I live in Walthamstow and I’ve just been out to the market and seen George Galloway giving an impassioned speech about the housing crisis and the Tory cuts.
I don’t always agree with Galloway on everything, I thought his recent defence of Ken Livingstone for making insensitive and ignorant comments about mental illness was way off the mark.
But when he speaks on issues such as cuts and the injustice of austerity I think he’s spot on.
Galloway is a controversial figure and he does divide opinion even on the political left of which his policies and views lean towards.
He is the former MP for both Bethnal Green and Bow and Bradford and when he was elected under the Respect Party he came in on an anti war footing and won a majority of votes largely because of his rightful opposition to the war on Iraq.
Not long after he was elected as MP as MP for Bethnal Green and Bow he went into the Celebrity Big Brother house and made a burk of himself by pretending to be a cat.
He divides opinion on the left, particularly on his stance on Israel and Palestine and he caused huge controversy even amongst liberal quarters when he walked out of a university debate because an Israeli was on the panel and he says he refuses to debate with Israeli’s.
He was accused of anti Semitism for this and even many of those who oppose Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians thought he was out of order.
Galloway has always had a lot of support from the Muslim community, largely because of his opposition to Western wars on the middle east and his stance against Islamophobic anti Muslim bigotry.
I remember though talking to some Muslims in an Indian resteraunt in Leyton who lived in Bethnal Green and voted for him during the year he was elected.
They told me they felt let down by him when he went on Big Brother as they felt he should be actually doing his job representing them in Parliament instead of going on reality TV shows.
George Galloway has his flaws but he is spot on when it comes to talking about the disgusting cuts and the damage austerity is doing to the poorest and most vulnerable in our society.
It was great to hear him in my area saying what a lot of people here are thinking. That the cuts are a scandal, that people are suffering because of these cuts and they should not be allowed to continue.
Love him or loath him at least he speaks out in defence of working class people. You can’t really ask for more than that.