The BBC’s Question Time is a uniquely British institution. An air of genteel menace prevails on a Thursday evening, as politicians, journalists and ill advised celebrities take questions from audiences up and down the country. They have no idea what the questions will be, although the debate will inevitably reflect the week’s news agenda.
There are reports of MPs trembling backstage before they take to the panel. If a panelist isn’t sure what they’re talking about, it will show quite clearly. Question Time guests know that they are very exposed. There have been some notable car crash episodes. Carol Vorderman, David Starkey and Eric Pickles have all distinguished themselves with cringeworthy performances.
The most infamous episode featured Nick Griffin, the former leader of the far right BNP. His party had enjoyed a surge in popularity, and the BBC decided to reflect that by inviting him on. He made a complete fool of himself and his political career never recovered.
The BBC have decided to invite George Galloway onto the show on 5 February. He has been on the show many times before. He plays the role of renegade MP and far left loon very well – for that is what he is. The only problem is that the February episode will be filmed in the constituency with the largest Jewish population in the UK, Golders Green.
Galloway’s anti-Israel hysteria is well known. His Twitter feed is largely devoted to venting his loathing of the Jewish state. Amongst his latest offerings, he can be found denouncing Israel as a ‘cesspit of terrorism.’ Scrolling down a little further, one can find him responding to a pro-Israel Tweeter with: ‘You are a supporter of mass murder torture theft and mendacity..#Israel’ (sic).
This is the man who fawned over Saddam Hussein and his son Uday. He has also fawned over Basher al-Assad. At present he is paid by the Iranian regime to advance their agenda on their English language propaganda channel Press TV — where he refuses to answer questions about Syria or his own religious faith. He supported the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and claimed that the saddest day of his life was the day the Soviet Union fell. He refuses to debate with Israelis and declared his constituency of Bradford to be an ‘Israel free zone’. In short, he is the most high profile representative of what David Horowitz called the ‘Unholy Alliance’ of the far left and the Islamist far right.
The Soviet invasion of Muslim lands was perfectly kosher for Galloway. After all, they were exponents of Marxist imperialism. Now the enemies of the West boasting a puritanical alternative to capitalist democracy are the Islamists. In one of histories most intriguing volte-faces, Galloway and co have joined the replacement revolutionaries.
The BBC are clearly aware of how provocative it is to invite Galloway to Golders Green. He is a sworn enemy of the Jewish community in the UK. Like any broadcaster, the BBC need their ratings. The sad thing about this tendency to resort to sensation is that it degrades political debate, reducing it to a slightly depressing pantomime.
No platforming people has become a bit of a national fetish. It is unwise to call for Galloway to be removed from the panel. When he declared Bradford an ‘Israel free zone’, Israeli tourists made a special visit to Bradford and waved the Israeli flag in the town centre. They were well received by the local community.
Mr Galloway is a lying, deceiving fifth columnist. The Question Time audience should calmly remind him when takes to the panel on 5 February. I’d like to think that the residents of Golders Green are sophisticated enough to defeat this man through debate.
The last word goes to John Cooper Clarke. He wrote some lines that rather sum up our man:
“What kind of creature bore you?
Was it some kind of bat?
They can’t find a good word for you,
But I can: Twat.”