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Home > Politics

Gorgeous George goes to Washington

22 May 2005

Much has been written about George Galloway's visit to Washington, but our favourite exchange has to be:

'Gorgeous George Galloway: You want to talk about illegality?

American senator: No.

GGG: You launched an illegal war! And...' [Continues for some time.]

This comment ('Do you want to talk about squirrels?' 'No.' 'Let me tell you this - the grey squirrel is endangering the indigenous population of red squirrels and...') sums up George's appearance in front of the committee. And he loved every second of it.

But who is the real George 'Courage, strength and Indefatigability' Galloway?

The public (and press) perception of Galloway is either that he is a self-serving supporter of dictatorships or a great Leftist who refuses to be silenced. The reality, as ever, is probably a lot more boring.

Galloway appears to have a capricious, teenage rebel streak that stops him thinking about the reality of what he's doing. He's marched with Gerry Adams, ignoring the fact that the IRA are not freedom fighters or opponents of English imperialism, but self-serving, murdering bastards. It looks entirely likely that his
flirtation with Saddam was more of the same. Saddam was the poster boy of Arab nationalism at one point, and, childish though it may seem, George Galloway won't have been the first person to demonstrate his rebel status by siding with killers and oppressors. Jane Fonda, anyone?

Then there's the fact that Galloway is usually described as 'colourful'. A better description is probably 'likes expenses'. Although the latest accusations against him seem entirely spurious, Galloway has been accused of financial impropriety before, over expense claims when he worked for War on Want (which he later repaid). This isn't a Baathist fifth columnist, it's David Brent.

And Galloway, an amateur boxer in his youth, has also been accused of being a bully. We're not sure where this character judgement originates from, but it seems 100 per cent likely that it's true.

However, despite all of this, you've got to admire his contribution to the debate on Iraq.

'I've met Saddam Hussein exactly the same number of times as Donald Rumsfeld met him. The difference is Donald Rumsfeld met him to sell guns. I met him to bring an end to sanctions, suffering and war,' said Galloway, when questioned by the committee, in just one of many hijackings of their questions.

We're no particular fans of Gorgeous George and his strutting, preening self-love, but what he does illustrate is the continual unravelling of the US's propaganda over Iraq. Galloway got fingered by yet more dodgy intelligence that was designed to tell the Bush administration what they wanted to hear. Whatever your views on George, seeing him expose another lie in an edifice of
lies can only be a good thing.

And you've got to admire anyone who attempted to twin Dundee with Nablus.

Idiot, but a good idiot.

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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