This is a blog, and therefore contains personal musings. So, although my objections to George Galloway are political (read more here), I will pass comment on his appearance in Celebrity Big Brother.
I couldn’t resist checking what Socialist Worker has had to say in the past about BB and its contestants. My favourite discovery is that Big Brother contestants are "sad, vulnerable people … desperate to be on TV".
So, what will the new line be now that Gorgeous George is in da house?
I also have to wonder how he gets a fortnight off work as easily as this? Doesn’t he have a job to do, representing his constituents?
Mind you, such trivialities did not manage to get him to Parliament to vote on repressive terror legislation, when only one vote separated the sides. On that occasion, he was appearing in an audience with himself in Dublin, and could not "break his contract" with the organisers, or let down the people who paid £17.50 each to be in his company.
Two thoughts bug me about this. Firstly, why did he enter into a contract that did not allow him to back out in order to attend an essential vote in Parliament? And secondly, does he have no sense that he has a “contract” with the constituents of Bethnal Green and Bow? Perhaps he would feel more obliged towards them had they paid £17.50 each to vote for him.
As surely as the Emperor is naked, George Galloway is an unprincipled egotist who is taking the piss out of his supporters.
Come on, socialist Respect members, are you not faintly embarrassed by this carry on? Still, if the sight of him crawling to Saddam Hussein, his support for the Syrian regime, his declared need for £150k per year to live on, and his open opposition to abortion and secularism are not enough to put you off him, then I guess that two weeks cavorting with other celebs probably won’t do the trick.
This site has changed has changed since I first linked to it. It now includes the assertion that George's constituency is "going down the pan since Oona [King, former Labour MP] left".
Could I assure readers that I don't endorse that comment. Firstly, it riles me the way that working-class areas are frequently described as "going down the pan" or some kind of urban hell or something. As a resident of Hackney, I usually feel quite defensive about such things. Our communities are neglected and abused by the ruling class and their political servants - the communities themselves usually do their level best not to let this neglect and abuse ruin them.
But secondly, if Bethnal Green and Bow is going down the pan, then it started well before Oona left. From the cuts in Lone Parent Benefit to the war, to housing privatisation, she cravenly supported the Blair government's attacks on her constituents. It's not really a surprise that they voted her out.
SWP/Respect members reply to criticisms about GG absenting himself from duty by pointing to the hypocrisy of their New Labour accusers. That would be a good point, except that:
- (a) It is not just New Labour doing the accusing;
- (b) 'Hypocrisy' suggests - in this case, rightly - that the accusation itself is correct, just that the people levelling at it have got a cheek.
This morning, I began to feel quite sorry for SWP members. Despite my major political disagreements with them, I still believe that people join the SWP for good reasons, because they genuinely want to fight for socialism. I also find a fair few of them to be pleasant human beings.
But they are increasingly being put in a position of having to defend or apologise for the actions of their big cheeses. One example: George Galloway; another: their members on trade union executives who have voted for sell-outs.
Anyway, I posted a comment on an SWP member's website to this effect, and was met with a hysterical response, full of the usual lying shit about the AWL being pro-occupation, pro-Zionist, might as well be Blairites, blah blah blah.
Talk about touchy. Reckon I've hit a nerve? Read the exchange here (scroll down, click on 'comments' and scroll down a fair way again).