Andy McSmith's Diary: By George, Galloway's free with his insults

He has no problem reaching for the lawyers when he thinks someone has lied about him, but is none too careful about the insults he hurls at others

Click to follow
Indy Politics

One of the many ways that George Galloway attacked his Labour opponent, Naz Shah, in Bradford West during the general election was to suggest that she was pro-Israel, a damaging allegation to make in a constituency with such a large Muslim electorate. He even tweeted a picture of jubilant, flag-waving Israelis with the caption: “Thank you for voting for Naz Shah.”

Naz Shah’s maiden speech, in which she described Galloway’s behaviour as “misogynistic, vitriolic, [and] very dangerous”, has been well publicised. She followed it with a less well publicised intervention in a debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in which she described the Israeli settlements on the West Bank as “stolen land”, called on the government to recognise the Palestinian state, and described Gaza as an “open prison”.

When George Galloway thinks someone has lied about him he does not hesitate to reach for his lawyers, but is none too careful about the insults he hurls at others.

All pumped up

Iain Duncan Smith has defended that ridiculous fist pump with which he greeted George Osborne’s announcement of the “National Living Wage”. Interviewed on LBC, he admitted that it might have been over the top, but claimed that as a Tottenham supporter he is so unused to winning that he has to make the most of such an occasion when it comes along.

An uncommon mistake

The Conservative MP Graham Evans appeared in the Commons to insist that the Government must do more to commemorate the First World War and particularly the fact that – I quote – “the Prime Minister Harold Wilson was severely wounded in 1915 at the Battle of Loos.” A remarkable achievement considering that Harold Wilson was not born until 1916. He meant Harold Macmillan.

Lilliput’s ‘leader cult’

People Before Profit, a relatively new addition to the rich tapestry that is Britain’s far left, made its debut as a wannabe parliamentary party in last year’s Rochester and Strood by-election, in which its candidate collected 69 votes – 15,799 short of what he needed to win. The party did better in Lewisham Deptford at the general election, scoring 666 votes.

There has since been a terrible row about whether it is worth fighting parliamentary elections. A breakaway group, which says that it is, includes the Marxist historian Tobias Abse, whose father, the Labour MP Leo Abse, piloted the legislation that legalised homosexuality in the 1960s.

On his Facebook page, Abse complains that “an authoritarian leader cult” has infested People Before Profit. A leader cult in Lilliput: if you ask me, it is that number 666 that done it.

A Nazi moment

When Nigel Farage was looking for allies across Europe to make up a group in the European parliament, one of his most eccentric choices was a 72-year-old Pole named Janusz Korwin-Mikke, founder of the fringe Renewal Freedom and Hope party. Its co-founder, Robert Iwaszkiewicz, still sits alongside Ukip MEPs in the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy Group.

In the European Parliament, Korwin-Mikke used a mix of English and German to express his disgust at a proposal to introduce an integrated ticket system for travel across the EU.

“All the time if there is voting, we are voting for the unification of everything. This time it is ein Reich, ein Volk, ein Ticket,” he declared. To illustrate his point, he raised his arm in a Nazi salute.

Six million Poles, or one fifth of the country’s population, are estimated to have died in the 1939-1945 war.