Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Luk√°cs

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Celebrity Big Brother, George Galloway and Leninism

Yes, indeed George Galloway has gone into the Big Brother house. Time will tell whether this is a success, and it is a risky thing to do, but I think he is absolutely right to be audacious and go for it. The boos that greeted him from some of the crowd before he went into the House explain why this is so - at the moment, while Galloway has huge support from the anti-war movement, among the broader layers of the British working class he - and Respect - are still rather an unknown factor. Most people in Britain are anti-war - but many also believe the tabloid press lies and smears about Galloway and Respect. By going on Big Brother, Galloway has a chance to appear in front of millions of people as a human being instead of a demonised monster. More than that - depending on how the editing of the show goes - he has an excellent chance to make the case for a socialist alternative to New Labour. Elitists may frown and snobs may sneer at the spectacle of Galloway appearing on a 'reality TV' show - but Respect will not go forward in Britain unless it can begin to win the hearts and minds of millions of people. Opportunities like this do not come often - and they have to be seized. Lenin was very fond of a quote by Napoleon Bonaparte, one of the most brilliant military minds ever. 'On s'engage, et puis on voit!' Galloway deserves our unconditional support for now, and only then can we come to some conclusion about whether or not he was right to go in.

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8 Comments:

At 5:24 am, Blogger Renegade Eye said...

I don't think he is the best, to represent the left. I think Hitchens is on to him.

Send Tariq Ali instead.

 
At 8:33 am, Blogger Darren said...

Bring back 'After Dark'. A pissed up Denis Healey having an argument with his shadow was the best kind of celeb-reality tv.

 
At 11:38 am, Blogger Snowball said...

RE - Hitchens is a miserable neo-conservative and apologist for imperial power - he is always going to try and get 'on to' people like Galloway.

 
At 12:58 pm, Anonymous jam said...

...well thats the last shred of dignity taken from the anti-war 'movement'. its a real shame that some people associated george and respect with it.

 
At 2:38 pm, Anonymous Andy said...

Sign this petition!
http://getgallowayout.blogspot.com/

 
At 4:37 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like many, I can take or leave Galloway: I enjoyed his turn at the US Senate Committee, and he lucidly and robustly expresses the views of the anti-war movement.

But I do wish the Left would sometimes give him more qualified support: to suggest that he is going onto Big Brother for anything other than self-promotional reasons suggests that the left and the anti-war movement is in a more parlous state than is really the case.

BB is a product of the contemporary mass-media, and as such its producers will choose its content carefully. It is not the ad-hoc programme it pretends to be, and there will certainly be no subliminal revolutionary messages coming to a working-class TV screen near you.

Can someone make a petition for Snowball to join the Big Brother house? He could turn out to be this year's Bez...

 
At 5:00 pm, Anonymous Nathaniel said...

Galloway deserves our unconditional support for now, and only then can we come to some conclusion about whether or not he was right to go in.

Replace with Bush and it almost sounds like an American conservative discussing Iraq before the war. Luckily this support doesn't involve a huge death toll.

I'll admit I don't like Galloway (though I enjoyed his Senate performance), but all this does is make me uncomfortable, rather than spark condemnation. It is further evidence for me that he sees his duties as MP for Bethnal Green and Bow mainly in propaganda (I mean that in the neutral sense), but Galloway, by promoting his speeches and similar, seems pretty open about that. When the next election comes around I would be curious as to how well-served his constituency feels (though the vote will have other factors, too). It is true that with no Respect MPs besides Galloway I can't see him having much parliamentary influence at all and thus might feel himself more effective at what he considers the grassroots level.

Returning to how his constituency feels about him, are there any good articles written in the past few months? Any polls?

 
At 5:29 pm, Blogger Snowball said...

I suppose the real test of how his constituents feel will come in the May council elections in Tower Hamlet...

I do think its funny how Blairites are now starting up petitions about how tax payers money is being 'wasted' by GG being in BB - and how constituents are not being represented now - given the disasterous Iraq war and occupation currently costs the British tax payer over 100 million pounds a month...

 

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