Galloway is galloping down to London to make another embarrassing return to Westminster. His arrival will make all the mainstream parties rather uncomfortable; none more so than Labour.
I watched Harriet Harmon's response to Galloway's shock victory. It had a perfunctory tone; the result was "a disappointment", and "lessons will be learnt". It was the habitual post-bye-election sound-bite from a defeated party.
Perhaps, I read too much into a youtube video, but I sense She has had enough. She looked tired. She couldn't however conceal her indifference to Galloway and his "historic victory". Retirement is beckoning; there will be no more ministerial boxes, at least for her.
With Harman going through the ritual explanations for a terrible result, there must be an awful realization running through the New Labour leadership. It had profoundly under-estimated Gorgeous George and his capacity to harm the party. He is the rebel that just won't go away.
The tragedy for Labour is that he had started out so well for them. In the 1980s, he nicked a Scottish seat from the SDP, humiliating that irredeemable class traitor Roy Jenkins. He had talent; stage presence, and sharp debating skills. He could have been one of their heavy hitting front bench stars. He was on the leftist edge of the party, but his views were by no means irreconcilable with the New Labour project. Unfortunately Blair couldn't see it. He deported George to the darkest corner on the back bench.
Things started to go pear-shaped after Blair's second election victory. Even then, Blair could have brought George in from the cold. According to Wikipedia, he was only the 9th most rebellious Labour MP during the early years of the Blair administration. Surely, Blair could have offered him a minor ministerial job to keep him quiet? Seems not.
Then came the Iraq war. Rather than tolerate a grain of principled dissent and judiciously overlook Galloway anti-war stance, the Labour Party went after him. In 2003, he said something stupid. Instead of quietly ignoring George, Blair insisted that party expel him. After that, Galloway opened up an account at the Bank of Payback. For the last nine years, he has built up a healthy deposit.
George's victory has almost certainly sealed Mr. Miliband's fate. Does anyone seriously think he will be the next Prime Minister? Labour will again be torn about by a vicious leadership battle. Mr. Miliband will hold onto the bitter end, and as he clings on, any hope of an election victory will evaporate.
Galloway do his part. Like an ill wind, He will now be on Labour's back, relentlessly attacking any attempt to realign the party towards the centre. He will exact further punishment for his crassly judged expulsion from the worker's party. Labour's voter base is fragile. Respect only has to take few percentage points in a couple of key marginals to do some serious harm to Labour.
Isn't there a line somewhere about having your adversaries inside the tent pissing out, rather than outside pissing in? That is an apt description for Mr. Galloway and his tumultuous relationship with Labour.