Opinion

Six Reasons We're Not Talking About George Galloway

Chris Lockie
By Chris Lockie Last edited 19 months ago
Six Reasons We're Not Talking About George Galloway

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.

(Also, Uber users would be well out of luck, but then again, oh well.)

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 out

Posted 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?

Galloway has intriguing views about Israel, and similarly intriguing views about Islam. And no matter what he says on the Middle East, he seems to wind people up on one side and the other.

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.

Whoopee.

Last Updated 22 March 2016

Paul

What a ludicrous 'article'. It basically reads like you just don't like him so why bother thinking any further, nor actually doing your job as a journalist. You can't even be bothered to look in to how do-able compulsory purchases are. They are do-able by the way.

Rhiannonjames101

One of the silliest articles I have read.
You're puerile attempts to avoid covering the Mayoral candidate most likely to change things for the better (for ordinary folk) does Londonist no credit.
Your paragraph at end gives it way ..you object to his stance on Israel. Well many of us would quite like a principled candidate as Mayor. Principled is not an adjective I'd use for any of the other candidates.
Your readers should read Galloways manifesto and make their own minds up. We either change the politics or shut up and put up.
Needless to say, I'll be voting Galloway.

Tabish Khan

I have no interest in Galloway, but even I think this isn't the right approach. Peter Whittle also has very little chance of being elected mayor, has some views most wouldn't agree on and arguably wouldn't make a good mayor. Doesn't mean we sideline him and he was mentioned (albeit one line) in a previous Londonist article: http://londonist.com/2016/03/m...

The best way to deal with Galloway is to only give publicity to any policy positions he has and pick them apart as appropriate. That way his more radical side is marginalised, unlike this article which probably ends up glorifying his more suspect views.

MarmiteSoldier

We should declare London a Galloway Free Zone

Peter Kemp

I met with the Lib Dem candidate Carol Pidgeon out campaigning on Sunday. It would be great to see someone like her as Mayor .... the main Lab/Con candidates don't seem to have alot to say on policy and how can the Tory Goldsmith support brexit and want to be Mayor of a city so involved with Europe?

Duncan Dunnit

When boris became mayor of london some months later he demanded a specific female be his intern/personal assistant without opening the position to tender. Thus he gets this intern/ personal assistant pregnant she has his baby and boris wife has not left him. Boris has proved his level of integrity, could you imagine how many women he would get pregnant were he pm.

Atom

this reads like something written in the bathroom stalls of the Knesset.

marmite

Nobody can be worse that Boris who has just frittered away our money on vanity projects , created traffic jams in London resulting in the worse air quality EVER , put hundreds of buses on the road which don't pass emissions tests, taken away the buses lanes and emergency access on the roads, overruled local planning democracy and given the go ahead to 250 new high rise building in his determination to turn London into Dubai . The guys an idiot and believe me George Galloway could definitely do better

Geoff Lumley

Nigel Farage isn't his new friend and wouldn't be backing him for mayor. There is a UKIP candidate (I presume you have read the full list of candidates?). What Farage said after the meeting they both appeared at is the that the campaign to leave the EU is more important than party politics and personal feelings about other people with the same view on THAT ISSUE. If you are going to bicker about non-referendum issues you do not agree with you would never get a Labour and a Conservative on the same platform on either side, much less Galloway, Farage, Gove and Hoey.