Dear George

George Galloway yesterday published a blog claiming that the Farage protests indicated the beginning of fascism and that Scots would turn on minorities after independence. Here, Dan Paris responds.

Dear George,

I have to admit that I didn’t expect that I’d be spending my time writing a response to someone with as colourful a past as yourself. However, I felt that your article ‘Scotland, Farage and Me’ was so bizarre and fanciful in it’s scattergun attack on supporters of independence that it merited a response. Not, it must be said, because of your own importance – you polled only 3.3% when you stood for the Scottish Parliament in Glasgow in 2011, and after seeing you on the campaign trail (which mainly involved shouting through a megaphone outside Greggs on Byres Road and handing out bizarre, dog-whistle leaflets targetted at football supporters) I was surprised that as many as 6,792 Glaswegians considered you a suitable candidate for office. It was that a former Labour First Minister, Jack McConnell, promoted your article, and in doing so giving it an air of credibility, that I decided I might reply to you.

Here’s the thing: I’d like to at least give those opponents of independence who come from a Labour background the benefit of the doubt. In a discussion between myself and yourself, who would both identify as left-wing, the question of Scottish independence should be an entirely pragmatic matter. To those whose politics are based on furthering the interests of the working-class, the sanctity of the Union has never been an absolute. In the 1970s, a more radical Gordon Brown wrote that socialists could not ‘give unconditional support to maintaining the integrity of the United Kingdom – and all that that entails – without any guarantee of radical social change’. Since then there has been radical social change, but it has been going in the wrong direction. As opposed to the Tory case for Union – which is that we are British and God Save The Queen – the ‘Labour case’ for Union, as I understand it, is that the interests of ordinary Scottish people are better served by sharing political structures with the other countries of the UK. It’s a position that, despite disagreeing, I can respect.

In fact, Labour have, in the past, been more outspoken in advocating the distinct nature of the Scottish nation than many in the present Labour leadership would feel comfortable with. Support for Scottish Home Rule was a part of the Labour platform in Scotland for decades before devolution was delivered. After the betrayal of the expressed democratic will of the Scottish people in 1979, when a Labour government failed to recognise a referendum showing a majority in favour of a devolved Assembly, a generation of Scottish Labour figures – including yourself, George, and one Jack McConnell – spent much of the 1980s arguing passionately and eloquently for Scottish self-government.

Now there is, I grant you, a distinction between support for devolution and support for independence. Yet many of the arguments used in the 1980s for a Scottish Parliament still stand. You said in 1987 that ‘when the governing party of a State which contains several nations is so bereft of support in one of those constituent nations… then I think that there is definitely a crisis.’ Your argument was so strong that a young Alex Salmond described you as a ‘crypto-nationalist’, although you dutifully disagreed with this description.

The constitutional crisis that you spoke of then followed the Conservatives winning only ten seats in Scotland. Today, George, they have only one. The Labour case for devolution was that Scotland had suffered under Tory governments acting without democratic mandate. Is that not still the case today, George? If Scottish education and health should be protected against Tory rule, then why shouldn’t welfare and defence? Does Iain Duncan Smith have a mandate to impose the bedroom tax on Scotland, George?

Your answer to this question, I suspect, can be found in your article: ‘Are the people of Liverpool or Leeds really foreigners to you?’, you ask. No, George, they’re not – certainly not anymore than the people of Dublin are. But then, what if they were? Any true internationalist understands that the bonds between people come from our shared humanity, not our common citizenship. When you argued for a Scottish Parliament, you did not do so because you cared any less about the people of the North East of England, or the Welsh Valleys, or the inner cities of London. You simply recognised that Scotland was a national body in it’s own right and accepted the case for greater democratic control over that body. It never stopped you from understanding that solidarity extends beyond borders.

As the No campaign has busied itself with flag-waving and nationalist triumphalism, the old Labour argument has been lost. Where is the pragmatic Gordon Brown of the 1970s, willing to endorse Union only as far as it will benefit Scotland? I suspect this argument has disappeared because the evidence for any benefits is so scant. No wonder, then, Lord McConnell is happy to endorse your arguments, George. It is easier to make independence seem difficult, and its supporters seem strange, than it is to make a persuasive case for the status quo. And in under 1400 words, you have compiled a list of arguments which range from the bizarre to the downright dangerous. It’s all there – from the pepperings of ‘Brigadoon’ to the, entirely fictitious, claims that the campaign is being bankrolled by Sean Connery.

Will a Scottish Navy protect our coast? Yes, George. How would we pay for it, you ask? Like we pay for it now. Every other country seems to manage.

Do I consider The Beatles to be my fellow countrymen? Well, to tell the truth George, I couldn’t care if The Beatles came from Toulouse, Toronto or Timbuktu. I adore The Beatles. I’d hate to lose them. Thankfully, Abbey Road seems to be popular amongst people who don’t share a passport with Ringo Starr.

Am I aware that Scots have been successful in English football? I am! Although I’m more of a Celtic man, like yourself, to tell the truth. Does it matter to you that Henrik Larsson was Swedish?

I could go on, George, but I’m being flippant. You make some very serious allegations. If I believed, as you apparently do, that independence would be followed by Scotland turning on it’s immigrant populations then I would not support it. Of course, this claim is as baseless as it is offensive. I know Scotland. We might not be perfect, but we’re not all a few bad days away from the persecution of minorities either.

It is an imaginative mind that sees a peaceful, diverse, and inclusive movement for independence and concludes that the endpoint is ethnic nationalism. It is the same mind that sees a rowdy student protest directed at an eccentric politician and proclaims the end of democracy creeping round the corner. You’ve tried this before, drawing apocalyptic visions of a Stormont in Edinburgh and a country run by sinister Orange forces. Please stop this, George. It would be good if you could make your case without inciting old hatreds.

I would love it, George, if you’d respond to this. Maybe through a civil dialogue we could come to a greater understanding of each other’s positions. Unfortunately, I have apparently been included amongst the ‘hundreds’ of Scots who you have chosen to block on twitter. As I have nothing to do with any ‘poisonous parade of flag-waving and militancy’, I am completely unaware as to why this is the case. I have heard that others, who have had absolutely no communication with you, have found the same. I hope that somebody else passes on this message, then, seeing as I can’t do it myself.

Yours,

Dan Paris
National Collective 

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There are 39 comments

  1. Finlay Thewlis

    I genuinely think George decided a long time ago independence isn’t for him, fair enough to a point. What it has done however is lock him in a vicious spiral of believing everything that supports the conclusion of independence is bad, regardless of if it is true or not. He’s now turned into an embittered wee naff. Everyone should approach it with an open mind. George has not. I don’t see the Scottish people being so closed minded next year.

  2. Aileen Mitchell Stewart

    So disappointed in George Galloway, but then he ever was what I call ‘a 90%er’, i.e. someone who is gloriously, lucidly and emphatically right, 90% of the time, and wildly, incoherently but equally emphatically wrong the other 10%. This is one of those 10% times. Think, George, how can it be right that Palestinians have full control over their own lands and destiny, but not the Scots? And if you believe, as I’m sure you do, that racial tensions between Palestinians and Israelis would be greatly lessened by greater Palestinian self-determination and control, why on earth wouldn’t a similar situation exist here? Reduced Israeli interference in Palestine would reduce Palestinian resentment. Remove Westminster’s power and control over Scotland – exercised mostly by English MPs – and you’d remove a major excuse for anti-English racism and resentment by Scots. Many of those who support Scottish independence do so at least in part as a way to remove any possible remaining sense of grievance against the English, and anti-English racism from the casual default position of too many Scots

    1. Rob Crowley

      It’s not like a huge percentage of us are anti-English, but I see whaere you’re coming from. I knew immediately that when the referendum talks were making progress, that someone on the opposition would try to use old tensions between us (Scotland and England) as a way to turn people against yes campaigners. About a week or so later, someone (Lord Flyte) has pulled racist attack figures out of thin air. Aparently, this sort of thing happens all the time in Scotland (against English people, which I haven’t seen happen, ever), but almost never happens vise versa. It was a transparent attempt to create tension and, unfortunately, it worked on some.
      I support indepenence completely, but does that make me a flag-waving, narrow-minded racist? No! I see English people the same way I see anyone else. Just people. Some, I like, some, I don’t. The vast majority, I have never met. Easy.
      I agree that Westminster’s control over Scotland should end as it is- as you said- exercised by English MPs, but I’d stress that it’s by English MPs who are never up here. The few who do come up, go to the nicer parts of Edinburgh and Glasgow, never seeing the true effects policies can have on us. My main gripe is that there is an imbalance of media representaion. Whenever I pick up a newspaper reporting this debate, it’s always about how Scots are threatening the union. There should be some way of ensuring both sides get a fair shake.
      For me, it’s about the right to govern ourselves and make our own way. Do I see the English as foreign? No, I see them as having their own problems to deal with and as such, probably aren’t as bothered by the whole thing as they are made out to be, in general. If that were the case, I couldn’t blame them.

      1. Chris

        I genuinely wonder sometimes how many Yes supporters have forgotten there are Scottish MPs at Westminster. I wonder how many Scottish MPs at W’minster have been to the constituency where I live in Birmingham – because by your logic any that haven’t should not be allowed to vote in parliament.

        I’d also be interested to know what you think are the problems which exist in England that don’t exist in Scotland and vice versa? What happens at the magic line on the map that means the people of Gretna live vastly different lives to people in Carlisle? What makes the problems facing people in Berwick-Upon-Tweed so fundamentally different to those facing people in North Berwick? What makes Birmingham so different to Glasgow? Edinburgh so different to Liverpool? Newcastle to Aberdeen? Derby to Dundee?

        Or is it just that they have different accents and support a different team in the six nations? Oh and there were some wars 700 years ago when two Frenchmen had a barney over who got to be king. Let’s not forget that.

        That isn’t the view of everyone voting Yes, I know that, and I’m not trying to say it’s necessarily yours. It is for some, but I think for more people it’s the fact they sign up to this myth of England and the English as oppressors. I think the fact someone here tried to compare Scotland and England to Palestine and Israel is a classic example of the myth of Scottish persecution and English oppression.

        To return to the question of whether the problems facing Scotland are so fundamentally different to those facing England, I find too often that people who argue for independence on the basis of social and political change speak about England as if 50 million of us have gone from Eton to the Bullingdon Club to a banker’s salary to a townhouse in Chelsea to retirement in a stately home in Surrey. Anyone who thinks like this has clearly never been to Toxteth, or Moss Side, or Hackney, or Ladywood. It’s like if I were to argue that Scotland is robbing London of social justice because, well, have you compared the poverty levels in Bearsden and Shoreditch recently?

        To put it another way, Scotland last time round elected only one Tory MP. This, though, is one more than all of Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Leeds, Bradford, Coventry, Bolton, Newcastle, Leicester, Derby, Nottingham, Sunderland, Burnley, Middlesbrough, Stoke, Sheffield (frankly the list could go on). Do the cities of the north and midlands of England need to be ‘free’ from the Tory Scots? Of course not, they need to be free from the Tories be they Scots, English, or Welsh!

        And this where the the pretense that independence is about social justice or a new kind of politics falls apart. If you break up the union, it’s a hell of a protest against the Tories, but you’re also turning to millions and millions of people across the rUK who want and support the same principles as you and telling them to go **** themselves. Not because they’re Tories, and not because they’re bankers, and not even because they’re Nigel Farage, but simply because they’re not Scottish. It astounds me that in the 21st Century, and after 300 years of union, so many voters in Scotland (though I hope not more than half) should think some of their fellow citizens somehow less worthy of social justice because they happen to reside south of an imaginary line.

        (To clarify, I may be from Birmingham but my parents are Scottish, my girlfriend is Scottish, and my children will be Scottish and English wherever they happen to be born, so this shouldn’t be taken as some anti-Scottish rant. I couldn’t be anti-Scottish if I tried.)

        oh and PS I might disagree with a lot of it, but great to see a forum where the quality of debate and discussion is so high, I hope I’m not letting the side down!

        1. jdmank

          As much as I respect your obviously sincerely held views ,your wrong,
          this is not about telling anyone to go f**k themselves , its about a country that wants a better future for itself and wont get it while alien policies are dictated to it by a remote Westminster government who hold no brief in Scotland ,

          the empty point about it being a protest against the Tories is naive, over the last 60 years Scotland has voted consistently
          against Tory rule and had Tory rule for 38 years of not voting for them ,
          and in that time Scotland has had alien policies delivered upon them which have devastated this country from the poll tax to neo liberal government which decimated our industrial base while other countries like Germany and France protected theirs.

          The criminal abandonment of a strategic policy for supporting the power generating industry left the UK dangerously exposed to disruption of the entire country
          by foreign powers
          at least Alex Salmond has seen the danger and in spite of an avalanche of ridicule has protected Scotland from
          the possibility of a foreign country turning off the lights in Scotland, no my very dear friend this is not about telling the English to f**K off this is about taking care of our own and making Scotland what it can be and should be,
          I do genuinely believe when a successful independent Scotland shows the rUK what a progressive country who cares for ALL of it citizens not just the ones with huge bank balances can do,
          then that will be the greatest gift we can give our friends in England to show them that moving further and further to the right is not the way to go.

          1. Chris

            I see what you’re saying. I guess I’m coming from a point of view of frustration over two main points.

            One is that, traditionally, and still now, most Labour supporters in the industrial Midlands and North of England (and Wales) have seen Scotland firmly, to use your phrase, as “our own”, the bastion of the left’s power in the UK. Sadly, those who have moved their support from Labour to SNP no longer reciprocate this kinship with the Mids and North. This is of course completely within Scots’ rights to do, but I find it a shame. Remember when you point out that Scots have never elected a Tory govt, that the same is true for millions of people in northern cities, people whose lives would get much much harder after scottish independence but who wouldn’t have an escape route.

            This is the second frustration. By an unhappy accident of history, the Midlands, where I’m from, for example, could never hope to claim nation status and put autonomous and independent pressure on central government. (Not that some people don’t try though: these guys are our Salmond and Sturgeon…seriously… http://www.independentmercia.org/ ) That’s not Scotland’s fault of course, but it is a frustration for us that the political power of English regions outside London is so minimal.

            Anyway, I realise I’ve not really made a point here, but thought I would just respond with a couple of thoughts and a bit of context. Cheers for the response.

          2. Chris

            They certainly are some interesting statistics!

            Owen Jones offers a perspective on a similar idea in this interview (link at the bottom), pointing out that in every winning Tory election since 1955 the Conservative share of the vote has decreased (until now they can’t even win a majority). This can be argued two ways: I could say to you, don’t worry about independence, because the whole country is moving to the left with you; but really, it supports your point I think – maybe England shouldn’t worry too much about Scots leaving the Union as our politics are still moving steadily away from the Tories in the long run.

            I’m not sure if this is how internet debates are supposed to work, finding stats to support the person you’re arguing with!

            I’ve not been completely turned around of course, I still think that a united people pushing for the same overall principles north and south of the border (with devolution to Scotland/Wales/and similarly sized English regions to account for more localised issues) would be a stronger for good across the UK. This has certainly offered a new perspective though.

            http://www.studentjournals.co.uk/features/interviews/116-future-of-the-left/1908-tsj-talks-to-owen-jones

          3. jdmank

            that point you made

            “One is that, traditionally, and still now, most Labour supporters in the industrial Midlands and North of England (and Wales) have seen Scotland firmly, to use your phrase, as “our own”, the bastion of the left’s power in the UK. Sadly, those who have moved their support from Labour to SNP no longer reciprocate this kinship with the Mids and North. This is of course completely within Scots’ rights to do, but I find it a shame.”

            that only changes if we allow it, independent government or not, we don’t suddenly become foreigners you know

            its like say folk from jersey or Ireland are foriegn

          4. Hamish

            Chris, I appreciate your honest and obviously heartfelt arguments. But, I have to disagree on some fundamental points.
            The YES campaign is absolutely not anti-English but, as with Nigel Farage’s incursion here, it irks a lot of people when English people get too involved. It is after all a matter for the Scottish people to decide. I completely appreciate that our decision will have a profound effect on England but only in the same way that Ukraine or Khazakstan’s break-aways had on Russia. Surely no one would argue that any serious considerations should have been paid to Russians objecting to Ukraine’s right to self-determination.
            Also, but probably more importantly, the notion that we are brothers with Northern English areas because of our common love for Labour is now not a reality. The Labour party ran our devolved government for years and have been firmly rejected by the people of Scotland. The SNP won the last election here as a result of a trust in their ability to run the country being built during their first term.

            Their policies are popular and mostly successfully delivered such as freezing council tax, abolishing prescription charges, abolishing hospital car parking charges (at least in the hospitals that Labour didn’t allow private car parking contractors to take a foothold) abolishing bridge tolls, entrenching in government a commitmment to maintain free further education, lowering primary class sizes in the councils they control etc etc..
            The SNP have shown the people of Scotland that we can have progressive socialist policies when we have a government with our interests at heart and not one that undoubtedly prioritises London and the South East’s major population hubs.

          5. Chris

            Thanks for the response. I’ve got a couple of thoughts, sorry if I don’t properly address everything you said.

            I sympathise and am more persuaded when you make points that refer to your approval of SNP principles and policies, but I do think it overlooks the point that this is a vote to redefine the very nature of the country: it’s not about who gets elected but who gets to elect. Imagine the SNP didn’t win the first election in an independent Scotland and instead Lab, Libs, or even Tories did. If they started reversing many of the policies you are in favour of, would that mean that independence had been a bad idea? I suspect (do correct me if I’m assuming wrong) you would still think it was worth it. In this case the desire for independence is not based on the policies of the governments north and south of the border, but instead on whom Scots are willing to accept as their fellow voters, an issue which, however well intended, can be slightly more dangerous to play with. Anyway, regardless of my point, I can see where you’re coming from – after all, we can all agree that the overriding desire here is to make people’s lives better, and in fairness to them the SNP do make some good moves on that front.

            I must admit, though, I find less common ground with your earlier points. First of all regarding Farage. He didn’t come to Scotland to get involved with the independence debate. His obsession is with the EU as we all know. If he thinks (for some frankly inexplicable reason) that the UK is better off turning its back on the EU, he has every right to offer his party’s view on this to the people of Scotland, especially when he has a candidate running in a by-election. You talk on the one hand of politicians in London neglecting Scotland, then when a popular politician comes to speak to Scots about his opinions on Europe he’s told to go back to his own country and not interfere. I think it’s safe to say that none of us here like what he has to say – I’m wary of bandying around the term ‘fascist’, but he is definitely ignorant and prejudiced – but you can’t deny that he was trying to engage Scottish voters over an issue that is currently gathering the attention of huge numbers of the population.

            Wouldn’t it have been great if Farage had made a big grandstand speech and then the voters had gone out and completely rejected UKIP? Instead, references to the English getting “too involved” suggest that if you’re English and you come to speak in Scotland, then you’re interfering and we don’t even want the debate. When UKIP go on to lose in Donside it could have been a resounding and significant rejection of UKIP’s apparently inexorable rise, a celebration of democracy putting the boot into an unpleasant party. Instead the protesters in Edinburgh have guaranteed that it will be spun as a suppression of free speech and democracy, and as a message that the English aren’t welcome. For most people I don’t believe this is true but it IS how it is being spun, and will only lead to more division, distrust, and frustration within Scotland and the UK. Driving Farage off the street was ill-judged and politically naive, but to characterise an elected politician discussing a UK-wide issue as an Englishman interfering only confirms the worst assumptions of those who would call the demonstration ‘anti-English’ or ‘anti-democracy’.

            As for England’s involvement in the independence referendum, a comparison with Russia and the Ukraine (I’ll admit I don’t know much about politics in Kazakhstan!), is invalid, but would be a bad example for the Yes Campaign anyway. First of all, the USSR was a totalitarian military dictatorship which created and subsumed the UkrainianSSR by force, created nearly 20 million refugees through the Kremlin’s scorched-earth policy in the war, forcibly relocated or deported thousands of Ukrainian Jews, and deliberately engineered a famine specifically aimed at depleting the Ukrainian population (ie genocide) claiming up to 10 million lives. Are you seriously telling me that Scotland and England are in any way comparable to that?

            I don’t think any reasonable person could begrudge them an escape from that, but the modern Ukraine does carry a warning of the difficulties of separating from a larger and so closely intertwined neighbour. Millions of Ukrainians feel very Russian, many you meet particularly in the Crimea absolutely define themselves as Russian first and Ukrainian second. (Even in the event of a Yes vote here, there would undoubtedly be plenty of people who still considered themselves “British”). Like Scotland would be with the rUK, the Ukraine’s foreign trade and commerce was and is massively focused in Russia. 70 years of shared national assets proved impossible to split neatly, with huge (practically sovereign) Russian naval bases remaining in Sevastopol – would Trident stay at Faslane as part of the separation treaty!? (Ok that bit was scaremongering, but an interesting/unpleasant thought brought up by the Ukr-Rus comparison.)

            The result of such close ties is that politics in the Ukraine are completely and utterly dominated by the status of relations with Russia. Yanukovych and Yushchenko win and lose elections based on how the population feels about Russia at the time. When the people disliked Putin’s influence in their country, Y’enko is elected, when Putin starts to threaten taking oil and gas trade elsewhere, Y’vych is elected to go and fix relations. Furthermore the importance of identity as Russian/Ukrainian/both/or neither has developed an undercurrent of ethnic nationalism which did not play as large a role in 1991.

            I’m not saying any of these things are necessarily going to happen to Scotland and the rUK (I think few would), but since the Ukraine was brought up as an example, I just wanted to highlight how nigh on impossible true independence has been to achieve. After the statistically mind-numbing decades of abuse and oppression that they suffered at the hands of the Kremlin, independence simply had to take place for the Ukraine. But it does a discredit to the debate to pretend that Scotland is in any way comparable.

            (I know this nullifies the arguments I made comparing us to Ukr-Rus too, but I kind of went wildly off-topic just because I find the Ukraine a very interesting country! And I apologise that what started out as a quick couple of thoughts has really turned into a big post. I hope you at least found it interesting, Hamish, I’d been keen to hear your thoughts? Obviously feel free to completely put me in my place and tear my arguments apart!)

        2. William Mclean

          Good post Chris – but if you really believe that Scotand was not oppressed by England you betray a fundamental lack of knowledge of history. My wife is a Brummie too, from Northfield – she reads tons of history, now has an understanding of Scotland and our longing for independence. My politics, like yours, are leftish and I am more pragmatist than nationalist. That is why I like to be sure of my facts before I post. I’ll take a stab at one thing though – England will never be a socialist country!

    2. jdmank

      liked your post right up to

      “Remove Westminster’s power and control over Scotland – exercised mostly by English MPs – and you’d remove a major excuse for anti-English racism and resentment by Scots.”

      What anti English racism?

      someone wrote “English go home” on a derelict building on the m8 in 1972?

      I’m getting sick of defending Scotland against empty accusations so

      the argumentum ad nauseam that Scots are inherently racist becomes true by default because it wasn’t countered, but you can only rebut an empty argument so often before you give up in disgust,

      giving the accusation credence by repeating it is simply not good enough and should be resisted at all times, you only have to defend this point on the Scottish edition of the Telegraph to have a hoard of anti Scottish posters mob you screaming racist, the irony is lost on them.

      That fallacy MUST be forcefully counter on EVERY occasion, just look how deeply entrenched the nonsense that Scotland are subsidy junkies living on state handouts is ,my god even Scots still believe it.

  3. NM

    The problem with George is he refuses to believe Scotland is a nation. He just see Scotland as a region of Britain. He describes his nationality as British and Irish. He despises Scotland and views it as a parochial racist, xenophobic and bigoted region of Britain. He sees nothing in Scotland that is different to the UK be that in history, culture or politics. (Except more bigoted racist and xenophobic)

    The man also denies that evolution has happened and I think this sums him up perfectly, a denier of reality. He can articulate an argument and is a powerful speaker and debater but an intellectual he is not. Some of his arguments may have credence but so wrapped up in historical bias, denialism, and sensationalism its hard to take anything he says seriously never mind his complete apeshit bonkers ideas on Scottish Independence. The man is a media whore a complete irrelevence to Scottish Independence and should be mocked and perhaps pitied rather than being a serious contributor to the debate.

    1. Joe Middleton

      He was once a leading figure in Scotland United and argued passionately for devolution. His article is interesting because it parades the full extent of British scaremongering. Still, it would be interesting if he could be turned back to supporting Scotland’s corner.
      He seems to think we’ll ‘do a Farage’ on him when he next comes to Scotland and pelt him with rotten tomatoes or something. If he continues in this vein, maybe someone will…
      I liked him once, and he was pretty good when he appeared before the Senate Committee in USA. Post Big Brother he seems to have become less consistent but up to then he wasn’t too bad.

  4. Irene Buchan

    Wholeheartedly agree with Dan Paris. It is great to see a response that is devoid of childish name calling and insults. Too often…for me.. these derogatory comments are a turn off and detrimental to our campaign. Well done for an insightful and well written response to George Galloway.

  5. Douglas Robertson

    George Galloway has often been brilliant in the past – most notably during his appearance before the US Senate Committee Hearing into his involvement with Saddam Hussain. That made excellent viewing.

    However he remains a maverick politician whose use of absurd Dickensian language (including “lickspittle” and “popinjay”) displays an arrogance that separates him from the common people.

    Galloway has been an embarrassment in the past and one can’t help but feel that, like Tommy Sheridan who made a damned good attempt at destroying the left in Scotland, he is a massive accident waiting to happen. Let’s keep our distance from him.

    Douglas Robertson

  6. Ped

    no 2 indy yes campaign showed there true nature want gets no one bats a eye lid when a Islamic terrorist is living freely on our streets. if we get indy scotlands streets will burn with out a doubt we will turn into Ireland special in Glasgow do not no one from glasgow scotlands biggest city well no one from the less well off places seems to be only rich people or stuck up people who think there better

  7. Lennie Stein

    He is clearly jealous of Salmond being first minister when he couldn’t even get a seat in Holyrood. His blog was vile, full of fabrication and misinformation, littered with scare tactics and anti Scottish. It was designed to appeal to societies minorities in an attempt to unite them into a no vote. His infamous meeting with Ed Miliband was probably the spark behind the flame. He will block anyone witha decent independence argument as he doesn’t want it seen by his followers.

  8. couchtripper

    An excellent reply – cheers. And I say that as someone who’s spent hundreds, perhaps thousands, of hours building the George Galloway Archive.

    I support his positions on many things, but on this matter he’s 100% in the wrong. And not only is he wrong, but he’s being churlishly dismissive of those who genuinely believe in the separation of Scotland from the UK.

  9. Scot Indy

    I might just start using twitter to get blocked by GG – he’s a BritNat with a pinhole-sized view of Scotland and as limited and negative view of his countryfolk as can exist anywhere in the world.

  10. Ian Miller

    Brilliant response , George has never forgiven the Scots for not voting for him , the guy has to much baggage for to be in the Scottish parliament , you need to be wary of a guy that says the Scottish parliament needs me , no we don’t George , you would be a constant distraction in the parliament , it would be all about you , Scotland needs to get on with improving things for the people living in this country . Stick to the radio George you can always turn them off when they disagree with you .

  11. shytot

    I get worried about George sometimes. He seems to get more daft the older he gets. His heart is in the right place though, he’s just a bit mixed up and playing to his supporters.

  12. Nick

    That is surprising, coming from Galloway. The MP who was a supporter of Saddam Hussein, it wasn’t like he persecuted minorities or anything …

  13. TristanPriceWilliams

    Beyond belief. I always liked George. Didn’t always agree with him but was mightily proud of a fellow Scot and Dundonian when he put the likes of Tony Blair in his place.

    What on earth would make him think like that lawyer blokey and old Jock McConnell that Scots would turn on people from the minorities. We’re not Tories. We care about the sick, the unemployed, the disabled. We have no massive immigration problem.

    It’s not completely beyond the question that a future Scottish First Minister or whatever we chose to call him would be Humza Yousaf and two of the 5 party leaders in Scotland are gay, 2 are women and we have French and Italian members in our parliament as well as minister Yousaf.

    Our biggest issues seem to be some outdated nonsense between two brands of christianity. And we manage to carry that on under Tory rule from London as well as we ever would under our own steam.

    You’ve been too long abroad George. Come back and learn something about your country.

    1. jdmank

      “You’ve been too long abroad George. Come back and learn something about your country.”

      seriously ? belay that request George, stay where you are !

  14. jdmank

    being of Irish Catholic descent of mining stock from fife with a long family history of support for Labour,

    I find Galloways assertions about Catholics bening persecuted in an independent Scotland not only bizarre but also deeply offensive to me personally,

    I’ve been a member of the SNP since 1974 (not continuously) and not once has the question of my religious background every been mentioned nor have I detected any anti catholic bias (not that I was looking for it)

    further I would ask Galloway to square this with the fact the Orange order have aligned themselves (surprise surprise) to the no camp, this assertion to my mind is not a misreading of the facts this is very different it is a cold calculating despicable attempt at herding a (fearful) catholic community like sheep into the no camp,

    let me assure you not only are the catholic community NOT fearful, nether are they SHEEP

    ps I think you’ll find we’re much more indefatigable than you think

  15. John Dickson

    A quick google and this was found on Wiki:

    “Galloway was born on the 16 August 1954 in the Lochee area of Dundee, to a Scottish trade unionist father and Irish republican mother.”

    That would make him Scots even if he denies it.

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