Readers following news of the Viva Palestina convoy via its official website must wish they’d volunteered for the trip themselves so positive has the reporting of the progress been. Enthusiastic official welcomes at every town they pass through, ‘good standard’ hotels to stay in and ‘tasty’ food to enjoy have been staples of the journey so far if you believe what you read there.
But should you?
Greg Cullen is one of the convoy-goers, and he’s got that most dangerous of pairings, an independent mind and a regularly-updated blog.
Here’s what he has to say about Galloway’s Panglossian spin on the pilgrims’ progress to date:
We roared laughing at George Galloway’s description of events so far; “Civic reception in Bordeau” was actually some sandwiches in a community hall in a rough part of Begles, the official welcome in San Sebastian never happened because no one got there because of organisational chaos yesterday morning. And anyway it consisted of one man offering to align people’s wheels and a “Rock Concert” which was a band who sang a couple of songs. The only reception we got was from para military police with machine guns.
Oh dear. Machine guns aren’t very welcoming.
The ‘spin’ continued to gain momentum after the convoy crossed North Africa too:
By the way if you’ve been reading the Viva Palestina website it continues to propagandise. Apparently we spent a lovely day in Tipizi being shown around some ancient ruins. In fact we were inprisoned to all intents and the only ruin we saw was the cockroach infested hotel the majority of the convoy stayed in.
Here’s Greg on the fellowship of the road he was perhaps rather optimistically expecting:
Big rift in convoy today when some radical unruly elements were nearly sent home
Rifts? Who’s causing trouble?
Young Muslim radicals want the convoy run by Sharia Law. No democracy. No women group leaders, no non believers calling the shots.
Well, I hate to say it Greg, but what did you expect from allying with Islamists? That they’d be won over to Socialism after a few days gentle debate? That they’d see the error of their ways? On second thoughts, it’s probably best if you don’t answer that.
Anyway, how is the political palaver affecting solidarity amongst the drivers?
We are supposed to be having a meeting tonight. Its going to be explosive for all sorts of reasons.
And how are these ‘political differences’ revealing themselves in practice?
Last night someone slashed the convoy organiser’s tyres.
Charming. Horrible living conditions, harrassment by the authorities and now an Islamist uprising against decadent Western cross ply. What next? And will Greg’s blog be around to report it when it happens?
Watch this space.