George Galloway heads off on his muppets’ convoy to Gaza today. How we’ll miss him. I have written before about Galloway’s The Real Deal show on the Iranian-funded television channel Press TV. He sits in a ludicrous set that makes him look like a garden gnome and prattles on about “Zionists” for half an hour or so. It almost always makes for unintentionally hilarious viewing.
The Scottish Saddam-groupie has another show on the station, called Comment. Here, he responds to phone-calls and emails from viewers. Meanwhile, a ticker at the bottom of the screen publishes text messages from viewers. These constitute taking the words ‘genocide’, ‘war crimes’, ‘Israel’ and ‘Satan’ and putting them into random sentences.
But it’s hard to concentrate on these messages because his callers are such a bunch of entertaining loons. Even Galloway gets fed up with some of them. In the most recent episode, he told one: “Go away, because you really are starting to annoy me.” He snapped at another, advising them: “you need medical attention”. Welcome to your fan-base, George.
One caller railed on about how the Twin Towers were hit by remote-control planes. He was supported by a text message asking Galloway why he won’t report “the truth” about the 9/11 attacks. “Too spicy for you?” asked the texter. It got even spicier when another caller asked Galloway why he was working for a pro-Iranian television station, as Iran is obviously working in conjunction with America and Israel. I kid you not.
But then came Ken from London. His voice dripping with disappointment at life, he complained about the Jewish lobby which he says “influences everything from Coronation Street to Eastenders”. He then started whining about the Israel politician “Zippy Lipman” (sic) and said that the images from Gaza during Operation Cast Lead made the Nazi Holocaust “fall into insignificance”.
A few more 9/11 conspiracy folk messaged in and Galloway began to look like he wanted to pack up and go home. Then it was time for another email, which suggested that Iran should arm Hamas and Hezbollah. There’s an idea, huh?
Someone called Majid then rang in and asked Galloway: “Are you practising Islam?” Galloway snapped: “Why would that be any of your business?” and quickly moved on. This was not the only lifestyle question asked of him. “Do you sing because you look like Tom Jones?” asked an emailer. “He’s considerably older than me,” replied Galloway, obviously flattered.
All good things must come to an end. “Well, it’s been marvellous for me and I hope it has been for you,” concluded Galloway at the end of the show. It was certainly revealing. Galloway is an odious man with odious politics. But as he stood there in that bargain-basement studio, listening to his loony fans, he must have wondered where it all went wrong. The trouble is that when you build your career targeting pond life and whipping them into a frenzy of hate, you end up with fans who think that the Rovers Return is the headquarters of a Zionist plot.
As you sow, so you shall reap.