Ludicrous George

The Guardian reported last Friday that George Galloway is angry at the BBC.

George Galloway has hit out at the BBC following his appearance on Question Time, saying he was set up and that David Dimbleby privately apologised to him afterwards.

The controversy centred around a question that one audience member asked about a rise in antisemitism in the UK.

But the question also included a reference to the MP for Bradford West bearing some responsibility for this rise, an inclusion he said that had not been agreed beforehand.

So what? He’s an MP – he’s expected to field questions, isn’t he? Isn’t that part of the job?

The anti-war politician said the host David Dimbleby later apologised to him for this, but it represented what he said was a set-up within the BBC.

The anti-war politician? That’s his sobriquet? But he’s not an anti-war politician; he’s not opposed to all wars or war as such.

Galloway said:

“To accuse a parliamentarian of 27 years of being responsible for a spike in antisemitism is totally ludicrous.”

??? Why on earth? A parliamentarian is well placed to cause a spike in attitude, better placed than most people. What’s ludicrous about saying so?

Fellow panel member and Guardian columnist Jonathan Freedland also did not escape the Respect party MP’s ire, as he said he had stoked the fires and for that he would never forgive him.

“There was not a single Muslim person in the audience even though there are 50,000 Muslims in the borough,” he said.

“Jonathan Freedland was the prosecutor-in-chief, he lit the touch paper and then smugly retired and for that I will never forgive him.

“Any antisemitic attack of any kind is utterly despicable but there are at least ten times the number of attacks on mosques. Mr Freedland claimed there had been 1,000 attacks on Jews but there have actually been 84.

“The impression was given that people are roaming around the UK looking for Jews to attack but far more people are walking around Britain looking for Muslims.”

Freedland said: “I certainly did not set out to prosecute George Galloway. I simply pointed out that he has in the past inflamed an already tense issue by making wild, unfounded accusations – a point he did not address. I too was disappointed at the way some in the audience behaved. As some viewers saw, I wanted them to respect George Galloway’s right to make his case.

“I did not ‘smugly retire’: I wanted to speak again but was not given that chance. If I had, I would have repeated my long-standing condemnation of Islamophobia and objected to some of the attitudes voiced by members of the audience. On the numbers, the Community Security Trust report showed more than 1168 antisemitic incidents last year, the highest ever figure. Still, Jews and Muslims are not in competition over who is hated most: that’s not a competition anyone would want to win.”

More spotlight for George.


  1. says

    He’s an MP – he’s expected to field questions, isn’t he? Isn’t that part of the job?

    Actually, no, it’s only the Prime Minister who’s supposed to actually respond to questions. (And damn, I wish I could still get Question Time on any of my cable channels.) “Gorgeous George” is just pissed because someone mentioned him by name in a “question” to the PM — not sure if that’s normal or not, I don’t remember hearing that happen.

    The anti-war politician? That’s his sobriquet? But he’s not an anti-war politician; he’s not opposed to all wars or war as such.

    He’s anti-American and pro-jihadist, last I heard. But that was a long time ago — if he’s still pro-jihadist in the age of ISIL, then he’s even more disgusting and bigoted than he was around 2004.

  2. says

    The PM is the one who is supposed to answer the questions at that one particular scheduled event, but certainly not the only one who is supposed to answer all questions of all kinds at all times. MPs have surgeries; they have to answer questions there, just for one thing. But also just as part of the overall job, they’re expected to be responsive to the public. That was what I meant. (I’ve heard or read that QT is actually more a bit of theater than it is a genuine political event. It’s fun for the public but it’s not where the real work is done.)

  3. Wounded King says

    Is there some confusion going on here between Prime Minister’s Questions, which occurs in the House of Commons chamber, and the BBC political program Question Time, which was what Galloway appeared on?

  4. says

    You gotta laugh, and not with him…

    In a week when antisemitic attacks have been in the headlines, Gorgeous gets invited onto Question Time and thinks

    “right! they must want my encyclopedic knowledge of world affairs, the international currency markets and NHS reform. I’m in!”

    He also claimed that there were no muslims in the audience, which is highly unlikely as the producers carefully select the live audience from applicants questionnaires.

    Maybe George can spot Muslims just by looking at them ie: the brown people laughing at him must have been Hindus or Sikhs.

  5. John Horstman says

    @Raging Bee #1: My VPN proxy service – Private Internet Access – allows me to seamlessly geolocate in England such that BBC streaming services work fine (for the record, I’d be happy to pay the equivalent of the TV tax – or a bit more – as a subscription fee for BBC streaming access if only the BBC offered it here), and Question Time is indeed available for streaming. That would be one way to get the programming. PIA costs $40 for an annual subscription, and there are other cheap services as well.

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