One’s a tough-talking, narcissistic, sociopathic, cigar-smoking adulterer, and the other one’s from New Jersey.
There’s a scene in ‘The Weight’, a season 4 episode of HBO’s The Sopranos, in which mob boss Tony Soprano covertly directs one half of a telephone conversation between Ralph Ciffaretto, one of his underlings, and Johnny Sack, a New York mob family underboss. Tony wants to make sure Ralph says the right things – and avoids saying the wrong things – to prevent further escalation of hostilities. Tensions are high between Ralph and Johnny: Ralph made a crack about the size of Johnny’s wife’s ass; somebody told Johnny; and now Johnny’s looking for blood.
Tony counsels Ralph to deny the allegations vehemently, and warns him that under no circumstances should he apologise. Ralph ignores Tony’s advice and, while still protesting his innocence, decides to apologise to Johnny in the interests of harmony and goodwill. That decision sets Ralph and Johnny on a course that puts both of them in mortal danger, and risks losing Tony a lot of money.
The moral is clear: never apologise. It’s weak, and makes you look guilty: especially if you are. This simple strategy worked for Tony Soprano, and it’s certainly doing the trick for ‘Gorgeous’ George Galloway. One stray ‘I’m sorry’ from the lips of the Teflon Don-donian at any point throughout the last few decades could have sunk his entire career.
Galloway knows that the world loves a larger-than-life character; a fighter; a righteous rebel. Where Winston Churchill – another famous cigar smoker with attitude – held two palm-facing fingers aloft to symbolise peace, Galloway prefers them flipped around to spell out ‘Fuck you’ with his fingernails. A large part of his appeal – and strength – is in his utter refusal to back down from any opponent, to answer for his actions or to show any contrition whatsoever for his apparent misdeeds.
And, let’s not forget, Galloway is the only politician ever to have uttered the words ‘spunk-loving sluts’ in parliament, and for that alone I will love him forever. Go on, Google it. Youtube it.
They say that great men become great by standing on the shoulders of giants. Galloway’s managed to keep himself astride the world of politics by standing on the shoulders of the underdogs. First, he spoke for the working class masses of Glasgow, then he gave a voice to those affected, both ethically and actually, by the occupation of Iraq, and now he’s championing the UK’s arab and muslim minorities. Galloway denies that he’s a demagogue, but it’s hard not to view him as Dundee’s answer to Gaius Baltar, a man ready to shed or cultivate any allegiance that will secure him power and a public platform with which to showcase his tub-thumping.
That being said, I’ve got something of a soft-spot for the little firebrand, and I even find myself agreeing with him from time to time…
And I’m not going to apologise for that. But, then, neither am I going to apologise for this:
GALLOWAY FUN FACTS
2) Galloway’s support for the Palestinian cause was lent extra credibility through his ability to look the arab world in the face and proclaim: ‘Of course I’m pro-Palestinian. I’m fucking one, aren’t I?’
3) Eric Joyce looks at George Galloway with envy. ‘Galloway’s shagged his way through just about every nationality on earth, cheated on his pregnant wife and enjoyed cavorting with younger women. If only I hadn’t apologised for MY behaviour I could have bounced back like him.’ When Eric Joyce thinks this way about Galloway, he gets much the same feeling as Gary Glitter gets when he thinks about Michael Jackson. In a nutshell, Glitter thinks he’d be on T4 if he’d fucked boys and danced better.
5) George Galloway went on Celebrity Big Brother to teach Britain’s youth about politics, which he successfully achieved by pretending to be a robot and licking invisible cream from Rula Lenska’s fist.
6) On the same programme, George Galloway championed the great British underdog Michael Barrymore by harnessing all his powers of rhetoric and being right mean an’ that about the entertainer’s alcoholism and mental illness. Barrymore’s not bitter, though. He’s still invited Galloway to his ‘CBB 2012 Reunion Pool Party’.
7) Galloway’s represented the Hillhead constituency in Glasgow, campaigned and conquered in Bradford, and toured the war-torn, bomb-savaged Middle East, and he still hasn’t found anywhere as shit as Dundee.
9) Galloway said the address he made saluting Saddam Hussein’s ‘indefatigability’ was taken out of context. ‘It’s like when two lorry drivers from the same haulage firm pass each other and toot on the motorway. It’s respect. I wasn’t saluting HIS indefatigability, but the indefatigability of his smashing moustache.’ Galloway claims that only one other moustache on earth has moved him in this way: that belonging to Denny-born comedian Bob Graham.
13) Galloway was born and raised a Roman Catholic, but his last few wives – and weddings – have been Muslim. So which is he? On the one hand, he’s a sex-obsessed hyopcrite. On the other hand, he’s a complete bastard to women. I guess he’s both.