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George Galloway interview: perspectives on working-class annihilation

A FIGHT FOR EQUALITY: George Galloway stands outside one of Tony Blair's supposed seven houses. Photo credit: theblairdoc.com

A FIGHT FOR EQUALITY: George Galloway stands outside one of Tony Blair’s supposed seven houses. Photo credit: theblairdoc.com

MIDDLESBROUGH’S industrial sector has always played a large part in the area’s working-class heritage.

Promoting ideas of hard working people and strong family values, industry work has created respectably-earned wages for many generations of proud northerners.

But in the midst of what The Guardian’s Owen Jones describes as working-class ‘demonization’ in his book Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class, it is said that the British media and even British governing bodies are plaguing working-class communities with negative portrayals, with imagery of traditional working-class towns and industries becoming increasingly fogged by a damaging ‘chav caricature’.

Mass media are now seen to be underrepresenting working-class people in a vicious and hyperbolic fashion, with Tabloids and 21st century television shows such as Benefit Street arguably destroying the reputation of working communities and cementing them a place at the bottom of the social spectrum.

George Galloway, former Labour and now Respect Party Leader and MP for Bradford West, argues that there is now a fundamental need for a working-class representative in mainstream politics.

As an honorary member of the National Union of Mine Workers and active member of the Miners’ Strike that took place under Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative Government in the 1980s, Mr Galloway told Tside that the annihilation of working-class people and its industries has been corrupting Britain for decades, and that the media is crying out for a true representation of working communities.

“Most members of the government have no real connection with working-class people. They are trapped in a prevailing orthodoxy, meaning that they think the bigger problems cannot be achieved and that they focus on little things – the colour of the paint in the Ministry of Agriculture – things that aren’t necessarily as important”, George Galloway said.

“The Thatcher Government’s vindictive destruction of the coal mining communities and their industry and their union was not just immoral, but also economically illiterate and furthered her narrow interests of class.

“The Miners’ Strike was a huge turning point in this country. It was the first time since World War Two where private was seen as good, and public was seen as bad. Where productive capacity – making things, digging things, relying on our own assets rather than being able to purchase them with fake money overseas was transformed.”

After being expelled from the Labour Party in 2003 for his opposition to the war in Iraq, Mr Galloway joined the Respect Party in 2004 and has based his ideals around equality and a voice for minorities in Britain. He has also been heavily involved in campaigning in the Middle East and was awarded Debater of the Year by The Spectator in 2001.

SHAMELESSLY MISREPRESENTED: George Galloway believes that TV show Shameless is an inaccurate representation of working-class heritage

SHAMELESSLY MISREPRESENTED: George Galloway believes that TV show, Shameless, is an inaccurate representation of working-class heritage

“Personally, I believe that this country should be run by the working-class in the interests of the working-class. They make up the majority of this country.

“Unfortunately I don’t see many accurate portrayals of working-class people in the media at all. Shameless and things like that get on television, but they represent what is known as the ‘underclass’, the people who have fallen through the floor of working-class.

“Our rulers constantly wish to divide us – they divide people of colour, public sector workers from private sector workers, and workers and the unemployed. Their tactics are divide and rule – they are making us point at other people to blame rather than them, who actually are to blame.”

For more information about George Galloway, visit www.georgegalloway.net.



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