Tag Archives: politics

George Galloway – I’m Not The Only One

I first found the Respect party when I did a search for alternatives to the main ones. I was  intrigued by a social justice, anti war eco driven new political group and wanted to know more about George, their best known MP. I thought I might support and learn from him.

I have come to see him as the caustic Caledonian  – Labour’s Lucifer.

I’m Not The Only One is a hard book to read – not because I can’t understand it, though he does have a wide vocabulary, and his own word “obfuscate” best describes his writing style with sentences constructed like this – but because of his tirade. After the introduction, I wondered if I could manage the rest of the book as I felt I’d been battered with an energy like Michael Moore’s, but more erudite and snide. Happily, the tone lets up a little, but it is still an intense diatribe, though profanity free. George is often very personal and insulting about other politicians. He rarely explains a situation so you only get the George rant, which feels off kilter and his long multi clause sentences seem to hide answers to or ignore the many questions a reader will have.

George spends much time aggrandising or in apologetics. He speaks of his love for Iraq, which at first was very interesting to hear a passionate description of this country  – one he claims he knows better than anyone else in Britain. But the other thread of this book is the love that jilted him, the Labour party whose exclusion after over 30 years of marriage was still very raw in this 2005 book. He defends various things said about him regarding Saddam Hussein, Mariam the Iraqi child he brought to Britain for leukaemia treatment; the War on Want funds; a transcript of his trial in Washington – but not exactly why the Labour Party claimed to need to put him on trial. He often depicts himself as a hero – and a victim.

He had not yet parted ways with Respect leader Salma Yaqoob; and this book is before his Big Brother/Jungle appearances, and that awful rape comment, which he refused to rescind. It is pre the infamous Jeremy Paxman interview when he’d just won the London seat, and though he happily put down Britain’s rudest current affairs presenter, George repeated what seemed a deeply racist and thoughtless statement for someone who claims to understand the Middle East so well. From his website, it seems his style and sentiment hasn’t changed, treating his recent Ed Miliband meeting in the same way.

Reading this book was like a rickety high speed train where you’re glad to get to the end of the journey – or disembark early.

I am surprised but glad that Penguin has published this – it shows freedom of speech being endorsed by a major publisher. For there are some shocking accusations is this book about the truth of US/UK governments and their behaviours, particularly in the Middle East. And sadly, I think they are true. And for bringing those horrors to our attention and daring to say such against grain going risky statements, I applaud George.

I do think that George genuinely wants a better world and has taken brave steps towards that. I’m just not sure about all his methods of getting there.

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An Alternative Political System

Tomorrow we in Britain vote for whether to change how we vote. I argue that our system needs a radical shake up.

There should be no ruling party; all parliaments should be hung. Our three generations of current and suceeding monarchs appear more worthy rulers than many of the prime ministers in living memory; perhaps the Royal family should have more than a ceremonial role in our politics. I believe they are no more distanced from ordinary people than politicians are.

I would like to put an end to party politics and have more independent voices in our local councils and in Westminster’s seats.

The reason not everyone votes is not apathy but the feeling that no party represents their views, and that no party is really better or different. There is also the feeling that we’re not really being listened to, like the ‘opportunity to comment’ on the cuts.

Although AV seems quite laborious, I will be voting yes because we need a change. It’s to say ‘not happy with current system’ – but I wish there was a box to say ‘want something else – but neither of the above’. I wish we could say that with candidates too.

We should be able to say who we’d like locally and who we’d like to be in parliament, as separate votes.

I would like to see an end to wards and constituencies, and being tied to the person who is standing for that area. What if they are useless, or of very different views, or known to me? To then whom can I turn? I think we should be able to approach MPs on their interests and views, as we can with Lords and MEPs.

And I wish there was a box for ‘stop running our country like a hard headed business and return to the values that matter’.

I’d put an X there.

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