Meritocracy is driven by an abiding faith – true progressive thinking is powered by good ideas, irrespective of their place of origin on the conventional political spectrum. Too many avowedly passionate Americans give otherwise sensible social solutions the swift heave-ho because, well… ‘they’, those rotten, lying bastards on ‘the other side’ thought of it! Not exactly consistent with the collective pursuit of excellence that elevates a society. From my Canadian perch, America could do with more meritocrats, and less self-styled baying hound ‘principled’ thinkers, left, center, or right, that would sooner die than admit their foes might have come up with something good. Meritocracy also includes the obligation to constantly re-evaluate politicians one may have previously regarded as good eggs.
Enter George Galloway, Scottish MP and long time burr under the saddle of the British political establishment. I have admired George, not so much for his actual policies but the fact that he was never shy to speak out. Galloway was on friendly terms with the Saddam Hussein regime (yikes), whilst staunchly advocating for the Palestinian people in their perpetual pursuit of statehood (bonus marks from this scribe)…George seemed a mixed but principled bag of tricks. The decision of our federal government to bar Galloway from our true and native land during his 2009 North American speaking tour was a kick in the free speech family jewels that disgraced our own supposed Canadian commitment to diverse opinion and liberal democratic principles. Boy George had donated $25,000 to the Palestinian food convoys the Israeli Navy seized like latter day Blackbeards – a sin. God knows, Canada’s love affair with the Israelis give a new and deeper meaning to ‘hear no evil‘. I rather admired George.
Last week my high regard for free speaking George was given a quick, old-fashioned genital stomping by his special take on the sexual assault allegations that confound one J Assange, Wikileaks supreme commander and the oh so committed freedom fighter currently on loan to Ecuador. As discussed in this space last week, I am one of those cats that find sweet Julian too clever by half, a pompous self-anointed free speech and open government apostle that does the old bob and weave around the law of sexual consent when it suits him, lecturing the world about evil US extradition conspiracies without troubling himself to answer his female accusers. And right on cue from Georgie boy, his best subtle Scottish manners on display, the British public are helpfully informed by the great man who, when a chap is in close quarters with a sleeping woman, well, it’s “…not rape as anyone with any sense can possibly recognise it, if she had already had sex with that man”.…a whopper of Todd Akin proportions. Missouri needs you, George.
Who says that Tea Party membership is the best evidence that Neanderthals still walk the Earth (and breed)? All we are saying ….is give Glasgow a chance! Hilariously, George is the co-founder and representative of the aptly named UK Respect Party. No doubt the women’s issues wing of this organization provide intense ongoing interest for this peerless human rights crusader. And that tinkling sound you can hear cascading south from Greater Toronto? The scales falling from my eyes as George is revealed as yet another failed free speech hero.