Tuesday, January 17, 2006


I'm frequently asked about some of the differences between the British and Americans, and i don't consider myself hugely well-placed, or well-travelled enough, to answer them. Moreover, I've seen too many odious people trade claiming to be able to explain the difference. Same goes for subtle observations of the British class system.

But right here, nestled in a Nick Cohen column (see? Told you i normally love him) is the answer to the whole thing. All of the weird obsessions that the British have over class, politics and celebrity rolled into the person of George Galloway.

George Galloway invites such confusion - he's a man that made Norm Coleman look like a fool for holding hours of senate hearings into oil-for-food in iraq while ignoring what went wrong with the invasion of the country. But he hugged a mass-murderer, associates with anti-Semites, and dragged the left further into the political gutter. What the hell to make of these former hard left people, Hitchens included, bounding off to all points of the political compass, propelled only by their utter certainty in themselves?

Well, as Cohen points out, you cheer politicians on for their dashing rhetorical skills right up to the moment they appear on a VERY BAD television show demeaning themselves. An American in a similar position would be looking at an appearance like that and working out whether it would make them look better. A politician, at least one above the level of about state representative (and excepting vile hack Marty Markowitz, whose brain is wired differently to those of decent folk) would likely decline. Obsessed with their position you see.

A Brit, on the other hand makes a few assumptions about their class, tosses those in, and also assumes that their position gives them enough cover to do something really stupid on television. And guess what, while the average American voter would not care about their politicians hugging Sadaam Hussein or appearing on Big Brother, the British would be mch more upset about the latter. It's also as good a reason as I've ever found for why I like living here.

Time for some left-leaning ska, no?

The Redskins - "Kick Over The Statues" (Yes, this was recently handed out with Mojo, what of it?)
Buy "Neither Washington Nor Moscow Here". Salute the heroes of the non-aligned movement!


Post a Comment

<< Home