This video of George Galloway’s outright refusal to talk to an Israeli student purely on the grounds of his nationality has been doing the rounds today:
As a follow-up, I have a proposal: George Galloway Buckaroo.
The game is simple. It has three steps:
1) When you see George Galloway, adopt a big smile, let out a welcoming cry of “George! How are you?”, and offer a handshake.
2) Once you’re shaking his hand, announce “This must be weird for you, shaking the hand of an Israeli like this.”
3) Hang on for dear life. The longer the shake, the more points you get – and the greater the satisfaction of putting a bigot on the spot.
Owen Jones, that youthful paladin of the Left, has come up with an innovative idea: a new, left wing campaigning organisation. Why didn’t anyone think of that before?
Maybe he’s got a point – there is a total vacuum of socialist organisations in Britain. I mean, I’ve racked my brains and the only ones I can think of are:
the Socialist Workers Party, UK Uncut, Occupy, RESPECT, the TUC, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, the Communist Party of Britain, the Fabian Society, Compass, the Socialist Unity Network, Socialist Resistance, Black Activists Rising Against the Cuts, Youth Fight for Jobs, the Scottish Socialist Party, Solidarity, the Socialist Party, the Stop the War Coalition, the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts, Coalition Against Cuts, False Economy, the Anti Academies Alliance, the Anti-Atos Alliance, Boycott Workfare, 38 Degrees, Campaign For A Fair Society, the Coalition of Resistance, the Other TaxPayers’ Alliance, the Public Services Alliance, Cuts Disgust, Defend Our NHS, the High Pay Centre, IPPR, Unite the Resistance, Right To Work, Lost Arts, the Labour Representation Committee, Queer Resistance, Tax Justice Network, the Fawcett Society, Left Unity, Women Against the Cuts and of course Owen’s own think tank “CLASS”.
With such a shortage of organisations, it’s clear that what Britain really needs is a new left wing outfit.
As Owen says, “it is a mystery that such a network does not already exist”. I guess it would do, if it wasn’t for all the splitters…
Steve Baker MP, one of the libertarians on the green benches, has an interesting report over at the Commentator about the BBC. He has complained to the Corporation that a recent BBC News piece about the ways in which China’s murderous totalitarianism is supposedly superior to democracy neglected to mention that the author, Martin Jacques, was formerly a senior figure in the Communist Party.
Needless to say, Auntie replied to say that she sees no reason why it might be misleading to portray Jacques simply as an “economist”, with no mention of his political affiliations.
Steve’s article is worth a read – and I suspect this won’t be the last we’ll hear of the case.
Furthermore, it seems Martin Jacques isn’t the only fan of communist revolutionaries who walks the BBC’s corridors.
Newsnight’s famously lefty Economics Editor, Paul Mason, was tweeting away earlier this week celebrating the fact that moving the Beeb’s HQ to the West End meant the arrival of “6000 unionised media workers…in Soho” would push the media world to the Left.
His comparison of choice was to call New Broadcasting House the “Putilov Factory of [the] media economy” – after the St Petersburg factory widely credited as the hub from which communist ideas spread in the run-up to the Russian Revolution.
It’s a slightly odd choice of heroes to worship – we’d best hope that the impact he hopes the NUJ will have on London’s media won’t be as negative as the impact the Putilovites had on long-suffering Russians.
For that matter, let’s hope the Beeboids don’t suffer the same fate as their Putilov predecessors. Having sparked the revolution, the factory’s workers soon became disillusioned and denounced the Soviet state as a “dictatorship”.
Their reward for criticising the masters they put into power was for 200 of them to be executed by Lenin’s secret police. Perhaps the BBC’s Bolsheviks should be careful what they wish for.
There is a fascinating internal struggle going on within the Labour Party at the moment. The GMB Trade Union declared their intent to ban Progress, the arch-Blairite pressure group, from the party, and appear to be well on their way to doing so.
Atul Hatwal’s Labour Uncut article on the topic drew attention to some of the factions on the hard left of the party who aren’t coming in for the same kind of criticism allotted to Progress. So I wandered over to the website of the Labour Representation Committee, a leftist pressure group who quite cheekily took their name from the original name of the Labour Party itself.
There I found this remarkable gem of a blogpost, identifying the LRC – which is chaired by John McDonnell MP – as an eager ally of the Assad regime in Syria. Which, at a time when Assad is murdering civilians by the thousand, is pretty classy.
It’s worth reading the whole piece as a classic case-study in deluded, old-school leftism, peppered as it is with references to “world capitalism and imperialism”, “bourgeois nationalism” and “the world masses” (whose official spokesman is, of course, taken to be Cuba).
For now I’m going to give you just one staggeringly brilliant quote:
“Sensing its end coming near, capitalism prepares for war not against Syria, or Iran, but against the USSR”
Err, against who?
It’s bad enough having Parliamentary representation for a group that harks back to the beliefs of the USSR, but it seems the LRC think the Evil Empire still exists. If their campaign to save Bashar Al-Assad’s skin is motivated by a desire to preserve the Soviet Union, then they may be in for a nasty shock next time they look at a map…
++ Update ++
Though Cowards Flinch has done some digging into the backstory of Marie Lynam, the LRC blog author (who the LRC’s leadership are desperately trying to distance themselves from in the comments below), and points out that she is apparently a member of the Fourth International Posadists.
The Posadists are a really hardcore Trotsykite
cult clique who are actually odd enough to have their own Fortean Times article – thanks to their ideological leader’s weird beliefs, which included campaigning for a nuclear war as soon as possible and the idea that UFOs were sent by an alien socialist utopia.
In that respect, they’re kind of like the Scientologists, except they believe in taking everyone’s money rather than just that of their own members. Should the LRC really have Posadists blogging for their site?