15 May 2012

George Galloway's Sectarian Disgrace

George Galloway's article in the Daily Record on Monday, 14th May can be summed up in one word - "shameful"

But it requires a more detailed response.

As the master debater, Galloway opens his article by setting up a straw man to knock down, citing unarmed nationalists who attacked him in less than civil terms following an anti-independence interview he gave to the Sunday Mail. So what does Galloway do to temper the debate? Responds with comments which are amongst the most disgraceful yet calculated by a politician this century.

Now let me be absolutely clear: Galloway has every right to comment on and participate in the independence debate. As he points out, he is as Scottish as any of us and has a long standing involvement in political discourse in Scotland and elsewhere. But it is this experience, and indeed detailed understanding of Scotland's political history, that make his comments in his Daily Record article so shameful and insidious.

Because Galloway is an intelligent man, yet he quite deliberately plays the sectarian card. A card no one else has used, and no one else - unionist or nationalist - would be as irresponsible or desperate as to introduce into Scotland in 2012.

Supporters of Scotland's independence are used to being called "separatists" by our opponents. And whilst a pejorative term, fair game in the rough and tumble of political discourse. But in writing in the first sentence of his Daily Record article that he was "arguing the case against the 'partition' of this small island" he took things beyond the pale. Because partition means only one thing in the context of the British Isles, as George well knows. And whilst his article does ask a number of legitimate questions of the case for Independence, throughout it is laced, and quite deliberately so, with the language of sectarianism and related smears.

Let me remind readers of what Galloway then goes on to say in his Record article:

"The idea that if you don't believe in Scotland as a mist-shrouded obscurantist Brigadoon, you're not Scottish at all is a recipe for deep division, akin to that which scarred post-independence Ireland."

So, in case you missed his "partition" smear, Galloway quite explicitly introduces Ireland and with it
The Troubles.

He then gets even worse by suggesting a "hidden agenda" by his critics, stating, "perhaps it's not where I live now, but where my grandparents came from, that scunners these separatist bigots?"

Now to explain, Galloway's Grandparents were Irish Catholics. I need to explain, because few folks know or care, despite Galloway continuous attempts to remind certain people, when playing to particular galleries. But what Galloway says here, in a mainstream national newspaper, is a quite disgraceful, and simply a slur backed up by nothing other than his own bigoted paranoia and populist opportunism: It suits his script, so why let a lack of evidence get in the way?

But he does not even end there. Just in case anyone might have missed that one. He concludes by stating if things went wrong in an Independent Scotland, "The bravehearts, further embittered, would turn on someone, anyone.....Maybe the immigrants, the asylum seekers, maybe even an earlier generation of immigrants from Catholic Ireland (again, like me)"

Now I directly ask. What is Galloway doing here? ( And what is the Daily Record doing publishing?): Over one third of Scots are descended from Irish Catholics, many of whom vote SNP. This is not just a smear against Scotland's largest political party, it is dangerous tribalism all of us in Scotland, from all parties, and on all sides of the constitutional debate, have been working real hard to bring to an end

But here on 14 May 2012, George Galloway, member of Parliament for Bradford West, former MP for a Glasgow Hillhead, a former Chairman of the Labour Party in Scotland , a current "proud" member of the trade union Unite, and a campaigner for a secular, democratic and free Palestine, is quite consciously introducing the politics of sectarianism into the debate on Scotland's constitutional future.

In condemning the unnamed straw men from the nationalist camp, Galloway ends by, throwing down a challenge to Alex Salmond: " If he was a truly national leader rather than merely a schism-master, would slap this kind of nonsense down, but he dare not."

But if Galloway had even been remotely following the debate in Scotland that has been coming to a head since his self imposed exile a decade ago, he would know, (if he cared to find out) that Alex Salmond and the entire SNP leadership has consistently done this and continues to.  Alex Salmond does not need a lecture on bigotry from a sectarian who sat on his hands whilst it raged in the Scottish Labour Party of the 1980s he chaired. And in Ma
y 2011 Salmond's SNP won 69 seats and 45% of the vote, and all available evidence shows no religious bias whatsover in terms of where the party drew its support from. Can Galloway credibly say the same about the paltry 3.3% of votes he polled in Glasgow on that same day?

But I'd like end by throwing Galloway's challenge to Salmond back to the pro-union parties in Scotland, who he now seem so keen to team up with. Will they unequivocally condemn Galloway's sectarian intervention into Scotland's constitutional debate? With they tell him he is not at all welcome if this is to be the tenor of his contribution?. Will they tell him modern day Scots - unionists and nationalists - have left his dated and vile sectarian baggage behind us?

I think they will. And Scotland will be a better place for it.


Fourfolksache Tuesday, May 15, 2012  

Excellent article. As usual however I do not expect any of the MSM to undertake an analysis of the sort you have done. They will let the Daily Record drop the 'hand grenade' and stand back and let the slur be made.
It is very sad that an intelligent man like Galloway is allowed to introduce this whilst the rest of the Unionist parties do nothing to contradict it. Premature observation perhaps but I won't hold my breath

Dan Vevers Tuesday, May 15, 2012  

Was going to write about this myself, but I don't need to now, you've said it all, and better!

DougtheDug Tuesday, May 15, 2012  

A good question to ask is why George is so dead against Scottish independence.

It boils down to the fact that his life has been spent rebelling against the British Establishment.

If the British Establishment disappears then George is a rebel without a backdrop. His whole life's work of being a rebel in Westminster goes down the pan if Britain breaks up.

George needs the British Establishment.

Gone India Tuesday, May 15, 2012  

From oblique references to the dangers of a independent Scotland to sectarian slurs. He is clutching a straws, like so many of the unionists he cannot bring a credible argument to the table. Being a intelligent Scot he should know the Scots are canny enough to see through him. Doesn't seem very interested in public debate either, well at least not when he doesn't have the kill switch at his disposal

SirNas Wednesday, May 16, 2012  

Nice piece but it is completely wrong about the figure of the amount of Scots with an Irish Catholic background, they are a very small minority in Scotland only amounting to just under 4% - most of which live in parts of East Glasgow as the very first Irish into Scotland are those who come from families who fled the Jesuit orchestrated Great Famine event.

Also, while I think he was a bit out of line with a few things he said, his words weren't anywhere near as bad as I was thinking it would be, at least he could have said far worse.

Robert Wednesday, May 16, 2012  
This comment has been removed by the author.
BiggBoss Wednesday, May 16, 2012  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
anelephantcant Wednesday, May 16, 2012  

Excellent article. I hadn't seen this particular piece of drivel from Galloway as I carefully avoid the rag that printed it. He is a sad and poisonous wee man who has continually over many years stooped to whatever level necessary to attract attention. I try to ignore him in the hope he will eventually self destruct but, sadly, there are some out there who might believe his garbage.

Californian Crofter Wednesday, May 16, 2012  

Divide and rule, a very English cocept from an English mp

Alan Smart Friday, May 18, 2012  

Californian Crofter
As is the idea that we natives need the civilising influence of the British Empire to stop us ripping each other apart. Oh so colonial. Oh so ironic and pathetic that self- styled "anti Imperialist" Galloway deploys it. Mind you, he does the exact same to help prop up his chum Assad in Syria.

Unknown Friday, October 04, 2013  

Nice one, Alan. Galloway is repulsive.

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