The following is a clip. It is not the whole interview. However, George Galloway has enough opportunity to explain his context of what is ‘normal’ for us to get the jist. He is referring to ‘normal’ in a statistical sense. He is stating that ‘normal’ is determined by quantity. To be fair, this is how most people like to contextualise ‘normality’. It reduces ‘normality’ to numbers. A quantitative prism in which emotions, experiences, senses… are all ignored and abandoned for the sake of simplicity.

Now this is sensible if one observes, “this is not your normal walk”. It refers to others being aware of and interested in other people’s behaviour. Not in a weird way but just noticing. It then gives the person a chance to explain qualitatively why they may have chosen a different route. They may not want to, but that becomes their choice.

It is sensible if epidemiologists use statistical norms to help find cures for disease and infections. It saves lives, right?

However, the use of the term ‘normal’ in the following interview between Aaron Bastani and George Galloway hides something sinister. It appears to be formed by the assumption that people learn to be gay, and in the same way, people learn to be heterosexual. It does not reflect that our sexuality is genetically predisposed. Some may argue that acute experiences can lead to people choosing to practice sex in a particular way. However, this is not about delving into extreme psychology, this is about how people experience the curriculum in schools.

At this point, let us pause for George.

Here, the attempt to attribute ‘normality’ to the message taught in school is based on ignorance, not scientific fact. To say being gay is not normal is accurate in a quantitative sense. Yes, the human species is made up of many more heterosexuals than homosexuals. Yes, the human species would shrink if the numbers were reversed, although it would not necessarily die out over a couple of generations unless other factors came into play. George Galloway appears to be assuming that teaching the quantitative ‘normal’ would prevent this. He seems to fear anything but a quantitative ‘normality’ being taught.

Now we know he is a Roman Catholic. We know that this has the capacity, like all faiths, to skew the way we see the world. It fills the imagination with a series of beliefs and values that undermine science and empiricism. It serves to elevate to another level a set of ideas. It promotes and prioritises gullibility. I get that. I also get that for many, we are expected to respect this gullibility and tolerate it (and sometimes sanction it). But we must then accept that epistemology then merely becomes a pick-and’-mix. We pluck to suit, as it were. We impose our skewed imaginations on others. We become autocrats. I do not, at this point, want to enter into a complex web of sociological and psychological analysis. I merely want to point out that just because someone believes in something does not make it a fact and it certainly should not be imposed on others. If people choose to blindly accept notions without critical thought and analysis, I cannot change that. But what I can point out, is that people should rise above the quantitative, and they should see the qualitative.

‘Normality’ needs the qualitative. It demands it. The reason why a person changes their walking route or the impact of drugs upon a person has to be measured both ways. If a drug gives a patient blinding headaches and severe depression, that is a lived experience. The majority of patients may experience the same drug much more positively. Fabulous. They can keep taking it. However, the minority may need to switch to a different drug to make their lives worth living again. And so they should. Through feeding back qualitatively, they no longer suffer. What is statistically ‘normal’ to the minority becomes irrelevant to their own suffering.

Now George Galloway has to apply the same rules of thought to sexuality and its teaching in schools. Unless he can apply a quantitative AND a qualitative analysis to what is normal in sex education, he is merely sharing his ignorance and expecting the system to change because of it. He is ignoring the feelings of gay people, who are told by him, that their behaviour is not normal when it is completely normal to them. He is inflicting a learned prejudice on those who are biologically preprogrammed, just like his sexuality is. The education system is there to teach people the facts as determined by epistemological endeavour. If the facts change then they are updated. It is not there for religious fundamentalism to be applied that renders some people feeling uncomforable with what nature provided for them.

I like you George, and the way you stand up to the Zionists and their murderous, imperialist intentions, is to be celebrated. However, on this issue you are morally, factually and intellectually wrong.

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