Most of the reaction to Tony Blair’s interview with The Sun has focused on the supposed revelation that he “put his job on the line” over Iraq and even took steps to prepare for possible loss of office. That’s the spin of course as the PM seeks to quash his image as a follower-of-polls and a man who lacks any principles. Becoming a ‘brave man of principle’ is obviously the war dividend for Blair and whatever you think of it, it certainly leaves the poor old Tories with one less line of attack for their next general election defeat.
But there was a less noted element to Blair’s interview – his first reaction to former Baghdad frequent flyer George Galloway’s infamous ‘wolves’ interview with Arab television when the anti-war MP called for Arabs to rise up and fight against US and British forces.
“His comments were disgraceful and wrong. The Labour Party has got its own rules for dealing with that. The National Executive will deal with it. I am not going to set him up as a martyr to me. Let them look at it on behalf of ordinary Labour Party members. People were very angry.”
In other words, he is out but Blair is not going to give him the glory of being axed by the PM. Instead he will become just one of many ultra-lefts expelled by the NEC of the party over the past decade. On reflection it was probably wise not to expell Galloway during the war and instead to bury his career quietly.
What’s next for Gorgeous George then? The Scottish Socialist Party seems, on the surface, to be the most obvious political home for him but he has mocked their call for Scottish independence and more importantly he would look rather pale-faced playing second fiddle to the far more talented operator Tommy Sheridan. Independents don’t often win seats in parliament and in any case Galloway doesn’t have the charisma needed to pull off a Ken Livingstone. It looks all over for him on the political front.
Luckily for George there is a role in life for former left wing ‘rebels’ who fail to make political friends – take a peep at the future George.