt to shield their original article with the unacceptable actions of those who metaphorically danced on Thatcher’s grave. The moment an argument rests on “well George Galloway said/did something worse” you know you’re on a slippery slope into the cesspits of journalism.



Talking of cesspits of journalism, this story is just breaking: “Mail on Sunday reporter gatecrashes Miliband family memorial service“.

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Zionists and Palestinian Activists Unite In Condemning Galloway

The reason is simple; No recognition, No normalisation. Just Boycott, divestment and sanctions, until the Apartheid state is defeated

This is the explanation George Galloway MP gave for walking out of a debate after stating he doesn’t “debate with Israelis”.

Everyone from Harry’s Place through to the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign (PSC) has condemned Galloway’s overtly discriminatory views.

I find it extraordinary that someone who claims to working for peace in the region will refuse to talk to an entire nation of people.

By saying he won’t debate with Israelis, is he saying that he won’t debate with the millions of Palestinian Arabs who hold Israeli citizenship as well?

Or is he saying he won’t with Jewish Israelis?

His view makes no sense. The very suggestion that every Israeli citizen is tacitly involved in the Israelis state oppression of Palestinians is inaccurate and insulting.

It is insulting to the Israelis working at the human rights group B’Tselem. It is insulting to Israeli journalists like Gideon Levy who have devoted their lives to exposing the realities in the occupied territories. It is insulting to anyone who is trying to hold onto a vague sense of shared humanity in this conflict that seems so determined to strip people of this.

Both pragmatically and principally, Galloway’s stance is wrong.

Expect an apology…from George Galloway? No chance.

Galloway later turned to twitter to defend his stance:


Filed under Human rights, Middle East, Politics, War

A note to David Ward MP: Your historical comparisons are unhelpful

I never for a moment intended to criticise or offend the Jewish people as a whole, either as a race or as a people of faith, and apologise sincerely

David Ward MP

The Liberal Democrat MP David Ward was criticised for suggesting that “the Jews” in Israel inflicted “atrocities on Palestinians… on a daily basis” and had not learned lessons from the holocaust.

Ward (I believe inadvertently) used language to suggest that all Jews were responsible for the crimes that are being committed by the state of Israel. This is fundamentally not true and can be highly offensive, not least to the many Jews who oppose the immoral foreign policy of the Israeli state towards the Palestinian territories.

The Liberal Democrats responded sayingThe Liberal Democrats deeply regret and condemn the statement issued by David Ward”.

The Liberal Democrats were right to condemn his comments, and Ward was right, in retrospect to apologise.

When speaking to Sky News though, Ward seemed to dig himself deeper. He was asked if he accepts that he was accusing “The Jews” of inflicting “this persecution on the Palestinians,” not the Israeli state. His answer:

Well, I’m accusing the Jews who did it, if you’re a Jew who did not do it then I’m not accusing you. I’m saying that those Jews who did that and continue to do it have not learned those lessons [from the Holocaust]. If you are a Jew and you do not do those things and have never done those things then I am not criticizing you

Hmm…So when he uses the term “The Jews” he is actually just referring to the Jews that are committing the atrocities that he has witnessed in the occupied territories, not Jews in general. As clear as mud.

At best, his (well intentioned) comments were sloppy.

An aspect of his comments that I felt equally uncomfortable with however was his assertion that

The Holocaust was one of the worst examples in history of man’s inhumanity to man. When faced with examples of atrocious behaviour, we must learn from them. It appears that the suffering by the Jews has not transformed their views on how others should be treatment”

Ignoring his repeated inaccurate and potentially offensive use of “the Jews” he makes a point here that is unhelpful and inaccurate.

Of course, I agree with Ward in the basic assertion that “we must learn” from the holocaust. What I am unclear on though, is what does he want us to learn that is applicable to the current situation in the occupied territories?

This latest uproar reminded me of George Galloway, Oona King and Jenny Tonge’s comments comparing the situation in Gaza to the Warsaw ghetto, comparable only in the fact that they both involved human suffering.

At the time, Howard Jacobson wrote in The Independent saying:

In the early 1940s some 100,000 Jews and Romanis died of engineered starvation and disease in the Warsaw Ghetto, another quarter of a million were transported to the death camps, and when the Ghetto rose up it was liquidated, the last 50,000 residents being either shot on the spot or sent to be murdered more hygienically in Treblinka. Don’t mistake me: every Palestinian killed in Gaza is a Palestinian too many, but there is not the remotest similarity, either in intention or in deed – even in the most grossly mis-reported deed – between Gaza and Warsaw

Does this mean we have to ease off our criticism of the Israeli government while they continue to push their expansionist war mongering agenda? Not in the slightest.

There is nothing more powerful than describing the atrocities that are occurring daily in the occupied territories as exactly what they are.

If you want to understand the occupation, Read about the indignity of being made to queue for hours to get to work. Read about the reality of living in a community that is raided at least weekly by a foreign army. Read about the pain of losing your son who is held in detention on spurious charges (often without charge or trial).

No comparison is needed, a sentiment shared by Ward’s colleague Julian Huppert MP.


Filed under History, Human rights, Middle East, Politics