Friday, 30 March 2012
What's New Pussycat?
The news today that George Galloway has won the Bradford West by-election is a devastating blow to the Labour party.
Bradford West has been a safe Labour seat since 1974 - one where Labour has actively courted the Muslim vote - but the bottom line is that the voters rejected Labour in favour of a political demagogue.
Now as regular readers will know - George Galloway stood in the 2011 Scottish Parliament elections - and got absolutely nowhere.
My view is that the voters of Glasgow were too canny and wise - to be taken in with his particular blend of bombast - which is designed to appeal to disaffected Muslim voters these days.
Which is not to say that George does not raise some important issues about wars and military intervention in foreign countries - the present conflict in Afghanistan being a case in point.
Because the original mission was to deny a safe haven for the al-Qaeda terrorists behind the 9/11 attacks on New York - yet what purpose we are serving there now seems a mystery to many people - including me.
But George Galloway was against the original military mission - which was fully backed by the United Nations (UN) - it has to be said.
Just as he was against the decision to intervene in the civil war in Yugoslavia - of course - which ended the 'ethnic cleansing' regime of Slobodan Milosevic.
I haven't hear any of George's thoughts about the military intervention in Libya - come to think of it - which finally got rid of Colonel Gaddafi and his murderous crew.
Although I would be surprised if he was anything other than completely opposed to that decision either - which had the support of the UN and Arab League.
To my mind George is against just about everything - except George.
Which is why I think the voters of Glasgow decided he wasn't worthy of a seat in the Scottish Parliament - and sent him packing elsewhere.
As I said at the time Holyrood needed George - in the same way as a fish needs a bicycle.
But I suppose Labour now needs him in Westminster - like the party needs another hole in his head - because how does Ed Miliband explain such a crushing defeat?
George knows - of course.
Apparently God was on his side - which we know because he said so on Twitter - proclaiming his great victory over Labour was 'By the grace of God...'
A dog whistle comment if I ever heard one.
Fishes and Bicycles (6 May 2011)
So George Galloway has failed to win a seat in the Scottish Parliament elections.
Now this comes as no great surprise - here's what I said about the relevance of his campaign for a list seat in the Glasgow region.
Seems like the voters in Glasgow agreed with me - that the former Respect MP had little to offer Holyrood.
Which chimes with my own views - because I didn't vote for him either.
Fishes and Bicycles (2 December 2010)
George Galloway is to politics what Jose Mourinho is to football - though without the evident talent and smouldering good looks.
'Gorgeous' George is a tired old pussycat these days - both vain and vainglorious in equal measure - whose current claim to fame is that he writes a regular column - wait for it - for the Daily Record.
The other day George was rude and condescending about Christopher Hitchens - saying that he would 'pray' for the avowed atheist - who is terminally ill with throat cancer.
George also boasted - as is his wont - about his public debates with Hitchens in 2005 - suggesting that these had been a great success - and that he had come out on top.
So I watched these recordings and other interviews on You Tube and it seemed to me that - as on many other issues - the former MP is simply deluding himself.
The two men clearly detest each other - which makes for great theatre and sparky TV.
Yet for me Hitchens had the measure of his opponent - whom he would probably characterise as a populist demagogue.
Apparently George is interested in standing for the Scottish Parliament in next year's elections - and his penchant for flowery words and phrases would certainly bring some colour to its debates.
But as his political interests have always been dominated by foreign affairs - Holyrood needs George about as much as a fish needs a bicycle.