A classic piece of political theatre was played out yesterday in the Commons when George Galloway, the raging MP for Bethnal Green & Bow, was suspended for some decidly murky funding links to Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq.
In the debate leading up to the decision, 'Gorgeous George' made his case in his ususal fiery style - citing everything from short-sword fighting to Julius Caesar's legions in his defence (defiance?). While everyone already knew the likely outcome of the debate, he clashed so much with the Commons Speaker that he was removed ("named") and the debate had to continue in his absence. The Commons agreed that he should be suspended for 18 days. This is quite a sharp slap across the wrists - and was agreed without a vote, and so was therefore effectively unanimous.
Speaking of absence, Galloway's attendance in Commons votes since his election in 2005 stands at a miserable 12.6%. This is easily the worst in London, and only the second worst across the rest of the country. So we at Londonist wonder whether any of his constituents will actually notice any impact of this suspension? We are perturbed by an enduring mental image of him presenting his thrice-weekly talkSPORT radio show in that slimpy red catsuit with the plunging neckline. The show is worth a listen - even if the guy might not excel at (or even do) the hum-drum representational work of an MP, he does do some great radio - and also, it seems, theatre.
Pointing image taken from davidChief's Flickrstream