Sunday, January 29, 2006

Gallows humour

I like to think of myself as a democrat who is liberal minded. This would suggest, therefore, that I'm a good fit for the Liberal Democrats. I know, however, that liberalism is kinda boring, so I try to take a side if I can, to the left in the main. Inside, though, I know I'm a bit boring; I don't climb mountains, grow giant mangoes or go seagull racing at the weekends. This is OK, not being very interesting allows me to exist within my own comfort zone.

Then the cuddly boring Liberal Democrats disintegrate in a storm of alcoholism, rent boys and secret bisexual-ess-ness. This is just not my brand of boring; this is not the dull uneventful middling life I signed up to. None of it adds up, how do you find the time to watch low impact reality TV and find Tesco Self-Scan exciting when you're buggering rent boys in an alcohol soaked stupor?

Then, just when I thought my belief system was more aligned to Leigh Bowry than, ahem, Lea-fy Buckinghamshire; George Galloway erupted in the Big Brother house and it all became clear to me. I spent the last couple of weeks trying to spot what was so distasteful about Galloway. I hadn't read that much about him, so my thoughts weren't coloured by the press. He was against the war and spoke a common man rhetoric that was easy to subscribe to. He pissed off the Americans, which didn't seem a crime. He just seemed like a intelligent, thoughtful, slightly conservative middle-aged man. Not a million miles from where I'll end up, I think. But he's friends with Pete Burns and Saddam Hussain, am I really more aligned to these people than cuddly Charles Kennedy and his merry band of terribly sensible people? It seems, perhaps, my naiveté lulled me into a false sense of security becuase when Galloway opened up it was quite evident that he wasn't really interested in the substance of the debate; he was simply interested in his role in it. It's not a question of whether his argument is stronger, its more that if he's in control then he's winning.

That's when it dawned on me that Galloway isn't like me; we may claim to stand for similar values, but our motives are different. Whereas he chooses to ride on these values for his own self aggrandisement, my motives are rather more simple. I think these values are right because its better to be good to people than to be bad, because life is better that way. Perhaps this is one of life's great failings, the argument is too simple. You can't work into a passionate tirade about going about your normal business, not bothering too many people and generally being nice, polite and straight forward. Instead people who have something else to promote; themselves, for example, can use this liberal minded language as a screen for another, more sinister, agenda. Galloway uses it to promote himself and people like me are seduced into being supportive because they're not otherwise represented in the circuses of the mainstream media and politics. Who is more the fool, eh?


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