I didn’t really know much about George Galloway until he recently won the Bradford by election and even then I only know what the media tells me and my own experience of watching him playing ‘the cat’ with Rula Lenska on the reality TV show Big Brother.
He seemed to me to be someone who chose to keep some rather ‘strange’ company and had unorthodox views on virtually everything. Like him or loathe him, he seems to be able to communicate his message in a way that gets heard, he engages his critics, and stays focussed and committed to what he believes to be right.
George Galloway’s views on alcohol could be considered to be just as controversial and on this particular subject he raises some important points. For example in a recent Telegraph article he was quoted as calling for:
‘All the bars in the Houses of Parliament to be closed permanently to stop politicians getting “blind drunk” on subsidised alcohol’
‘No one else is allowed to drink alcohol while they’re working. Why are we?
In my view he does have a point, why is it that elected representatives are permitted to engage in the consumption of mind altering drugs whilst working and making critical decisions?
In the past there have been reports of MP’s needing to be virtually carried to the chamber to vote and that some have been too drunk to vote at all and instead end up being helped to a taxi to take them home. Eric Joyce MP admitted assaulting fellow MP’s in one of the bars and this is perhaps further evidence that alcohol and politics are not an appropriate mix.
The recent Big Issue with Mr Galloway reveals more about his own approach to the UK’s favourite recreational drug. In the interview George informs us that he was ‘brought up to hate alcohol’ has ‘never tasted alcohol’ and suggests that ‘we could emaciate ourselves from mental slavery if we were sober’.
He explains that he sees no need for a holiday from reality by using recreational drugs, including alcohol. In his view ‘It isn’t an escape, because you don’t just wake up in the same place, you’re worse’ and that ‘you can have a whale of a time in life without drink or drugs’.
In at least some respects I agree with much of what George Galloway has to say about alcohol, and there was me thinking or maybe hoping that I wouldn’t agree with him about anything.
Still can’t get comfortable with him being ‘the cat’ though.