Curious George

The once charismatic George Galloway MP, while clearly still not shy of speaking his mind, appeared to be a mere shadow of his former self on STV’s Scotland Tonight on Monday (your report, 3 February). Gone were the astute arguments in support of his proudly outspoken principles and instead we were subjected to a blustering rant against independence and all things SNP.

Whatever one’s personal political views, most would appreciate that the clever debater of the past would not have overtly abandoned democracy to garner support for an outdated voting system and structure simply to sustain a large number of Scottish Labour MPs at Westminster and thus to ostensibly give his role as the socialist-leaning MP for Bradford West some wider relevance.

The irony that Mr Galloway was essentially begging the Scottish people to vote against independence and the Home Rule principles espoused by the founders of the original Scottish Labour Party, in order to deny voters in England the government they would otherwise elect, would seem to have been lost on this once principled politician.

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Furthermore, the fact that, irrespective of current SNP policies, after independence Scotland could choose a path away from sterling, Nato, or perhaps the EU, if Scottish voters so desired, did not even appear to have entered the mind of this once formidable political character.

It is sad to witness the demise of an individual who could potentially play a leading role in helping to build a new Scotland, or to revitalise the English regions, succumbing to the lure of power and influence that are the drivers of vested interests he so passionately railed against in his more youthful days.

Is it too late for the re-emergence of the man of conviction who was indefatigably true to his democratic as well as his socialist principles?

Stan Grodynski


East Lothian