Home > Uncategorized > George Galloway jumps shark, lands on North Korea

George Galloway jumps shark, lands on North Korea

George Galloway, in a moment of unusual imbecility, has been praising North Korea. Yes, I did think about word choice before writing that.

Lots of people have probably noticed that this has been another of those weeks where we all relive the eighties. The eighties were not fun. Everyone had to talk about Thatcherism and be afraid of dying in a nuclear holocaust. A background of recession and the Tories are not enough, it turns out, to fully immerse oneself in the reliving of the eighties. No, we needed to talk a lot about Thatcherism. And now we’re back to gentle contemplation of atomic annihilation. Hurrah, etc.

For those of us who grew up in the eighties and read mind-blowingly inappropriate children’s books*, the assumption that one day we would have to step out bravely into the world and take our place as one of the last survivors in a post-nuclear-nightmare was just a given. Like any good child of the eighties I was perfectly confident that the world would end in ill-defined and but fiery horror. [Actually it turns out that many sane, well-balanced people did not grow up reading post-apocalyptic teen books, and they went on to live happy, fulfilled, normal lives. But the rest of us concentrated on the dystopian and we came to inherit the cynical. You’ll be sorry when it really is the end of the world and we’re all well-informed and saying, ‘See, I told you so!’ as you head off to your well-stocked bomb shelter while we continue to jitter in front of the TV, spotting patterns in things that aren’t really there.]

So it is right, as David Cameron might say, that we turn our thoughts to that great eighties legacy this week and consider the possibility of North Korea testing missiles and talking about nuking things.

And apparently it’s right, in what passes for George Galloway’s brain, to condemn the shallow, imperialist western notion that North Korea is a threat.

No, don’t watch it. It’s very painful.

He praises the resistance of North Korea to globalisation, and the ‘cohesive, pristine, innocent culture’ of North Korea. I mean, these things are true – it is ‘cohesive’ in that it is without internal opposition and it is ‘pristine’ in that it removes its citizens from the corrupting influences of media, internet or dissent. And centrally-enforced ignorance is of course a kind of innocence.

I’m not entirely sure why I had even a moment’s surprise. I mean, it’s George Galloway. He was ‘saying something.’ Expectations are never what I’d call high. But I suppose I always wondered how one might define a state of ‘even George Galloway can jump the shark.’ And it turns out it’s praising North Korea.

North Korea

North Korea.

* Z for Zachariah, Children of the Dust and Brother in the Land were three of the best, or at least the ones that remain searingly etched into my eternal consciousness.

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