(Winter’s Tale, act 1, sc. 1)
The year’s end calls for celebrations and nominations of the “best man of the year” for this or that art, industry, fashion and other sundry human endeavors.
This website celebrates George Galloway. MP for Bradford, UK, as the Best Speaker of the year 2013. And here are some excerpts from a recent interview.
On Tony Blair.
Interviewer. … if we could talk a little bit about your film that you are putting together regarding Tony Blair and his war crimes…
G. Galloway. It’s called “The Killing of Tony Blair,” it’s a triple entendre. It deals with his “killing of the Labor Party,” as we knew it, a party that working people in Britain had come to depend on for the best part of a century and which was murdered by him, and turned into quite the opposite of what it was intended to be.
The second “killing of Tony Blair,” of course, is the killing of a million people in Iraq and Afghanistan and by extension in Lebanon and in Palestine and other places.
And the third “killing” is the financial killing that he is making out of the previous two killings, having made the British economy more comfortable for the corporations, making their income tax bills shrink, easing their regulatory burden. He’s being rewarded by them now at vast eye-watering salaries as a consultant (whatever that means) for a variety of sundry corporations.
Interviewer. … You mentioned Kuwait, Sudan, what about Saudi Arabia? Now there are coming out more and more revelations about their involvement with the 9-11 and terrorist groups in Syria, etc.
G. Galloway. He (Blair) is up to his neck with them, as the so-called “Peace Envoy,” and one of the objectives of our film is to have him dismissed from that position, which is I’ve said is the most inappropriate appointment since Caligula appointed his own horse as a Proconsul of Rome.
Mr. Blair is dripping in the blood of the people of the Middle East. And yet he’s employed by The Quartet as its Peace Envoy. But, so, he is up to his neck with the Saudis in that. I am not able to say at this point what if any financial involvement he has with them but of course he works for a number of corporations who do very big business throughout the Gulf, and that would not exclude Saudi Arabia.
On the Conspiracies by the 1%
Interviewer. This has been said several times by several people and some people I’ve interviewed that: they don’t care, they would love to start – “they” meaning the banksters, or the elites or the 1 percent or whatever you want to call them – it would be very profitable for them to start World War 3, and they don’t really care about anything?
G. Galloway: Up to a point, John. Because if there has been war throughout the region, all-out-war throughout the region, then you wouldn’t have been able to purchase a barrel of oil, not at $150, not at $550. And the British and other western economies would have slumped into collapse.
So, of course, there are always some who profit from war. But few would have profited from that war, which is one of the reasons why I think the imperial powers have stepped back from it.
It is a rather more complex matter. I don’t buy the thesis that the 1 percent are organized in a kind of Bilderberg type of formation. It’s rather more complex than that. The oligarchies and the political elites just all automatically face the same direction because they have the same interests, by and large. They don’t need a conference to discuss it, they don’t need even a telephone call between each other in order to coordinate it. They, as a matter of instinct know which way to face in any conflict, in any big issue.
And that’s not surprising because, well, on the other side I also instinctively know which way to face, I also can ask my question of “who benefits cui bono.” And that gives me a diametrically opposite conclusion to them.
So, and I don’t need to consult anyone, I didn’t need to consult Moscow in the old days, and I don’t need to consult anybody now. I know what is in the interests of the mass of the working people, and the poor and the downtrodden of the world, and I know what is in the interests of the rulers of the world. And I’m with the poor and the working people always.
On E. Snowden and the British Government’s utter disregard of the law.
Interviewer. … you are dealing with things and you are witness to things that most people don’t know about that are affecting everybody. I’d like to ask your opinion about all the illegality. I mean where do they get this carte blanche?
G. Galloway: I never put much store in their faith, or faith in their attitude to legality. I think this is lipstick on a pig. The capitalist states and the imperial powers – this is all just window dressing – its cosmetic. They talk about Law, but they practice something completely different overseas, and now increasingly in their decline they are practicing that same something different in their own countries.
Let’s just take one example. Edward Snowden’s revelations which were a signal service to humanity, for which he should get the Nobel Peace Prize, were treated by the British State as an act of terrorism. And the British State then began acting like a pirate.
The Guardian Newspaper, one of the great liberal institutions in the land, was raided by the political police with sledgehammers; I’m not making this up. And with those sledgehammers they,by force and without the permission of the owners of the computers, namely the Guardian Newspaper, smashed the hard drives – smashed them into pieces – so as to destroy evidence of malfeasance and wrong doing on the part of the British State.
Now, such actions would have been caricatured in the past by the British State as being the kind of thing that happens in dictatorships and autocracies, the kind of thing that happens anywhere except Britain. But it did happen in Britain and it happened in 2013.
So, I’m afraid it’s all just a veneer, that is very easily shredded, and if the British State had to, it would cast that veneer aside altogether.
So, I never place much faith in laws and justice. At the end of the day all states will treat existential threats to their own continuance in exactly the same way.
On the role of Britain vis-a-vis the USA
Interviewer. Do you think that the UK has lost a lot of sovereignty to the US, especially with all this NSA spying and stuff? … I was going to say lapdog, but I tried not to.
G. Galloway: I believe that the British State has essentially rented itself out, I don’t want to be too candid in the analogy, but it is worse than that. It has prostituted itself to the United States. The GCHQ at Cheltenham is doing most of the heavy lifting for the National Security Agency, in the illegal vacuuming of the spectrum, and is collecting uncountable scores of millions of telephone calls, texts and e-mails every day across Europe, and further beyond, as the fiber optics cross the British landmass, coming from the United States across the Atlantic and thence to Europe.
Now, the British State is doing this through GCHQ because of the fact that there are more restrictions on the American State – imagine – the American State is more circumscribed by law than the British State is.
So the British hire themselves out to the US to carry out those things which would be illegal in the United States and hand over the rest. And by the way, if we are talking of prostitution, the price is no more than a $20 hooker, metaphorically speaking. We get 120 million pounds per year for carrying out this crime against the world, hacking the telephone of other European state’s people. For £120 million a year – my goodness! How cheap do you think we are? Well, pretty cheap as it turns out.
Interviewer. I think that Nobel has lost its credibility anyway, especially with Obama. I mean, they should have demanded it back. He is engaged in continuous, open extra-judicial execution and he is non-apologetic about it.
Galloway: That’s right! And he holds a meeting every week, on Tuesday… He goes through a kill list and signs people’s death warrants. Absolutely extra-judicially, extra-territorially, murderously. And yet at Sandy Hook and other places, he goes there and sobs and breaks into tears rolling down his face over the death of innocents in these maniacal shootouts in American schools. But it doesn’t seem to occur to him that mothers whose children are eviscerated by these Hellfire Missiles, are crying just the same as the mothers at Sandy Hook.
Interviewer. What did you think about Obama at Nelson Mandela’s funeral? I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.
G. Galloway: I do, of course. I felt that the Obama myth has survived in some parts of the world, perhaps, obviously and particularly in Africa, but in truth President Obama is just an empty suit. The only thing that he has going for him, the only thing that is praiseworthy about him, is that he was a black man who got elected as President of the US.
He is a little better, if better at all, than George W. Bush, and you can’t say worse than that. And he doesn’t even have the alibi that George W. Bush had of being an imbecile. President Obama is a professor. He is probably the best educated president there’s ever been. And the alibi that Bush had just doesn’t wash with him. So, that is all the more condemnable.
Interviewer. … People have said: “Well, it is not his fault, there is this shadow government controlling everything, it is the CIA, it is the banking interests and monied interests that are controlling everything, it is not Obama’s fault that he betrayed his own people and everybody else when he became President.”
G. Galloway: I just don’t buy that. The elected President of the US is the most powerful man in the world. And that, at the beginning of his first term in his landslide victory, with the American capitalism on its knees, with the country embroiled in unpopular and losing wars, it was open to Obama to become Roosevelt +. He could have utterly transformed the landscape and he utterly failed to do so. He is just an empty raincoat, I’m sorry.
Interviewer. … even black Americans, they are worse off now than they were even in the 60s, when they were trying to get out of segregation. And they can’t say anything, the liberal left can’t say anything in the US against Obama because he is supposed to be “their” man. How can you say something bad about the first black president in history?
G. Galloway: You know, feminists, were equally wrong footed, when Margaret Thatcher became the Prime Minister of Britain in 1979, for a decade they had been telling us how different things would be if only women were in the top positions of power, how many fewer wars there would be, how much less aggression there would be in public life, how nicer and kinder and gentler politics would be. And Mrs. Thatcher came along and proved that it is not the presence of testicles in a leader that makes them venal, it is the politics and the economic beliefs that they have running through their veins; that’s what counts.
On Scottish Independence.
Interviewer. Do you think that will happen? How is it going?
G. Galloway: I don’t think it will happen and I don’t want it to happen. I’m against the breakup of states. This small country has been one country for more than 300 years. We speak the same language, we have a common language, a common culture, a common economic situation and once upon a time, if only briefly, we did some good things in the world, particularly in 1940 and 1941 when we stood alone against Fascist barbarism, and we didn’t ask the people who did so whether they were Scottish or whether they were English.
And I just think that working people divided are always weakened, working people together will be stronger. So, I was against the breakup of Yugoslavia, I was against the breakup of the USSR, I can hardly be in favor of the breakup of this small country.
On the role of the US and Europe in the internal affairs of the Ukraine
Interviewer. Can you give us your opinion of sovereignty in the EU with regard to, for example, Ukraine and how much do countries lose in terms of sovereignty in your opinion when they join the EU?
G. Galloway: Before I answer that, let me just make this point. Can you imagine what would happen if President Putin went to the streets of Toronto on street demonstrations whipping up anti-American feeling, in neighboring country. And yet this is precisely what is happening on the front line in Kiev now. European and North American politicians are on the streets of Russia’s neighboring country whipping up anti-Russian feeling. But it seems to me, maybe I’m wrong – you will know better than I – but it’s running out of steam.
Again President Putin with his economic arrangements that he has now made with the President of Ukraine has again played a masterful diplomatic game. And the European Union, virtually bankrupt, is not in a position to match what Russia can do to help Ukraine in this terrible economic situation that it is in.
But to answer your point, the European Union is a good idea in principle. It has stopped the countries of the west of Europe in the first instance, from attacking each other, and murdering each other in their millions, which they did from 1870 until 1945, three times at least. And that is a good thing.
It is a good thing if working people in the European continent, not only within the boundaries of the European Union but throughout the European continent, can reach a common agreements on social policy, on environmental issues, on issues of social security and even common defense. There is nothing wrong with any of these things.
But the European Union is utterly dysfunctional when it comes to the manner in which it is run and the free market banking principles on which it is based.
Interviewer. … Ukraine and Syria, we think Ukraine it was like revenge for their (US and MATO) loss in Syria, right? Now if they lose in Ukraine what is the next hot spot going to be in your opinion?
G. Galloway: Well, the thing is they are losing and losing and losing. Now that might make them more angry but it doesn’t make them more able to win. They are losing because they are losing, they are losing because their power is waning, because hard power is waning, their financial power is defunct and their soft power, their “cultural power” is virtually non-existent.
Anyone who takes a look and a listen to John McCain and thinks that that is a cultural soft power icon to desire, to head towards, would need their head examined. This is knuckle-dragging, low grade moronic culture. And I don’t think that the great people of the Ukraine or in many other places are attracted to the soft power of the United States. The United States does not have the financial and economic wherewithal to make it worth their while.
So people are increasingly looking to themselves I hope, and looking elsewhere to other rising powers in the world. And let’s hope that in the next year and the next decade we have a number of great powers in the world.
Mercifully we have emerged intact from the very dangerous twenty years in which the United States was the sole superpower in the world, we escaped that and we must never allow ourselves to endure that trial again.
We have a Reganite-Thatcherite European Central Bank which sets monetary and fiscal policy for the Franco-German center and not for the periphery even of Western Europe, never mind Central and Eastern Europe as they become more often members of the European Union.
So it is a very dysfunctional organization, it is broke and it ought to fix its own problems rather than sticking its nose into the problems of Ukraine and the Ukraine’s relationship with Russia.
In the Play. Archidamus, a Bohemian Lord insists with his counterpart Camillo, a Sicilian Lord, that the welcoming facilities in Bohemia are inferior to those of Sicily. See ‘Invitation, i. to your place when you know that your place is in a state of disarray.’
Shakespeare at Work. When he/she questions if what you say is true either directly or by the intonation of his/her voice. Confirm that you speak according to your best knowledge and your honesty. Also a good answer at interviews when the question cannot have a clear yes/no answer.
French writer Paul Valery defined conviction as “A good word, that allows to put the tone of force at the service our uncertainty”. Or in French ‘Bon mot, qui nous permet de mettre le ton de la force au service de l’incertitude”.