the Disillusioned kid: George Galloway and his unending pursuit of consensus
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Friday, May 26, 2006

George Galloway and his unending pursuit of consensus

I'm not exactly the world's biggest fan of "Gorgeous" George Galloway. To be honest I think he's a reheated Stalinoid with an ego even larger than his car. He also has has quite the habit of spouting ill-considered shite, which all too often plays into the hands of the media who are more than happy to use him as a large stick to swing indiscriminately in the direction of the wider anti-war movement. What is intriguing, however, is the way that the media respond to his little outbursts.

Inexplicably, his praise for Syria's President Bashar al-Assad passed largely without comment. By contrast his comments about the hypothetical assasination of Tony Blair have generated quite the controversy. As ever with these things there's a lot of nonsense about what was and wasn't said and - typically - the interview doesn't seem to be available online. (The GQ site is here if anybody wants to have a look and prove me wrong.) Instead, let us turn to the account carried in the Indie:
In an interview with GQ magazine, the reporter asked him: "Would the assassination of, say, Tony Blair by a suicide bomber - if there were no other casualties - be justified as revenge for the war on Iraq?"

Mr Galloway replied: "Yes, it would be morally justified. I am not calling for it - but if it happened it would be of a wholly different moral order to the events of 7/7. It would be entirely logical and explicable. And morally equivalent to ordering the deaths of thousands of innocent people in Iraq - as Blair did."
This strikes me as a little confused. Galloway suggests that such an attack would be "justified" and then avers that it is "morally equivalent" to the invasion of Iraq, which is strange, because he'd always given the distinct impression that he considered the latter deeply wrong.

Lenin, does a rather good job of articulating an alternative and rather more satisfying response to the interviewer's (actually rather strange) question:
He should have said that the best way to spread Blair's philosophy would be to blow his brains out. He should have said that if the Nuremberg laws were applied, he and several of his cronies would be hanging over the Tyburn. He should have said that the only tragedy in the instance of Blair perishing in a suicide attack would be the loss of life on the part of the executor. He should have said that at least if we hung the cabinet, no innocent lives would be lost.

But what do you expect? - the guy's a reformist, a former Labour Party member, of course he's going to let emotions cloud his judgment.
Anyway, as one might expect, the usual suspects are getting all het up about this for all the wrong reasons. Perhaps tellingly, the Indie doesn't seem to have been able to find anybody outside the Parliamentary Labour Party to criticise Galloway. They do claim that "the Stop the War Coalition criticised Mr Galloway," but the sum total of their evidence for this claim amounts to a mildly worded statement about not agreeing with suicide bombings. Anybody who's ever been to a StWC event will realise just how unlikely even the idea of the Coalition criticising Galloway is. In the place of anything approaching independent criticism we are subjected to the Stephen Pound and Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram who appear to have removed their heads from Tony Blair's rectum just long enough to offer their ten-pennies' worth. Ingram's accusation that Galloway is "dipping his poisonous tongue in a pool of blood" seems particularly hypocritical.

Doubtless at this juncture I should insert the ubiquitous disclaimer that of course assasinating Blair isn't going to miraculously save the world and that suicide bombings targetted against civillians are unjustifiable. That said, that is hardly the issue here, as Tony Blair is innocent in only the most distorted source of the term. I've never really understood why suicide bombings are regarded as so much worse than any other way of violently ending people's lives. If anything, one could argue it's morally better because the perpetrator dies in the process which would seem to be at least as severe as an punishment likely to be meted out by the courts. Nevertheless, if anybody reading this is thinking about assasinating Blair, it's probably better to shoot him. Less chance of involving any genuine innocents.
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