The great orator and ex-Member of Parliament George Galloway was reduced to using unexplained innuendo in a Twitter spat we had today over Tory MP Boris Johnson and the terrible Grenfell Tower tragedy.
Mr Galloway had tweeted “Boris Johnson is a dead duck. A Dodo” in response to fire service downsizing ordered by the former Mayor of London which he conflated with the Grenfell Tower incident.
Fearing Mr Galloway was resorting to irrationality at what is a time of high emotion for us all, I replied, “C’mon George, the fire brigade arrived within 6 mins. Don’t stoop to Corbyn’s level conflating stuff for rhetoric.” I also included a link to an article by Andre Walker on observer.com to explain my response.
Galloway then replied, cryptically, ” A journalist writes …”.
Having been a great fan of Mr Galloway’s magnificent demolition in 2005 of a US Senate committee’s investigation into the Oil for Iraq scandal, I was unimpressed and uncomprehending with his three words.
I was also disappointed in a man whom I’d met and warmed to at a 2004 launch event in Sheffield for his new political party Respect.
Because Respect seemed to offer something new to UK politics (and I was centre-left at the time), I gave a £26 membership fee to help start it off. (Though I soon decided not to give it any more money.)
Ironically, I also chatted with him about Jim Fitzpatrick, who had been a Fire Brigades Union leader before becoming a Blairite Labour MP in an East London constituency near where I once lived. George didn’t seem to like right-winger Fitzpatrick, and neither did I.
So I responded to his last tweet by asking, “George, your oratory at the Senate 10 or so years ago made you a hero in my eyes. WTF is your unfinished insinuation supposed to mean?”
He came back with “That as a famous harlot once said: ‘You would say that wouldn’t you…”.
I still didn’t quite follow his direction of conversation, though figured it may have had something to do with an often misquoted line by Mandy Rice Davis (famed for her part in the Profumo scandal of the early 1960s).
So I asked, “Meaning what?”
I’m still waiting for a reply to that last tweet.
Perhaps Galloway was referring to journalism being a dishonourable profession, and I wouldn’t at all disagree. It can be a dirty business.
However, he’s not only a politician but also earns money as a journalist and has appeared regularly hosting shows on RT, Press TV and elsewhere.
Journalists rank very low, along with lawyers and politicians, in the public perception.
Background to all of this
Galloway’s target Boris Johnson MP, currently Foreign Secretary in the British Cabinet, was London Mayor from 2008 until 2016. He restructured the capital city’s fire services in 2014, costing 552 emergency services personnel their jobs and closing 10 fire stations.
Mr Galloway appeared to be inferring a link between Mr Johnson’s actions as Mayor and the fire at Grenfell Tower.
(For the record, I am no fan of Boris Johnson or his political party. The same is true of my regard in recent years for George Galloway.)
The Left is fevered right now in politicising the Grenfell Tower blaze. This comes a week after Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party lost the general election of June 8.
Labour is therefore particularly intent on making as much capital (ironic phrase, I know) as they can out of Grenfell Tower mayhem (offering, as it does, so many photo opportunities for Corbyn).
Despite having lost the general election with a spectacularly low number of elected MPs, this by-now delusional Labour Opposition has persuaded its increasingly feral supporters that they instead won a moral victory – and that they can displace the elected minority government, perhaps through disruption tactics.
And George Galloway is a politician broadly supportive of the socialist left.
Indeed, Galloway was expelled from the Labour Party as an MP in 2003 for bringing it into disrepute – something I admired him for at the time, along with his then herd-left (I’ll leave that typo in!) colleague Ron Brown MP who was booted out around the same time during a purge of what the then centrist Labour Party deemed extremists.
Galloway has flip-flopped on whether he supports Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn or not, though he seems warmer since Corbyn became leader and hinted on a possible return for him into the Labour fold.
Meanwhile, far-left networks supporting Labour, such as Momentum and Defend Council Housing, played a hand in a demonstration that saw angry protestors storm Kensington Town Hall earlier today.
Galloway seemed to support the protest, as perhaps we all do in our own ways: For whatever the cause of the fire, the building itself should not have turned into an inferno with such apparent ease.
(At time of writing, over 70 people are feared missing, at least 30 are dead, and many are hospitalised with some of them critically injured.)
But Galloway’s Left clearly sees the Grenfell Tower catastrophe also as an opportunity for sticking his boot into a new and limping Conservative government.
Maybe that’s one reason my one-time hero “Gorgeous George” had no time tonight to give even 140 characters in his responses to my tweeted questions.