Vilification of anti-imperialist MP who dressed up as a cat on TV
14 January 2006
On 14 January 2006, there was endless media ridicule and contempt for Labour MP George Galloway, after he dressed up as a cat on the Channel 4 TV show Big Brother and drank from a saucer of milk handed to him by actress Rula Lenska. Unlike this humiliating scene, views Galloway expressed on the show on poverty and British war crimes in Iraq, were censored under the pretext of ‘political balance.’ The Daily Telegraph, under a headline, ‘Galloway loses respect with cat charade,’ declared that he had ‘plumbed new depths when he pretended to be a cat as a part of a task set for him’ and one of the tabloids ran with the headline ‘Prat’s your lot George.’2 The veteran Labour politician Tony Benn’s reaction in his diaries was rather more sober and incisive.
‘Everybody’s making fun of him for dressing up as a cat and supping milk from an actress’s hand and looking ridiculous, but when you come to think of it, he hasn’t lied to Parliament, he hasn’t sent soldiers to their death, he hasn’t authorised the rendition of people through British airports to be tortured.’3
- Richard Alleyne and Lucy Shaw, “Galloway loses respect with cat charade,” the Daily Telegraph, 14 January 2006, accessed online at https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1507771/Galloway-loses-respect-with-cat-charade.html
- Ruth Winstone (editor), Tony Benn, More Time for Politics: Diaries 2001-2007, Arrow Books, London, p. 290.
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