Questions in the House

Other Members of Parliament were never going to ignore the antics of the MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, George Galloway, in the Celebrity Big Brother house.. but they’ve been gifted an opportunity and they’ve taken it. George, it seems, managed to add his name to 12 Early Day Motions.. while incarcerated in the CBB house. Labour MPs Chris Bryant and Gerald Kaufman raised some Points of Order with the Speaker, who revealed he too had seen the cat episode. George meanwhile is in there for another week.. to the dismay of John Gormley TD, of the Green Party UpdateThe Speaker has found that George signed the motions before his incarcerationAs recorded in Hansard

Chris Bryant (Rhondda) (Lab): On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I apologise for raising this point now, because it does not directly relate to the business at hand, but I wanted to give you notice of this point of order. I hope that this is an apposite moment. You will know that the hon. Member for Bethnal Green and Bow (Mr. Galloway) is not present and, indeed, is incommunicado. However, he managed to sign last Thursday 12 early-day motions, which appear on today’s Order Paper. One of them, early-day motion 1297, is about abandoned animals at Christmas, but I do not know whether cats were included. Is it in order for an hon. Member who is not present and has no means of being in communication with this House to sign early-day motions? I suggest that it might be worth while investigating how he has managed to do so.

Mr. Speaker: I do watch “Big Brother” and I saw the one about the cat and the one about the boxers. I know that some hon. Members give authority to another hon. Member to put their names on early-day motions, but I cannot think of any hon. Member who would do so in this instance. I will look into the matter, and that is the best that I can do. I will also continue watching “Big Brother” in my spare time.

Sir Gerald Kaufman (Manchester, Gorton) (Lab): Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. I acknowledge that this is an exceptionally important debate and I do not want to digress from it, but my hon. Friend the Member for Rhondda (Chris Bryant) has raised an important point. In considering that point, Mr. Speaker, will you find out whether any of the early-day motions have been tabled during the incarceration of the hon. Member for Bethnal Green and Bow (Mr. Galloway), because if so, it is difficult to see how he could provide authority for them to be signed?

Mr. Speaker: As I said to the hon. Member for Rhondda (Chris Bryant), I will look into the matter. It could be a question of authority to add a name being given to another hon. Member, so we will continue with the debate unless I get into serious difficulties for promoting a television programme—I use that term lightly.

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  • paddycanuck

    Notes on Northern Ireland Politics and Culture?

  • TAFKABO

    Big Brother is an aspect of our culture, whether you like it or not.

  • Come on now, don’t be too harsh on George. Yes, he might be a total leftie and very far away from a right wing warrior like myself, but I think he’s come across very well in the BB House. Yes, his cat impersonation will haunt him, but he did make a couple of glorious jibes at the expense of Jodie Marsh, who really is ghastly:

    “Being called immoral by Jodie Marsh is like being told to sit up straight by the Hunchback of Notre Dame.”

  • Crataegus

    I would have thought the Green Party would be quietly smirking now that George is destroying his own credibility. They are in competition for the same votes as Respect in the London Assembly elections and in London in the European Elections. Or does Mr. Gormley consider his own credibility impinged by association with the same cause? A bit insecure that. Or perhaps just an opportunity for a few cheap lines in the press. MPs complaining I can understand, but what on earth does this have to do with a TD in Dublin?

  • Ah, Crataegus, that’s John Gormley of the Green Party in Ireland.. a different beast from the one in London, you know.

  • Crataegus

    peteb

    I know! The links are to the TD.

    Still puzzled why a TD would bother about our lefty pussy cat?

  • Pete Baker

    The Shannon campaign, perhaps? George’s credibility may, in Gormley’s estimation, bring that into question.. Of course if he, among others, hadn’t lauded the self-promotist so avidly in advance of the CBB appearance..

  • Crataegus

    Pete

    Indeed, but someone who hugs trees in O’Connell Street worrying about being tainted by association with Mr Respect strikes me as either hyper sensitivity or an indication of the damage George has inflicted on his own credibility.

  • The Dubliner

    Short of a accepting an explanation of a mental breakdown, it’s hard to fathom why a man as intelligent and media-savvy as Galloway would enter a freak show for the desperate and the demented that is Big Brother.

    He did what the US Senate, smear campaigns, and a hostile media failed to do: kill his credibility.

  • Belfastwhite

    No-one can say Mr Galloway is stupid by any means. He is using the Big Brother platform to air his views arguably better than he could ever do at the British Parliament. If he loses his seat would he be worried? I somehow think not the world is his oyster. I can see his speakers conferences and talk show appearances bookings filled for the forseeable future.