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I’ll do it, but only if you’ll help

Pledge “celebBB”

"I will write to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards to complain about George Galloway appearing on Celebrity Big Brother but only if 100 other British citizens will do the same."

— Hana Loftus

Deadline to sign up by: 1st February 2006
155 people signed up (55 over target)

Country: United Kingdom

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I think that George Galloway is breaking the Code of Conduct for MPs (see by appearing on Celebrity Big Brother. If you think so too, sign up and I will draft a letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner, and circulate to all the people who sign up so that they can send a copy too.

Anyone can sign up (not just Bethnal Green & Box constituents) as any member of the British public is eligible to complain about a particular MP.

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Comments on this pledge

  • No way. The people in his constituency voted for him on an anti-war, anti Bliar ticket. He now has potentially 3 weeks to shame Blair and Neo Liebour, live on T.V.

    The people who voted for him will love him for it.

    Yes he is mad and a rubbish MP in general, but as an anti-war leader he's doing what his supporters want.
  • I am a constituent and I didn't vote for him. The fact is that an MP is meant to serve all constituents and not just the ones who voted for him. This is all the more true when an MP is elected by an incredibly slim majority, as Galloway was.
  • Could you clarify which part of the Code of Conduct you think Galloway is breaking by appearing on BB? Duty to constituents? Bringing the House into disrepute? I'm not clear on where the breach is supposed to be.

    Also, when drafting the letter, you will try to spell the constituency right, won't you...? ;-)
    Tom P, 15 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • He got a pretty slim majority - hardly a mandate. But anyway, it's not like he's been working hard on behalf of his constituents up to now - he's only bothered to turn up for 15% of the votes in the House (of Commons that is, not the Big Brother House) since he's been elected.
  • I think he's breaching the general principles and spirit of public service, and the more specific points:

    "Members have a general duty to act in the interests of the nation as a whole; and a special duty to their constituents"

    "Holders of public office should take decisions solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends."

    "Members shall at all times conduct themselves in a manner which will tend to maintain and strengthen the public's trust and confidence in the integrity of Parliament and never undertake any action which would bring the House of Commons, or its Members generally, into disrepute."
  • This is going to be the political televisual event of the decade. Galloway will triumph or crash & burn. I might actually take an interest in CBB, it's going to be entertaining. :-)

    I am not going to complain to anybody.
  • Hana, I'm seriously thinking of signing as I largely agree that GG is in contravention of the clauses of the code you mention. However, I have doubts insofar as he seems to (sincerely, or as close as he gets) believe that he is acting in the interest of the country (by publicising his anti-war message); and in the public interest (because he thinks -- wrongly in my view -- that more young people voted on BB than in the election; therefore he's showing them real democracy). He also isn't gaining material benefits for any individuals (not counting Hamas). I'm pretty sure than merely appearing on BB beaks the "Members shall at all times conduct themselves ..." clause. That seems the most subjective objection and I don't know how much impact a letter I wrote based on that alone would have.

    NB my objection to GG's appearance isn't based on a particular animus against the man himself, but because I believe that MPs -- like teachers-- get long enough holidays as it is, and anyone who spends time away had better have a bloody good reason. And that goes for all MPs who don't vote as often as they might. (Far too many.)

    No forget all that, I'll sign.
  • You may be right regarding whatever GG's 'public interest' arguments may be for going on BB. But I also believe that its quite a serious dereliction of duty to his constituents from someone who's a terrible constituency MP at the best of times. I'm sure you read what was in the Guardian today about this but in case not, it's at
  • I was and still am a supporter of the war in Iraq, so not a fan on gorgeous george because of his biased rhetoric (all in favour of hearing other rational arguements). On this case he should be at his constituency clinics, not courting popular opinion on a third rate tv show
    Alex Davies, 15 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • I'd like to make it clear that I don't buy the "constituency clinic" argument. Anne Robinson (who apparently finds GG "charming") said on Andrew Marr's show yeterday that other MPs spend longer than 3 weeks out of the country on fact-finding missions. And she's right. Nor do I begrudge MPs the right to take holidays out of the country. There is often a delay between an MP being approached by a constituent and his or her reply (if any). That is just a fact of life.

    My objection to GG's appearance on Big Brother is based solely on his non-attendance in the House, which is only excusable (in my view) by more pressing public interest commitments (such as fact-finding, sitting on committees, answering constituents, or ministerial duties). This is truancy, pure and simple, and if this criticism catches on, I hope it can be used as a wedge to place pressure on other skiving MPs.
  • Dave - of course, MPs spend a fair amount of time away from their constituencies on relevant fact-finding missions. But I would argue that normally they are in constant contact with their staff back in their constituency so they are still aware of what's going on. Given that the Guardian could find absolutely no way of getting hold of GG last Friday, I would consider this a dereliction of duty towards his constituents. (Maybe this is not confined to his spell in the BB house but a general complaint about his lack of interest in constituency affairs...but still, BB can be a hook to hang this criticism on!)

    This isn't a fact-finding mission (which is anyway relevant work) nor a holiday (which, in any case, GG could take in the long summer recess or any other time) - it is, as you say, truancy from his duties as a serving MP. And I certainly agree that I would like more skiving MPs to be caught out.
  • I'm also a constituent of Bethnal Green & Bow, and did not vote for GG. He scraped in using a knee-jerk reaction against the Iraq War, and is using his position as a soap box to spout his opinions to anyone who can be bothered to listen. He is not interested in serving the members of his constituency on essential matters that affect our daily lives. It might not be as exciting as playing to large audiences but it is vital for the community's well-being.
    I would say that eventually people will realise that GG is suffering from Jeffrey Archer syndrome, and one day his ego will have to burst.
    Lisa Cunningham, 15 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • As a Scotsman, I am appalled and ashamed at the behaviour of Galloway. He may have manipulated a seat in the Commons by appealing to a voting public in that area who feel under-represented. There are unaswered issues there, but it seems clear to me that he is an opportunist of the first magnitude.
    Robert Marshall, 15 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Before any of you have a knee jerk reaction and say that you support / do not support the views of George Galloway please take a moment to read the Code of Conduct. He (or any other MP who chooses to paticipate) is is in blatent disregard for many of the guidlines by appearing on such a show. Whatever your political views, an MP is an important position in this country and should not be treated as a 'celebrity' occupation.
    Dave Flanagan, 15 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Doesn't all this prove that GG is all about shameless self-promotion?!

    Now if he was left in that enclosed space with Jeremy Paxman.... then it would be interesting TV!!
    melancholly, 15 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • "He (or any other MP who chooses to paticipate) is is in blatent disregard for many of the guidlines by appearing on such a show."

    Which guidelines? I think you refer to party guidelines. GG is the leader of his own party, and almost certain to loose at the next general election. He can do pretty much what he wants to further that party's interests. He probably does stand to gain more through the tawdry media of CBB than the Houses of Parliament.

    Note that Channel4 seem to have edited out every bit of political content uttered by GG. He has most likely overestimated the value of this soap-box.
  • Salim, we're talking about the The Code of Conduct for Members of Parliament as explained and linked to in Hana's explanation of her pledge to write "a letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner." Do try reading what others have said before jumping in.
  • I will be signing the pledge - just wanted to point out another part of the Parliamentary Code of Conduct that Galloway appears in breach of; more clearly, I think, than some others that have already been mentioned:


    Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might influence them in the performance of their official duties."

    He has a contract with Channel 4, and this has ensured that he won't be at his constituency surgery, or in the House for up to three weeks. Seems clear cut, Mr Galloway.
  • I have signed this pledge. I was against the war and marched against it. However, George Galloway lost any respect (no pun intended) from me thanks to his disgraceful fawning over some of the worst dictators in recent history.

    MPs should be either in Parliament or in their constituencies, not making fools of themselves on Celebrity Big Brother.
  • George Galloway should be working flat out as much as he possibly can at his constituency, given that he scraped into office with about 800 votes. He should also remember that as an elected MP, he needs to serve the interests of ALL his constituents, regardless of whether they voted for him and regardless of whether they agree with his views on Palestine, Iraq, Nicaragua or any other of his personal pet interests.
    George should have realised that he would be breaking the MP Code of Conduct by appearing on BB. He should also have been aware that Channel4 would not be able to transmit many of his comments as they would be interpreted as being biased political opinions. And if George says that he was not aware of either of these two things then I think he is unfit to be an MP and that he deserves the Respect of nobody.
    robert young, 15 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Sadly, this appears to be just another in a long line of cheap populist stunts this dangerous demagogue has whored himself into.
    Andrew Metz, 15 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • What was the old 2 Ronnies joke?

    A vote to make attendance at the House of Commons compulsory was today defeated by 3 votes to 2...
    Nick, 15 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Pooh on all you pontificating prats. Life's short. Get a sense of humour! I know lots of people, young and old, who think George is great. What other politician (or journalist) could stand up to such scrutiny? He's got minor character flaws but generally is proving to be a man of integrity and dignity. I'm not a fan of Reality TV- it's decadent Roman circus fare with the public acting as both audience and lions- but I have tuned in to watch George. He just might win this. Go Galloway,hup ye boyo!
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Current signatories (Green text = they've done it)

Hana Loftus, the Pledge Creator, joined by:

  • Melissa Bean
  • Jessica Reed
  • Gavin Pearson
  • Gilles Ubaghs
  • Iain Collins
  • Ayo Ajanaku
  • John Foster-Hill
  • David Hemy
  • Alastair Rowe
  • Nicholas Kissen
  • Nuala Toman
  • Helen G
  • Ben Gidley
  • David Lomax
  • Dan Madeira
  • ian jindal
  • Paul Goulden
  • David Northfield
  • Simon Dowe
  • Dave Weeden
  • alex rhys-taylor
  • Keir Bramman
  • Milt Mavrakakis
  • Adrian Bradley
  • Simon Century
  • Mr Eugenides
  • rosie
  • Joshua Peck
  • Miriam Binder
  • Stephen Moore
  • Avril Honan
  • David Chater
  • Nick Taylor
  • Linus Turner
  • Ben Wilkes
  • Max Thomas
  • Sareta Puri
  • Jason Kilby
  • Lisa Cunningham
  • Donna Lightbown
  • Adam Field
  • Ulyssa MacMillan
  • Ian Allsop
  • Jenny Cunningham
  • Ceri White
  • Kally Singh Sahota
  • Sarmini Ghosh
  • Robert Marshall
  • Jenny Sheridan
  • Randeep Savage Mithran Dhe Motor Teh
  • Juniorr Flex Like Jattman Robin
  • David Flanagan
  • Cleo Small
  • Matthew Davis
  • jason harrison
  • Kristy Schirmer
  • kelly parker
  • Karan Malhotra
  • Sarah Lambert
  • Sarah Weaver
  • Chris Seymour
  • Russell Eagling
  • Kiel Meakin
  • Elizabeth Todd
  • Chris Harris
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  • Oliver Bradley
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