I am stunned by Canada’s decision to ban George Galloway from entering the country. I have known George for too many decades to share in the hero-worship he attracts from some; but he is a truly talented speaker and debater. George was right on Iraq when so many Western politicians hid behind the coward’s shield of patriotism. He is right on the disaster of Afghanistan too, the full horror of which is still unfoldng. I see that three more Canadian soldiers were killed there yeasterday, and nine maimed. The kind of debate George brings is urgently needed in Canada.
I was also surprised by the Canadian government spokesman’s description of him as an “Infandous street corner Cromwell”. Cromwell was a truly great man, a towering figure, with a driving concern for the common good. His statue stands guard outside Parliament. A peculiar comparison indeed.
Canadians should be ashamed today. George has fallen foul of the trick by the Israeli lobby of tarring everybody sympathetic to the Palestinians as a terrorist.
There is a spirit of protectionism abroad in these troubled times – of intellectual protectionism. As the frailties of an economic system built upon unrestrained greed and speculation become clear, as it becomes more and more obvious that recent Western invasions of Muslim lands are a drive to corner key areas for access to increasingly scarce hydrocarbons, and as the spectre of climate change looms over everything that was viewed as “Progress”, governments are desperate to control the narrative thier population hears.
The British government banned Geerst Wilders and several Muslim theologians. Canada is banning George Galloway, of all people. When the British banned the Dutch MEP Wilders, the Dutch government commendably supported the right to free speech in Europe and the Dutch Ambassador offered to meet him at Heathrow. The British government should make Canada know of our displeasure at the banning of somone for voicing opinions which are held by a large proportion of the British nation.