Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Not to be missed

Now this would be a debate on Iraq worth seeing.

Christopher Hitchens vs George Galloway

It will apparently be broadcast on radio via the internet tomorrow night, although it will make for a late night here in the UK. Hitchens says it will be on TV as well. If someone back home catches it and can tape it, I'd love to see it. The fireworks promise to be big.

Americans unfamiliar with Galloway (few sentient Brits could possibly be unfamiliar with him) can get a feel for just how loathsome a character he is at Hitchens' website.


Anonymous Mark T said...

Following you link it says Galloway is a "highly respected member of parliament". The man is an embarrassment and a disgrace.

2:01 PM  
Anonymous Dan L said...

Mark T beat me to it, but I have to repeat that who in the world respects George Galloway even a little bit? Never mind highly.

Whoever wrote that is insulting Parliament and the UK by suggesting that that **** is any sort of respected figure over here.

I had more respect for the Hamiltons.

2:25 PM  
Blogger Scott Callahan said...

Dan L:

It's possible that the silly people at the Baruch mistook the name of his party for a characterization.

And, by the way, it's possible that you should have a bit more respect for the Hamilton's than you currently do.

See http://www.guardianlies.com/


2:34 PM  
Anonymous Dan L said...

Hmmm... I remember liking the couple on Louis Theroux, and believe that I hate the Guardian. But that is a controversial website.

I shall read on. Even if I don't end up believing all of it, it will be fun to annoy Guardianistas with. Just going to need a very good grasp of the facts. And if it's true, well, poor guy.

Thanks for the tip.

3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last time I saw Hitchens on "Newnight" he looked particularly "drink-soaked".

I hope he is still able to tackle Galloway

12:02 PM  
Blogger The g-Gnome said...


Debates such as the one between Hitchens and Galloway are as much about showbusiness as politics. The two of them will physically enjoy the rhetoric and roistering, they will provide each other with ample material for speeches and columns and in a month the whole thing will be forgotten.

What I would REALLY like to know is how Respect is organising itself for the council elections next year. Galloway has made it quite clear that his intention is to win Tower Hamlets - not pick up seats, but win.

Don't forget, for all his faults Galloway is a very experienced and astute local politician, who led Dundee City Council when he was in his '20's. He knows that level of political life like the back of his hand, and it is in his interests to win that council because that will enable him, for all his notoriety, to wield tangible power - something which has continuously eluded him since he was last engaged in municipal politics.

Does anyone really want to see the Islamic Republic of Tower Hamlets come to life? Then never mind debates in New York, focus minds on the council elections.

1:21 PM  
Blogger Scott Callahan said...


Yes, such debates are as much about show business as politics, but I like a good show as much as the next guy. I think it would be an enjoyable spectacle, even if not laced with long term significance.

As for the council elections, I must confess a great deal of ignorance about local politics (apart from, perhaps, my own locality) in the UK.

Are council election all that important? If Respect does manage to win in Tower Hamlets, what does that portend?

I'm all ears.


1:52 PM  
Blogger The g-Gnome said...


These would be some of their greater and lesser powers, in no particularly relevant order -

The first thing they would have is the power to set the rate of council tax.

The second thing they would have is the power to disburse the 'block grant' every council in the UK receives from Westminster. Historically, the block grant comprises about 85% of a council's budget - it's a massive wedge of cash.

The third thing they would assume would be licensing powers, particularly relevant if the bulk of your support adheres to a religion which condemns alcohol.

They would not have the power to alter the school curriculum, however they would have the power to allocate resources to schools and recruit teachers and education managers.

They would have the power to grant or refuse applications for planning permission. New church, anyone?

They would have the power to twin the district with other municipalities, so 'Tower Hamlets; twinned with Najaf' would not require a great leap of the imagination.

They would assume responsibility for the borough's housing and social services. One would hope that a 'Respect' controlled Tower Hamlets Council would pay due regard to the concerns of the wider public in relation to forced marriages, and would ensure that resources would be allocated on the basis of need, not preference.

There are many others.

3:17 PM  

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