Scott McGregorScott McGregor of Rutherglen CLP says George Galloway should be welcomed back to Scottish Labour to stand as an MP in 2020.

 

While Kezia Dugdale and Scottish Labour should be applauded for pursuing ‘new talent’, we cannot dismiss the importance of experience. No party can afford to lose the likes of Alexander, Brown, Darling and Murphy without a negative impact. I believe one person who could provide some desperately needed experience for the Labour Party, particularly Scottish Labour, is George Galloway.

The political talent of Galloway is beyond doubt. A skilled orator, a colourful and passionate character who always commands the audience, and one who knows how to succeed against the odds in an election or two. He is a figure who was described as ‘Debater of the Year’ by The Spectator magazine and who demonstrated his political ability on the world stage in the United States Senate. All these are attributes to which the voting public are very attracted. Could he be the figure who is most likely to convince that audience of Tory and SNP failures?

Like many, I was dismayed during the referendum when some on the left supported a Yes vote. When the Better Together and United With Labour campaigns struggled to engage the public in Scotland, it was Galloway who stepped forward with his own tour to support the view that solidarity always trumps nationalism. He even seemed enough of an intimidating opponent for Nicola Sturgeon to object to his presence in a live TV debate.

Of course Galloway is not without controversy and could be perceived as both politically and personally confrontational. His stance on the Iraq war in itself was not objectionable, but the delivery of the message perhaps left room for improvement. He has not been known for his reluctance to address politically delicate issues and touched on topics such as the implications for the Catholic faith during the referendum.

Nonetheless, characters who court controversy are not unfamiliar in the Labour Party. We only have to look at our current Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, who in the past has delivered his own controversial messages. If McDonnell can have a role in Labour after some tricky dialogue over the years, why not Galloway?

I envisage trying to win back SNP seats by 2020. Imagine Galloway in a Glasgow seat. A Scotsman, an undisputed socialist, a first class orator who always dominates debates, and who always who always stands up for people. Picture Galloway against most of the current crop of SNP MPs.

There would undoubtedly be those who would scorn his return. But it would be a story, it would generate interest, the sort of interest that would be mainstream news not only in Scotland but in the rest of the UK. I saw first hand the apparent level of support the Yes campaign seemed to be attracting among 16/17 year olds. Even if it has since come to light that it was a campaign riddled with flaws, some of this support has clearly transferred directly to the SNP. It was a movement that captured the imagination, and embodied change. Galloway could add more to the current excitement in the Labour Party after the election of Jeremy Corbyn and help win back the hearts and minds of our disillusioned youth and older members alike.

After the disastrous general election results in Scotland, we are in no position to turn our back on anyone, particularly not someone as politically informed or charismatic as George Galloway. Although he was suspended by the Labour Party, our Scottish leader has stated that we need ‘more autonomy for Scottish Labour’. Perhaps a potential return to Labour could be considered?

Kezia Dugdale’s attempt to recruit new talent is indeed admirable. However, existing talent cannot be ignored, especially when our chips are down. George? I believe he may only be a phonecall away from saying ‘Naw’ to the London mayoral election and ‘Aye’ to Scottish Labour.

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29 thoughts on “A return for George Galloway?

  1. George Galloway is a rape apologist. I my view he has no place in our party or any party that values decency.

    1. Finally Duncan something we can heartily agree with. Although because of his lack of morality and self awareness I would have thought he’d make the perfect Labour candidate these days.

    2. I go along with you on this Mr. Hotherstall. I get the strong impression, from Galloway, that he is little more than a self promoting careerist. Moreover, I know a couple of Labour activists (Now, probably, ex activists) from the West of Scotland who utterly loathe the man as they see him as having spat out his dummy and abandoned his party and party workers when he flounced off and went south to Respect.

      1. Scott what is more worrying than George Galloway is that we have A joker like you contemplating such an idea and furthermore your reason for bringing back George Galloway is based on personality and show the depths that the Scottish Labour section are willing to stoop for power and it’s pathetic and did you not learn anything from the general election when all the Scottish Labour section careerists got the boot George Galloway is of the same ilk a self seeking attention seeking careerist who even created his own party you furnish his self centred egotistical needs. It is because of crazy ideas like yours Scott that the Scottish Labour section will face a total wipeout at the Scottish elections by the SNP.

    3. Duncan – you edit this site, so the publishing of this article must have been approved by you. You regularly castigate Wings Over Scotland for what is published there. Now you have allowed an article calling for a “vile rape apologist” to be elected into Scotland’s government. Hang your head in shame, and don’t ever dare to criticise Wings ever again.

      1. Hi Arthur. Thanks for commenting. For clarity, I think your comment is not only wrong, but also laughable. Do you think that by allowing it to be published I am agreeing with it?

        Did you think, last year, when I published articles both in favour of and against the Named Persons legislation that I agreed with both positions?

        Labour Hame is a platform for a wide variety of views. We’ve had pro- and anti-Labour opinions, we’ve had pro- and anti-independence opinions, we’ve had a whole range of views expressed here, and I’m delighted to be able to help facilitate an open debate. Indeed I fully expect to be publishing a response to this piece disagreeing with its central premise.

        It’s called open debate, and I’m proud to be a part of it.

        Thanks again for offering your opinion, which, if I may remind you, I consider both wrong and laughable but am happy to publish.

  2. “While Kezia Dugdale and Scottish Labour should be applauded for pursuing ‘new talent’, we cannot dismiss the importance of experience. No party can afford to lose the likes of Alexander, Brown, Darling and Murphy without a negative impact”

    LMAO Trust me losing these characters did labour no harm at all. That’s if you don’t plan to replace them like with like of course.

  3. Hi Scott,
    Is there much support for your idea in Rutherglen CLP? Jeremy Corbyn has come to the fore from the left of the party and at a relatively late stage in life,so why not George Galloway? He’s undoubtedly a good speaker and always attracts plenty publicity.But would Labour Party members support his candidacy in any constituency in Scotland? Would activists get out round the doors to get him elected? Possibly,but I have my doubts.I think too many of them would think Mr Galloway is a thoroughly odious creature who needs more than a silly hat to disguise his champagne socialism.Its all good fun,though.Wouldnt it be great if he stood against Mhairi Black? That would be a hustings I wouldn’t want to miss! Thanks for the article,Scott.It gives plenty food for thought!

    1. The reason George went South looking to be elected is because he knew relatively hardly anybody in Scotland would vote for him.
      He is the typical Scottish caricature chancer.
      He has less convictions than Jim Murphy.

      George is for George. End of story.

  4. When you feel George Galloway is the answer to your problems, its probably time to admit your problems are insurmountable.

  5. Again,a cogent indication that desperatiom is running amok in the Labour Party in Scotland.

  6. When nearly every Labour MSP is fighting for regional list instead of their own consistency, Labour cannot afford to turn backs on anyone. Especially Galloway, who has won numerous elections against the odds with different parties. And why was he expelled? Iraq? He was right. Bring back Galloway to Scotland!

    1. By all means. I would wish to be his SNP opponent no matter what seat he chooses to run for. Nothing like a cast iron guarantee of a job.

  7. “it was Galloway who stepped forward with his own tour to support the view that solidarity always trumps nationalism”

    And when it was pointed out to him that he had the opposite view when it came to Palestine Iraq and Afghanistan he took his usual huff and stormed away.

    Seems George supports and promotes the idea of National Independence for the poorest and most unfortunate of 3rd world countries ravaged by war and structural upheaval but wont support or promote the idea of a successful 1st world, world beating Independent Scottish state.

    Still sees his best chance at guzzling from the public trough as being subjugated within the corruption of the UK state.

  8. “I envisage trying to win back SNP seats by 2020. Imagine Galloway in a Glasgow seat. A Scotsman, an undisputed socialist”

    I dispute it for one as do many others and if he were electable in Glasgow he wouldn’t have gone South looking for the Muslim vote to get him back into the trough.

  9. Just what Labour needs:
    A rape apologist
    A friend of dictators
    A cheerleader for some of the worst regimes on the planet (Syria, North Korea, Iran)
    A shill for the Russians via RT
    A vile human being & sectarian politician

    If you open the doors to him you need your head examining

    1. That’s not a list of Georges problems or vices. His problem is his lack of true conviction and sincerity.

      George believes in nothing and nobody but himself. He takes causes and ideals aboard his public persona bus as nothing but window dressing and make up.

      He was never a socialist he is no friend of Islam and he is certainly no friend of the unfortunate.

      George is nothing but a public performer. A stage actor playing whatever roll will get him wealth notoriety publicity and recognition for all that he isn’t.

      By all means Labour bring him on. Please.

  10. I agree with you Scott, the SNP have been shown to be either liars or deluded yet no one in Labour can effectively take them on. I don’t like Galloway but the ends justifies the means and if it somehow attracts some voters back from the Nationalists to provide a platform for a more long term view then so be it

    1. “liars”? “deluded”? The SNP is the only credible political party in Scotland at present and the voters know it. The idea that an eccentric, ageing, narcissist has-been will attract “some voters back from the Nationalists” and save Scottish Labour has got to be the most “deluded” solution to its problems so far this year.
      Scots don’t vote Labour any more because when they did they ended up with Thatcher and then Blair. Labour’s campaigning with the Tories in the referendum and then voting with them for Austerity last January reflects the true face of the modern Labour Party and it is there for all Scottish voters to see. While we remain in the union and ruled by Westminster Scots will continue to shun Labour.

      1. In fairness, the whole “look at all our Yes voters standing in the Holyrood elections” is pretty desperate guff. Especially when you know how hard Labour pushed for a No vote in 2014.

        I suppose Galloway would certainly be another direction to go. Hard to say that choice would be any less desperate or whether Scott’s line of thinking is much different from the Monster Raving Loony Party’s PR strategy (put on a show, shout, wave your hands).

        1. I just remember him being heckled and jeered by all the school kids in the big debate in Glasgow just before the referendum. The previous generation of 16 year-olds would have loved him. I still find it hard to stick the knife into him after his magnificent performance at the US Senate hearing but he’s yesterday’s man and would be toxic in a Scottish Labour Party that doesn’t need any more toxicity.

  11. As a Scottish nationalist, I think this is a fantastic idea. Bring George Galloway back to Scotland, for the entertainment value, if nothing else. Scottish Labour needs to expand beyond its middle-class south Edinburgh base.

  12. Congratulations, Scott McGregor!

    Your article is the best troll I’ve ever seen on any of the “SNP-BAAAD”/Red Tory sites. Well done.

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