George Galloway and Nigel Farage on Question Time tonight

Respect MP George Galloway and Ukip leader Nigel Farange will both be on BBC1′s Question time tonight, 13 June. Should be a cracker – at a time when the BBC keeps giving the EDL free reign on its channels, it’s be great to have people on our side on: Salma Yaqoob last week, George Galloway this week.

BBC1 10.35pm

103 comments on “George Galloway and Nigel Farage on Question Time tonight

  1. John Grimshaw on said:

    Tony Collins:
    Interesting note from the New Statesman: After tonight, Farage will have appeared more times on Question Time (14) than any other politician since 2009. http://bit.ly/11JKbz2

    I have complained but to no effect. As I am sure many others have. Why does the BBC insist on giving the EDL fuhrer a platform?

  2. John Grimshaw on said:

    John Grimshaw,

    Sorry that doesn’t make entire sense. I was referring to the recent Radio $ news platform for Tommy Robinson, or whatever his name is.

  3. Stephen on said:

    It’s also ridiculous to have Farage on for other reasons.
    It’s coming from Edinburgh and the audience will consist of 16 & 17 year olds – to reflect the fact that they will have a vote in the forthcoming Referendum on Independence.

    Said referendum,the future of Scotland etc is likely to be a big feature of the programme. This is a debate that UKIP, with exactly 0 elected politicians in Scotland have a minute relevance to ( the same of course applies to unGorgeous George, assuming he is on representing Respect rather than just his own ego).

    It also makes for a really biased panel.. the others are Scots Tory Leader Ruth Davidson MSP, Scottish Lab Deputy Anas Sarwar MP and SNP MP Angus Robertson.Which means that there are 4 anti independence panellists and only one pro. I wouldn’t suggest that every programme in or from Scotland should be numerically balanced on the question of whether or not Scotland should be a separate state, particularly if it’s being broadcast to a whole UK audience – there are after all other ( and not that nationalists will concede the fact) more important issues. But when the programme is predicated on the fact of the referendum it really is ridiculous to have such an unbalanced panel with figures as marginal to this debate as Galloway and Farage.

    The Scottish Greens – who have had constant representation in the Scottish Parliament since it was set up, – have made a complaint to the Beeb about not being asked. In terms of fairness and balance they’ve got a point – but I suspect its more to do with the producers thinking that they are being very daring in having Farage back in Edinburgh than any concious bias .

  4. An Duine Gruamach on said:

    Further to what Stephen says – the Scottish Greens have two MSPs and 14 councillors – UKIP and Respect together have none of either. And in the 14 years since the parliament was set up (and bear in mind QT comes to Scotland about three times a year or so), the Scottish Greens have had a representative on the show a grand total of one time – and that was almost two and a half years ago. It’s not good enough for the BBC, as reported in the Herald, to say they’ve had “the Green Party” on several times in the last few months – can the BBC really not get its collective head around the fact that the Scottish Greens are not the same party as GPEW? It’s not even a federal thing – they are distinct entities.

    The Beeb just want some sensational rammying going on – they’ve no interest in grown-up debate, and certainly not one that reflects what’s going on in Scotland. Yawn.

  5. jim mclean on said:

    Just thinking, if UKIP beat the Tories in next weeks by election in Aberdeen, do we get angry and upset or find it totally hilarious as the right goes into meltdown.

  6. Vanya on said:

    I sympathise with the Scottish Greens on this, although as a Respect Party member I am of course more than happy that GG will be on the tv again. In fact I agree that it was good to see Salma on last week’s QT no matter how I may feel about her split with George and our party. Her performance was excellent imo.

    I have an ongoing complaint to the BBC in the North West over their bias in respect of matters relating to the EDL btw and will post the result on here when I get it. And another about theri non-coverage of a bedroom tax demo.

    I was particularly spurred to make it when I remembered the pathetic way that Paxman dealt with ‘Tommy Robinson’ after the Brevich murders compared to the roasting he always attempts to give the likes of GG. What a tosser!

    On the other hand the Panorama documentary about blacklisting was good, although is it my imagination or was there a subtle attempt to give it an anti-union spin?

  7. Marxist Lenonist on said:

    Vanya deals with “Stephen” very well, and gently too. I also thought Salma was absolutely excellent last week, despite Dimbleby introducing her by rehashing the Assange controversy. I didn’t think “I was on the other side on that one, therefore she should be no-platformed”! For the so-called “Radical Independence Covention” to now be petitioning the BBC, with some viciousness, to no-platform Galloway, really represents a new low. As if the problem with our state broadcaster was that there were too many small party and hard left voices represented, and what was really needed was for Question Time to be more mainstream!

  8. jim mclean on said:

    There are a number of small right wing parties supporting a complete separatist and isolationists stance in relation to independence, if parity were given would we see the rump of Left Nationalist movement sharing a platform with organisations such as Seed of the Gael (Siol nan Gaidheal). Left wing rhetoric means nothing, how many of us were taken by Hugh Macdiarmid.

  9. John on said:

    Stephen: Which means that there are 4 anti independence panellists and only one pro.

    That’s not true. Lesley Riddoch’s on the panel, I believe. She’s pro.

  10. Stephen on said:

    Marxist Lenonist: Vanya deals with “Stephen” very well, and gently too.

    eh?

    I wasn’t suggesting Galloway should be ‘no platformed’ … I was just suggesting he, and Farage are the wrong guests for THIS particular programme – given it is predicated on the fact of the Indy referendum and even more specifically the the participation of 16&17 yr olds. Neither Respect nor UKIP have any meaningful presence or existence in Scotland so they really aren’t relevant to this edition.

    the ‘Radical Independence Campaign’ are ( in the context of this discussion) a front for the International Socialist Group (Scotland) .. a student based split from the SWP. They are engaged in a battle with their former party and the remnants of the SSP in a delusional contest to ‘create a Scottish Syriza’. GG’s support for Tommy Sheridan and Assange are weapons in this struggle…

    Incidentally it’s Stephen .. not “Stephen”

  11. AndyS. on said:

    It what way is a superstitious authoritarian sectarian misogynist egotist like Galloway “on our side” ?

  12. Vanya on said:

    Stephen: They are engaged in a battle with their former party and the remnants of the SSP in a delusional contest to ‘create a Scottish Syriza’.

    Lol

  13. Vanya on said:

    #13 Clearly you can only speak for yourself. In what way are you on ‘our’ side?

    Only asking.

  14. I thought Galloway was excellent on QT tonight, and I’m not a fan of his as a rule. He raised issues that no-one else has. The referendum campaign will het up the nearer it gets and I anticipate it getting fierce and shitty, the YES side have has it far too easy to date and are rarely challenged by the Scottish media on many assertions based mostly on wishful thinking

    As far as representation goes, well we seldom get balance on this programme. The BBC are very happy to have celebs who represent nobody and it is infrequent, to say the least, to get serious left wing representation. And with regard to the 4 – 1 balance, well the audience was composed of 16 and 17 year olds so rather than the 50 – 50 composition based on the referendum campaign it should have been 70 – 30 in favour of “No” given recent opinion polls based on that age group!

  15. Zhou Enlai on said:

    Hang on, weren’t the SWP rejects aka International Socialist Group aka Radical Independence Front Group – weren’t they backing Galloway in his recent attempt to win a seat in the Scottish Parliament elections?

    I certainly attended a meeting organised by these Trots, the same Trots who had exploded Respect in England – all the more reason for bewilderment at the somersaults and hoops they will jump through.

    But its not just that. They backed galloway, having previously jumped through the hoops of Sheridan’s Solidarity (the “goose that laid the Scottish golden egg” as one of them said) who previously jumped through the hoop of the SSP – and then destroyed attempted to Respect.

    Galloway – the rape “denier” while there own party held a kangaroo court on the same subject, at which many of the ISG were whopping like animals in support of the accused being “vindicated” before they left.

    Hoops to jump through, ultra-nationalism and Trostskyism – a recipe for disaster! The ISG or their front the Radical Independence Campaign depends largely on emotion, base nationalism and a very, very short memory.

  16. I thought George Galloway was very poor last night – has he not heard of the right to self determination? He seems very at odds to the radical mood in Scotland about independence.

    Also the London centric BBC should be ashamed of themselves for leaving out the Scottish Green Party – the only other political party in the Scotish Parliament who support independence.

  17. roy: I thought George Galloway was very poor last night – has he not heard of the right to self determination? He seems very at odds to the radical mood in Scotland about independence.

    Peopple can exercise their right to “self-determination” by deciding to stay part of the UK, just as much by deciding to leave.

    Interesting that some of the voices on twitter complaining about Farage having a view on the continued union of England and Scotland were saying he shouldn’t have a view because he is English.Surely the English also have a right to self determination, and a right to opinion on the union, which has to be a willing union between two consenting nations?

  18. AndyS.: It what way is a superstitious … sectarian egotist like Galloway “on our side” ?

    Ahhh, intestering Billy-boy code there, Scottish politics obviously has too much representation of Catholic voices for your taste.

  19. Andy Newman,

    Being English myself I do have a view on Scottish Independence – but i would not suggest most of those who in Scotland who want independence are actaully following a secret racist agenda – George Galloway seemed to be detached from the radical mood for change on the left in Scotland and stuck in the 70′s.

  20. John Grimshaw on said:

    Actually I thought GG was not bad last night. He made some very good points, although I’m sure his last about claiming he knew what Assad’s intentions were will get him some flak. He didn’t make the mistake he sometimes does of talking far too much and trying to drown others out.

    On the question of the representativeness of the panel. I see no reason why GG should not have been there. After all he’s a well known Scottish politician from the country the UK is currently in. And as a Scot he is just about to be excluded from an important debate which affects the region he comes from, as are lots of other Scots who happen to be living elsewhere other than that region. Something which I find profoundly undemocratic.

    And then of course there’s the question of Farage. Galloway thought he had a right to be there even if the organisation he represents has no presence in the Scottish region because he is an elected UK politician for a party which does have some support elsewhere and who are against independence. Personally I am against fascists being on any such debate shows, and if they are invited we should protest. Tommy Robinson is clearly a fascist. I do not think that Ukip is a fascist organisation (although I’m happy to be convinced otherwise) and therefore it is undemocratic to exclude him just by virtue of the fact that he is English or shout at him “Get back to England” as happened a while a go. It’ll only give his rascist and homophobic views air time elsewhere in the UK. People should oppose him because he is a racist not because he is English, which of course in and of itself could be seen as a “racist” view. This not with standing I think it was wrong to absent the Scottish Greens and it seems to me the producers could’ve lost Farage by having including them quite legitimately.

  21. Vanya on said:

    Galloway is not the only Scottish person I am aware of who is concerned that there is an element of anti-English bigotry entering this debate.

    Personally I have never experienced hostility in Scotland as an English person, but I think the recent protests against IDS and Farrange were regretably accompanied by outbursts of such bigotry.

    The union between England and Scotland is voluntary, and the view that it should continue is a legitimate political position. The Scottish people will have the opportunity to decide- this is an exercise of the right to self determination- and there are, as Galloway pointed out, no occupying troops enforcing the union.

    The danger GG pointed to is that people in Scotland are being encouraged to see the Englsh and by extension those who support the union as the enemy and thereby deligitimising such support.

    What I think he should have done is to point out the huge inconsistency of the SNP banging on about trident (correctly) and their recent vote to support continued membership of NATO.

  22. John Grimshaw on said:

    roy: I thought George Galloway was very poor last night – has he not heard of the right to self determination? He seems very at odds to the radical mood in Scotland about independence.

    Obviously we disagree on the relative merits of Galloway’s performance, but I am puzzled by your next comment on “self determination”. I was not aware that GG last night was against self determination, he was expressing a view that was different to those who support independence, not denying the right of the Scots to vote. In fact his right to vote as a Scot is being denied because he happens to live somewhere else. I don’t know GG’s views but for my self as a socialist and an internationalist I’m not convinced there is an inalienable “right to self determination” in capitalist society. How are GGs views on independence “at odds” when clearly a large number of UK citizens living in Scotland are against independence?

  23. John Grimshaw on said:

    AndyS.:
    It what way is a superstitious authoritarian sectarian misogynist egotist like Galloway “on our side” ?

    In what way is a superstitious authoritarian sectarian misogynist nationalist egotist like Alex Salmond on our side?

  24. Sam64 on said:

    Didn’t George and Nigel get on well?! ‘Respect’ for ‘Independet’ positions was the order of the evening anyway, getit?

    I thought they would, despite expectation on Twitter that George would lay into the UKIP leader within minutes. Quite a lot similarities: considerable egos, outspoken, some charisma in an age of third rate, careerist political creeps, both have (I’ll put this carefully) been on occasions questioned over their sexual politics.

    I’m with George over the shrill ‘Get back to England’ element to Scottish nationalism – at its most absurd with Farage: ‘Get out of our country, we don’t want anti-immigrant politicians here!’ – that’s likely to become more pronounced as, as looks likely, the independence campaign fails to gather momentum in the way that Salmon and co thought that it would. It’s worth mentioning on his nationalism, that he went out of his way to say that he should have a referendum vote, as he’s Scottish even though he doesn’t live there. An ethnic definition of nationality therefore, not a civic (residency) one. Although come to think about it, I’m surprise GG doesn’t have a nice little place in the Highlands, paid for through his media lucrative contracts, that he could use to claim residency and vote No.

  25. sandy on said:

    It is notable that the left nationalists of the ISG dont like the public to hear from leftists who oppose Scottish independence. Trying to have Galloway excluded from Question time is a new low for them. It is also notable that the ISG,. SSP etc are never willing to debate with socialists who oppose the call for Scottish independence. and instead argue for British working class unity in the struggle against Capital.

    sandy.

  26. Marxist Lenonist on said:

    Stephen,

    Stephen, apologies if you’re not connected to that group, I took it you were from your first contribution but you’re rundown of them here seems suitably disrespectful. It was they on facebook who were calling for both Farage and Galloway not to be on the show, on the grounds that “There is no evidence that either George Galloway or Nigel Farage views on the independence referendum or on politics in general have any public support in Scotland – and both are politicians based in England”. Well, on the referendum they’re calling for a No vote. RIC might not themselves agree with that, as is their right, but its hardly a position “without support” in the country as a whole. Even if it didn’t actually happen to have consistent majority popular support, including 70% of 16-18 year olds as Jim points out, George’s side in the referendum is, well, a side in the referendum! As for “politics in general”, he stands for republicanism, anti-imperialism, anti-sectarianism and socialism – if they think such positions have “no support”, what do they think will be radical about independence, then?!

  27. Marxist Lenonist on said:

    AndyS.:
    It what way is a superstitious authoritarian sectarian misogynist egotist like Galloway “on our side” ?

    In what way is George “superstitious”? Is it in the Billy Boy way Andy surmises, or are you with the SSP et all who libelled him as a “creationist” in the 2011 elections just because he isn’t an atheist?! Its this narrow-mindedness – if you’re not an atheist you’re a creationist, if you’re not a Trotskyist you must be a Stalinist, if you’re not a Leninist you must be a complete sellout and so on, that is the blight of the ultra-left…

  28. Uncle Albert on said:

    Sam64: Didn’t George and Nigel get on well?!

    Most amusing moment: when Farage complained about the reception he received in Edinburgh – “I had to be locked in a pub” said Farage with an expression of outrage. “It must have been terrible” responded George.

  29. SteveH on said:

    Galloway was in great form last night, in fact he has been on brilliant form recently and the degree of separation between what he actually says and what the enemy attribute to him is startling. I am starting a campaign to no platform those that want to no platform Galloway.

    I would say Galloway and Owen Jones are the most talented speakers on the left, and GG beats everyone hands down at actually making the struggle concrete, he is a master at setting up organisations that actually achieve change, whereas the critics of Galloway can’t get out beyond the classroom, theoretical discussion

    I sort of know where Stephen is coming from re the make up of the panel but Galloway is a significant figure in Scotland and the odious Farage is pretty topical in relation to Scotland at the moment, still am not happy my tax money is funding his personal pet project, especially as no one seems to be bothered with really dissecting UKIP’s beliefs, beyond anti immigration and anti EU!

  30. SteveH: GG beats everyone hands down at actually making the struggle concrete, he is a master at setting up organisations that actually achieve change, whereas the critics of Galloway can’t get out beyond the classroom, theoretical discussion

    This is really important. George has, and does, put himself on the line for these causes. It’s little things, like at the Gaza demo in 2009 when people wanted to march to the Israeli embassy and George led them, despite the police and stewards saying don’t; it’s big things, like setting up Viva Palestina, and it’s risky things, like putting his career and political future on the line by speaking out so strongly against the invasion of Iraq.

    Obviously, meetings and steering committees and groups are important, but so is action, and George is one of the few leaders of the movement who really does put his beliefs into practice.

  31. jim mclean on said:

    Marxist Lenonist: “There is no evidence that either George Galloway or Nigel Farage views on the independence referendum or on politics in general have any public support in Scotland – and both are politicians based in England”.

    I would say the exact opposite than the quote you supplied, GG and Farage represent two different unionist streams but in a Refendum on seperation it would be stuped to disagree on air, oh and the Huns are quite happy to vote for a Catholic left wing politician as long as they are up front. The only trouble I have ever faced was delivering a leaflet for a headmaster who did not name his school as it was an RC one. I have a relative, Rangers and Masonic mad who thinks GG is probably the best politician Scotland has produced in recent times. The rest he believes are out for themselves. Mixed up stuff and no room for stereotypes.

  32. jim mclean on said:

    Just checked, UKIP beat all the parties of the left in the 2011 Scottish elections although the SLP and Respect (In Glasgow only) gave them a close run.

  33. John on said:

    I thought last night’s QT was one of the best in ages, not because of the panel but because the audience of 16-17 year olds was very articulate and up on the issues.

    GG was very good…exposing the narrow parameters of the mainstream nationalist arguments, based on windy rhetoric about ‘a better Scotland’, ‘taking its own decisions rather than being dictated to by Westminster’, etc.

    I was disappointed in Lesley Riddoch’s justification for Scottish independence based on the fact that inequality in the UK is higher than most other industrialised countries. What about people in England and Wales? Is it okay for them to suffer while the Scots head off into the misty uplands of equality and egalitarianism?

    The only credible argument for independence for me has been the one based on weakening the British State when it comes to waging imperialist wars and as a European bulwark of free market fundamentalism.

    Given that mainstream Scottish nationalism is intent on replicating the trajectory of the British State on a smaller scale, and given that the left in Scotland and throughout Europe remains at a low ebb in relation to current events, the key struggle between labour and capital in these islands would be advanced more effectively under the auspices of a united working class and progressive forces against a right and centre right establishment that is starting to fracture under the weight of those same events.

  34. Vanya on said:

    John: The only credible argument for independence for me has been the one based on weakening the British State when it comes to waging imperialist wars…

    Yes and then look at Salmond’s dewy eyed defence of those bastions of anti-imperialism such as the Black Watch and the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders or the recent vote of the SNP to support keeping Scotland in NATO.

    Hmmm…

  35. John on said:

    Vanya: Yes and then look at Salmond’s dewy eyed defence of those bastions of anti-imperialism such as the Black Watch and the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders or the recent vote of the SNP to support keeping Scotland in NATO.

    Exactly.

  36. Manzil on said:

    John Grimshaw: although I’m sure his last about claiming he knew what Assad’s intentions were will get him some flak.

    What was this?

    (I can’t watch things like QT. Unscripted, potentially confrontational television gives me stomach ulcers. It’s like Jeremy Kyle but with less likeable guests…)

  37. John Grimshaw on said:

    Manzil,

    Galloway was responding to a question about the Syrian situation and said that he thought Assad had been ready for negotiations for sometime and that it was the opposition that had been stalling. The way he said it implied he had “personal” knowledge of this, and that he was some how in cahoots with the regime.

  38. AndyS. on said:

    Andy Newman: Ahhh, intestering Billy-boy code there, Scottish politics obviously has too much representation of Catholic voices for your taste.

    Galloway was elected in two English seats by the use of communalism. He tried to use sectarianism to get elected in Glasgow and failed. Perhaps the Scots are a little smarter than you think.

  39. AndyS. on said:

    Marxist Lenonist: In what way is George “superstitious”? Is it in the Billy Boy way Andy surmises, or are you with the SSP et all who libelled him as a “creationist” in the 2011 elections just because he isn’t an atheist?! Its this narrow-mindedness – if you’re not an atheist you’re a creationist, if you’re not a Trotskyist you must be a Stalinist, if you’re not a Leninist you must be a complete sellout and so on, that is the blight of the ultra-left…

    The constant crawling to superstition and ignorance will be among the factors that keeps Respect on the political margins. Galloway is adept at framing his words for different audiences but he clearly does believe in “God the Creator”, in the literal existence of Hell and a host of other childish fantasies.

  40. Vanya on said:

    #45 Your anti-pape agenda is clear from your recent comment on the Anne Marie Waters thread.

    All together now, ‘it is old but it is beautful, and the colours they are fine…’

  41. SteveH on said:

    “The constant crawling to superstition and ignorance will be among the factors that keeps Respect on the political margins.”

    The problem with some of the decents (other than a total lack of intellectual honesty) is that they think superstition and ignorance begins and ends with religion. They consistently fail to link ideas to concrete conditions, and they ignore painstaking analysis for smart arsed snootiness. This is why a superficial fraud like Hitchens was able to rise so high through the ranks.

  42. AndyS. on said:

    Vanya:
    #45 Your anti-pape agenda is clear from your recent comment on the Anne Marie Waters thread.

    All together now, ‘it is old but it is beautful, and the colours they are fine…’

    Firstly I am an atheist and secondly when did stating historical facts make anyone a bigot ?

  43. Jota on said:

    Manzil:
    Jota,

    Well if you want to pick a side, I’ll take the other and we can have at it.

    Thanks Manzil –

    I pick Tankie. You middle class, navel-gazer! Haven’t you recently split from one trot sect (and yes, one man does make a split in the Trotskite slphabet soup)? You lads get about, eh?

  44. Manzil on said:

    Jota,

    Sorry, I couldn’t hear you over the cacophony of your Battle of Kursk re-enactment society. Look at him with his verbal ice picks, trying to kill this debate, just like they killed the revolution.

  45. Jota on said:

    Funny you should mention the role of the Red Army – a practical example of real communism mobilised. Meanwhile the trot paper sellers of the day were actively undermining the struggle with their ‘revolutionary defeatism’! Luckily they were virtually without influence. The more things change, the more they stay the same, eh, comrade?

  46. Jota: Meanwhile the trot paper sellers of the day were actively undermining the struggle with their ‘revolutionary defeatism’!

    Actually no, the main Trotskyist groups supported what they called the “proletarian military policy”, which involved effectively supporting the war and participating in the armed forces.

    It was the ILP that continued to oppose the war on pacifist grounds

  47. lone nut on said:

    50/ “Firstly I am an atheist and secondly when did stating historical facts make anyone a bigot ?”
    The idea that being an atheist somehow frees one of the charge of bigotry against specific religious communities, generally of immigrant origin, and invariably deemed to be stupid, backward and superstitious, is one of the more curious conceits of Decentry. Do you think an atheist anti-Semite is preferable to a religious one? As to historical facts, you haven’t actually stated any, unless you believe the non-existence of God or Hell to be historical facts.

  48. John Grimshaw on said:

    Jota: Thanks Manzil –

    I pick Tankie.You middle class, navel-gazer!Haven’t you recently split from one trot sect(and yes, one man does make a split in the Trotskite slphabet soup)?You lads get about, eh?

    When are you going to have this Tankie v Trot bust up? Its just I’ve been waiting for some time now and nothings happened, and well I have to go out. Which rules are you going to use? Do you need seconds?

  49. Jota: I was referring to the RSL rather than the WIL. But perhaps you are right.

    A great quote from Ted Grant to WIL conference in 1943:

    We have a victorious Army in North Africa, and Italy, and I say, yes, Long live the Eighth Army, because that is our army. One of our comrades has spoken to a number of people who have had letters from the Eighth Army soldiers, showing their complete dissatisfaction. We know of incidents in the Army, Navy and other forces that have never been reported, and that it is impossible for us to report. It is OUR Eighth Army that is being hammered and tested and being organised for the purpose of changing the face of the world. This applies equally to all the Forces.

  50. Marxist Lenonist on said:

    AndyS.,

    I do not believe in a literal Hell. If George does then I disagree with him on that. But how is belief that we didn’t just come from nothing, or indeed promoting morality, as in social justice, through the idea of a judgement day, a “childish fantasy”?! And just to get the juices of this particular blog flowing, in what way is the idea of a “dialectic” in its more philosophically refined forms, any less metaphysical than the idea of God…

  51. Marxist Lenonist on said:

    Stephen,

    #42 “It’s really not that big a deal, and as reactions go this

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/referendum-news/holyrood-may-vote-to-censure-question-time.21344992?utm_source=headlines&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=email%2Balert

    .. is absurdly over the top”

    Agreed, what a mockery of the Parliament! I now fully withdraw my quotation marks around your name Stephen, might not agree with all of your take on this but you’re clearly not the RIC troll I first imagined =)

  52. AndyS. on said:

    lone nut:
    50/ “Firstly I am an atheist and secondly when did stating historical facts make anyone a bigot ?”
    The idea that being an atheist somehow frees one of the charge of bigotry against specific religious communities, generally of immigrant origin, and invariably deemed tobe stupid, backward and superstitious, is one of the more curious conceits of Decentry. Do you think an atheist anti-Semite is preferable to a religious one? As to historical facts, you haven’t actually stated any, unless you believe the non-existence of God or Hell to be historical facts.

    The facts on another thread about the myth that Henry V111 founded the CoE.

  53. AndyS. on said:

    Marxist Lenonist:
    AndyS.,

    I do not believe in a literal Hell. If George does then I disagree with him on that. But how is belief that we didn’t just come from nothing, or indeed promoting morality, as in social justice, through the idea of a judgement day, a “childish fantasy”?! And just to get the juices of this particular blog flowing, in what way is the idea of a “dialectic” in its more philosophically refined forms, any less metaphysical than the idea of God…

    It’s a childish fantasy because it promotes fairy stories over material reality. This stuff used to be fairly basic for people that called themselves socialists. Would you also be happy for a ban on abortion and divorce because it suits the religious viewpoint of a minority of the British public?

  54. Vanya on said:

    AndyS.: This stuff used to be fairly basic for people that called themselves socialists.

    Opposition to religious belief has always been standard for some people who called themselves socialists. But not for others. I’m sure there are quite a lot of things that some people who call themselves socialists consider standard that you would be fairly uncomfortable with. Me too, but I’m not sure they’d be the same ones.

    Btw I’ve taken up your impressive debunking of the “myth” of Henry VIII and the Anglican Church on the other thread.

    Oh, and the fact that Galloway won a majority of the vote in each ward in his constituency in Bradford (some of which did not have a Muslim majority) tends to suggest that this allegation of “communalism” which is regularly thrown around is pure nonsense. But maybe you knew that anyway.

  55. AndyS. on said:

    Vanya:

    Oh, and the fact that Galloway won a majority of the vote in each ward in his constituency in Bradford (some of which did not have a Muslim majority) tends to suggest that this allegation of “communalism” which is regularly thrown around is pure nonsense. But maybe you knew that anyway.

    There was around a 50% turnout in the by-Election. Any candidate capable of attracting a block vote could carry wards regardless of the overall demographics within a given ward. The fact remains that Galloway’s election victories have been based on a direct appeal to Bangladeshi and Pakistani Muslims who form a key demographic in Tower Hamlets and Bradford West. There is no evidence of him attracting any significant non-muslim working class vote although I don’t doubt he did get some support from the Bradford student population.

  56. lone nut on said:

    “It’s a childish fantasy because it promotes fairy stories over material reality”
    Yes, maybe one day you might realise that characterising millions of working class people as “childish” is not a very good jumping off point for a socialist vision. More specifically, do you not think there is a function for fairy stories and myths and that they might have a relationship with “material reality” ( incidentally, in the unlikely event of you taking up the study of philosophy, you might find it’s a lot easier to prove the existence of God than that of material reality)? Do you regard Dante’s Inferno, Marlowe or Goethe’s “Faustus”, “Don Giovanni” or “Paradise Lost” or “Man and Superman” as childish fantasies? At the same time, despite this embrace of brute reality I somehow have the feeling you are the type who will be queuing up to see the latest Avengers film, or attending a Star Trek convention in costume.
    “Would you also be happy for a ban on abortion and divorce because it suits the religious viewpoint of a minority of the British public?’
    Would you be happy to accept such a ban if it was a majority of the British public? If not why not? Do you have some kind of ethical code that overrides majoritarianism? What is it based on? “Material reality”?
    As regards Marxist Lenonist’s observation, the Christian origins of the Marxist dialectic have long been a source of amusement to anti-Marxist theorists who want to consign Marx to the category of ineffectual millenarian prophet – a good reply can be found in the late Alvin Gouldner’s “The Two Marxisms”: “In having noted the religious elements in Marxism, I must repeat what I once said in making a similar analysis of sociological functionalism. I have always found it odd that people who profess to a respect for religion should act so triumphantly when they find a religious side of Marxism, and that they should brandish this as if it were a conclusive argument against it. It is of course no argument at all against Marxist ideas. Although not “religiously musical,” I experience such exercises in righteousness as repellent; I cannot share in the sport of baiting the “false religion” because I have too keen a sense of the close connection between religion, any religion, and human suffering, and thus experience contempt for religion as callousness toward suffering”. ‘Nuff said.

  57. Vanya on said:

    #65 The most notable thing about the votes for Galloway in Bradford from large parts of the Muslim communities were that they represented a break with an effective “block vote” imposed by community elders, something that Labour had been relying on for years.

  58. AndyS.,

    I was told by a very senior Labour MP that Galloway not only won every ward, he won every box.

    Unprecedented, and mathematically possible on the basis of any single demographic

  59. jim mclean on said:

    AndyS.: There is no evidence of him attracting any significant non-muslim working class vote although I don’t doubt he did get some support from the Bradford student population.

    Ah yes, I remember well the Pakistanis and Bangladeshis of Glasgow Hillhead taking to the streets to win the seat for George Galloway, the first Labour candidate to win this seat. Well perhaps he won with the support of the Glasgow working classes in alliance with progressive middle class supporters who felt the SDP were a busted flush yet could not bear to return the former safe seat to the Tories. My memory of GG’s election results were he always increased the vote for Labour when he stood, although I may be wrong. Although the God Squad do freak me out at times, no matter what religion.

  60. Marxist Lenonist on said:

    AndyS.,

    “It’s a childish fantasy because it promotes fairy stories over material reality. This stuff used to be fairly basic for people that called themselves socialists.”

    Others, like lone nuts absolutely brilliant comment at #66, have dealt with your comment on “fairy stories” and “material reality” better than I can at right now; I’d just like to point out there have ALWAYS been religious socialists, like the Evangelical and teetotaller Keir Hardie. If you said “Marxist Leninists” rather than “socialists” you may have had more of a point, and a better one still if you said “sectarian ultra-leftists”…

    “Would you also be happy for a ban on abortion and divorce because it suits the religious viewpoint of a minority of the British public?”

    Well I don’t think Galloway would be in favour of a ban on divorce as it happens =) More seriously, his voting record indicates he wouldn’t support a ban on abortion either. The fact he expresses distaste for the procedure rather than revelling in it seems to me more an expression of reality and humanity than some monstrous deviation from socialism. But the “religious rhetoric” you guys really can’t stand (and that’s most relevant to his electoral wins) is his fiery opposition to the murder of the already born in Iraq and Palestine, right?

  61. Marxist Lenonist on said:

    AndyS.,

    “There was around a 50% turnout in the by-Election. Any candidate capable of attracting a block vote could carry wards regardless of the overall demographics within a given ward”

    But some wards had hardly any Muslims in them at all – and Galloway still won them! What you’re really saying is, to paraphrase Groucho Marx, “what are you going to believe, my racial prejudice or the evidence of your own eyes?” You’ve made your choice, the rest of us on here might be more, how shall I put it, rationalist…

  62. AndyS. on said:

    Marxist Lenonist:
    AndyS.,

    “It’s a childish fantasy because it promotes fairy stories over material reality. This stuff used to be fairly basic for people that called themselves socialists.”

    Others, like lone nuts absolutely brilliant comment at #66, have dealt with your comment on “fairy stories” and “material reality” better than I can at right now; I’d just like to point out there have ALWAYS been religious socialists, like the Evangelical and teetotaller Keir Hardie. If you said “Marxist Leninists” rather than “socialists” you may have had more of a point, and a better one still if you said “sectarian ultra-leftists”…

    “Would you also be happy for a ban on abortion and divorce because it suits the religious viewpoint of a minority of the British public?”

    Well I don’t think Galloway would be in favour of a ban on divorce as it happens =) More seriously, his voting record indicates he wouldn’t support a ban on abortion either. The fact he expresses distaste for the procedure rather than revelling in it seems to me more an expression of reality and humanity than some monstrous deviation from socialism. But the “religious rhetoric” you guys really can’t stand (and that’s most relevant to his electoral wins) is his fiery opposition to the murder of the already born in Iraq and Palestine, right?

    Wrong on Iraq as I marched against the invasion and have been vocal like most on the left in condemning the war and it’s architects. As for Israel/Palestine I am more than than happy to condemn the racist nationalists that run Israel unlike Galloway however I have no desire to embrace theocratic thugs like Hamas or kleptocrats like Fatah.

  63. AndyS. on said:

    Marxist Lenonist:
    AndyS.,

    “There was around a 50% turnout in the by-Election. Any candidate capable of attracting a block vote could carry wards regardless of the overall demographics within a given ward”

    But some wards had hardly any Muslims in them at all – and Galloway still won them! What you’re really saying is, to paraphrase Groucho Marx, “what are you going to believe, my racial prejudice or the evidence of your own eyes?” You’ve made your choice, the rest of us on here might be more, how shall I put it, rationalist…

    The Bangladeshi and Pakistani descended or born population in Manningham and in Toller is over 70%, In Heaton over 53%, in Clayton around 24% and in Thorton & Allerton around 11%. Only in the last ward is there probably no electoral significance.

    You can pretend that George “God knows who is a Muslim” Galloway fought a campaign based on class rather than ethnicity but it lacks both credibility and honesty.

  64. John Grimshaw on said:

    #73
    According to Wikipedia there are three definitions of the word communalism:
    1. A form of government which is a federation of communes;
    2. A belief in the common ownership of land or property, and;
    >strong>”The third definition[5] is “strong allegiance to one’s own ethnic group rather than to society.” For reasons which have not been explicated[dubious – discuss], the term is associated with events in South Asia,[6] but it is unclear what distinguishes the ethnic conflict there from ethnic conflicts in other parts of the world. India is largely English-speaking, but there does not appear to be any published research establishing that or any other fact as a basis for the pattern by which the term is applied to South Asian inter-ethnic strife rather than to events elsewhere.”

    Now I’m assuming that when you use this term you don’t mean the first two. In the quote I have lifted I draw your attention to the fact that even Wikipedia admits that using the word “communalism” in the context of south-east Asia is “dubious” to say the least. I think one reason they put in this disclaimer is because the word is often used in the context of south-east Asian communities by people who are intolerant of or even racist towards such people and their communities. Furthermore as you can see there is very little research done on this matter. I assume you aren’t racist so I wonder if you would consider using different language and/or explaining exactly what you mean in future?

    Personally I find the use of this word in this context offensive because in my experience it does indeed hide prejudicial views. Anecdotally I have at least two friends (who both consider themselves left Labour – so in other words should know better) who do indeed use this word with regards to Bangladeshis, Pakistanis and (curiously) Somalis. By which of course, when you draw them out about it, they mean that these communities are anti-democratic, corrupt and in some way morally deficient. The main drivers of this attitude seem to be the perception that these communities get a better deal over housing, that they fiddle voting and that their religion precludes them being involved in our “secular” society. This as you can see I’m sure is dangerous terrain. Both the friends I’m thinking of incidentally are anti-fascists and have often been on demonstrations.

    As an aside I live in Bethnal Green and I remember when GG was elected in 2005. There was a degree of excitement both amongst Bangladeshis and some of the white working class I know. The reasons for this were clear GG was considered to be real Labour (well after Oona it wouldn’t be difficult), GG was anti-war, GG would understand issues of relevance to the Bangladeshi community such as discrimination, lack of educational opportunities and poverty and GG would give it to New Labour. Personally I think the anti-war issue was the most important. Now my views on Galloway not withstanding, I fail to understand how Galloway got elected because of communalism or in some fraudulent fashion? Traditionally, Bangladeshis have voted Labour so in electoral terms I fail to see how they can be communalist. Its not like there’s been a great demand for some kind of right-wing Islamic party that can then benefit from ethnic/family ties?

  65. John Grimshaw on said:

    At myself. Woah. That’s weird. I obviously still haven’t mastered this HTML thing.

  66. George Hallam on said:

    John Grimshaw: Traditionally, Bangladeshis have voted Labour so in electoral terms I fail to see how they can be communalist.

    Traditionally, British trotskyists have voted Labour so in electoral terms I fail to see how they can be trotskyists.

  67. Vanya on said:

    George Hallam: Traditionally, British trotskyists have voted Labour so in electoral terms I fail to see how they can be trotskyists.

    George, here’s a challenge for someone who (a) insists on evidence-based assertions (b) almost certainly has better things to do with their time- explain from the point of view of trotskyism why it’s wrong to vote Labour.

    Marks will be deducted for statements based on assumptions not justifed with reference to reliable sources.

  68. Manzil on said:

    John Grimshaw,

    Even a cursory glance at British imperial historiography shows how colonial discourse quite consciously imposed systems of institutional politics and public culture likely to, and with the intention of establishing popularly supported ‘communal’ relations.

    Gyanendra Pandey’s The Construction of Communalism in North India and Sandria Freitag’s Collective Action and Community are both good accounts of how the colonial project, by creating a teleology that no national community of interest or identity existed in the Indian subcontinent, essentially conditioned the creation of a distinctively anti-national public sphere.

    Although from different political perspectives, both Rajnarayan Chandavarkar and Dipesh Chakrabarty have demonstrated how this historical legacy ultimately shaped the precise form of mass political mobilisation, subverting many otherwise-progressive elements of labour or nationalist politics along ‘communal’ lines.

    But it is no mistake that studies of ‘communalism’ focus on north India – not simply because of its diverse religious and ethnic make-up, but because, for a variety of historical reasons, the Punjab, Bengal and especially the ‘Hindi belt’ of the Gangetic plain, were the axis around which colonial power was exercised, absolutely crucial both to the economic and military-strategic viability of the empire.

    There is no such thing as communalism separate from systems of mass dispossession and disenfranchisement. It is not an innate characteristic of Asian politics, or indeed any politics, but the natural result of a politics dependent on institutionalised division for its stability. Today, there is merely the shadow of it. Communalism is one, precise historical expression of patronage politics; it is anti-politics, predicated on a collective inability or unwillingness to confront wider systemic injustices.

    To the extent communalism ‘lives’, it is no more a product of British Asian politics than nativism or xenophobia is of ‘white’ Britons. Ultimately these political currents are not inevitable or natural; they are the reactionary appropriation of popular despair (thankfully usually a marginal one, both in terms of their active political adherents and the degree of mass support they enjoy), and thus a reflection rather than a substantive cause of social problems.

    I would venture that the repeated election victories of George Galloway are, if anything, distinctly anti-communal, representing a rupture with the sublimation of inner-community divisions upon which the politics of community identity are based.

  69. AndyS. on said:

    John Grimshaw,

    In this context it means making a political pitch that is designed to appeal to people on grounds of ethnic and/or religious identity rather than class interest. Galloway managed it successfully in Bradford and Tower Hamlets and failed in Glasgow. Jasper tried it in Croydon and again failed. Make of that what you will.

  70. AndyS, do you spend this much time writing online about how Labour explicitly has used communal politics to try to win? In 2005 in Bethnal Green for example, Labour put out different leaflets in white areas. And in Muslim areas, Oona King’s leaflets had an extra section talking about Bangladeshi issues.

    I’m sure you know all these details, right? I’d very much appreciate you giving me links to where you’ve written anywhere near as much about other parties which have actually explicitly played upon people’s religious and communal ties.

    See one thing I noticed is that people love to accuse Galloway of doing this, but are completely silent when their own party does much worse.

    You ended your last comment with “make of that what you will”.

    Well, you only mentioned Respect candidates (and you got it wrong when you did – I was a key person in Bethnal Green in 2005, and you’ve got it completely wrong – as I said, Labour was seriously guilty of it).

    Make of that what you will. You have spent a lot of time talking about George, so you’ll have no issues showing me where you have the same facts and figures and detail for Labour and Lib Dem candidates, right?

  71. John Grimshaw – you messed up one of your <strong> tags – you wrote it as >strong>, which is why it went wrong.

    Do you use the “preview” facility? It’s a good one – click it and scroll down, you’ll see your comment exactly as it will appear.

  72. AndyS. on said:

    Tony Collins,

    As I am not a member or supporter of those parties, you’ll need to find someone else to answer for their conduct. This thread is very much about Galloway and therefore my comments reflect that. If someone wants to start a thread about Jack Straw or Nick Clegg (for example) I will happily explain why I regard them both with contempt.

  73. Omar on said:

    AndyS.: Galloway managed it successfully in Bradford

    My understanding of Bradford is that GG specifically ran against the old,communalist Labour network that had taken root there. He captured the imagination of many young Muslims who wanted to see an alternative to this inertia . Is your problem with Muslims voting ?

  74. AndyS.: As I am not a member or supporter of those parties, you’ll need to find someone else to answer for their conduct. This thread is very much about Galloway and therefore my comments reflect that.

    I asked you if you would provide me with links to show where you have spent as much time writing about other parties. That’s not hard, is it? Also if this is about Galloway, why did you mention Jasper? I know it’s just a co-incidence that Galloway and Jasper are both members of Respect. Right?

    See, you’ve put so much detail into this thread, you’ve definitely got the same sort of information to hand about other parties, haven’t you? I’d like to see it. It’ll be a good way of making sure people know that you don’t only focus on Galloway. Cos put simply, I think it’s bollocks to even claim that you just don’t like communalism – I don’t think you ever spend any time accusing any other parties of it. Given how you really don’t know your facts and clearly don’t know anything about Bethnal Green in 2005, I think this is just a lot of shit.

    It’s part of the same mentality that sees it as much more important to slam people for believing in god and being on the left than to actually do anything to really try to change the world.

    The ridiculous assertion that socialists should be against religion shows that you understand nothing of socialism or of the practical things socialists can do. You clearly don’t understand that, with a massive proportion of the world’s population believing in the existence of god, you have ruled yourself out of being taken seriously by anyone.

    What should be “basic stuff” for socialists is to find points of agreement and work with them. What should be basic stuff for socialists is also to try to deeply understand the role “religion” is actually playing in the world right now – especially with the massive rise in racism focussed on a religion. If you have any wish to really engage with the working class and change society, starting off by calling people “superstitious” is a guarantee that you won’t be taken seriously.

    And there’s a key issue here – Islamophobia. No Muslim is going to listen to you, because the first thing you’ve done is make sure that you are telling them you’re better than them.

    I’m starting to come to the conclusion that people like you do this stuff precisely because it means you don’t have to fight for change in the real world.

    The thing to actually realise is that in your day to day dealings with people, the existence or otherwise of god is irrelevant. Having some basic respect for the culture and beliefs of people is relevant.

    There’s also this idea that apparently if you’re a socialist you should be an atheist.

    Why? Why does there have to be a positive belief in the absence of god? There’s no logic in someone who’s supposedly clever thinking they can no for certain that there’s no god. Me, I am happy to say “I don’t believe in god, cos I don’t have anything that makes me believe there is a god or there isn’t a god, but I’m not arrogant enough to say I know that there’s no god”.

    My point is that people think it’s the height of scientific rationalism to declared that there isn’t a god. It’s not – the actual proper scientific way of looking at it is to say “we do not know”. And to be comfortable with that.

    Religion has become an issue precisely because people want to show how rational they are. But AndyS, your posturing in this thread is pretty irrational, given that you’ve made sure no religious person will listen to a word you have to say.

    And in case you’re thinking that you don’t care either way, ask yourself what your position should be in relation to Muslims in the UK. The answer is, you should be finding ways to stand with the Muslim community. Thus, declaring from the start that a religious person is “superstitious” is a surefire way to have zero credibility.

    Anyway, I’ll just ask you again to show where, on other sites, you’ve spent as much time and gone into as much detail about other parties as you have here. Tell you what, let’s widen it right here and now – can you please go through similar issues on the Labour side in Bethnal Green in 2005 and in Birmingham at various times over the last 6 or 7 years. I’d like you to explain, using your clearly detailed knowledge of the ethnic makeup of the areas concerned, what Labour did wrong in your view. And you can also use sneering nicknames for candidates of other parties, like you did with George. You’ll be happy to do this, right?

    And I really would like you to tell me how you expect to relate to the victims of racism who are being picked on cos of their religion, when the first thing you do is declare it a “superstition” and “fairy stories” – genuinely, I want to know how you expect to be taken seriously.

  75. AndyS. on said:

    Omar: My understanding of Bradford is that GG specifically ran against the old,communalist Labour network that had taken root there. He captured the imagination of many young Muslims who wanted to see an alternative to this inertia . Is your problem with Muslims voting ?

    No, Omar, my problem is with political parties making their pitch on the basis of religious or ethnic identity.

  76. lone nut on said:

    Andy S “In this context it means making a political pitch that is designed to appeal to people on grounds of ethnic and/or religious identity rather than class interest”
    Could you perhaps clarify this debate by giving examples of candidates who in your view have successfully been elected to Parliament in the past 2 decades by an appeal to “class interest”? I don’t think anybody here is claiming that GG has run his campaigns on the same class basis as, say, an SPGB candidacy, but rather that his campaigns have been no more ‘communalist” than those of comparable candidates from the major parties. Perhaps if we knew who your poster boys for ‘class interest” were it would be easier to assess this claim.

  77. How odd. Just spotted AndyS’s twitter feed. The only politicians he has messaged for pretty much the whole of this year are… George Galloway, Yvonne Ridley and Lee Jasper. And the only things he speaks about are religion and “sectarianism”.

    Isn’t that odd. He said he was only going on about Galloway in this thread cos the thread was about Galloway. And he’s conspicuously failed to answer any of the things I asked, specially my request for links showing where he’s raised the issue of Labour pandering to ethnicity and religion.

    And now it turns out that he really doesn’t have anything to say to other political people about the subject, only George, Yvonne and Lee. Nothing to say about Labour’s decades-long abuse of the Pakistani and Bengali communities in some areas through the “Braderi” and “village politics” systems, which ruined real democratic participation by ethnic minorities and replaced it with back-scratching and threats to remove funding from certain community projects unless communities voted the right way, nothing to say about people like Oona King and her separate leaflets for white people. Odd, that. As someone said a few posts ago, “make of that what you will”.

  78. John Grimshaw on said:

    People may find this interesting.

    http://www.jewishquarterly.org/issuearchive/article6048.html?articleid=106

    Interestingly the author above says the Bengali population was 45% which to me seems a bit high. The 2011 census records that Bethnal Green and Bow’s population was 41.9% white (of which 33.6% were ethnic British), 33.4% Bangladeshi Asian and 6.59% other Asian. 4.9% Black, 1.81% Chinese, 2.24% Arab and similar, 3.11% mixed race. Yes I know there’s a missing 6%. Can’t work out why yet.The white population has declined by 5% since 2001 whilst the Bangladeshi population has increased by 2%.

    First of all how likely is it that every single Bangladeshi voter in the constituency voted for GG especially after years of voting Labour (not all as Bangladeshi business types do vote Tory) and then virtually everyone else voted Lab, Lib, Con? And even if they did how likely is it that is was simply on the basis of GG appealing to their ethnicity (esp. as GG is a white Catholic Scottish bloke)?

  79. AndyS. on said:

    lone nut,

    Something of a Strawman argument IMO as I am not an advocate for any particular party. Tommy Sheriden, Rosemary Byrne and others did get elected to the Scottish Parliament on socialist platforms before egos and in-fighting destroyed that project if you want an example of other approaches.

  80. AndyS. on said:

    Tony Collins,

    I’m flattered, a stalker all of mine. If it makes you happier I have also written to my MP, David Lammy, several times on various topics from Pubco’s to the Iraq war. Anyway as this site clearly objects to secular views and any criticism of Respect, probably best if I say toodle pip.

  81. You’re incapable of rational discussion, aren’t you AndyS? You followed SU on twitter, so your name appeared. I clicked on it and read the list of posts. To you, this is “stalking”; to everyone else, this is “using Twitter”. Let’s just pause there to make sure that everyone understands, if you look at AndyS’s twitter profile, he considers this to be “stalking”.

    And further, if someone points out that almost all your political messages online are aimed at one tiny political party, you declare that this means we “object to secular views” and won’t allow any criticism of Respect.

    See, what we on SU really hate is people who are fundamentally dishonest in the way they debate. And right there, you just showed the reason no one will take you seriously. You would see plenty of detailed criticism of Respect on this site if you looked, and you would know that you’ve got nothing to base your “you object to secular views” claim on.

    Instead, I think people will see pretty clearly that you were asked some serious questions about your political ideals, and about how you can reconcile this sneering contempt for religious people with any hope you might have of changing the world

    You didn’t even acknowledge those questions, and instead decided to call me a “stalker”. So, your only response when someone actually tried to explore the opinions you’ve expressed is to find some shock-horror made up nonsense with which go distract people.

    You see this a lot online. A person is put into a situation where they are asked to justify a particular position and they realise they’ve got nothing, so they lie and embarrass themselves and also make up stuff about how they’d better disappear.

    You’ve kept quiet enough already, AndyS. I asked you a load of stuff and you deliberately ignored it. You keep sneering at people for believing in “fairy stories”. I think the one about the stalker who turned out to have simply clicked on your twitter profile and wasnt a stalker after all might be a good one to tell the kids, don’t you think?

  82. Vanya on said:

    Great to see the utterly odious Melanie Phillips getting serious gyp on tonight’s

  83. lone nut on said:

    AndyS.,

    It’s not really erecting any kind of straw man to point out that your criticisms of Galloway could be extended to every other MP in the Commons though, is it, and to ask why you are singling Galloway out? As to the extent to which the SSP bases its politics on an appeal to “class interest”, I am sure comrade Sandy would have something to say on that subject….

  84. daniel young on said:

    My egit understanding of Marx and Engels,both egotist in their being must have come to a understanding for their Theory on Socialism.One of their battles among themselves outside their agreeing was religion but both came to the conclusion outside capitals control of societies usury was religion Religion is the control of the masses.

    Makes me wonder about those socialists argument!s that deride those socialists knowing opposition to religion as a bigoted mind set.

  85. lone nut on said:

    daniel young,

    “Religion is the control of the masses”.
    That hardly fits in with Engels’ view of the revolutionary character of early Christianity, or his analysis of the role of Munzer and the Anabaptists in “The Peasant Wars in Germany”, does it?

  86. daniel young on said:

    lone nut,

    Nut. Engels like Marx came to the conclusion that no matter their arguments concluded that religions dominance is a hindrance to the thoughts of a socialist sharing mind.

  87. SteveH on said:

    I am all for a thorough going critique of religion, all we get from decents though is smart arsed snootiness that attempts to pass for criticism. Hitchens excelled at this.

    What really offends me about the way decents and the establishmemt media try to describe opposition to imperialism and war is by trying to equate this exclusively with muslims. Many many non muslims are opposed to these things. By standing against these things, Galloway is not being communalist but consistently principled and he is reaching out beyond the muslim community.
    The mass spying permanent state wants to equate, in the minds of the masses, opposition to their criminal murderous wars with extremist, alien views. So they continually present opposition to them as being linked to some form of extreme Islamism. While the witchery of religion may still be an obstacle, the witchery of the establishment and the less than god fearing tabloid junk is a more pressing problem. But for decents witchery begins and ends with religion.

    Decents looking at the material, concrete aspects, pull the other one.

  88. jack ford on said:

    Atheists can be just as fundamentalist and bigoted as any religious believer. Furthermore they’re not as rational as they pretend since any philosopher will confirm that materialism is a metaphysical concept that cannot be proved or disproved. There is no conflict between fully accepting the claims of science and holding non materialist beliefs. Einstein appears to have believed in God. Schrodinger, the founder of quantum mechanics, was attracted to Buddhism. Dogmatic atheism is unscientific. Often it serves to feed Western arrogance, a sense of superiority to the Third World and ethnic minorities, and a means of justifying the “civilising mission” of imperialism.

  89. Vanya on said:

    #102 Absolutely. And it amazes me how selective some of these charact ers can be.

    I’ve never heard one of them in the same breath having a go both at ‘islamic nutters’ and at those entirely rational christian evangelcals who believe in the rapture and that ‘we’ must defend Israel because God gave it to the Jews.