Chris Lockie explains Londonist's politics team's feelings about George Galloway.
George Galloway is running for mayor, in case you missed it. As Londonist's coverage of the big game ramps up over the next few weeks, we'd like to make it clear we won't be spending any time discussing a man who seems well capable of sorting out publicity for himself at will. After this article, you will not be reading about George Galloway's antics on this site, and here are our reasons why.
He wouldn't be a very good mayor
This is a fairly obvious one, which we'll start with to lend credibility to the rather more curious reasons for our decision that follow. We don't agree with all the policies of any single mayoral candidate, but at least some candidates have a chance of getting some of their policies on the books. George Galloway would create the type of intense discord that would cripple this city — his transport policies might please a trade union or two but would immediately condemn London to years of bickering over management rather than fixing any of its various getting-around problems.
His housing policy meanwhile seems to revolve around compulsory purchase of empty property, which might be laudable in theory but would presumably require a radical rethink of private property laws, and God knows how much action in the courts, and would have no chance of having a meaningful effect on our housing shortage in the time Galloway was still actually in the job.
Basically, a vote for Galloway is a vote for paralysis and there's no way we're recommending that to a city that really, really needs to be somewhere NOW. We've seen what you people are like when you get stuck behind someone with a wheely suitcase at the foot of an escalator and we've never been so scared.
For the sake of balance we should probably point out that for much the same reason almost nothing has happened during the eight years of Boris Johnson, but at least there was the zipwire.
He is Slender Man
Talking of scares, rumour has it that the next series of American Horror Story is going to be based around the terrifying internet phenomenon that is Slender Man. Perhaps the makers of this fine show have taken inspiration from Galloway's incredible video to announce his entry into the mayoral race. If you haven't seen it, well, you might want to take your pants off first, save yourself an embarrassing trip to the washing machine:
"If I'm mayor..." Watch to find outPosted by George Galloway MP on Sunday, 1 November 2015
It's the heavy breathing from the bloke filming it that really sells it as a top campaign ad, right up there with the finest work of this basket case.
He doesn't really want to be in it anyway
We are absolutely not claiming that Galloway has decided to run for mayor in some uncharacteristic fit of self promotion, but it does seem his heart's not entirely in it. He recently offered to back out of the mayoral fight if only Labour would drop Sadiq Khan as their candidate, due to his previous backing of disgraced ‘parliamentary assistant' Shueb Salar. Khan swiftly suspended the man and probably can't be held entirely responsible for what one pillock does on social media, but Galloway's not one to let trifling detail get in the way of a good outrage.
And if Labour drop Khan as a candidate, they'll have to replace him with someone. Got anyone in mind, George?
He... look, this is the bit about Israel, alright?
It might be argued that a man with such singular opinions on these rather sensitive matters should not be put in charge of one of the most multicultural cities in the world at a time like this.
And since we're discussing a man not unfamiliar with the workings of a libel trial, we'll leave it there, before his lawyers shoo us down the Strand.
He has enough friends
He has no need of publicity to rally support behind his campaign. He can certainly count on the backing of his new friend Nigel Farage, even if a number of anti-EU types walked out when Galloway appeared as a guest speaker at one of their events recently.
He certainly has a number of friends in high places — here's George doing Slender Man again to one of them.
Incidentally, we salute the work of one man on Twitter upon the unholy union of George and Nigel:
He doesn't need us
No, painful as it is to admit our limitations, George Galloway does not need coverage from Londonist. He has a canny knack of forcing himself back into the public gaze regardless of his fairly regular knockbacks. He won't be mayor, but he will be back. He's always back.