Saturday, May 02, 2009

A Shouting Match Live on Air With George Galloway

Click HERE to listen to the interview

I have never shouted at a radio presenter before, but I have just had the Mother of all rows with George Galloway on TalkSport. Quite incredible. I had been invited on to talk about the 30th anniversary of Margaret Thatcher's 1979 election victory.

He started off by introducing me as an "apologist for Margaret Thatcher". I explained that 'apologist' is a pejorative word which I objected to. I then started talking about what the country was like in 1979 and how it had been brought to its knees by the trade unions. He interrupted me and went on a two minute monologue about how awfully she had treated the steel industry. I tried to interject on several occasions but it soon became clear that my mic had been cut off. When eventually he finished his monologue I complained bitterly that he was trying to silence me, and it developed into a very ugly spat in which I accused him of propagandising and not understanding the role of a talkshow host. We were both shouting at each other, which I am sure why very unedifying to listened to. I debated whether just to put the phone down but in the end decided to continue. In fact, even during the on air row he closed the microphone so a lot of my ranting wasn't heard.

I wonder whether they will put it up as a podcast after the show.

I am still fizzing.

Must get him to phone me up next week during my programme so we can have Round Two.

UPDATE: Feedback to the confrontation from Twitter & Facebook seems to be that I held my end up and made him look a fool. I'm not so sure. I suspect I ranted too much...


The Grim Reaper said...

George Galloway - Hoon.

I shall allow other people to work out what that euphenism means.

denverthen said...

Well, just to add my previous comment - I thought you handled what sounded to me like a pretty carefully planned ambush extremely well. Especially over the unions and the miners.

Just my take on it.

Josh said...

I was the second caller from Doncaster... the moron didn't even give me a chance to speak, and then I was cut off

Liam said...

Iain - I thought you were going to disconnect the phone which I would have agreed with given the contempt with which you were being treated. To turn off the mic to allow himself a 2 minute speech was the act of a man on a very weak argument indeed.

I wonder why Matthew Parris was allowed a much easier ride?

Fair play Iain, you did very well indeed.

Paul Burgin said...

Iain you'll find you will have had a lot of support from across political barriers, not so much because of Thatcher of course, but because you were up against Galloway! Am surprised that you didn't expect it though! Given his past record

Oldrightie said...

Anyone watching this excuse for a human being sucking on Hussein's metaphorical appendage, would gag at the idea of this cretin's wealth and awfulness. Labour hypocrisy of the highest order. Brown and Galloway two peas in a pod. (squabbling).

Martin Day said...

George Galloway and Gordon Brown are two cheeks of the same arse!

Interesting set up he being an MP but also a talk show host!

I don't know how he finds the time! He must have a prosperous seat that needs little attention............

Anonymous said...

You stupid idiot, you have fallen right into his elephant trap, and did EXACTLY what he wanted you to do.

Don't you know him better than that ?

Anonymous said...

Whilst there's no doubt GG is an excellent orator, does anyone actually take him seriously anymore? If he can't drown callers out with his incessant ramblings then he has a cowardly habit of hitting the mute button to give the impression they have no response.

Still, it could be worse. Years ago I remember waking up to Talk Talk (as was then) hosted by Carol McGiffen and Dolly Draper...

sunonmars said...

Holy mary you all need to read this

The coup it would seem is in full swing.

sunonmars said...

Now Blears takes Brown down

Gordon Brown under fire as Hazel Blears attacks ‘lamentable’ failures.

Gordon Brown last night suffered his most severe attack yet from inside his Cabinet as a leading minister savaged the Prime Minister over his government’s “lamentable” failures of policy and communication.

I mean this is not any longer, any doubt, this is highly co-ordinated. Brown is being taken down.

RandomRanter said...

Looking forward to listening to it after the weekend. Don't think the Good Lady would like me listening to it when with her.

Good on ya telling Galloway what to do...

Funk le Monk said...

I can't be bothered to listen to the mp3 but I suspect if you both ended up ranting it's because you're both a bit wrong in your beliefs, too ideological probably. Thatcher did some good and some bad, turning her into either a sort of mythical hero or hate figure isn't helpful in trying to analyse where she went right and where she went wrong. Personally I think that the evidence indicates you need a mixed approach to running a country or an economy and that our current political set-up isn't up to the task of delivering it. And if you'll forgive me, if someone can't recognise and respect the trauma hundreds of thousands of people felt at Thatcher's policies, if they think it was 'their own fault' then frankly they really haven't understand the issue and are unworthy of ever actually being in charge of anything. Hopefully Obama will set a trend of political leaders who at least attempt to see more than one side of an issue...

sunonmars said...

Seriously,Brown is finished look at the reports coming out, they are going to get rid of him. These reports are being frequent and I'm betting that they are being put out for a reason.

Brown has no really lost the plot. Reckon the "nervous breakdown" is coming.

Embattled Gordon Brown's state of mind is under further scrutiny after it was revealed that he had a tantrum during a series of tough television interviews in No10.

The Prime Minister had to be calmed down by Business Secretary Peter Mandelson after erupting in a series of off-camera clashes with broadcast journalists.

Lord Mandelson soothed a raging Mr Brown and reassured him: 'Gordon, calm down, calm down. It's a bank holiday weekend. You can have a rest.'

Scan said...

As much as I like reading your blog, you came over as a bit of a childish tit.

Scan said...

p.s. There's usually a copy of the show on the day after.

Iain Dale said...

Scan, maybe you are right, but bear in mind he shut the mic to a lot of what I was saying/ranting!

Norfolk Blogger said...

Well done Iain. Galloway is. in my opinion, the sort of person who brings the roles of MP's in to disrepute. Just look at his attendance recrod in parliament in recent years. Shameful.

subrosa said...

Iain Dale 1 George Galloway 0

Martin said...

Galloway is a moronic prat. Why you even went on that toilet roll of a show is beyond me.

Carbon capture does not yet work on a large scale. It might work in the future, but if as Galloway had suggested we'd kept coal we'd have EVEN higher levels of CO2 emissions than we do now.

Why are the greens so against new coal stations? Because they know Carbon capture is science fiction at the moment.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Your substantive point is born out by my experience; that if you are over 45, you understand what it was like to experience the tyranny of union control. It was a kind of power that bred corruption, laziness, greed and jobs for the boys. I saw all four. Some of my colleagues, a lot of now very well known journalists, propped it up. I met some of the major union leaders and they were despots.

As for Galloway, he will be a sick memory, which will fade, long before they are referring to your as "distinguished veteran blogger and publisher, Iain Dale".

Put it down as a learning experience and move on.

sunonmars said...

lol, the mirror, i would say it was a joke but i bet its not.

Scandal of Labour MP who built sauna and put it on his expenses

Fresh scandal over MPs’ expenses flared last night amid claims one politician used taxpayers’ cash to install a sauna at his home.

The unnamed MP – thought to be a senior Labour figure – said he has a skin condition requiring regular sauna sessions, revealed a senior Westminster source.

Who do we reckon it is then?

Scan said...

If you've heard his radio show before that's generally what he does; lets people make their point, then he has a rant for a bit - fire and brimstone - and then usually lets people back in. If I was a charitable kind of guy I'd say it was...unorthodox.

Politically speaking I probably fall smack in the middle of you two think Funk le Monk has it bang on with his "ideological" assessment.

Did you both secretly enjoy it though?

Thatsnews said...

Iain, no one could rant too much about George Galloway.

Armchair said...

Well done Iain. The moron Galloway and the sycophants that listen to his show, live in dreamland.

I remember in the 70s a programme doing called "Nationwide" doing a show on how British Steel was losing a thousand pounds and second. They had a counter ticking away throughout the show giving a running total. BSC, as it was, lost money because of outdated working practices, lack of investment in new equipment and gross overmanning.

Galloway is the same when he talks about Castro. He absolutely refuses to acknowledge that Castro is anything other than a hero of the people. Well, I have been to Cuba and that isn't what they say when nobody is listening. People who hijacked a plane to escape to the USA were executed when they were returned to Havana.
Galloway cuts you off if you try to raise that issue.

Tory Poppins said...

Didn't see that coming!! (not) lmao You can't argue with a fool Iain - he's a waste of space. Wouldn't have given him the time of day! Anyway - you came across really well ;-)

Mike Rouse said...

You did hold up your own end. I disagree that you ranted too much.

scunnert said...

Galloway won - hands down.

Humpty Dumpty said...

Iain, loved the way you wrongfooted GG over the legality of the non-ballot re the miners.

He did give his strategy away at the end by saying 'Thanks for arguing with me!' There is a view that says no-one would listen to him if he wasn't deliberately provocative; if he'd had a reputation as being quiet and reasonable, do you think we'd have listened to the podcast? ;)

Bearded Socialist said...

Were you playing a 'Spot The Biggest Idiot Competition'?

crimeficreader said...

First thoughts: how the hell does someone with obvious (and strong) political leanings get to host a radio show? The public deserves objectivity.

And this from a host who sought a seat on the independent bandwagon before deciding to increase his profile through "Celebrity Big Brother"? A serious politician to the electorate? Nil/nul points.

His days are over, even if a company gives him a last ditch at promulgating his beliefs through radio. And what a shame that is and who paid for it? I hope, not the tax payer.

Ford Transit© said...

Why would anyone in their right mind do a talk radio spot with Gorgeous George?

What's a euphenism, by the way? I hate it when posters can't spell.

Fausty said...

Switching off the microphone of 'troublesome' guests seems to be a tactic the BBC uses with increasing frequency.

You might want to invite Galloway onto your own radio show ... coming shortly, I hope? ;)

Galloway treated you abominably at first, but then appeared to recognise the folly of it and tried to appear reasonable.

You came across as a little petulant, which gave him some advantage for the duration of the interview.

Galloway, in typical raving leftie fashion, couldn't countenance admitting failures of the left. In comparison, you were big enough to concede that Mrs T had some failures.

Score? Galloway: 4; Dale: 6.

You won.

Keep your chin up.

Plato said...

Was that a shouting match?

You should have heard Stephen Nolan and Prezza.

Thought you kept your cool 9/10.

I'd have lost it after the mike cutting/apologist rant from Gorgeous George.[Reminded me of the Nicky Campbell 'fascist' insult at Mr Fawkes]

Well done from one ex media frontman bod to another.

Paul S said...

Galloway comes across as a complete tool for shutting you down and going off on one - even though his diatribe at the time was, albeit left-wing, even-handed by his standards

Gary said...

Well done Iain for taking a stand against the cowardice of Galloway in using his fader to prevent you from participating whilst simultaneously claiming it was a 'debate'. Also, nice to hear him admit that he supported Scargill in his dictatorial actions.

jacob shoehorn said...

He really did have a go, I thought you did realy well iain in the circumstances, if that was me I would have crumbled.

I liked at the end things calmed down a bit, and any animosity had gone.

Ted Foan said...


See this for my view on Gorgeous George.

You held it together very well considering the provocation.

Anonymous said...

He's a nasty piece of work that Galloway but clever. You might have known. And he said 'flounce', to get you upset, the bastard. Galloway's weakness lies in exposing his totalitarianism.

You did fine, in any event.

Anonymous said...

Iain, I've just listened to your exchange with George Galloway.

You did really well. But it's clear you – and all other defenders of M.T. – need some simple, in-your-face, debate-ending ammo, to enable your argument to prevail in such future "debates".

Here's what you need to do: Get your arse down to your local reference library. (Yes, for Gawd's sake, take some time out from your laptop.) Ask for "The Times Index" for several of any of the years between 1960 and 1979 (i.e. prior to M.T.'s ascendancy).

Look up and then photocopy the pages that refer to the words "Halewood" (as in the home of Ford's Merseyside plant); Ellesmere Port (ditto, Vauxhall); "Speke" (as in Triumph of BL); and other terms such as "Longbridge" (BL) and "Dagenham" (Ford).

You'll find pages and pages and pages of references to hundreds of news articles about strikes and other such manifestations of the industrial anarchy that had crippled Britain since before WWII all the way up to M.T.'s premiership.

Searches of the terms "British Rail"; "British Steel"; "The Coal Board"; and "The TUC"; produce the same result.

Then, after you've completed that little exercise (time needed, about an hour), conduct and photocopy searches of The Times Index of exactly the same terms of any of the years post-1990, by which time M.T. had had her amazingly positive effect (that is, for Britain, not the unions).

Try it. You'll appreciate the worth of your findings in future instances when you have to deal with the Galloways of this world in time-limited, sound-bite-heavy debates.

Anonymous said...

Just listened to the broadcast and I have to say you were led by the nose; now I am no fan of George Galloway but he made you sound very amateurish no matter what your mainly sycophantic followers may say. I’m not saying who was right, most probably both of you, but I think the country needs a halfway house and forget doctrine, come together and straighten politics from this house of corruption.

Iain Dale said...

Anonymous, ignore the politics of it. I was objecting to having my mic shut down during what I assumed was supposed to be a discussion.

John East said...

As a big fan of your blog, and a Thatcher devotee, perhaps I might add some comments concerning your performance against Galloway.

I’ll give you 5/10.

This may sound like a mediocre score, but Galloway is perhaps one of the fiercest debaters going. He made short work of the US Congress, and frequently destroys any Talksport contributor who dares to disagree with him.

You did well to recover after you lost your temper near the start of the interview (10/10 for this), but your lowest point was when you complained about his interview style. I’m afraid that you expected a degree of deference and respect normally given by organisations like the BBC. Talksport has never given this, irrespective of whose show one phones into. Perhaps on reflection you might come to respect their cavalier approach, it not being dissimilar to that adopted by guido, and more entertaining that the gutless anodyne BBC interview style.

In summary, well done, but next time know what to expect.

sunonmars said...

Ok its in every sodding paper, so tomorrow could be the fatal blow for Brown, if we see lack of support and a trot out of backstabbers then he’s gone by Monday Morning.

The Express on Sunday


HEALTH Secretary Alan Johnson is being lined up to act as emergency Prime Minister amid growing concerns among Labour MPs about Gordon Brown’s state of mind.

The 58-year-old could take over as an interim measure if Mr Brown quits for the sake of his own health after an expected meltdown at next month’s local and European polls.

On Brown : One minister said: “The guy can’t be well. People are very worried about him and, to be honest, he’s got to be worried about his health and welfare himself. He must be considering going.”

A senior Labour MP, who has been loyal to both Mr Blair and Mr Brown, said: “We need to find an easy way to make him go away.

However i do not accept that they can continue on without a GE, no way will the public accept it.

Johnston however i dont think will touch this with a bargepole.

faceless said...

haha, so this was some kind of organised circle-jerk?

To claim that Galloway should order his show to your pre-conceived notions of what radio should be was laughable.

You achieved nothing. It was a waste of time, unless you count getting your arse licked by your childish little 'gang' on this blog now.

Frugal Dougal said...

Iain, that was pure gold - well done for keeping your cool and allowing the auld dinosaur to show what a fascist he is!

If I can figure out how to load one of those thingies, could I use it on my blog (with attributions, of course?)

Hawkeye said...

You expected rational debate from Galloway? The only thing you can expect from a pig is a grunt.

However, Galloway is NOT an arseh*le - arseh*les serve a useful function.

Anonymous said...

That man is a nazi and tyrant and 3 cheers to you for standing up to him. The miners should not have a vote because bullies like him will dictate what is right and wrong just like he tries to dictate what his listeners may hear.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12:57 I can only speak of the Halewood plant and that is the work force always new when an unofficial strike was about to happen, was when the car park was full. It was a stitch up between shop stewards and management; the workers got no pay until demand caught up.

The Military Wing Of The BBC said...

Talksport radio has to renew its licence for its franchise of one of the National Independent radio frequencies next year.

The got rid of "Gaunty" last year because of this need to tread on Eggshells.
Like our political wing, they should be worried that the wind has now turned at OFCOM.

Ski Test said...

As a bit of an old leftie, and someone who's seen GG speak live a few times - you came off better. He wasn t at his best, you were pretty measured.

Anonymous said...

I have just listened to the whole interview and by leaden jaw is on the floor in disbelief. Wee Jock McPlop seems to have lived the last 40 years in a different Britain to me!? I timed that he spent two minutes and eight interuptions to make the point that you could speak uninterrupted. What an irritating chump.

Andrew K said...

When did Rab C Nesbitt get his own radio show? "I will tell you this sonny".

strapworld said...

May I suggest you, Iain, and all those that heard the programme COMPLAIN.

Not to Talk Sport who would judge such complaints as good publicity but to the Broadcasting Standards Commission.

Galloway has got away with this anti democratic way of turning off the caller-interviewee-so he can rant.

Whilst I have found the man mildly amusing. He has to be put in his place.

It would hurt that man's pride if he has to read an apology, or an apology has to be given during his programmes!

The more that complain the better.

But, Iain, it was rather daft expecting to have a rational debate with that rabble rouser!

Jonathan Cook said...


You did well.

I suspect this conversation is a good indicator for the "debates" to come.

Labour type people have been blaming the "Thatcher economic consensus" for a while now. Of course in their world, Mr Brown did no wrong and had to wrestle with "Thatchers extremist capitalist legacy".

Meanwhile.... back on earth..... I think that we all know, and especially outside the Labour-wonk-bubble, the reality of the situation.

Keep up the good work.

FireForce said...

Galloway = socialism at it's BEST, that is as good as it gets, do as I say, not as I do!
Oh he is never wrong, never makes a mistake, sound like somene else?)
Galloway + socialsm the quickest way to get to the lowest common (very common) denominator.when I see him I always think,,, so that is what an ar**hole looks like,
he supports all that is bad for he U.K. oppose him on every measure and the world woud be ok.

Grumpy Old Sod said...

You should have known better than to have anything to do with Galloway, especially when he has his finger on the 'silence the opposition' button.

javelin said...

Galloway is clearly complete bonkers. Let me fisk him on an early point because most people probably wouldn't be able to listen to his madness for very long. He said thatcher shutdown the coal mines because they were uneconomic ( a point he doesn't contest) but then goes on to say ... If only we kept them open and invested in them by 2009 they might turn a profit. So looney tunes Galloway thinks we should keep pits open for 30 years on the basis that for a few months in 2009, when oil prices spike, they might not make a loss. Bonkers. Bonkers. Bonkers. Lock this loon up. P.S I presume he is advising new labour.

Johnny Norfolk said...

Shaken and stirred, but you came out of it with your head held high. What an ass that man is.

Dick the Prick said...

Don't shout at the poor pussy, poor pussycat (leading into Right said Fred - i'm too sexy).

Hasn't Gorgeous got the worst voting record in the HoC?

mutleythedog said...

You never rant dear heart - just burble apoplecticly on occasion!

moorlandhunter said...

Galloway is nothing more than a bully who uses his mouth and other tactics (switching off the mic for one) to try to belittle and silence others who oppose his views.
Iain, you did well against this bully, a bully who supported to the point of his utter shame, Saddam Hussain.
If anyone wishes to Galloway in his Hitler like debating stance then pop up a Youtube segment of him debating Iraq with Christopher Hitchens. It made me smile and wonder just how often Galloway watched Herr Hitler videos to get his rilied up debating stance just right?

Jabez Foodbotham said...

I've heard a lot worse shouting matches. GG probably came across best since he has a good, rich speaking voice and you don't so you sounded a bit petulant.
In any discussion with GG you have to be absolutely on top of your brief since he makes BS statements in an extremely plausible and confident manner. In 1984 most UK coal mines were uneconomic since foreign coal could be shipped to midland power stations at a much lower cost than domestic coal.
Some were marginally economic and only needed a small subsidy to compete. There was no question of closing those ones. But Scargill's antics put paid to them too.
They would still be uneconomic today since foreign coal is still cheaper and the oil price is a red herring.
There is no industrially proven carbon capture in operation today and the future economics of CCS is far from proven. Up to 50% of the coal shipped to the plant may be consumed in running the CCS system and not in producing power for the grid. The useful electricity produced can be up to 90% more expensive than that from non-CCS fitted plants. Loading these costs onto what is already only marginally economic coal would be a killer.
GG's pro-coal arguments, however plausibly put, did not have a leg to stand on.

Mark M said...

You came out the better man for not hanging up on the gimp, not getting too shouty/angry and sticking with your debate. Well done!
Although it that were me I'd have told him to f*ck off and slammed the phone down lol :-)
Guess that's why I'm not in politics.

Neil James Ward said...

Galloway has and always will be a self-aggrandizing fool, you stood your ground well Iain.

Mr. Mxyzptlk said...

You know what they say... with two people arguing its hard to tell which one's is the idiot

Large Melot Please said...

It was a pleasure to hear conviction politics again, two people passionate about their subject. No you did not rant too much and I think you kept your cool really well, in the circumstances.

I do not think too many people would like to be near me when my red mist-o-meter is on raging crimson.

Savonarola said...

What induced you to get into a pissing contest with a skunk?

Sally Roberts said...

Iain you should have know what Galloway would be like! It was rather a waste of your time.

Iain Dale said...

Sally, I have been on that programme five or six times and each time George behaved profesionally and allowed me my say. I had no reason to think it would be any different this time.

B Griffiths said...

I enjoyed listening to it, at times it was really funny listening to you two fight like cats in a bag at the beginning. But after a while you both calmed down and got over your points rather well.

I do like listening to George, he's extremely entertaining and does have a wonderful way with words, 'gift of the gab.'

But you both failed to mention, that Labour closed more coalmines in the 1960's and 70's than Thatcher ever did in the 80's. Labour hate it when people point that out but its a fact.

On the whole, I really enjoyed the show, and hope you go on again.

norman said...

GG is a thug, Saddam apologist and as his show attracts Islamic sympathisers in hundreds through his anti-Israel, anti-semitic rants, TalkSport keeps him. Similar rants by Whale and Gaunt were objected to and they were removed. If Talksport kicks him out, LBC a station which in 1970s and early 80s was a respectable braodcaster will pick him up to add to other rejects like Ken Livingston and Whale. It appears that listeners numbers count for adverts even if they are Islamic fundamentalists. Welcome to London of 21st century.

Scully said...

GG says it all when he ends with "Iain Dale, thanks for arguing with me." That sounds more like the Monty Python sketch paying for an argument than a mainstream radio show.

He trips off his views dripping in hindsight. The coal industry should have been saved because every left-wing union rep knew that decades later carbon capture would have been invented and the UK would lead the way? Utter rubbish packaged in Galloway's over-confident floral speaking style.

Chas said...

th did you agree to talk to him? You should remember the maxim, "Never argue with an idiot. THey bring you down to their level and then beat you with experience."

Oscar Miller said...

Will two jobs Galloway have to forfeit his radio show under new expenses laws?

Mark2 said...

Iain, you were wrong about the miners being required by law to have a national postal ballot when they went on strike in 1984. That law didn't come in until after the strike had started.

JPT said...

TalkSport is a bit like that I'm afraid.
Galloway should go the way of Gaunt I think.

Anonymous said...

George let him speak for as long as he wanted. Ian Dale, like many others, was used to the kind of 'debates' that they have on the Daily Politics, Question Time and numerous other shows. They go like this.

1. Person A talks for 20 seconds
2. Person B talks for 10 seconds, whilst Person A shouts, "No, that wasnt the case, wrong
3. Person B persists until Person A has given up.
4. Person A repeats what he just said again.
5. Presenter tells them and us that they are out of time, nothing has been debated, nothing has been learned, and no opinions have actually been voiced.

Unfortunatly you cant have traditional debates anymore, because so few people have the patience to listen to one person speak for more than 30 seconds.

And George was not 'owned.' Ian Dale continued to make a fool of himself, even after George told him five times he would have the platform to respond for as long as he wanted. Funnily enough, when he finally realised, he didnt have much to say.

Perhaps Ian should have been told before hand that this is the way George conducts his interviews. He speaks, then the interviewee responds. None of this argy bargy interjection based debate that leaves us having learned nothing.

Tappestry said...

If there weren't 'people' like Galloway running around, we wouldn't need Margaret Thatchers to put them back in their caves.

Galloway's days of social acceptability are surely be numbered now that Blair/Brown bullying methods are exposed and universally disliked.

A rant from Iain Dale must be like a jolly good telling off from matron. Galloway needs the full works in the Headmaster's study, something to take that grin off his face.

Beware of Geeks bearing GIFs said...

I thought you did well and I think the thing that differentiates between tribal defenders of socialism and people like yourself Iain, could be explained by the last 2 minutes of that interview:

you debate and you accept both the successes and failures of administrations.

Notice just how many labour supporters on blogs just pop up to knock the Tories, then scurry away when their glorious leader makes a(nother) mistake.

To be fair to GG, I think he begrudingly respected your argument at the end.

Well done.

Flemingcrag said...

If I was going to defend the tough but necessary actions the Conservatives had to make from 1979onwards after inheriting a basket case economy and strike ridden Country from Labour, it would not be with an old dyed in the wool communist like George Galloway. What advantage is there in debating with a closed mind, you might just as well take on Tony Benn or John Prescott. That the debate with Galloway descended into a shouting match was no surprise, that it took "so long" to degenerate to this level was the only surprise.
Debate must be productive to be of benefit, there are much better audiences to be engaged, the still open minds of the young who have been subjected to so many MSM lies about Margaret Thatcher. Their fears have to be stilled as they face up to the next bout of Conservative Government who will face as many challenges and equally tough and hurtful decisions as any Maggie had to deal with.
The pay may be less for this type of engagement but the rewards are much greater.

chronic said...

Two words for Mr Galloway "Big Brother" a man with no self respect should be ignored.

Chalcedon said...

I can remember the 1979 winter of discontent. It was awful. What Mrs Thatcher did was the best thing for the country and democracy. It gave me great pleasure to see the communist dominated unions put in their rightful place in a democracy.

Anonymous said...

Shit Hot Radio !!!

Why can't we have more radio like this, instead of vapid 'middle of the road' crap like Heart 'easy listening' FM or unReal radio or the other 'lowest common denominator' drivel.

How does one get this 'talk radio' - is it on the internet ?? And why is it given an offputting name like 'talk sport' ??

Iain Dale said...

Anonymous. It's on Medium Wave, Sky Digital channel 0108. I think you can listen live on their website too.

I'm also launching my own radio show on from 11pm-1am next Friday. Hope you'll be listening!

Anonymous said...

The other thing, Iain, is I don't think you should have gotten quite so uppity about 'the microphone being cut'.

Love him or loathe him, it is his show, and there is nothing worse than trying to listen to radio when more than one person is speaking.

If one is in a room and several people are speaking it is possible to discriminate between the different voices - this just isn't possible on radio, so it helps if people get to speak in turn.

He is very entertaining though - he did a very good gig with Christopher Hitchens a while back at an American University which was broadcast on the BBC.

Chris Paul said...

Full match report HERE. Also tasteless adaptation of Celebrity Big Brother graphic. Loving those tattoos and that pale blue lycra Iain. Own goals from Scargill and Lamont at either end ...

Now guess my overall score without taking a peek ...

Chris Paul said...

PS I don't agree with Sub Rosa. And I do think the uninterrupted statement from each side would be a reasonable format, followed perhaps by a more interactive phase is not a bad concept. The old heckle and interrupt format is pretty useless from the listeners point of view.

Patrick said...

You have not heard his show before! !!!

He has a deranged rant every week about something or other. Thats what he does.

The piece before seemed to psyche him up for a particularly long rant at you.

Seemed he had calmed down by the time he spoke to matthew parris.

Iain Dale said...

Chris, if that was made clear by the producer from the start, fair enough. But every time I have been on that programme before it was an interactive discussion. He didn't like my interjection so he faded the mic. And he kept doing it even when I pointed out he was doing it.

Iain Dale said...

Patrick, I have listened to it before, and been on it several times. Indeed he does do monologues, but not usually in the middle of an interview with someone!

IPP said...

GG's show is not the BBC and has no need to be impartial. He is a man with strong views and its refreshing listening after the faux even handed BBC.

You seemed unprepared.

Mark said...

It wasn't the unabashed brawl you made out - apart from the debate aout the mic at the five minute mark it was quite a substantive discussion and you both had decent moments.

The way you bill it as some sort of prizefight is beneath you - it was a good debate, and Galloway was pretty magnaimous at the end, calling your summing up 'very fair' and thanking you for arguing with him.

Got to say I do like Galloway despite myself - he is just such an unabashed opportunist, who will change his views like the weather, that somehow, and I know it's wrong, I just can't help but admire his chutzpah. I believe the word is 'chancer'!

Iain Dale said...

Mark, Perhaps to me it seemed more aggressive than it came over because I know what I was saying when he faded my mic. It's certainly the most shouty interview I have ever been involved in.

I like opinionated radio, but when it becomes about one man's propaganda and when he silences someone who is disagreeing with him, then you can hardly blame me for pointing that out.

Perhaps I will get a taste of my own medicine next Friday evening!

Chris Paul said...

Iain, I agree, the format should have been agreed. That's something for both sides to try to advance. There are various ways of doing things. As in face-to-force discourse. And as you will know from debates and fringe meetings these usually do go statement - statement - statement - statement - then something else, more Zoo-like on occasions.

Galloway was completely within his rights I thought to call you an apologist, or defender. Little difference. A wind up of course. But pretty tame as such things go.

I think you'd probably agree that you rather over-reacted to that.

Personally I thought that conservative future kid harrying Hillary Benn a few months ago made really terrible radio, but I remember that you liked that a lot.

Probably wouldn't have liked it so much if it was some silly little trot giving you the zoo treatment if you were a tory minister.

Galloway is a hoon as the Grim Reaper began this strand.

His pal Yvonne Ridley is another.

In a "debate" on Gaza last weekend in Rochdale I'm told that the Labour PPC was in the room, not allowed on the platform as this wasn't a party political meeting, only for Ridley (a PPC of course, and if she stood in Rochdale that could be interesting) to launch various party political attacks.

She talked about Rochdale having seen off a zionist (this and worse being the anti- Lorna Fitzsimons smearage conducted by what seemed to be Lib Dem shills in 2005) and claimed that Simon Djanchuk would need to go and cuddle up to Hamas to get himself elected.

Paul Rowen MP wasn't there. making five meetings and speech opportunities on this he has swerved in the last couple of months. Simon has at least had the bottle to attend the Trotfest and he's been to Gaza as well.

Who was actually right about the TU law of the 83-84-85 period?

davidc said...

el mundo -'Dale is not only the most respected blogger in the UK. Es también el que cuida de algún modo de la comunidad. '

respected please note, NOT respectable!

Anonymous said...

when you accept that Galloway is always going to go off on one i think you did very well.

He was on the ropes a bit when speaking about the miners strike (non) vote ballot and you could have pressed him more on that point but otherwise you came over as sensible and calm.

Could have mentuioned his cat impression-that would have majorly pissed him off !

Not a sheep said...

I wouldn't appear on any show, platform or panel with George Galloway as I find so many of his views beyond the pale. As he is so litigious I think I will leave it at that.

Paul Halsall said...

Ian, I think you were (partly) right about Scargill, but wrong about unions destroying British Steel. Mrs. Thatcher was driven by a desire to bring down the unions, who previously had brought down Heath.

Galloway may have been homophobic in suggesting you wanted to "flounce off", but I think he won the argument about presenter's perspective. In the US, and he seems to be modelling himself on Rush Limbaugh, talk show presenters away from Public Radio make no effort to present "all sides."

In fact, he did give you quite a long time to speak, and while you did good in part, you wasted other time that you had.

And you got some things wrong. For example, while nationalised Industries were often badly run and publically owned, the executives were no more "civil servants" than headmasters and teachers in schools are.

I hated Mrs. Thatcher. After voting Tory in 1979 because of
abortion (which I still abhor) I never have again.

But for the sake of argument lets see how I would defend her:

1. She broke a log jam in British society in which all sides had come to agree to muddle along. although Michael Foot and co are attacked now, Thatcherism allowed a clarification of political points of view and some new ideas to emerge.

2. She was no feminist, but (like Obama for African Americans) she did remove all excuses for (if not the actuality of) glass ceilings against women in business and government.

3. Britain is a medium sized country which punches higher than its size in world culture, military power, and economic status. She got rid of the post-imperial cringe.

4. She tied us more firmly into Europe at a time when Labour was committed to withdrawal. The EU has been the most successful force for peace since the Pax Romana, and she helped it.

5. She and her government responded much better to AIDS than the "moral" Reaganites or the "no identity politics" Mitterandists.

Paul Halsall said...

Iain - re: you on BBC. I wish you would stop using "straight-talking" as a term of praise. How about "relatively honest" as an alternative.

Gaily forward!

Twig said...

Bravo Mr. Dale !

Galloway's rudeness reminded me of the "Knock Knock" joke about the interupting pig. Oink oink.

What is it about Bethnal Green?
A ‘main home’ outside London meant Lady Uddin could claim £29,000 a year, but the neighbours tell Insight that nobody lived there

Anonymous said...


"and now an argument"

I can just imagine the little vein on the side of his head bulging :)

Jules said...

Well-handled. The man's ego is monstrous; his intellect pathetic; his manner intemperate; his stance Stalinist. And as apologist-in-chief for Saddam Hussein, his hypocrisy limitless. He does democracy no favours and I hope he walks under a bus.

Anonymous said...

Iain, I can across this site after being a West Ham fan and reading your West Ham blog.

Unlike what would appear to be most of your readers on here, I do enjoy listening to Mr Galloway and though I am not in agreement with him on all issues, have a lot of time for his political viewpoints.

I probably should not be surprised at some of the vitriol aimed at Mr Galloway on such a site; but some comments border on sycophancy.

A few points. Galloway did not contest the point that some of the pits were not economical because it was true. However, irrespective of the fact that closing them would force the country to increasingly rely on non other nations for our energy requirements, how does putting hundreds of thousands onto the dole make economic sense? Whilst at the same time importing subsidised coal from nations such as Poland, Columbia (often mined buy children) and aparthied South Africa. Obviously there is no morality involved in market forces.

In respect of Galloway and Iraq, I would make a couple of points. Throughout the 1980's, Galloway was one of the most vociferous critics of Saddam and his regime and Hansard will bear that out. That was at the same time as he was feted by the West, including the Thatcher government and especially Reagan. This included selling him god knows how many weapons, providing him with logistical support, the components for chemical weapons (proven) and telling the UN and the world what a decent guy Saddam was. (The US sought to tell the world that he had never committed atrocities during the 1980's when they knew the opposite was true.

Galloway admits that he regrets the infamous statement that he made to Saddam re we salute you etc; and claims that he was referring to the Iraqi people and not Saddam. Whatever, he has been consistent from the 1980's in condemning that regime and for showing his support for the Iraqi people and his opposition to the sanctions that caused those people so much suffering. Can those that criticise him for his stance boast the same consistency. And though I know that many on here would dearly love to believe that Galloway was guilty of making money out of sanctions busting, this has clearly been proven to be a fabrication and smear campaign. Shameful.

Alan Douglas said...

How you held your temper and remained lucid in face of this nutter is beyond me. Well done.

Alan Douglas

Victor, NW Kent said...


You have nobody to blame but yourself. You had no right to expect any rational discussion with Galloway.

If you had decided to make yourself available as a target for his rudeness you might at least have armed yourself with some real ammunition.

I have had discussions with Socialists before and find that they deny the steel and coal workers had a great many strikes. One of them actually blogged that the coal miners never struck once after the War until the late Seventies!

I am a lot older than you and can remember vividly as the shipwrights, car workers and most other heavily unionised work forces struck to destroy their own livelihoods.

I was 15 when the shipwrights had running wildcat strikes over who could drill holes that passed through both steel and wood. It was at that time that I realised the Unions were essentially suicide pacts. A few years later I became convinced that Socialism was a form of insanity.

There are a host of authorities on those days which would provide you with live rounds when confronting the Trotskyites. Look them up before battle.

john in cheshire said...

Iain, I absolutely hate Galloway, the odious piece of shit. If there was one person who I would like to watch being torn apart by rabid dogs, I would choose him. Unfortunately for you, he has the satanic gift of appearing reasonable in all that he says. It's only afterwards, when reflecting on what has been said, that one realises the deceit. I would suggest that in future encounters with this entity, you go prepared and attack him with evidence of what he has said and done. The most excruciatingly awful being his appearance on big brother, drinking milk while pretending to be a cat. Surely, for a grown man to do something like that on TV shows that his mental faculties are to be questioned.

Roddy said...

Iain, you were extraordinarily composed in the circumstances, I really wouoldn't worry about it - in fact you should be proud!

William Blakes Ghost said...

I agree with Victor. You got suckered by a wily old reprobate of the least desirable sort. He set an ambush for you. You walked into it and he tied you in knots within the first few minutes. After that it was all over.

Thing is, you've only got yourself to blame. You knew what he is like. When dealing with such types go in wearing armour and carrying as many weapons as you can.

You didn't last night and ended up complaining about the battlefield instead of fighting the war and it's a shame because the substance of Galloways views (i.e. the war) are BS!

Simon Gardner said...

“We were both shouting at each other, which I am sure why very unedifying to listened to.”

It certainly was. I had it on and switched off when the shouting started.

Anonymous said...

Maybe he was cross because you wouldn't let him be the cat!

Steve Tierney said...

I would call it a draw.

I really don't like George Galloway but he *did* make some fair-ish points. You could have countered them, but you went the wrong route.

What he was saying - that if we'd kept the mines open and supported steel it would work out quite well for us now - has a lot going for it in my opinion.

Your response - that the Climate Change warriors would resent that now - was correct, but wasn't a winning argument in the context.

I would have gone with explaining that nobody can see the future and that given the situation "at the time" it was right to allow market forces to prevail. However, it may have been that the coal mines wouldn't have been quite so thoroughly trashed if the union leaders hadn't made it into such a war.

He's right about one thing, we are sitting on a LOT of energy. With the costs of fuels rising each year and energy becoming so vital for a safe future, I doubt we will be able to ignore the coal down there forever - regardless of Climate Change.

Andy23 said...

In fairness Galloway is the ONLY left wing presenter on that station. The majority of the presenters are right wing and anti Labour. Even the ex footballers on the sports programmes are given opportunity to complain about things like the 50% tax rate Galloway is only on 6 hours a week.

Wavid said...


If you are going to gloat about a radio interview you need to make sure you won! Galloway whooped you and you need to read your history more carefully. I lost count how many times he asked you to comment and have your say and then, when you did, you asked Galloway what he wanted you to comment on!

Iain Dale said...

Wavid, I wasn't gloating.

Andy23 said...

I've just read that you've been on and listened to Talksport before. You must then realise that people who disagrees with the host often get cut off and ridiculed. Jon Gaunt worked there and only got removed after he repeatedly called a local councillor a Nazi and other assorted abuse. (he was keen on the fader as well) Perhaps next time you go on pick a presenter who's more sympathetic to your views.

Anonymous said...


Remember the old adage - never get into a fight with a pig: you both get covered in sh*t, and the pig enjoys it.

lavrentiy beria said...

I've just listened to the piece and I can't see the problem. Gorgeous George may have muted you for a couple of minutes whilst he delivered his rant, he then opened the mic to you and did not try and shout you down or muzzle you. I thought it was a good piece of radio, and you both got your points across.

I disagree with 99% of what GG says, but would accept that he is a formidable debater. You need to be well armed to go into battle with him, but I think this was a fair piece of radio, he gave you as much chance to put your argument as he gave to himself.

Duncan Hall said...

You were pwned (whatever that means).

Jim Baxter said...

What WBG said at 3.08. If you get into a fight and somebody pokes you in the eye you poke them back -you don't stop to complain that nobody else fights that way.

Better to adapt quickly and show that you know your facts, rather than argue about the rules of engagement. I was waiting for you to nail him on the strike-ballot law because I wasn't sure when that came in. If you were sure you should have said so.

killemallletgodsortemout said...

Well played, Iain. Put it down to experience. How you "debate" with a prat like Galloway is beyond me, and you are to be admired for so doing.

How he hasn't been double-tapped by MI5 is one of life's mysteries.

David Hughes said...

I'm surprised you walked into that one, pal. Galloway is a venal twat of the first order - a legend in his own lunchtime. And you didn't think he was going to ambush you or switch your mike off.
Silly boy !
It's an ego trip for him - not a reasoned debate !

Bob Latchford said...

Iain, I'm sorry but you come off looking ridiculous....countless times Galloway tells you to speak (without his interruption) and you sound like a spoilt little child (why should I) (whats the point, etc)

Just like your friend Guido, when Michael White danced all around him on Newsnight, you should stick to the internet where you have time to make thought out, measured responses, rather than live debates with seasoned veterans who make you look a bit daft

Shamik said...

Galloway is scum.

I, for one, will dance on his grave.

What a deceitful, odious little cretin he is; without doubt, the worst MP in Britain's history.

bogus said...

could you not have pointed out to GG, that he should pay more heed to the sordid apologism in his own life? ..given that he was the internationally famous sycophant ass-licker to Saddam Hussain ...& is currently to found sucking-up to the psychopaths of Hamas/Hizbullah