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22 May 2005

Sunday Times on Gorgeous George

Focus: Zero to hero in today's Sunday Times attempts to put George Galloway into context and answer the question is he a friend or a foe of Saddam Hussein? The answer they come up with is a little bit of both, and is best summed up by GG's own statement during an earlier phase of his besiegement by press and less radical lefties: “My opposition to American imperialism is greater than my opposition to this or that tinpot dictator with whom American imperialism from time to time falls out.”
While it is true that Galloway visited Saddam in 1994 and again in 1998, and that he made a sycophantic speech to him in 1994 and that he refused to condemn him in the harsh tones demanded by the establishment, but instead praised him with faint damns, it also true that he marched, demonstrated and spoke out harshly against Saddam from 1980 to 1993 (even though he also opposed the 1991 Gulf War.) In fact, in his own ultra-leftist way, Galloway has been quite consistent. The one thing the American people (including especially the Senate) will never understand is that there other standards of ethical public behaviour than their own, and there is a long and not yet defeated (despite what all the uber-patriots may wish) tradition of international anti-imperialist socialism which stands unashamedly in opposition to them. The British Labour party knows all about this tendency, but has no truck with it; but New Labour has no consistency or principles at all. If Galloway's actions in 1994 were so repellent, why did they wait until 2003 to expel him? I think we all know why: he has a following and he wins elections.

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