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Watch > Episode > George Galloway - Ready To Die

George Galloway - Ready To Die

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George Galloway, born on August 16, 1954, in Dundee, Scotland, is a polarising and outspoken figure in British politics. With a career spanning several decades, Galloway has been both admired and criticised for his unapologetic stances, fiery rhetoric, and involvement in various political movements. His journey through the political landscape is marked by controversy, charisma, and a penchant for challenging the status quo.

In this exclusive interview, George talks to London Real about kissing the Blarney Stone, why he’s not as confident as he appears to be, how he cried when President Obama was elected, why idealism is his principal reason for being in politics and how he is ready to die and can face his Judgement Day with pride.

George Galloway’s entry into politics began in the 1970s when he joined the Labour Party. His early activism focused on issues such as workers’ rights, anti-racism, and social justice. Galloway’s passion and charisma quickly distinguished him within the political sphere, and he rose through the ranks, becoming the Labour MP for Glasgow Hillhead in 1987.

One of the defining moments of Galloway’s political career occurred during the early 2000s with his vocal opposition to the Iraq War. His impassioned speeches and confrontations, particularly with U.S. lawmakers, gained international attention. Galloway’s anti-war stance resonated with many who opposed the military intervention in Iraq, and he became a prominent figure in the anti-war movement.

However, his appearance before the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations in 2005, where he vehemently denied allegations of receiving funds from Saddam Hussein’s regime, became one of the most controversial episodes of his career. Despite the controversy, Galloway’s anti-war advocacy solidified his reputation as a principled politician willing to challenge powerful interests.

Galloway’s relationship with the Labour Party soured over the years, culminating in his expulsion in 2003. In response, he went on to establish the Respect Party, a left-wing political party that aimed to provide an alternative to traditional party politics. Galloway’s ability to mobilise support, particularly among disenchanted voters, contributed to the party’s brief but impactful presence in British politics.

Galloway’s electoral successes have been notable and unpredictable. In 2005, he won the Bethnal Green and Bow constituency as a Respect Party candidate, defeating the Labour incumbent. His victory was seen as a significant upset and highlighted his appeal to diverse voter demographics.

However, Galloway’s subsequent attempts to secure political office were met with mixed results. His bid for the London mayoralty in 2016 and subsequent runs for parliamentary seats did not achieve the same level of success, indicating the challenges faced by smaller parties in the British political landscape.

George Galloway’s media presence has been a constant throughout his career. In addition to traditional political platforms, he has engaged with the public through television and radio appearances. His talk shows and podcasts have provided a platform for his views on a range of issues, from international geopolitics to domestic policy.

Galloway’s media presence, however, has not been without controversy. His comments on various topics, including Israel, the Iraq War, and religious matters, have stirred heated debates and drawn accusations of inflammatory rhetoric.

Whether admired for his principled opposition to the Iraq War or criticised for his controversial statements, Galloway has left an indelible mark on the political landscape, provoking thought and discussion on the nature of dissent, media, and political representation in the United Kingdom.

Chapters

“John F. Kennedy once said he got into politics because, ‘That’s where the action is.’ Why did you go into politics?” – Brian (00:30)

“Well they say that politics is show business for ugly people, but as I always say, what would I know about that?” – George (00:40)

“Idealism is my principal reason for being in politics. You may not agree with my ideals, but at least believe I genuinely hold them.” – George (01:52)

“We had some things in common with the Kennedy’s, but many of hundreds of millions of things not.” – George (05:31)

“It just struck me that they seemed to be playing checkers and you were playing chess.” – Brian (05:52)

“I did kiss the Blarney Stone, not once but twice.” – George (06:43)

“Who is the real George Galloway?” – Brian (08:08)

“I don’t sit in my living room addressing my family the same way I address the U.S. Senate.” – George (08:23)

“I like elections, I like winning them, I’ve won a lot of them.” – George (12:51)

“I’m a man like you, if you cut me I bleed like you. Nobody wants to be attacked.” – George (13:49)

“I’m not as confident as I appear to be. The first thing I ask after a speech to the people closest to me is, and I mean it, ‘Was that alright?'” – George (14:23)

“Sometimes vindication takes a lifetime or several lifetimes.” – George (15:05)

“I would have been arrested if I had because I was a known opponent of the Saddam regime.” – George (16:19)

“If the Iraq war would have been a success, you wouldn’t be interviewing me now.” – George (17:19)

“I think is was Shakespeare that said, ‘Treason never prospers, for if it prospers, none dare call it treason.'” – George (17:44)

“I cried on the night he won, on radio live, with tears running down my cheeks.” – George (19:44)

“The Yanks were over paid, over sexed, and over here.” – George (23:32)

“Do you hate America?” – Brian (24:07)

“I just don’t want a special relationship like the one Miss Lewinsky had with President Clinton.” – George (25:06)

“Why does the Falklands draw such a strong reaction?” – Brian (30:03)

“Sean Penn reminds me of you.” – Brian (31:17)

“I know in the past you’ve been questioned whether you are Muslim or not.” – Brian (34:17)

“I was there, I saw the bodies, I saw the blood. It was an act of mass murder.” – George (37:33)

“Indeed these very extremists hate me more than the right wing hate me.” – George (38:43)

“Israel is a democracy for Jews, but it’s not a democracy for the millions of non-Jews, muslims and Christians who live under their military occupation.” – George (43:02)

“I’m guessing you don’t travel to Saudi Arabia much.” – Brian (47:45)

“Saudi Arabia is the unfree-est country in the world, yet it’s America’s and Britain’s best friend in the Arab world.” – George (48:02)

“If you could make a phone call to the George Galloway from 30 years ago, what advice would you give him and would you take it?” – Brian (52:20)

“Do you hate the press? Or do you hate the Murdoch press?” – Brian (54:53)

“A politician complaining about the press is like a ship’s captain complaining about the sea.” – George (55:07)

“I’m ready to die, I can face the Judgement Day with some pride in what I’ve done with my life” – George (58:05)

“I’m not afraid of death, of course I want to live like anyone wants to live, but if someone wants to kill me that’s what will happen if God wills it.” – George (58:20)

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