About Galloway vs Trump – Bring It On
A familiar face popped up in the American media this week. At least it was familiar to me, as it will be to anyone who has sat in a Scottish newsroom in recent years. The gentleman involved was at the heart of one of the most memorable – not to mention embarrassing and downright hilarious – news vignettes of the century.
This week’s news was tinged with sadness. It was reported that Senator Norm Coleman from Minnesota had been diagnosed with throat cancer. On a brighter note, his doctor said it had been caught early and a full recovery is likely.
Who is Norm Coleman, I hear you ask? Well cast your mind back to 2005, when the US was in the grip of Iraq War hysteria. A Washington Senate Committee – headed by Coleman – was set up to investigate individuals believed to have profited from illegal Iraqi oil deals.
To the lifelong misfortune of poor old Norm, one of those accused was none other than Dundee’s finest, the most combative MP Scotland has produced for many years, “Gorgeous” George Galloway. And he wasn’t taking it lying down. In fact he was on the first flight to the States to single-handedly take on the might of the Washington establishment.
Norm had obviously never heard of this man from – where was it? – oh yeah… Scotland. By the end of the day he must have been longing for the relative peace and quiet of Minneapolis. In a bravura 48-minute performance, Galloway stared him down and quite simply tore him to shreds.
He branded Norm a “neo-con, pro-war hawk” and the “lickspittle of George W Bush” who had “traduced” George’s name around the world without asking him a single question. Memorably he added, “I know that standards have slipped over the last few years in Washington but for a lawyer you are remarkably cavalier with any idea of justice.”
On and on he went. The investigation, he said, was “the mother of all smokescreens”. Poor Norm tried in vain not to look shell-shocked. He shuffled uneasily from buttock to buttock as both barrels came hurtling in his direction. It was classic Galloway, arguably his finest moment.
Even today, type the words ‘Norm Coleman lickspittle’ into Google and it brings up pages of results.
The sight of Norm Coleman this week made me wonder just how much fun Galloway would have with the man who has dominated the news in the US for months now. Can you imagine the potential TV debate? In the red corner (naturally), George Galloway, and in the blue corner, that lovable billionaire and wannabe US President Donald John Trump.
It would be an absolute televisual extravaganza. I would pay for a front row seat. And I know who the winner would be. As Norm Coleman found to his cost, Galloway has his beliefs, he sticks to them and he is a brilliant orator. Trump, on the other hand, just throws insults around like confetti. I predict a knockout in 6.
An old newspaper colleague of mine once said that, whether or not you like or agree with these people, they “add to the gaiety of nations”. And he was right, old newspaper men often are.
Of course it won’t happen but it would be a damn sight more exciting than the stagnant live debates that are set up to inform (entertain?) the nation but are, in reality, snoozefests.
As for Norm Coleman, he may have looked like a stiff establishment lawyer when sitting on his Senate Committee, but I discovered there is more to the man than meets the eye. In his youth he was a long-haired hippie, attended Woodstock, and was a roadie for Jethro Tull and other rock bands.
Let’s hope his treatment is successful. I can’t speak for George Galloway but I’m sure he would wish his old adversary a speedy recovery.