Why I feel sorry for George Galloway

Mid-century tank enthusiast and occasional cat impersonator George Galloway has been indulging his second-favourite hobby – after listening to the sound of his own voice – by threatening legal action.

For a socialist, Galloway is enormously fond of the bourgeois libel courts, where he has found some success suing journalists and publications the length and breadth of the land. There’s barely a journalist on a newspaper today who doesn’t have a Galloway libel story – especially not now that Seumas Milne has gone from hackery to full time flackery.

Quick re-up. For reasons best known to himself, Galloway “took to Twitter” to denounce Labour MP Stella Creasy as an imperialist, and comic, writer and critic David Baddiel as a “vile Israel fanatic”. Baddiel, who most people genuinely can’t remember ever saying anything about Israel or Zionism either way, smelled a rat, and accused Galloway of anti-Semitism, daring him to call his “stupid” lawyers if he wanted to contest the claim.

Then, oddly, Momentum head Jon Lansman got involved, backing Baddiel, and even calling for Galloway to be sacked from his TalkSport radio phone in.

Galloway saw no option but to sharpen his icepick, and tweeted that he would be instructing lawyers to sue Lansman for libel, and would be calling Jeremy Corbyn as a witness. Furthermore, this was nothing less than an attack on him because he supported the Palestinian cause, as if Lansman were yet another “Israel fanatic”.

This would all be hilarious if it weren’t for...no, actually there’s no reason at all why this isn’t hilarious. It’s by far the stupidest thing I’ve seen this week, or at least since Piers Morgan suggested Donald Trump could be Arsenal manager, to the Most Powerful Racist Clown In The World’s utter confusion.

It’s a perfect encapsulation of the sheer ridiculousness of Galloway, who appears to have recently taken to wearing a sheepskin jacket as well as a fedora, presumably because he was worried he didn’t look sufficiently spivvy.

Even as his star fades, reduced to merely one show on Murdoch-owned TalkRADIO, and one on Putin-owned Russia Today, rather than the dizzying heights of parliament, Galloway must still project his earth-shattering relevance. Even though his last trip to the libel courts, when former staffer Aisha Ali-Khan sued him for various claims he had made about her personal and professional conduct, ended in humiliation for Galloway, he’s got to keep on fighting, cos fighting’s all he’s got.

And yet there’s a certain sadness in his eyes. He wouldn’t thank me for it, but I feel sorry for George. For the first time ever, what would be his side of Labour is in control and poor George is locked out. The lads are having a party, and everyone’s invited but him. They have rallies, they have interminable speeches, they have banners, petitions, all the stuff George loves and is really really good at, and his old friends, Jeremy, Seumas, John, Diane, are pretty much ghosting him, and instead hanging out with upstart popinjays like Lansman, just cos he’s got an enormous database and can bring the cool kids to the party.

Sometimes George will forlornly tweet his case for rejoining the Labour party, and you can feel the yearning. He’s never even pretended to have moved on.

That’s what’s so tragic about his declared intention to call Corbyn as a witness in his case against Corbyn. It’s a last, desperate attempt to own his old comrade’s affections. But his old comrade, in the Labour party, in the Stop The War Coalition, and on Press TV, isn’t taking the calls.

It’s genuinely pathetic.

But still very funny.

George Galloway