Denis MacShane: Poor George. He has become a joke figure

Share

George Galloway demeans Parliament, shames politics, abuses democracy, and his latest cavorting in the soft-porn sleazy bedrooms of Big Brother will destroy for ever what standing he has with British Muslims.

How has this come about? What has happened to one of the most gifted orators on the post-war left that he elects to become a modern-day Harold Davidson, the Vicar of Stiffkey. The latter was a noted church preacher of the early 20th century who ended his days performing in a lion's cage, such was his craving for headlines and notoriety. A lion ate him in 1932 and that was the end of the Vicar of Stiffkey.

Galloway's fate will be decided by the sensible voters of east London who must be asking themselves why they lost the services and hard-working brilliance of the Jewish-African-American, Oona King, for someone who has been denounced in the Commons as Saddam Hussein's "Lord Haw-Haw".

MPs have a special privilege which comes with election. It is not the money or allowances, nor the ephemeral chance to slide up the greasy pole of ministerial ambition - a pole which seems far better at allowing "here today and gone tomorrow" ministers to crash to the bottom. It is the raw pleasure of using Parliament as a tribune to advance big or small causes.

Two hundred years ago William Wilberforce used Parliament to abolish slavery. When Galloway was a baby, an MP called Sydney Silverman did the same to abolish hanging. Tony Banks drove ministers mad over abolishing fox hunting, but he got his way. Galloway is one of the most polished Parliamentarians in the business. Yet he rarely, if ever, appears in the Commons to make his case.

And that is perhaps the rub. After two decades in Parliament and 10 years before that as a leading Scottish politician and then head of War on Want, what does Galloway stand for? He claims to support the cause of Muslims worldwide. Yet he opposed Tony Blair and Robin Cook when they organised the war in Kosovo which stopped the mass murder of European Muslims by the Serb thug Milosevic.

The biggest mass murderer of Muslims in modern history, with the blood of hundreds of thousands of Iranian, Kuwaiti and his fellow Iraqi Muslims on his hands, is Saddam Hussein. When I worked in Geneva in the Nineties the most feared individual there was Saddam's brother who organised the terror and assassin networks that killed Saddam's opponents all over Europe and the Middle East.

Yet in one of the most bizarre conversions ever seen in politics, Galloway decided that the democratic Western powers were a bigger enemy to everything he as a socialist and democrat stood for than the evil of the Iraqi dictator.

From his speech of praise to Saddam's face to donning pyjamas in a television freak show, this is the fastest descent of talent, ability and burning desire to change the world into the nothingness of modern mass media exploitation.

Poor George. He came to make the world a better place. He has made himself a joke figure. What a waste.

Denis MacShane is the Labour MP for Rotherham

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Women are working in some of the lowest-paid sectors such as cleaning, catering and caring  

Women's wages have gone backwards. Labour would give women the pay they deserve

Gloria de Piero
 

Taking on Ukip requires a delicate balancing act for both main parties

Andrew Grice
Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?