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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:47 pm 
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Do you mean when Galloway and Hitchens were on Question Time together? If so, it's funny how different people see the same thing as I thought Galloway put Hitchens back in his box big time. Saying that, Hitchens makes me feel sick in either print or on telly so I'll freely admit to a bias against him.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:03 pm 
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highlandsflyer wrote:
The main thing that has changed in the last thirty years is that the SNP are no longer considered a one issue party.
Eh? I read he had a 94% satisfaction rating. I bet most of that same 94% couldn't name one other policy of the SNP.

highlandsflyer wrote:
What will be crucial is how we recover from losing the Referendum, how we move on.
I might start a destroy devolution campaign.

There is no moving on. Think Salmond and Sturgeon (fishy) will accept the 'will of the Scorrish people' when it doesn't suit? There'll just be a period of stagnation until some external event gives them licence to ratchet up the next referendum campaign. I say burn them at the stake.

Out of the UK and into the EU. Independence?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:10 pm 
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brocklanders023 wrote:
Do you mean when Galloway and Hitchens were on Question Time together? If so, it's funny how different people see the same thing as I thought Galloway put Hitchens back in his box big time. Saying that, Hitchens makes me feel sick in either print or on telly so I'll freely admit to a bias against him.

Think I've seen clips of QT, but primarily I was thinking of several instances where they've been in "debates" together.

The last time I caught Galloway on QT it seemed to be around the time of the Raoul Moat affair, and he was truly odious and misguided about that - he got caught on it, and from what I remember had the sense not to revisit what he said. On that, and other subjects, he seems to try and sieze this odd area, he thinks no other politician has thought of, be slightly controversial, and try and claim he's magically in-touch, when other politicians aren't. Truth is, he's just in a different ivory tower, but either deluded, or trying to claim some allegiance, and some unusual ground, that really has no genuine basis.

I've seen him pull that trick a few times - some times he gets away with it, and others, somebody sees it for what it is, puts him straight about it, and he then seems to at least have the savvy and self-awareness, not to flog a dead horse.

Not being conventional, but steadfast, could be admirable traits - but there always seems to be some agenda, and some underlying hints of perspective or allegiance that seem thoroughly misplaced. Sure, no doubt, he does so with a certain charisma, but really, all the time, I just cynically see him as somebody who's realised his niche is in the somewhat unconventional, and where that's concerned, he's learned to fake it really well. Problem is, it doesn't take much challenge, and you can see the wires. With other politicians, you'd probably think that would expose indifference, but with him, I can't help but think the bluff and bluster are just used as tools for effect, and to overcome weak / normal challenge.

Take the CBB thing - he claimed that as some vehicle of trying to encourage and gain some advantage about getting closer to the youth and some true grass roots appeal and understanding. Never have I been more convinced that something was done to try and persuade of that - and perhaps be in the delusion of that - than truly achieved it any more than any other politician - yet his technique seems to try and grab or assert a slightly unusual perspective, and use it as some wierd strategy. I suspect he feels that being forthright and robust in his bluff and bluster, will discourage any minor voice of dissent.

The thing where he was called to testify in the US - many were high-fiving about how he stuck it to the US - but really, if you look beyond all the shouty rhetoric, all he really had, was a loud voice, a well prepared line of argument, and the ability to fake righteous indignation. I think the Americans were puzzled as much as thinking they'd met their match.

Sometimes, it's better to remain quietier on such things, rather than overcompensate, in order to try and assert something. To me, the formidable thing, seems a defence mechanism, really - rather than what many perceive, a lone voice of righteous attack.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:19 am 
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Galloway feigned indignation?

"Galloway v the US Senate: transcript of statement
George Galloway - 17 May 2005

George Galloway, Respect MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, delivered this statement to US Senators today who have accused him of corruption

"Senator, I am not now, nor have I ever been, an oil trader. and neither has anyone on my behalf. I have never seen a barrel of oil, owned one, bought one, sold one - and neither has anyone on my behalf.

"Now I know that standards have slipped in the last few years in Washington, but for a lawyer you are remarkably cavalier with any idea of justice. I am here today but last week you already found me guilty. You traduced my name around the world without ever having asked me a single question, without ever having contacted me, without ever written to me or telephoned me, without any attempt to contact me whatsoever. And you call that justice.

"Now I want to deal with the pages that relate to me in this dossier and I want to point out areas where there are - let's be charitable and say errors. Then I want to put this in the context where I believe it ought to be. On the very first page of your document about me you assert that I have had 'many meetings' with Saddam Hussein. This is false.

"I have had two meetings with Saddam Hussein, once in 1994 and once in August of 2002. By no stretch of the English language can that be described as "many meetings" with Saddam Hussein.

"As a matter of fact, I have met Saddam Hussein exactly the same number of times as Donald Rumsfeld met him. The difference is Donald Rumsfeld met him to sell him guns and to give him maps the better to target those guns. I met him to try and bring about an end to sanctions, suffering and war, and on the second of the two occasions, I met him to try and persuade him to let Dr Hans Blix and the United Nations weapons inspectors back into the country - a rather better use of two meetings with Saddam Hussein than your own Secretary of State for Defence made of his.

"I was an opponent of Saddam Hussein when British and Americans governments and businessmen were selling him guns and gas. I used to demonstrate outside the Iraqi embassy when British and American officials were going in and doing commerce.

"You will see from the official parliamentary record, Hansard, from the 15th March 1990 onwards, voluminous evidence that I have a rather better record of opposition to Saddam Hussein than you do and than any other member of the British or American governments do.

"Now you say in this document, you quote a source, you have the gall to quote a source, without ever having asked me whether the allegation from the source is true, that I am 'the owner of a company which has made substantial profits from trading in Iraqi oil'.

"Senator, I do not own any companies, beyond a small company whose entire purpose, whose sole purpose, is to receive the income from my journalistic earnings from my employer, Associated Newspapers, in London. I do not own a company that's been trading in Iraqi oil. And you have no business to carry a quotation, utterly unsubstantiated and false, implying otherwise.

"Now you have nothing on me, Senator, except my name on lists of names from Iraq, many of which have been drawn up after the installation of your puppet government in Baghdad. If you had any of the letters against me that you had against Zhirinovsky, and even Pasqua, they would have been up there in your slideshow for the members of your committee today.

"You have my name on lists provided to you by the Duelfer inquiry, provided to him by the convicted bank robber, and fraudster and conman Ahmed Chalabi who many people to their credit in your country now realise played a decisive role in leading your country into the disaster in Iraq.

"There were 270 names on that list originally. That's somehow been filleted down to the names you chose to deal with in this committee. Some of the names on that committee included the former secretary to his Holiness Pope John Paul II, the former head of the African National Congress Presidential office and many others who had one defining characteristic in common: they all stood against the policy of sanctions and war which you vociferously prosecuted and which has led us to this disaster.

"You quote Mr Dahar Yassein Ramadan. Well, you have something on me, I've never met Mr Dahar Yassein Ramadan. Your sub-committee apparently has. But I do know that he's your prisoner, I believe he's in Abu Ghraib prison. I believe he is facing war crimes charges, punishable by death. In these circumstances, knowing what the world knows about how you treat prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison, in Bagram Airbase, in Guantanamo Bay, including I may say, British citizens being held in those places.

"I'm not sure how much credibility anyone would put on anything you manage to get from a prisoner in those circumstances. But you quote 13 words from Dahar Yassein Ramadan whom I have never met. If he said what he said, then he is wrong.

"And if you had any evidence that I had ever engaged in any actual oil transaction, if you had any evidence that anybody ever gave me any money, it would be before the public and before this committee today because I agreed with your Mr Greenblatt [Mark Greenblatt, legal counsel on the committee].

"Your Mr Greenblatt was absolutely correct. What counts is not the names on the paper, what counts is where's the money. Senator? Who paid me hundreds of thousands of dollars of money? The answer to that is nobody. And if you had anybody who ever paid me a penny, you would have produced them today.

"Now you refer at length to a company named in these documents as Aredio Petroleum. I say to you under oath here today: I have never heard of this company, I have never met anyone from this company. This company has never paid a penny to me and I'll tell you something else: I can assure you that Aredio Petroleum has never paid a single penny to the Mariam Appeal Campaign. Not a thin dime. I don't know who Aredio Petroleum are, but I daresay if you were to ask them they would confirm that they have never met me or ever paid me a penny.

"Whilst I'm on that subject, who is this senior former regime official that you spoke to yesterday? Don't you think I have a right to know? Don't you think the Committee and the public have a right to know who this senior former regime official you were quoting against me interviewed yesterday actually is?

"Now, one of the most serious of the mistakes you have made in this set of documents is, to be frank, such a schoolboy howler as to make a fool of the efforts that you have made. You assert on page 19, not once but twice, that the documents that you are referring to cover a different period in time from the documents covered by The Daily Telegraph which were a subject of a libel action won by me in the High Court in England late last year.

"You state that The Daily Telegraph article cited documents from 1992 and 1993 whilst you are dealing with documents dating from 2001. Senator, The Daily Telegraph's documents date identically to the documents that you were dealing with in your report here. None of The Daily Telegraph's documents dealt with a period of 1992, 1993. I had never set foot in Iraq until late in 1993 - never in my life. There could not possibly be documents relating to Oil-for-Food matters in 1992, 1993, for the Oil-for-Food scheme did not exist at that time.

"And yet you've allocated a full section of this document to claiming that your documents are from a different era to the Daily Telegraph documents when the opposite is true. Your documents and the Daily Telegraph documents deal with exactly the same period.

"But perhaps you were confusing the Daily Telegraph action with the Christian Science Monitor. The Christian Science Monitor did indeed publish on its front pages a set of allegations against me very similar to the ones that your committee have made. They did indeed rely on documents which started in 1992, 1993. These documents were unmasked by the Christian Science Monitor themselves as forgeries.

"Now, the neo-con websites and newspapers in which you're such a hero, senator, were all absolutely cock-a-hoop at the publication of the Christian Science Monitor documents, they were all absolutely convinced of their authenticity. They were all absolutely convinced that these documents showed me receiving $10 million from the Saddam regime. And they were all lies.

"In the same week as the Daily Telegraph published their documents against me, the Christian Science Monitor published theirs which turned out to be forgeries and the British newspaper, Mail on Sunday, purchased a third set of documents which also upon forensic examination turned out to be forgeries. So there's nothing fanciful about this. Nothing at all fanciful about it.

"The existence of forged documents implicating me in commercial activities with the Iraqi regime is a proven fact. It's a proven fact that these forged documents existed and were being circulated amongst right-wing newspapers in Baghdad and around the world in the immediate aftermath of the fall of the Iraqi regime.

"Now, Senator, I gave my heart and soul to oppose the policy that you promoted. I gave my political life's blood to try to stop the mass killing of Iraqis by the sanctions on Iraq which killed one million Iraqis, most of them children, most of them died before they even knew that they were Iraqis, but they died for no other reason other than that they were Iraqis with the misfortune to born at that time. I gave my heart and soul to stop you committing the disaster that you did commit in invading Iraq. And I told the world that your case for the war was a pack of lies.

"I told the world that Iraq, contrary to your claims did not have weapons of mass destruction. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to al-Qaeda. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to the atrocity on 9/11 2001. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that the Iraqi people would resist a British and American invasion of their country and that the fall of Baghdad would not be the beginning of the end, but merely the end of the beginning.

"Senator, in everything I said about Iraq, I turned out to be right and you turned out to be wrong and 100,000 people paid with their lives; 1600 of them American soldiers sent to their deaths on a pack of lies; 15,000 of them wounded, many of them disabled forever on a pack of lies.

If the world had listened to Kofi Annan, whose dismissal you demanded, if the world had listened to President Chirac who you want to paint as some kind of corrupt traitor, if the world had listened to me and the anti-war movement in Britain, we would not be in the disaster that we are in today. Senator, this is the mother of all smokescreens. You are trying to divert attention from the crimes that you supported, from the theft of billions of dollars of Iraq's wealth.

"Have a look at the real Oil-for-Food scandal. Have a look at the 14 months you were in charge of Baghdad, the first 14 months when $8.8 billion of Iraq's wealth went missing on your watch. Have a look at Haliburton and other American corporations that stole not only Iraq's money, but the money of the American taxpayer.

"Have a look at the oil that you didn't even meter, that you were shipping out of the country and selling, the proceeds of which went who knows where? Have a look at the $800 million you gave to American military commanders to hand out around the country without even counting it or weighing it.

"Have a look at the real scandal breaking in the newspapers today, revealed in the earlier testimony in this committee. That the biggest sanctions busters were not me or Russian politicians or French politicians. The real sanctions busters were your own companies with the connivance of your own Government."

http://www.wussu.com/current/galloway.htm


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 1:03 am 
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"Sincerity, once you can fake it, you've got it made..."


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 1:33 am 
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How does the saying go?

"You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time."

Appropriate given the recent Spielberg output.

I have been following Galloway all the way through his career in the public eye.

Given the substantial weight of history against most politicians concerning corruption and double standards I would find it hard to acquiesce to the nay sayers on Galloway.

A man whose only crime in my eyes has been that of succeeding where others fall.

On balance, with a little research beyond the superficial, it is beyond me to find any reason one would speak about him as a charlatan.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:23 am 
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highlandsflyer wrote:
How does the saying go?

"You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time."

Appropriate given the recent Spielberg output.

I have been following Galloway all the way through his career in the public eye.

Given the substantial weight of history against most politicians concerning corruption and double standards I would find it hard to acquiesce to the nay sayers on Galloway.

A man whose only crime in my eyes has been that of succeeding where others fall.

On balance, with a little research beyond the superficial, it is beyond me to find any reason one would speak about him as a charlatan.

I'm not of the view that he's corrupt or done anything, necessarily, in terms of what he's been accused.

That's not why I find him odious.

I find him odious, because he seems to try and want to put himself in a certain niche, claim and assert certain things, as if he's in some way different and can see and reveal things others can't. And also, he plays some sly or subtle cards in terms of where he places his allegiances, but when outed goes on the offensive, rather than actually defend or explain.

True enough - he uses some traits, as would any other politician - ie being bombastic, coining certain phrases or accusations in quite a distinctive way.

But if you take all that aside, analyse his modus operandi, and actually examine how it is he seems to think he has some greater empathy or grass-roots truth, you'll see that in reality, he's no different from any other vociferous politician. He just believes he has some USP. Big tell was the rhetoric he spouted about why he did CBB. Never have I been more convinced that his claims were just as fake as any other politician who believes he makes effort to get / keep in touch with the younger, apolitical generation, and that the reality was, he was no more "in touch" than any other politico, he just either believed that what he did was some kind of conduit, or was faking it reasonably well.

It's not the being controversial, nor the unpopular and unconventional opinions on certain things, it's the way he plays them, and the assertions he makes, then moral outrage when people do the same to him. That and so strongly playing certain cards using such power of assertion and such vitriol, as almost a distraction.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:22 am 
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I can't see how any of that makes him any different to any other actor on the political stage.

If you want a Commons full of Lembit Öpiks that is up to you.

I prefer my politicians fierce and 'full of it'.

Give me a John Prescott over a John Major any day of the week. I want the punch in the face not the poke in the ribs.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:13 am 
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Except of course that a recent TV investigation, possibly by channel 4, indicated that John Prescott, is as corrupt as any stereotypical politician you care to mention.
New elections where every sitting MP,MSP,MEP and any other elected politician is not allowed to stand is whats required. A complete clearout of the whole rotten lot of them :x


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:23 am 
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I wouldn't want our politicians to be so unrepresentative of ordinary people.

Most of the 'corruption' mooted is actually systematic use of legal means to access funds.

Sounds like exactly what most of us would do given the chance.

You have to have a little character to deal with other politicians.


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