Sunday, 28 October 2007

How does he find the time?

On Thursday night I was, as chance would have it, speaking at a Somali week event in Bethnal Green, George Galloway's constituency. I arrived back in Bristol afterwards to catch the man himself on Question Time, having a go at Tony Blair for something he'd said in a 'highly-remunerated' speech in the States (or something to that effect). It was then pointed out to him that Tony Blair hadn't in fact been paid for the speech in question.

Is this the same George Galloway who records in the Register of Members Interests being paid for "a series of 15 events organised by Clive Conway Ltd" (£10,001-£15,000); hosting a show on Talk Radio (£100,001-£105,000), fees for appearing on "Don't Call me Stupid" (£10,001-£15,000) and for hosting "Big Brother's Big Mouth" (£35,001-£40,000), a weekly column in the Daily Record (£25,001-£30,000), as well as expenses for overseas speaking tours in Canada and South Africa and shareholdings in Finjan Ltd, a company established to receive his income as a journalist, author and public speaker? Oh, and he's also been paid advances on three books, and received between £145,001-£150,000 for appearing in Celebrity Big Brother.

The same George Galloway, according to www.theyworkforyou.com, spoke 6 times in debates in Parliament over the last year (which includes asking parliamentary questions) and voted in only 12% of divisions. He spent only £259 on centrally-purchased stationery (617th out of 645 MPs) and £163 on postage (634th) - which works out at about a dozen letters a week to, or on behalf of, his constituents. But maybe he uses his substantial income to buy his own stamps?

6 comments:

faceless said...

I read this blog after it came up on a google search and immediately thought that it was just another attack by a blustering fool who doesn't really understand politics. Then I noticed that you're actually an elected MP... Good God.

The future of this country is in the hands of people like you and all you can do is whine on about someone who was evicted from your party for having the sort of genuine principles on which the Labour party was based?

Will you show your blog to the higher-ups in the party to show how much of a good little on-message MP you are? Or are you just hoping they'll read it? If I was a consituent of yours I'd be disgusted - as it is you just make me sad.

Lee Skevington said...

Greetings Kerry! I am of the opinion that George Galloway is a very formidable MP and even though i vote Labour, am an active Labour member and CLP Secretary (for Yeovil in the South-West) i still can't bring myself to follow the seemingly dominant party opinion that Galloway is a waste of space.

He has been one of the most vocal and most active parliamentarians there are in the past few decades, he has followed his own convictions (in leading the anti-war movement) and has paid for them dearly. But did this discourage him? No, it did not. Not even did it discourage him when he was kicked out of the Labour Party. Or when he was called to testify before a disgustingly biased U.S. Senate.

Maybe he doesn't have as much time to attend constituency surgeries or to write that many letters because he is out there fighting the good fight and taking his message directly to the people? If only a few more MPs were a little more like him...

Kerry said...

In response to 'faceless' I don't think any of the 'higher ups' in the Labour Party are remotely interested in what Galloway gets up to at the moment, or, for that matter, in what I put on my blog. I just saw him on QT and thought he was being a tad hypocritical.

Whatever your view of his politics, he's been elected by the people of Bethnal Green to represent them in Parliament, not to appear on reality TV or to go on international speaking tours. A constituency like Bethnal Green would be a full-time job for any MP. And I don't see how he can be described as "one of the most active parliamentarians" when he rarely speaks or votes there.

Steven said...

thanks to kerry for exposing george galloways hypocrisy and largesse. I also saw him on TV on Thursday night, and I think the sonner the man is voted out of parliament the better!

CHRIS said...

Kerry McCarthy, the 'vegan' claims all sorts of things, a vegan supporting the Formula 1 racing industry is an interesting concept, given its environmental and ethical impact, tobacco industry sponsorship etc.

A supporter and member of a government that presides over the highest level of animal testing in Europe....

How about your governments huge support for the 'sport' shooting of birds? Of course raising such things might damage your career ladder ambitions so we cant have that can we??

Kerry said...

Labour has banned hunting with dogs, fur farming and cosmetics testing on animals. Last year there was an Animal Welfare Act passed, imposing a duty of care on owners to look after their animals, so that organisations such as the RSPCA can intervene before an animal suffers serious harm. I could go on, but we've had this debate lots of time before. I've signed EDMs and written to Ministers on a whole range of animal welfare issues, e.g. on whaling, testing on primates, badger culls. Of course I'm against shooting, but it's absolutely ridiculous to suggest that I'm somehow reluctant to raise the issue because I think it will somehow damage my career prospects. I've made frequent references on my blog to news items about the environmental impact of the livestock industry, and raised it as a question in Parliament, which, considering that the vast majority of people still eat meat, I'd say is more controversial than raising shooting. And as for your use of quotation marks around the word 'vegan': it will have been 16years on January 1st. Or does watching Lewis Hamilton somehow disqualify me?