Why I buy the brand ‘George Galloway’

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to meet George Galloway. In fact, given the opportunity, I would rather not. I have a personal rule to avoid meeting celebrities. In general, I have found them more willing to talk to other celebrities than ‘normal’ people so what is the point?

By his appearance on Celebrity Big Brother, we can be safe in describing George Galloway as a ‘celebrity’. As to whether appearing on this show was a wise decision, or whether he made a prat of himself when he did, these are matters for us to judge on a personal basis.

They are certainly not views we should publish. It is on the record that George Galloway has litigated for libel on more than one occasion and we do not want that. All I can do is point you to Google and YouTube to make up your mind on a cornucopia of subjects as far apart as Iraq, the Tiananmen Square massacre or pretending to be a pussy cat.

The Daily Mail asserts that ‘Galloway’s victory is the last thing Britain needs’. I disagree with this. I think George Galloway is just what we need.

Why? Simple answer. He is his own man. He is independent. And, now, he is the only independent MP in the House of Commons.

Arguably, you could apply this soubriquet to Caroline Lucas who is the only Green Party MP and a couple of others. But by far the greater majority of MPs (621 out 646 by my reckoning) are members of the Conservative, Labour or Liberal Democrat parties.

Some of these MPs will ‘cross the floor’ some of the time. On the whole, they will toe the party line. The newer the MP, the more likely they are to do this. For, so sophisticated is our political system, these parties now know how to weed out any potential ‘rebels’ before letting them anywhere near their candidate lists. Winston Churchill? No chance.

At the last General Election I was one of over 40 independent candidates endorsed by the Independent Network. We were (are) all so disillusioned by (ashamed of) our political system that we hoped for an electoral backlash.

And now, two years later, George Galloway has made this happen. Although many of the Independent Network candidates, including me, ‘won’ the local issues for which we stood, none of us made the breakthrough to the House of Commons. Frankly, as I discussed at the time (Why did I do it? What was it like? Was it worth it?) , the people were not interested.

Well, as George Galloway has shown, they are now. Whether you agree with him or not, like him or not, trust him or not, Galloway has rallied the Britons of Bradford West behind him and against all of the ‘established’ political parties.

In the House of Commons, he will say what he likes. Through Parliamentary privilege, he can even libel people. He will not vote as instructed to further his own career interests, unlike our disgraced career politicians – yes, the lot of them.

By the very fact that he is not a party MP, his priorities will not be to scheme his way past party colleagues, weasle up a greasy party pole or toady up to the press (or police).

George Galloway will be his own man. A free spirit. In this sense, unlike our disgraced career politicians – yes, the lot of them – he has integrity.

There are well over 100 ‘cross-benchers’ in the House of Lords. May George Galloway be the first of such a number in the House of Commons. If this were to happen, our country would be an immensely better place.

So, although I do not agree with a lot of what George Galloway says and certainly never want to meet the man, I do think the brand that is George Galloway is a force for good in this country.

I am glad we have him.

We need him.

About Hugh Salmon

Business leader. Adman. Writer.
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