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By Jason Michael
SCOTLAND’S FAVOURITE CARPETBAGGER, George Galloway, has announced he will be standing in the next Scottish parliament elections. He intends to win a regional list seat in the South Scotland region as the head a new alliance – ‘An Alliance of all who wish to see the defeat of the SNP and an end to the Neverendum on Scotland’s future.’ Everyone is welcome, of course – everyone who hears the dog-whistles and catches the sly little wink in the use of the RAF roundel in the profile of the Twitter account, that is. George Galloway, the man who has made a career of decrying western imperialism, neoliberalism, and the crimes of the British state, has gone full alt-right.
Those of us familiar with Galloway’s passionate defence of Irish unity, his sycophantic brown-nosing of Middle Eastern tyrants, and his vociferous support for the idiosyncratic Marxism of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela may be a touch confused by his latest incarnation as a champion of fascism, but those who have been watching him closely – other Communists – have seen this coming for a while. In an article on the World Socialist Web Site in April last year, Chris Marsden, reflecting on Galloway’s shady dealings with Nigel Farage and Steve Bannon, wrote:
…Galloway did not merely muddy the class lines—he obliterated them. This was in line with the Stalinist politics that have shaped his entire career. The Second World War was, he declared, “our finest hour. When we all went forward together—Mr. Churchill and Mr. Atlee and Mr. Bevan … That’s what we are doing here tonight. Mr. Farage and me. Miss [Kate] Hoey and Mr. [David] Davis. Left, right, left, right, forward march.
George Galloway, a leftist of a particular – ‘Stalinist’ – hue, has no problem doing business with the right, even the extreme right. In fact, in a May 2016 interview with the Communist paper Morning Star Galloway questioned whether those describing Farage as a fascist even knew what the word meant, and in the same interview explained his willingness to work with the right. ‘Our approach to politics,’ he said, ‘is to build the broadest coalitions possible to achieve things that we believe are right.’ In one fell swoop this opportunistic – not to mention cynical – use of left and right politics to achieve his ends explains both his apparent inconsistency and his willingness to now work with some of the most reprehensible far-right goons in Scotland.
This is George Galloway and Nicola Sturgeon fighting for Scottish independence in 1992. https://t.co/qSsxShhEha—
Jason Michael (@Jeggit) July 18, 2020
Responding to an exchange between Galloway and Jill Stephenson – a disgraced former Edinburgh University academic and outspoken far-right British nationalist, historian Roger Anderson commented on social media that this was all a bit like ‘a fourth rate Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact;’ the August 1939 Soviet-Nazi non-aggression pact. Anderson is right. This is exactly what we are looking at. This is the left-right horse shoe in practice; the further left one goes, towards authoritarianism and despotism, the closer one gets to the extremes of the far-right. Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler might not have seen eye-to-eye on a great many things, but they were cemented together in their loathing of freedom and democracy – and this is exactly why Galloway is courting the right in Scotland.
Knowing the futility of the unionist cause and unable to make a single convincing argument for Scotland remaining part of the United Kingdom, Stephenson has been at the centre of a Scotland in Union green ink scheme campaigning for the closure of the Scottish parliament – and it is precisely this dislike for democracy that has brought George Galloway to her side. Socialism in Scotland has long since forsaken the union, leaving only the ‘pink socialism’ of the British Labour Party – the Blairite Labour Party – on the Tory’s side. Galloway is returning to Scotland without friends and allies, with no one to help him achieve the things he believes are right. So, of course, he is making friends where he can, and the only place he can is in the gutter.
‘His Alliance will roll into town like an old carnival freak show and the locals will line up to listen to the mad political ramblings of the bearded lady himself.’Tweet
But why? His Workers Party of Great Britain lauds the accomplishments of the USSR – a brutal totalitarian regime – and pretends to fight for the class interests of the working class, but this is nonsense. George Galloway is a pink socialist Labour Party unionist and an aspiring dictator. His politics are wholly informed by whichever best suits his ambitions at any given moment. In 1992 he supported devolution as a stepping stone to independence because this offered him a chance at power through revolution. Now that the Scottish National Party has dominated the field, ensuring a smooth transition if and when independence comes, he has returned the larger game of destabilising Britain by keeping it united. His vision is for a revolutionary power grab – for himself – and everything he does is directed to that goal.
George in Galloway: A swine before pearls.—
Jason Michael (@Jeggit) July 19, 2020
Yet, at sixty-five, it looks like his high ambitions have come to nought. He is washed up and washed out. He is a tired, frustrated, and angry man who has precious little to show for all his efforts. He has been the Joker of Scottish politics for decades, just trying to make the world burn. But Scotland is just to damp to burn – and he knows it. His friends from the Brexit campaign have taught him a few new tricks and he’s coming back to Scotland to try them out. The problem is, however, that Galloway is an old dog with nothing much else going for him but his weird and expensive fashion statements and empty rhetoric. This may get him a few more miles in marginalised communities south of the border where he’s still seen as a curiosity, but it doesn’t fly in Scotland. We’ve heard it all before.
And his decision to stand in the south of Scotland is just tragic. This is the heartland of conservative rural Conservativism and these people despise his brand of firebrand Stalinist Communism every bit as much as they hate the idea of separation from Mother England. His Alliance – which will never become anything of the sort – will roll into town like an old carnival freak show and the locals will line up to listen to the mad political ramblings of the bearded lady himself, but in the end they will – as they always do – tell the carnies to sling their hooks. Galloway is coming to embarrass himself, and the only person who doesn’t know this yet is George.
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