The author is a QUB Pol Sci Honours graduate and has written extensively on imperialism, national liberation struggles and class issues.
George Is Standing in The Forthcoming British General Election
Mother Of All Talk Shows
MOATS on Talk Radio
George Galloway's MOATS, an acronym for Mother Of All Talk Shows, was a popular weekly current affairs talk show aired weekly on Talk Radio since 2016. It had previously been a late-night staple on Talk Sport radio since 2006. Billed as 'the last free space on mainstream media', it really lived up to that descriptor, tackling controversial topics rarely covered on UK broadcast networks. MOATS' Friday night, seven to ten pm slot was Talk Radio's most popular show with well-coordinated audience interaction via George Galloway's large social media following of over a million people. MOATS attracted listeners from all opinions within the political spectrum and welcomed both regular and new callers from the UK, USA and much further away.
MOATS hosted a wide cross-section of invited guests from a variety of fields of expertise and backgrounds. As a talk show host, Galloway has proven himself to be unflappable and imperturbable when dealing with callers who were vocally antithetical to his own position or who were deliberately provocative live on air. To its credit, MOATS had a well-documented zero-tolerance policy towards racism, including Islamophobia and antisemitism, which Galloway strictly enforced during all modes of interaction with his audience.
The End of MOATS?
The MOATS, unlike other UK media, held lively discussions about the Skripal affair, which began in March 2018 after a Russian dissident living in Salisbury, UK, and his daughter were allegedly poisoned with the nerve agent, Novichok while conveniently living only a few miles away from the Porton Down Bio-Chem weapons research facility. Invited guests to MOATS on Talk Radio were openly skeptical of the official government line on the Skripal incident. A variety of opinions were aired on MOATS from Tweets, texts, and callers to the talk show, with the consensus being that the British government was being inconsistent in their version of the affair. After airing such free-flowing debate on the Skripals, the MOATS was placed on special measures by Talk Radio following complaints to UK broadcasting watchdog OFCOM from individuals and the British government. From the commencement of this period of intense scrutiny by OFCOM, the MOATS was effectively prevented from airing its previous range of often controversial subject matter.
Given the level of governmental scrutiny and previous hostility to Galloway from powerful lobby groups, it could be said that the MOATS' days on the Talk Radio platform were already numbered. In June 2019, following Liverpool Football Club's victory in the Champions League final against Tottenham Hotspur FC, Galloway tweeted 'No #Israël flags on the Cup!', a reference to the North London club's supporters using Israeli flags as team colors during football matches. Within twenty-four hours, following allegations of antisemitism by lobby groups and prominent individuals, Galloway was publicly sacked by Talk Radio. Prominent among those who attacked Galloway was the host of The Apprentice game show, Lord Sugar, who had himself been roundly condemned for racist tweeting during the 2018 World Cup. Many prominent Jewish figures in the UK and abroad registered their opposition to Galloway's summary sacking and accusations of antisemitism against him. The attempted interventions were to prove fruitless and the Mother of All Talk Shows on the Talk Radio platform had come to a sudden but not entirely unexpected end.
Who is George Galloway?
George Galloway has had a long career in parliamentary politics since he was first elected as a Labour Party Member of Parliament for Glasgow Hillhead in the 1987 general election. Previous to his entrance to parliamentary politics Galloway had been the youngest ever chairperson of the Scottish Labour Party. A lifelong anti-war campaigner, Galloway was expelled from the Labour Party because of his vocal opposition to the Iraq War in 2003. As a member and subsequent leader of the Respect Coalition, Galloway was re-elected as a Member of Parliament for Bethnal Green and Bow in the 2005 general election, defeating the sitting Blairite Labour MP, Oona King. He did not seek re-election in 2010 but returned to the House of Commons as the MP for Bradford West in the 2012 by-election. Galloway eventually lost his Bradford West seat at the 2015 general election.
In 2005, Galloway famously testified, with widely acclaimed erudition, at the US Senate hearings concerning alleged illicit payments from the United Nations' Oil for Food Program in Iraq. His testimony to the US Senate hearing which was broadcast via C-Span went viral and is still widely watched on YouTube. Galloway famously debated the late Christopher Hitchens on the Iraq War in a live broadcast from Baruch University in New York in Sept 2005, arguably winning on most points against the English Trotskyist turned Neocon author.
George Galloway is viewed as a controversial figure in the western media primarily because of his very vocal support for Palestinian human rights and his solidarity work with the peoples of the Occupied Territories and Gaza. His opposition to political Zionism has made him a hate-figure within the Israel lobby in the UK and USA. An avowed anti-imperialist, Galloway has opposed the UK & USA's wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and the USA's withdrawal from the Iran Deal. A Catholic of Irish parentage, Galloway is an advocate for the reunification of Ireland and a lifelong supporter of Glasgow Celtic Football Club. In the upcoming 2020 US Presidential elections, Galloway has openly backed Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard.
In July 2019, George Galloway announced his plans to stand for election in the West Bromwich East constituency, as an independent pro-Brexit candidate against sitting centrist, Labour Party MP, Tom Watson. Without a party's financial resources, Galloway is seeking to crowdfund his campaign, stating,
'I seek to replace Tom Watson MP. I am the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for West Bromwich East constituency. I will stand as an Independent candidate supporting Brexit and the traditional values of the labour movement; the values of Tony Benn, Michael Foot, Barbara Castle, Peter Shore, etc'
George Galloway - The Mother Of All Talk Shows - Episode 4
A New Home for the Moats
Within a week of Talk Radio sacking George Galloway, he announced on 7th June 2019, that the Mother of All Talk Shows would continue in its familiar format and would be broadcast live via the presenter's own YouTube channel and RT's Sputnik worldwide digital/AM/FM radio networks on Sunday nights between 7-10pm GMT. Every MOAT's opening statement is also posted and highlighted on Twitter as the show goes live.
The first MOATS, on its new platform, was broadcast on 23rd June 2019 with upwards of 50,000 viewers registering within minutes on the YouTube medium alone. Although the entire show is live-streamed from a professional television studio, the MOATS retains its distinctive radio show format with regular callers, texters, and Tweeters interacting as per usual. With only a few of the expected technical teething problems, the new talk show appears to have retained its core audience and attracted many thousands of new listeners.
A The new MOATS has reached its fourth episode and unlike Talk Radio, there is a moderated live-chat function which attracts thousands of comments. Despite the combined efforts of OFCOM, the British government and certain lobby groups, it does not look like the Mother of all talk shows or George Galloway are going away any time soon.
George Galloway In The House
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2019 Liam A Ryan
Liam A Ryan (author) from Ireland on September 26, 2019:
Yes, I knew it was going to happen after George had the 'temerity' to allow a free discussion on the Skripal fiasco.
Thanks for the comment, Paddy!
Paddy1916 on September 26, 2019:
Superb article mo chara. Crying shame how Murdoch censored George and gave him the dirty kick. I always enjoyed listening to his shows and I am glad to see him back on Sunday nights. #LongLiveMOATS
Liam A Ryan (author) from Ireland on September 05, 2019:
Many thanks for the kind comment, Leila!
Leila Luxemburg on September 05, 2019:
Fantastic article, my dear friend on the great Mr Galloway. Talk Radio's loss. Long live #MOATS