Galloway greeted with cheers and hissing in divisive Union talk
Some seriously bizarre stuff went down at the Union
Galloway was greeted simultaneously by a round of applause and hissing by the Union members. It is safe to say that George Galloway is a man who divides opinion.
“Mr Galloway’s wife and young children will be sitting in the interview with you, I hope that’s okay”, the Union’s Head of Press tells me as I wait to meet the controversial politician. Despite the presence of his young kids at tonight’s talk, Galloway did not hold back. Claims such as “Israel invented Hamas”, “I am just a soldier”, and “Hezbollah is a national liberation movement”, set the mood for the evening’s talk.
On his prospective hopes in the London Mayoral Race, Galloway informed The Tab before his talk that “the vast majority of Muslims in London will be voting for me”, later optimistically telling the audience in response to a hostile question “I’m running for Mayor and I’m doing quite well”.
Shots were fired at Galloway throughout the remarkably tense hour. Galloway quipped to the speakers officer interviewing him, “you are obviously not a law student” in response to an accusatory question about Galloway’s conception of consent in light of his views on Julian Assange.
On Assange, Galloway semi-apologised for his infamous accusation of ‘bad sexual etiquette’, telling the audience the classic “I’m sorry that some people took offence”.
A key topic of discussion was Galloway’s refusal in 2013 to debate against Israeli Oxford student Eylon Aslan-Levy. He defended himself by saying, “I was not told he was an Israeli supporter of Apartheid…with military experience”. He stands by his decision, exclaiming “I don’t know why you’re fixated…there are lots of people he could have debated against, just not with me!”
When questioned about his involvement with Iranian state television, Galloway once again goes on the defensive again saying, “As long as I am able to say what I want to say…frankly I’ll take a television platform on any television station, even Fox News.”
Comparing Hezbollah’s role as a “national liberation movement” against Israel to British resistance against Nazi aggression, Galloway labelled himself as a soldier for his “side” in the Israel-Palestine conflict.
The atmosphere became more hostile when a student took the opportunity to, whilst quoting WH Auden, call Galloway an “ogre”. The student stopped the politician from interrupting saying, “you’ve had your turn it’s my turn now so shut up”. Galloway’s offended response, “that was a sequence of ad hominem attacks” was met with support from a deeply confused audience.
Audience opinions were divided that evening. Joel Collick, a second year Historian at Jesus, told The Tab that “he threw around the loaded word apartheid with no justification, and his characterisation of Israel and its establishment were deeply misleading.” On the other hand, Tit Hall fresher Adam Goott said excitedly “I thought his hat was really sexy”.
Those quotes pretty much sum up what a deeply divisive figure Galloway is. Attractive to some, deeply hideous to others.