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(4) Banafsajee



From my exchange year at an American college, notes from 2036, auto-transcribed from a recording and discovered in my garage this autumn—will never forget Prof. Hoffman: “…which will mean something, this example will mean something to our exchange students, particularly from Great Britain…because this example…this example is from their island. This is about a minor political figure, someone I encountered…I encountered in my exchange year—a politician called Galloway. Do you know him? Anyone? Yes, yes—you know him, from the YouTube videos of him dressed as a cat…yes…yes…


So Galloway is a minor British politician, a socialist politician—what we would call a political entrepreneur. He moves from party to party, from the Labour Party, and founds his own parties…this was all due to the war in Iraq. What Galloway understood, he was a real showman, what he understood was that politics is not about economics at base—people say that, yes, and it is important…you can’t let the economy collapse. No. No, not like the last Governor-General here in the Confederation. No. What is politics about? Well, Galloway co-founded a little party called…the Respect Party—the R-E-S-P-E-C-T Party, right. Yes, like the old song.


And he aimed this party, a socialist party, at the Muslims. Now back then it wasn’t like today—today the Muslims are what…18…23 per cent of the British population. Right?…Oh, 20.3% someone said at the back, looked it up on Wikipedia, I think <<laughter>>. So, yes, so this party was about socialism…about the war in Iraq…but it was also about Galloway, a Scotsman you know, going to the Muslim voters and saying, ‘Look nobody respects you in this system, right? Nobody cares when Britain bombs Muslim countries…gives arms to the Israelis? Well, here’s a party for you. Here’s a voice.’ So it’s about thymus, as the Greeks said—it’s like pride, but pride…you know, pride is tied up with ideas of sin. Christianity. Let’s say it’s about spirit, spiritedness—I’ve got spirit, American spirit…heh…yeah, no joke.”

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