Not being a member of the Bradford East constituency, I welcome George Galloway’s victory in last week’s by-election. It represents a challenge to the uninspiring, cowardly and incompetent politician that seems to be the norm in Westminster now. People have become disillusioned with British politics, not just because David Cameron and George Osbourne clearly don’t eat Cornish pasties, but because Members of Parliament have no appeal, they are boring and lack passion in the one area that they should have it in abundance, representing the concerns of their constituents.
You only have to watch last Thursday’s Question Time on the BBC and the performance of Sarah Teather to see my case in point. The number of times she declined to comment on a range of issues on account of her position within government was unacceptable. Why on earth do the public tolerate such poor displays of competence? The simple answer is that we don’t care. Teather is not alone, but representative of a significant proportion of MPs who lack personality, passion, commitment and therefore any sense of political authority. People don’t care about their MPs because they are dull individuals who are seemingly scared of providing their opinion.
…You’re a drink-soaked former Trotskyist popinjay…
This is why I welcome George Galloway’s re-entrance onto the British political scene. Galloway, with his ever abrasive, up-front and damning style will challenge the status quo in a stale Westminster environment, not stopping until MPs have made it quite clear where they stand.
It is this style that Westminster has been missing for years. As an orator, Galloway is brilliant. Who else has ever managed to silence Christopher Hitchens in one sentence? Galloway achieved such as feat in 2005 with the line, “You’re a drink-soaked former Trotskyist popinjay.”
…I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigably
However, if I lived in the Bradford-East constituency, I would be lamenting the fact that I had just elected an MP who had used my local area as a pawn in his grand scheme of political disruption. For I don’t believe George Galloway pursues a career in politics for any reason other than fulfilling the desires of his own, already inflated ego. He recognises his ability as an orator and uses it only cynically, to attack those in power. His status as a politician has been completely fabricated through the tactics of character assassination and deception. This is the same George Galloway who calls for the trial of Tony Blair and George Bush for war crimes and yet also stood in front of Saddam Hussein in 1994 and said, “Sir, I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigably”.
Galloway is a political nomad who has now represented four different constituencies across the country. He uses his skills only ever in a destructive manner, attacking individuals and disregarding contextual determinants. He is an opportunist who works on the principle that “my enemy’s enemy is my friend’” as the Telegraph put it this week. In the coming months, Bradford East are going to wish that they had elected Imran Hussein a man from the local area and a man who doesn’t need to “praise Allah” in an egotistic and patronising manner to win support in an area with a high proportion of Muslims. Galloway will forget Bradford East as the publicity available in Westminster will lure him increasingly away from the North towards London.
But as I say, I am not a member of Bradford-East constituency. Galloway has an opportunity to challenge the stale, banal world of British politics. Ed Miliband should take note. Galloway’s unapologetic manner is exactly what is needed from the Opposition. It is from the backbenches that Galloway can attack the government, taking on the role that Miliband and his team of inadequate shadow minsters have failed so badly to do.
Image courtesy of David Martyn Hunt