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George Galloway | The State of Britain | Oxford Union

Apr 02, 2024
Thank you very much for that introduction and that welcome. It seems like it was yesterday that I was speaking in this same place in a kind of - on the horizon - about International Affairs. I have no doubt in the quality control some will want to touch on those topics especially that unfortunate young man who went viral in the video of the last event I don't know if he is here he is here what a shame I made him an international star millions and millions of people saw that I find it not only because of the excellent video service and your YouTube channel but Hugo Chavez, this television station, Tele Sewer, which is a pan-Latin American channel, used your video intentionally and as I say, millions, tens of millions of people saw it, so give him my regards.
george galloway the state of britain oxford union
I am going to talk about Britain tonight rather than the world, although of course you cannot talk about one without the other, given our country's past and, indeed, the immediate present, although the issues are important, although they are internally, because I want to talk this afternoon about the


in which we find ourselves. need for change in Britain, which is crying out for change and is in a terrible


for reasons I will explain a few days ago I was speaking at Harrow Public School, which among many other famous pupils includes Winston Churchill, the great British war leader. a man with a very checkered political past, a man whose car was overturned by, among others, my late grandfather when he was driven out of the city of Dundee, where I come from, but a man who rose to the occasion, the occasion most important in the history of these islands and at a time when great


played a decisive role in the world if it were not for mr.
george galloway the state of britain oxford union

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Churchill, we would have been conducting this session if one can imagine that such a session would be permitted in German, no disrespect to the Germans present, it is an excellent language, but we did not want ourselves to have to speak it at the point of bayonets. It's important to understand that if you're going to understand the rest of what I have to say because mr. Churchill rose to the occasion as a person who loved his country, he was a patriot; He certainly opposed fascism, but his main opposition was the idea that our country could be invaded and occupied and that a system was imposed on us against our will and not. of our election and he was very frank about the price he was willing to pay for the fact that there were many collaborators within the British ruling elite, some of whom once sat in this room, who are willing and able to offer their services to any Nazi invader. force, the City of London would undoubtedly have offered to sell them financial services.
george galloway the state of britain oxford union
They had friends in very high places, including Buckingham Palace itself. They had friends in Parliament. They had friends even in the Cabinet Room and after the fall of France, when Britain was alone when the Americans were watching the war on the news mr. Churchill was invited by his own Foreign Secretary, Lord Halifax, whom I am sure he studied here to make a separate peace with Hitler, a peace of surrender with Hitler and Mr. Churchill said that even if we have to lie on the floor of this cabinet choking on our own blood, we will never hand over mr.
george galloway the state of britain oxford union
Cha's chosen officials tell how some of them moved restlessly in his streets at the end of the seats at the prospect that they could almost feel like they were choking on their own blood, but Mr. Chacho meant it and if the Nazi force was only twenty-two miles away in the English Channel ports in France had successfully crossed, invaded and occupied our country and if mr. If Churchill had escaped death, then he would have retreated to the hills and streets of Britain to organize British resistance to foreign invasion and occupation, and every self-respecting person in the country would have joined him as best they could.
I would have been able to if I had been able to. fight they would have fought they would have searched for the Nazi occupier and would have cut his throat if only they could have passed messages or given material moral support to that resistance they would have done it, so every self-respecting person on this earth why do I live in This point is It is because many people in Britain have trouble understanding that any town invaded and occupied by others feels exactly the same; no one loves their country less than Mr. Churchill or we love ours, no country will accept foreign soldiers and foreign tanks on their streets to occupy their country.
This is a point I made very strongly to a man called Tony Blair who is coming to a theater near you to see a film I'm making. called the assassination of Tony Blair, he also studied here, my goodness, what rogues from the gallery have sat in this room, the current company, except in the library corridor, in front of the main library door, outside the bathroom Of gentlemen, to be precise, I told Mr Blair that if he invaded Iraq, the fall of Baghdad would not be the beginning of the end, simply the end of the beginning, that the Iraqi people would fight him with their teeth if necessary until they expelled him. of your land and that while there was no Al Qaeda in Iraq now, you said that tens of thousands of al Qaeda would spawn in Iraq and cascade around the world if you and Bush invaded and occupied the country.
He got quite heated and mr. Alastair Campbell, his enforcer, finally dragged him away for fear I might cause some harm. Why am I insisting on that point because mr. Blair even more than mrs. Thatcher, although she, in a sense, began the process of transforming Britain. Blair pushed for the transformation of Britain from a post-imperial power to an imperial power again and that is one of the reasons why we are in the state where we are a country that cannot pay our national electricity bill, we cannot keep warm our elders in the winter, but we imagine we have unlimited resources to travel the world setting fire to other people's countries than in mr.
Blair I was never a student. I never attended any university. I worked from the age of 16 and paid taxes to pay for mr. Blair and half of his cabinet and even giving him a scholarship for him to enjoy now each of you are paying. I imagine the highest $10,000 a year. Someone's hat just fell off the gallery. I don't know, I just wanted to know that I know they allow me 10,000, is it here? 10,000 a year and 9,000 in most places. I went to Greenwich University last Wednesday, where the norm is £9,000 and where the vast majority of students are working class or lower middle class and struggling.
The costs of university education are one of the reasons why our country, which could once afford to build a national health service in the years immediately after the Second World War, built 300,000 new council houses a year, one of which I was lucky to grow up in. a country that could build a welfare state could transform the postwar period. The UK gives free cod liver oil, orange juice, milk and school lunches to kids like me. Now he levies a room tax on the poor. Now he is cutting public spending to the bone. Leaving hundreds of thousands of people out of work, charging our students through the nose to receive an education incapable of meeting the most basic requirements of that welfare state that mr.
Attlee, the Prime Minister in 1945, at whose Haileybury School I also spoke last week, had made something special of this country by creating Mrs Thatcher and Mr Blair after her we will not mention the gentleman. Brown an unfortunate interregnum of just two years, thank goodness, which was a mere shadow of even the Premiership that immediately preceded it. Blairites, Thatcherites have been in power in this country for the last almost 45 years and have turned back the clock. In important aspects of what Britain was like before the Second World War and before the great reformist Labor government of 1945, we have millions of people unemployed in my constituency of Bra for the West, which is one of the poorest places in the country.
Life is completely incomparable. to the life lived here, fifty per cent of the young people in my constituency are unemployed, unemployed, uneducated, untrained, simply out on the streets, where of course the devil easily finds work for idle hands. You can see the public realm in my constituency. from a car just driving through the center the boarded up shops the crumbling masonry the big hole in the ground for those of you who know Bradford and yet we have a political class and this is the gist of what I have to say tonight We have a political class that is completely incapable of rising to that challenge as mr.
Churchill rose to the occasion, our country is crumbling around us, in fact you may not have noticed, but next September, in the referendum in Scotland, our country may cease to exist. I doubt you're still adequately focused on that, but the UK may cease to exist. exist next September, as the hatred in Scotland of the Conservative government and the New Labor government that preceded it, our political class has merged into one, even in the 26 years I have been in the House of Commons, I have seen how the gap between men was narrowing. and women metaphorically shrink with their reduced ambition reflecting their reduced abilities to communicate because they have little Munich ate about the are, as I have described them, two cheeks of the same ass and to continue the metaphor at the risk of being risky the more The closer two cheeks are to each other, the more noise they need to make to justify their separation and a good example is the recent uproar over gas and electricity prices.
Ed Miliband proposes freezing the single prices of gas and electricity for twenty months, their total value for each household. It's a hundred and twenty quid, one less than £120, the Bullingdon Club lads will probably spend that and more on a £120 night, that's all, you'd think I was proposing nationalization of the commanding heights of the British economy, the media of communication, the owners. of the gas and electricity pricing industries, the Conservatives, even the Lib Dems, are shouting as if this is some kind of revolutionary proposal that Miliband is making, the reality is that the utilities as we used to call them will simply now have this very weak increase in prices. in advance and they will increase their prices later is a meaningless proposal from Miliband, but it is the only thing that differentiates the left cheek from the right and it is due to this ironclad consensus between these two front benches on the big issues of the day: the British economy. governing the world nuclear weapons wars and occupations attitude towards immigration attitude towards people receiving benefits you can't slip six months between your left cheek and your right cheek on all these issues that's why so many of you have come here tonight that's why hundreds of thousands of people follow me on Twitter and Facebook and social media well, they're not following anyone else, look and look, this is why above all that in the last 15 days year, in just 15 days I transformed a rock-solid Liberal majority in Bradford into a rock-solid majority for us. 58 per cent of the vote in an eight-match race in 15 days when I arrived in Bradford, the bookmakers' odds were three hundred to one against me.
If I had been a gambler, I would have become very rich because I knew I was going to win, not because I was special, but because the contempt felt in Britain for our political class is practically - you'll pardon the pun. bottomless is virtually bottomless people hate the main political parties they hate to the extent that they know who are the political leaders who preside over those first banks and the iron consensus that I speak of Parliament is full of expense thieves, it was revealed As everyone knows, people charged public canes tens of thousands of pounds to clean their duck bones, to take the IVs of the idiots in their stables, to throw cushions around the public-paid flats while they turned. those same floors that lay above what was his main residence. to mislead the otherwise applicable capital gains tax collector by claiming that his main residence was a small studio in his constituency it was the large house for all his family in which they lived in London it was simply an address of convenience that the public would have to pay and vice versa, members of the cabinet were caught changing those houses to deceive the public.
We now know that one institution after another in our country has turned out to be rotten to the core and Parliament is but one of them, a parliament of poodles with pagers who follow the leader wherever he goes and actually receive a message while they are sitting in the chamber telling them the line to follow, thatIt is what it says. I have never had one, but I have been shown the line to follow and the men and women elected to Parliament, for God's sake, Dulli stands up and parrots the line they have been told to follow, but It is not just Parliament, but let's review the institutions that have been found. being rotten to the core, one of them affects me vitally and that is the disaster that killed 93 people in Hillsborough at a football match, crushed to death, murdered through negligence and foolishness on the part of those who organized the game and then They slandered, murdered and then slandered. on the front pages of national newspapers from a briefing given by police chiefs, one of whom ended up as chief constable in my area of ​​West Yorkshire, we finally pursued him, but we still haven't stripped him of his knighthood nor the gold-plated pension.
The Hillsborough Inquiry was chaired by an Archbishop showed that the British police falsified and fabricated thousands of witness statements, thousands of them with their pens literally falsified and fabricated those statements to deflect blame for the negligence that had occurred. I killed all those people who had simply gone to watch a football game and if I had time I could review a dozen police scandals every night. I drive past Stockwell tube station, where a young Brazilian electrician Jean Charles de Menezes was shot seven times in the head on the floor of a London Underground train, suspected of belonging to our Al Qaeda operative, but in reality He was a Brazilian electrician on his way to work.
The various investigations have established a catalog of catastrophic events. mistakes made by the Metropolitan Police that led to the murder of John Charles, but it is not just the police, it is not just Parliament, the noble Lord Leverson, sitting for months, demonstrated Shirley asked the photographer who is here and who works for the Sun tonight, how do you feel working? for the Sun, how does it feel to work for Rupert Murdoch and one of the victims of the phone hacking of him hundreds of him and hundreds of times hacked my phone? In fact, you can tell mr. murdoch mr.
Photographer, there is another warrant on the way this very day because the police just handed me even more evidence of more hacking. They even hacked the phone of a girl with her mother, giving her parents false hope that she might still be alive because she. She had been answering her phone messages, but it wasn't her answering them, it was some bastard who worked for Rupert Murdoch who was hacking into her phone messages. Leverson confidently demonstrated that the press and media in this country are rotten to the core, but it is not just the press, the police and Parliament.
Do I need to talk about banks here? Do I need to talk about how our square mile could run for Mayor of London in 2016? Let me warn you now that we are going to Clean up the square mile we are going to clean up the city of London if we have the opportunity to do so because your corruption, recklessness, greed, embezzlement of all kinds, some of you may be sons of bankers. I apologize, it's nothing personal, but in the City of London, if you pick someone's pocket, you'll go to prison for six months if the police, the City of London, their own police force, how convenient, if you pick their pocket from someone at Liverpool Street station, you will go to prison, but if you steal tens of hundreds of millions of pounds, if it threatens to bankrupt the entire British economy if it costs the taxpayer hundreds of billions of pounds to bail out the financial institution that you took over from the cliff of the cliff, not a single banker will be charged nor a single banker has gone to prison for the crimes they committed that caused the collapse in 2008, white collar crime in the City of London goes unpunished book these bankers with their gigantic bonuses are richer than the dreams of greed one of them at Goldman Sachs some of you may have ended up working there nervous laughter one of the partners at Goldman Sachs was so rich that his secretary he stole three million pounds from her bank account and didn't even realize she went to prison, so we know the story, he never noticed the jingling things in her jewellery.
She came to work on a yacht moving it to st. Katharine's dock, I'm not making this up, she bought the yacht and the jewelry and financed a millionaire lifestyle with her checkbook and he didn't even realize how rich they are and yet in an infamous encounter at Christmas 2006 with Mr. Brown standing next to him, Mr. Blair announced to the assembled crowd of Goldman Sachs partners and employees that everyone present was paying less in income taxes under his and Mr. Brown than they had been under Mrs. Thatcher boasted about that, I think she should have been ashamed of that and it is a perfect illustration of how these two cheeks have come together and how nothing important differentiates one from the other because of course there is no civilization without taxes, this is something of rich people.
He does not seem to be able to understand it, because today we know from sources close to him and Kable in the cabinet that more than a hundred billion pounds a year are still avoided, in some cases, in the payment of income tax and tax. societies of the richest. people and corporations in Britain a hundred billion a year our total deficit is less than the amount of taxes that are evaded or avoided in a single year if we got that tax there would be no deficit there would be no need for cuts there would be no need for tuition fees no In the winter of austerity we are about to plunge into, they waste billions of pounds on nuclear weapons, useless nuclear weapons that cannot be used except in an act of national suicide because, of course, any weapon with a nuclear warhead will shoot anyone. paid in kind and a nuclear winter descends on our country, we spent tens of billions of pounds on the occupation of Afghanistan, where many of our young people have had to return from their inboxes as part of the Gambler and Brown Wars and Cameron that seemed to end have lasted longer than the first and second world wars combined and that is because tens of billions have been spent in Afghanistan and when we leave it, we will leave it to the people we invaded and occupied to overthrow it, nothing will have changed everything.
All that blood and treasure will have been spent completely in vain, except that there is one thing that has been done differently and here I touch on the great international issues that I tried to address the last time I was here, our leaders have placed our country among the hatred of the land our leaders have made us insecure abroad and even at home the extremism I spoke of is cascading around the world of course here too our leaders have let us down the political system we have is discredited no one believes nothing that a minister or a senior civil servant or the head of MI6 who used to be a secret and is now giving interviews in The Guardian, but what interviews tell us that we should be optimistic about the fact that every thing, everything is a signal for Nervous laughter appears.
Everything you've ever looked for on the internet, it's all now in a vault at GCHQ in Cheltenham. Every email you've ever written, every text message you've received, every call you've made, has been digitally stored in the vaults. of our security services totally outside our own law, in total contradiction to the International Agreements and protocols that we have signed entirely with the knowledge of our Parliament, in fact, we learn from Chris Hyun, the former cabinet minister, that Parliament does not I just didn't know about the existence of this gigantic electronic listening system, the cabinet wasn't even informed, in fact the security services deliberately misled the cabinet when they told it they needed powers to do what they were already doing, so decide if wants to live in a country that our leaders have made us hate when the state is now spying on everything you do if you want to live in a country where the private is everything and where the public is nothing where the public sphere diminishes and disappears in the face of our eyes leaving closed communities literally and metaphorically. literally in the case of how rich our people will have to live if this process continues metaphorically here in Oxford or Harrow or other loopholes of privilege that still exist in this country and I'm not envious of you by the way, I'm proud of you.
I am very glad that my taxes have given you all this and I wish you had the same opportunity as mr. Blair and mr. Straw and everyone else had to have it for free, but you will never feel comfortable being successful and prosperous in a land full of alienation, bitterness and hate. You will never be safe. You will never be secure in what you have because of the envy we saw. exploding across practically the length and breadth of the country in 2011 will be just a step or two away from Britain today in Britain today the gap between rich and poor is wider than when Charles Dickens wrote Oliver Twist official we can't go on like this This gap, If it becomes wider and wider, it can only bring destruction to us and our country.
You have more interest in this than me. I will be long gone while you are still in your prime, so I beg you to open your eyes. to the state we find ourselves in and to reject the state of mediocrity that British politics has become. Thank you so much.

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