Galloway defender of Stalinism
THIS George told the truth, unlike Galloway.
IN case we were worrying whether George Galloway was working too hard in Parliament (I didn't hear or see of him during last week's Palestine lobby, so guess he must have been busy), or for his constituents, or with his media work and lecture appearances, I am pleased to read that he is working on his new book.
No, it won't be filling the gaps in his previous slim volume of autobiography. This one is going to be about someone else. Galloway says he is writing a historical novel about the poet John Cornford, as "part of the golden generation of the British left who went to fight fascism in Spain". Writing on the Counterpunch website, he says "their memory has been sullied by Orwell's slanders, unfortunately reinforced by Ken Loach's film Land and Freedom, and now lies largely forgotten on the Iberian peninsula"
George Orwell, who was of course one of that generation, is like Cornford, dead. Had they both been with us, it would have been interesting to hear them discuss what happened in Spain. Orwell could have pointed out that his book Homage to Catalonia did not attack the brave young volunteers who went to fight fascism, but told the truth about what happened in Barcelona, and attacked the treacherous Stalinist policies which in his view led to the defeat of the Spanish working class and the fight against fascism.
We don't know what Cornford might have said, or Ralph Fox and others, who died, whether they would still hold the views they held then or rethink them in retrospect. We do know that some International Brigaders who survived changed their minds, and that others escaped a fascist bullet only to receive a Stalinist one when they returned to eastern Europe. Perhaps they knew too much.
The only person doing any slandering here is George Galloway. Having seen how easily he uses "Trot" as a term of abuse for opponents it should not really surprise us that, even fifty years after Khruschev's famous "secret speech" the Respect MP who has tried to explain his fawning over Saddam Hussein should hide behind a dead poet to attack those who stood up to Stalin's policies. We don't like to visit the sins of the fathers upon their children, but might note the appropriateness of setting: Counterpunch editor Alexander Cockburn is the son of the famous Claud Cockburn, who as "Frank Pitcairn" wrote the lies about Spain in the Daily Worker, from a safe distance. .
The dead cannot choose who writes about them, and we don't know whether anyone else suggested to Galloway that he attempt this novel. Maybe his next one could feature the brave Iraqi communists who died at the hands of the Ba'athist regime.
Though Orwell cannot answer back, Ken Loach should be able to. Having fallen under the spell of the Socialist Workers Party(SWP), he sits on the national council of Galloway's Respect coalition! Come to that of course, if the SWP members have any self-respect they could stop turning a blind eye to Galloway's conduct and utterances. So far while muttering among themselves they have continued pretending for the public that the sun shines out of gorgeous Georgie's rectum. I'll be looking to see what Socialist Worker says. But it has been advertising a fundraiser featuring Galloway and the disturbed sax player Gilad Atzmon, so I'm not holding my breath, I'm holding my nose.