Much unkind comment has been passed on George Galloway, MP for Bradford West. He is accused of being a "pimp for fascism", of operating an unregistered charity for personal gain, of sucking up to Saddam Hussein and, perhaps most damningly, of killing satire with a rusty crowbar and leaving it to rot in a ditch.
This is only to be expected. This man (and what a man!) has fearlessly stood against imperialist tyranny in all its many guises. He has defended enlightened statesman Bashar Al-Assad from the devastating onslaught of disgusting, vicious truths directed at him by CIA stooges. He has had the wisdom and insight to overrule a pair of rape-accusing flibbertigibbets (and likely CIA stooges), who seem to think their so-called "lived experience" means something when measured against Galloway's unrivalled expertise in the field of "sexual etiquette". He has repeatedly challenged the decadent, bourgeois assumption that elected politicians should conduct themselves with a modicum of dignity and decency. No wonder such noted tools of Western imperialism (and likely CIA stooges) as the leader of his own party have sought to smear and discredit him at every turn.
It would be entirely understandable if such a man - if indeed he is a man, and not some kind of virile demigod unworthy of our mortal eyes and ears - chose to ignore such guttersniping as beneath his dignity. The beloved father of the Bradford Spring, though, has surpassed our expectations yet again. Instead of letting these vile calumnies stand, he has conducted his own impartial investigation. On September 8th 2012, having canvassed a broad range of commentators, from Galloway supporters to opponents of Galloway's enemies, he published the results on his Twitter feed by re-tweeting them. In the interest of putting this sordid matter to bed, let's take a closer look.
@georgegalloway Hi George, I'm a 17 year old Muslim and you're my role model. To get a re-tweet off you would make my month.
— Shamsul (@Shamsul__) September 8, 2012
See? Heartwarming. This young man is evidently highly sincere and idealistic. Only a churl of the worst kind would remind him that Galloway's friend and business associate, Saddam Hussein, saw to it that countless young Muslims would never see the age of 17.
@georgegalloway follow georgegalloway, the man who says it like it is. The man who is a rarity, he should be cloned.
— Arda (@ArdaWhateverian) September 8, 2012
More measured praise, in contrast to the hysterical exaggerations of Galloway's enemies. Some medical advice, though: regrettably, the mental image of a world inhabited by thousands of identical George Galloways has been known to cause mild cases of violent projectile vomiting. Presumably as a result of excess joy.
@georgegalloway Thank u 4 ur brave attitude. I won't ever forget your interview with Anna Botting on Sky news during Lebanese war of 2006
— Mahdi Jawad (@MJawad88) September 8, 2012
None of us will, Mahdi. None of us. Like most people, my life is divided into two chapters: "after I saw Anna Botting interview George Galloway on Sky News" and "the Before Time, of which We Shall Not Speak".
— A(@_KeepStriving_) September 8, 2012
What do you mean, "nightmarish vision of dystopia"? They're just saying.
@georgegalloway Just been talking at work about when you stood your ground at U.S Senate - hat off to you. They never saw you coming!
— Jamie Laverty (@JamieLaverty) September 8, 2012
Early days, but the data so far certainly suggests a consensus forming. I hope the haters are feeling very ashamed.
@georgegalloway such a reassurance to know that there are ppl who still dare to uphold principles n truth! God bless you!
— Fatimah Shah (@fshah_) September 8, 2012
Don't know about you, but when I hear the name George Galloway, "principles" and "truth" are among the first words to cross my mind.
Confirmed! You're mastery of the English language is out of this world sir, you speak it awesomely. I'm a great fan. @georgegalloway
— A.J (@MonsieurShaka) September 8, 2012
Not just a fearless speaker of truth to power, but a great speaker, period. At this point, I'm almost ashamed to share a continent with this paragon.
@georgegalloway gives a voice to the millions who are afraid to speakup
— Abujunayd (@Aboojunayd) September 8, 2012
Who else will speak for the forgotten minority - mass-murdering dictators?
@georgegalloway Lets help the UK's most honest MP get past 91000 follows.
— Nathan Mclaughlin (@MrSocko7) September 8, 2012
Other MPs waste their time with trivialities like speaking to constituents and passing legislation. Our George fights the real battles.
@georgegalloway You earned huge respect the day you roared like a lion to the US senate and demolished them 7 years ago - just amazing.
— Wilden (@__cpw__) September 8, 2012
Another moment we all remember: the day George Galloway made an entire branch of the United States government literally crumble to dust with just the power of his voice. It is still spoken of wherever two or more gather.
@georgegalloway without a shadow of a doubt the best politician in the country... Galloway for PrimeMinister!!! God Willing
— Zaid.S (@ZaidSethi) September 8, 2012
Some might call this hyperbole, but based on the track record, I feel confident in saying that God would be more than willing to let Galloway run the country.
@georgegalloway THERE'S ONLY ONE GORGEOUS GEORGE! Mr Suave, Mr Straight Talker, Mr Senate Slayer, lady's and gentlemen Mr Galloway!
— Turkish Jamal (@JamalTurkish) September 8, 2012
Great, now I need another change of underwear. Third one since I started writing this article.
Don't be surprised by @georgegalloway on twitter tonight.. He has devoted his whole life to standing up 2 justice. So what's a few RT's.
— Mr. T (@alitaha81) September 8, 2012
I've saved the best till last, as this is surely the most accurate tweet of all, regardless of what its author intended. George Galloway has devoted his career to standing up to justice, and justice has yet to catch up with him.
Well, the results are in, and I think it's safe to say that the honourable member's reputation is now beyond reproach. But that's not all. In addition to taking the time to rebut his critics so definitively, this modest man (Adonis? Avatar?) has sought to relieve the burden on British taxpayers. Once upon a time, he would use his position to fly all over the world, endorsing leaders of all shapes and sizes - Iranian Islamist dictators, Venezuelan socialist dictators, Korean Stalinist dictators, you name it. In these austere times, that would be inappropriate, so Galloway has instead decided to recreate the atmosphere of a totalitarian dictatorship on his Twitter feed.
As ever, an example to us all.
Follow Tom Doran on Twitter: www.twitter.com/portraitinflesh