It’s been nearly a fortnight since George Galloway won a historic victory in the Bradford West by-election. The day after the election, many Labour Tweeters were exercised in their hatred of Gorgeous. Few of them looked to themselves for why they had lost so badly to a candidate whom the pollsters and psephologists had largely ignored. Luke Akehurst, for instance, couldn’t help himself and spent most of the day heaping a mixture of vitriol and spite on Galloway. It got to the stage where I thought that if a Tory had won the by-election, there would have been no bitchiness from most Labourites, just loads of wound-licking instead. But this is George Galloway and to most so-called mainstream types, his name is on a par with that of Peter Sutcliffe or Levi Bellfield.
I have a couple of issues with Galloway but, in the main, he does the job that many Labour members ought to be doing: giving the neoliberal tyrants and Tory bullies a hard time. He’s an eloquent speaker and a master orator and those are two things that are lacking in today’s House of Commons. Neither front bench has a decent orator and few backbenchers are capable of speaking with passion and conviction. These days when most MPs speak, they sound like they’re reading from the telephone directory.
Galloway, like Jean-Luc Mélenchon across La Manche, have both been described by their detractors as “left-wing populists”. It’s a backhanded compliment that is designed to belittle those who don’t support free-market economics. There has been no analysis on the part of these self-styled commentators. Instead, they spend their time refusing to deal with the real questions and tell us that there is no alternative to cuts and austerity. Some right-wingers will respond with the very familiar “Well, what would you do” line, even though we’ve told them countless times. But there are none so deaf as those who refuse to hear.
The Torygraph has decided to ask different set of questions , since it is now de rigueur to insinuate that an enemy politician has been less than straightforward about his tax affairs. Well, good luck with that chaps. I guess none of you have heard of Gorgeous’s reputation for litigiousness - and in the libel court, he always wins. All this amounts to is a feeble hatchet-job that’s predicated on their own peevish attitude to left politics. Speaking of which, the same paper tells us that Galloway’s Viva Palestina could be “removed from the Charity Commission’s register”. Bitter, spiteful and plain nasty but did you expect anything less from Britain’s ‘free’ press?
Gilligan has already produced the sort of article that we’ve come to recognise him for. Once the dust has settled on the London elections, you can bet that he’ll be churning out more of the same sort of stuff that he’s written about Ken Livingstone. In fact, the articles will all look the same but with the names changed.
I congratulate Gorgeous on his victory and wish him all the best in the Commons. I also hope his victory heralds the beginning of a resurgence in the fortunes of Britain’s left-wing parties (well, with the possible exception of the cult-like Revolutionary Communist Group, of course). The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is contesting seats on the London Assembly as well as dozens of local councils around the country. Respect is also contesting seats – especially in Bradford. Good luck to them all and let’s sweep the Social Darwinists out of power!
By the way, if anyone from TalkSPORT is reading this, I am available to take over Gorgeous’s vacant radio slot on Friday night.