Just Say Naw To George Galloway

 naw

You may ask, why bother giving any attention to this man? And I get where you’re coming from. But George Galloway still matters.  The mere fact that the BBC sees him suitable to debate Scottish Independence on a BBC Question Time panel, and the fact that he is going on an anti-Independence speaking tour in November; proves that this man still matters. Because of his outspokenness on the Middle East (especially Palestine), and me being a Palestinian myself, I felt the need to personally write about him to say a few things. He may be your anti-war superstar, your personal brave and righteous politician, but George Galloway is not to be bought wholesale; you should take everything he says with a pinch of salt. What motivates me to write this now, are two things: the first being Galloway’s tendency to use Syria’s conflict to promote anti-independence arguments, and the other is Galloway’s announcement of his own “Just Say Naw” speaking tour in Glasgow, Dundee, and Aberdeen.   

A few months ago, when Galloway wrote the hideous anti-independence blog article during the Nigel Farage affair, I felt that the referendum debate shouldn’t give much attention to baseless narrow-minded arguments, like the ones Galloway presented. In his article, Galloway insinuated that in an independent Scotland, the Scots will see the English as Fifth Column traitors. He claimed that the Scots will turn against the Catholics, and be hateful towards “the immigrants, brown as well as white who would be ‘taking our jobs’, ‘our houses’, ‘marrying our women’ and the rest” in his own words. I only mention a small part of the baseless scaremongering Galloway used to voice his anti-independence opinion. However, National Collective’s own Dan Paris wrote an excellent response to Galloway at the time, it can be read here.

On twitter, where George Galloway communicates mostly with the internet world, he only interacts with those who support what he has to say, but he immediately shuns and blocks anyone who disagrees with him. If you criticise his Scottish referendum arguments, or his misogynistic arguments, or even his arguments in support of the Syrian Al-Assad regime, you’re just instantly blocked by this man who doesn’t wish to listen to what you have to say. His refusal to interact with the opposing opinion virtually on twitter does indeed reflect on him in real life. Personally, this dogmatist attitude is something I wish the independence debate would avoid; it should focus on useful and constructive debate instead.

This is the same man who wishes to go on a tour in November across Glasgow, Dundee, and Aberdeen, for a “Just Say Naw” talks. Ticket price for those events is £12. Just like on twitter, Galloway wishes to preach during his “Just Say Naw” tour to his own choir only. He expects his audience to be people who could personally afford paying £12 to meet him. While the referendum debate matters the most to Scotland’s poor – they will be excluded from this supposedly educational tour. Just how Bradford’s Respect councillors’ resignations showed Galloway’s choosing of self-interest over the public’s interest, same seems to be happening in the referendum debate as Galloway seems to go for money/publicity factors rather than reaching out to Scotland’s vulnerable and willing to help seek a better future.

I was not surprised when I found out Galloway has also been attempting to exploit the Syrian conflict for his arguments on Scotland and the Union. The latest thing I noticed, on twitter, is when he said on the 31st of August: “Point of information; if Scotland had left the Union, England would now be going to war with Syria”. Apparently Galloway has been out of the loop on how ineffective the Scottish voice in the UK has been in the last few decades; he doesn’t seem to have a clue of how powerless Scottish MPs were in affecting decisions made in West Minister -with latest example being the Bed Room Tax. Statements like this, made by Galloway, are usually baseless and are purposed to instigate open-ended argument without having to draw on actual facts at all. Independence, on the other hand, actually serves Scotland and England better in this case. The Scottish Parliament, if independent, will have heavier weight on the region’s foreign policy, instead of adhering to foreign policy dictated by MPs in Westminster.

I do agree that Western Intervention is not good for Syria, but I can’t stand hearing all what Galloway has to say on the same topic. Just a few weeks ago, Galloway insinuated in a tweet that the death of approx. 1500 Syrians in Chemical attack is “Transparently miserably fake”. When a fellow twitter user criticized this statement, he was attacked and insulted by Galloway using the words: “foul-mouthed, feminist cretic”. You don’t want to listen to a man talking about Scotland’s future who not only sees rape as “bad sexual etiquette”, but also uses “feminist” as an insult.

George Galloway, a man I once admired for what he has said and done for Palestine, is unfortunately a man who is not afraid to speak his mind, but afraid to listen to what others have to say. Everyone, especially those in a position of power, have a duty to stand up against injustice. But no matter whom that person is, none should be idealized and bought wholesale. I wished that I, or any other person with different opinion, could engage with Galloway on matters like the referendum on Scottish Independence; but unfortunately £12 entry fees to his talks, refusal to engage online and random insults does not help. I write this today, hoping that people realize this is a time to discredit voices nourished by negativity and bigotry. Rather, in a time the debate on Scotland’s future intensifies on all sides, it is time to push forward with the positive, progressive and lively debate that this major referendum actually deserves.

Jalal Abukhater
National Collective

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About Jalal Abukhater

Jalal Abukhater is an 18-year old Palestinian from Jerusalem. Jalal is a first year student at the University of Dundee, Scotland; studying Politics and International Relations.

There are 16 comments

  1. Dawn Oliver

    He should be ashamed of himself .. who’d want to pay to listen to his drivel. He stood by Farage after he accused Scots of being Facist nothing further from the truth Being English & lived here 10yrs with no racism

    1. LisaR

      I think he is bitter towards Scotland after his losing the seat he was after at the last elections……somehow he must have thought they gave a damn for him in Glasgow just because he was Scottish but theres some Scots we want to forget are Scots..Galloway is such a person, he likes listening to his own drivel and forces it on us eh!;)

  2. Paul Bethune

    Blocked from his facebook page for exposing his Charlatan ways, the man is an egomaniac and how funny (sad) it is that his argument of grudge politics from nationalists in Scotland are exactly the same grudge politics he brings to the debate.

  3. Captain Scotland

    I wouldn’t take anything Galloway says with a pinch of salt but with a whole bucket of salt.

    He charges £12 for this? It’s great how he has turn his own politics into a business of which he is CEO.

    Every time Galloway appears in BBC or any other TV, it’s time that the real radical left is not given a space while looking like it does.

    Independentist or not: Just Say Naw to Galloway

    1. Lynda Williamson

      Absolutely, I hope that he is going to come out with some intelligent opinions which have been well thought through because I would be well hacked off if I’d paid £12 to hear the same old stale arguments. He needs to produce new and stimulating material for discussion, not holding my breath though.

  4. samayya

    I had an argument with him about his ridiculous comparison of Syria with Al Shabab… then he threatened me. Guy is paranoid. Still refuses to block me on Twitter though, stuck with him as an MP too :|

  5. Tom nobomb

    So the working class hero now finds himself in the same stable as UKIP,BNP and the Orange Order,bastions of democracy and tolerance.A champagne socialist who has creamed millions from his favourite campaign ,self publicising himself.He is preaching to his sheep at 12 quid a nut,what fools.They should hold onto their money,vote NO and you condone the implementation of the other 90 percent austerity measures still to come ,the cuts Labour UK has said they will implement “more ruthlessly” than the Tories,your 12 quid will be needed to sustain you.The Catholics in this country have fought bigotry for over 100 years,will still be after the referendum,we are used to it.He has supported self determination for so many countries in the world ,urging them to shake off the shackles of colonial rule,including Northern Ireland,but not for Scotland and the Scottish people,a cretinous toad and slap it into those clowns who think he has anything left to say that’s meaningful on any matter,Yesterdays man siding with that past that is the NO campaign,wouldn`t lose sleep over the scumbag but at 57 I would love to go toe to toe with him in a boxing ring,another betrayer of the Scottish people,just like Joahann Lamont.

  6. Darren Swanson

    He’s an enigma. Unfortunately he wants to be an authority on everything. He’s a brilliant political commentator, but he can also be cringe worthingly embarrasing. He’s open to opinions, as long as it’s the same opinion as his. I was extremely disappointed to find his views on independence were so far off the mark as to be considered reactionist tosh. But perhaps unwittingly, George Galloway will serve as a Devil’s Advocate on the independence debate. Even if he is more devil than advocate. It wouldn’t surprise me if he comes out in favour of independence after it’s acheived claiming that he supported it all along.

  7. BP39

    We didn’t go to war in Syria because of Scotland, and if we became Independent we would turn on everybody! Amazing.
    In fact the reason we are not bombing Syria is because more than 30
    Conservative MPs voted against the motion, and more than 30 Conservative
    MPs abstained in the vote. So it was a Tory vote that stopped it.

  8. Reider O'Doom

    I used to admire George Galloway, the way he fought for the freedoms of others, fought for their right to self-determination. Then came the turn of his own country to strive for Independence, and what does he do? Not only turn his back but actively fight against it! Unbelievably shameful.
    When even the Daily Record drops you as a columnist because your anti-independence rants have descended into utter incoherent tripe, you know the game’s a bogey. Cheerio, George. It was a blast at times in the past, but now you’re yesterday’s man, frothing at the mouth and barking at anything new and shiny that you don’t understand.

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