From “Alan Taylor’s Diary” in The Sunday Herald:
Yesterday it was my pleasure to introduce George Galloway, Respect MP, to David Pratt, our intrepid foreign editor, at the Scottish Book Town Festival in verdant Wigtown. For some reason Mr Galloway is invariably described as “gorgeous” but from where I was sitting he was no more gorgeous than Mr Pratt or, for that matter, me. Henceforth, therefore, I intend to dispense with calling him gorgeous. Mr Galloway recently returned from a speaking tour of the United States of Amnesia where as I can testify he went down like a breath of Shake’n’Vac in a dung heap. Among his new friends he can name Sean Penn, with whom he and our own gravel-voiced correspondent Ron McKay lunched and soiréed in San Francisco, and Warren Beatty, to whose home on Mulholland Drive the odd couple were invited. Mr McKay tells me that Mr Beatty was a generous host, as was his wife, the truly gorgeous actress Annette Bening. I suspect that Saturday afternoons reporting on goalless draws at a drookit Rugby Park may seem somewhat less glamorous in future. Apropos our theme of the week, [Bob] Dylan, Mr Penn – Sean to Mr Galloway and Mr McKay – said that he had recorded his book, Chronicles, for the audio version, in the course of which he and the author had got to know one another. Apparently, Mr Penn and Mr Dylan spent six months sparring regularly in the former’s gym. According to Mr Penn, Mr Dylan lived up to his reputation of being a man of few words, leaving it until the end of their final bout to actually to say something. “That was great,” he said, and off he went. Verily, one couldn’t make it up.
It doesn’t surprise me about Penn, but I thought Beatty had enough political sense to avoid being taken in by the likes of Galloway.