I understand that The Times are today running a story, based on a story in this week’s ‘Ham and High’, about an altercation I had with a member of the public last week. Should any other media be minded to follow up, I thought I would post the full statement I gave to the Ham and High. As follows:
‘I was walking down Perrin’s Lane last Monday after a run in Hampstead when a man walking towards me began shouting in abusive and aggressive terms as he approached. As I passed him I did not look at him, did not respond to his insults and put my my arm out to his shoulder to stop him coming any closer. If there was any contact at all it was minimal. I walked on a few steps, thought he was doing the same but he turned back, followed me, continued to abuse me and when I turned around he came towards me and aimed a kick at me which came into brief contact with my leg. He then moved back but came forward again and spat at me, most of the spit landing on my shirt, some on my face. I then turned and walked away.
‘He continued to shout abuse as he walked in the other direction. I am confident that any full CCTV coverage of the incident would show all this to be the case. The claim he subsequently made to George Galloway and to which Galloway drew attention on social media – suggesting that I punched and spat at him – is totally untrue, indeed close to being the opposite of the truth. The fact that he went to Galloway rather than the police, does not wish to be identified, and wishes to have his claims made anonymously through Galloway’s office, speaks volumes. I would be more than happy for any CCTV footage to be released, and have made inquiries of the council about any such footage which may exist. I have also kept the shirt unwashed should this go any further, though given the police have better things to do with their time, I have no interest in pressing charges.
‘Though I am used to robust debate, including in public, this is the first time I have been attacked in a public place like this and the first time I have been spat at. We have lived in Gospel Oak, happily and as active members of the local community, for decades and it has always felt a safe and friendly place for me and my family. The only other unpleasant public encounter in which I was involved in recent months was also followed immediately by activity from George Galloway. Again, the version of events you have been given by Galloway’s office on this is false, contrary to the truth, as inquiries of Walthamstow police and the CPS would establish, and I would be happy to put you in touch with those who would give you a truthful account.’
That is the end of the statement. I should add that I have seen the limited CCTV – which captures a few seconds of the above, when we are passing each other. My understanding from the Ham and High, borne out by Galloway’s tweets of last week, is the man said initially he had been punched and spat at by me. Untrue on both counts. Last night the Ham and High told me he had accepted that he provoked me, that he spat at me, and that he aimed a kick at me. They say he continued to claim – wholly falsely – that I spat at him. I note that in the paper he is quoted as saying ‘spitting ensued,’ a neat way perhaps of suggesting this was two-way when in truth the only spitting that took place was his.
Nothing surprises me about Galloway, who was last night tweeting excitedly about ‘exclusive footage’ he had of the incident. But I am somewhat surprised that the Ham and High has allowed this man to maintain his anonymity, despite his story changing as the week wore on, and despite substantial admission of the wholly accurate account I have given above. The reporter told me last night this was because the man had said he was worried about possible intrusion into his family. A bit rich. This has become a ‘story’ purely because of an inaccurate Galloway tweet, via someone who does not wish to be identified, via a partial piece of CCTV which has neither the initial provocation nor the subsequent assault. The man’s identity and motives are surely relevant?
As I say above, I am sure the police have far better things to do than look into any of this. But given that this is now prominently in the public domain, via a respected local paper and The Times, and as other media are following it up, I will be asking Camden Council to expedite any FOI request to footage from a CCTV camera in the area which may have captured the whole encounter.
I refer in my statement to an incident in Walthamstow last year. This was a Labour Party dinner I was speaking at, which was disrupted by Galloway fellow travellers as part of the film he is making about Tony Blair, and led to one of them assaulting a policewoman. Charges were laid against him but later dropped. I had been due to appear as a witness. This was communicated to the Ham and High by Galloway’s office as follows: That I had pressed charges and they had been dropped. The second part of the statement is true. The first is a lie. Indeed, though the police had initially said they intended to charge him with assault against me, I said I did not feel it was merited.
I am now going out and about my NW3 business. Will be running on the Heath later.
At least social media allows you to tell your side of the story. Sorry from a fellow Londoner.
A really difficult call this one. It involves two people and most of the informed public would not believe a word spoken or written by either. Galloway probably wins on the vile score; just.
i saw the video. you are right. there was no contact. George Galloway is a bad man. he was a close friends of saddam hussein. who killed thousands of people. that explains him! good he is leaving parliament!
Sad to hear you have been attacked by a mad man.
Your a fucking loser
Thank you for your well-argued and constructive contribution to the debate.
And you for yours.
Your sentence does not make fucking sense, learn some grammar, twerp.
“One is a fucking loser”, in the Queen’s English, one.
Lol, nice one Ehtch, what what!
Am not averse to criticising Alastair on here, though very seldom if ever personally, usually to point out my disagreements with some of his arguments on behalf of labour and it’s record.
But given that this chap went to Galloway rather than the police, and didn’t want to be identified, and changed his story… well it’s laughable, I completely believe Alastair’s version.
And it went without saying that Alastair would carry on running on the Heath and walking on Hampstead high street.
Galloway on the other hand… so often so promising… so obviously a man of considerable talents in various ways… but why does he compromise himself by associating himself with this kind of rubbish and worse?
It’s rare for me to entirely agree with you so I’ll leap at this opportunity! George Galloway certainly is his own worst enemy.
Rare for me too, so for once, well said Reaguns!
I’m not all bad 🙂
Not while I’m alive he ain’t.
Ah you see I have found myself oft times agreeing with you Dave so I can’t say the same. Maybe I don’t always voice the same though.
Hi, I was titillated by your ‘in wiv the gang’ posts recently about Emily Thornberry and her tweeted photo vs: Labour credentials (re what you called her ‘north London’ snobbery).
Trust you feel the same narrow-mindedness re AC’s adjacency to a ‘heath’? I’ll risk a silly lol ……
Re the ‘considerable talents’ you mention, aren’t they wasted on GGalloway? … great voice and enunciation but used only as weapons in a showy pretence of being just one of the people (while his Islamic conversion seems to have been exploitation of it – allowing him having two wives at the same time – for a while).
Hi Michele, if I could summarise the points I made to you re Emily Thornberry, it seemed to me that she was either:
1. Mocking this guy for being so common, with his ghastly white van, england flags, and general working classness;
2. Saying that this guy, and by association anyone who flies an england flag (or rather 3 england flags one of which also had a west ham emblem in his case), was a racist. A skinhead undesirable.
I do think it was one of the above. I don’t know if it was 1 or 2. But if it was 1, then that is unacceptable especially for a labour MP, and Ed was right to sack her.
If it was 2, then she should have had the bottle to say so (because how could it have made her look any worse).
Because she did not come out and say it was 2, then we have to assume it was 1, and hence she deserves the sacking. I am not asking if you agree, but do you see what I am saying?
Then you put it to me, would I like this guy living on my street. And unlike Emily, I told you straight up that no I wouldn’t! I thought he would be a football hooligan racist skinhead, on average, to have his house decorated like that!
If someone has one england flag up during the world cup, or during a royal wedding or something, or one on their car at those times that is one thing. But in my experience the kind of people who have them up all year round tend to be Millwall/West Ham/EDL/BNP supporters, and no I don’t want them on my street, I used to live on a street with such a person and I didn’t like it.
Re Galloway, yes sadly I think those talents are wasted on him. There have been flashes of geniuses, and times I have seen him take the fight to someone when I thought “Go on George” but sadly there are a far greater number of occasions when, as I say, he has associated himself with drivel that contradicts his image of himself.
…… you assert because it was not about YOUR version of ‘this’ then it must have been about YOUR version of ‘that’ ……like YOU are the expert on all available options eh? Grrrrrrrr
Have you forgotten it was ‘AN’ election night?
NO, she tweeted it because of the event actually taking place; another defection to UKIP (which claims not to be a racist party so wth linked it with her supposedly making accusations of ‘racism’ re the van owner rather than simple and honest pessimism about Labour’s chance there)?
The pic was not about the sodding white van anyway, it was about the adornments of (only) the house.
UNwise tweet, but the constituency was never likely to be a Labour win anyway, EM should have ameliorated with some INFO instead of kneejerk ‘authority’.
Oh and forgot to answer one point, firstly no I don’t believe I have ever had any reason to believe that Alastair is snobbish in any way, so I don’t think he is like Thornberry in that sense.
Secondly I don’t think someone is a snob just because they live in North London / Hampstead Heath / Islington.
Thirdly, whilst he can argue with the best of them, I don’t think he comes across, ever, as smug, smarmy, patronising and condescending the way Emily Thornberry does.
Fourthly, not only do I think Alastair would be too smart to tweet such a picture even if he shared such views, but I think that Emily got off lightly, as in can you imagine if she had been part of the Blair administration and done that, and had to face Alastair afterwards? Methinks the walk would have been even longer and the alley even shorter than she found it to be under Ed…
You’ll just have to excuse me thinking your accusation of ‘snobbery’ really was solely about where she dares choose to live (and subsidised to do so).
No of course AC wouldn’t post such a tweet (and not simply because of its footy flags – purportedly denoting Englishness while doing no such thing).
Consider yourself excused. 🙂
Re the other post that I didn’t realise I hadn’t replied to, I guess we will have to agree to disagree, because of course it is MY interpretation of what it meant, that was kind of my point: here is what (I think) MOST people would think she meant, absent any honest explanation from her, none of which was forthcoming.
Oh dear. Gorgeous GG, what a plonker. Ignore the confabulator Ali, he’s lost it. And as for that fella on the street, they are everywhere – yes? All mouth and no trousers.
haha the long rant above blames Galloway for you hitting am old man in the street???
Galloway cant be taken seriously, remember when he was on big brother. was he wearing some sort of red dress or something?
He seems to be obsessed with T.B/Alastair. I have never heard T.B mention Galloway once in a interview, because he has no time for his childish games.
hilarious, except that he didn’t hit an old man in the street…
Face it Alistar look at the mess in the middle east, you and Blair will go down in history as dangerous fools.
Would you mind explaining what you think would have happened if SH had been left in power? I’m interested, you must have a good idea.
I also wonder whether you’ve ever wondered what happened to the poison gas that was KNOWN to have been there in the recent past?
Would anyone honest (and unbiased) actually believe anything except the two explanations we’ve already heard of:
1. Hans Blix was convinced (at 5 weeks in) that mass WMDs had not been found in Iraq yet because what little remained had been sent for storage / safe hiding in Syria (with the help of SH’s mate there).
2. Many others have explained that most had been used up years earlier on the 100k civilians found buried in Halabja. Rather a sick hiding method don’t think?
I’m always curious about the righteous people that can somehow ignore the proven activities of vicious murdering bullies who acted on their own ‘initiative’ and can carp on for years about people who acted on/with formal group decisions.
Helpful hint – use the correct spelling of someone’s name so we know which ‘sounds like’ you’re addressing without having to guess re to whom the spite is directed.
What do you suggest we do about North Korea?
Can’t contemplate how awful things there must be.
Have worked briefly in South Korea and found relationships very hard to fathom, totally baffling. Real ‘Heart of Darkness’ stuff (albeit that re Congo) ….. so the north?
Don’t envy those with the decision to make
Gobsmackingly beautiful landscape but shocking lack of care for the environment in the cities; heaviest rainy season I’ve ever seen.
IF your point was meant to be about my support of what DID happen as opposed to what other ‘whatifs’, perhaps you can describe what you think would be the situation now in Iraq if the west had not intervened (as in would SH’s gas ‘just’ have been used on more Iraqis vs those on whom it was used by Assad so recently?).
Oooops, in one that hasn’t floated on yet I think I confused me Vietnams with me Koreas …… have only been to the south of the latter and would defer to you about its partitioned neighbour. It’s the upside-down paper cup green mountains in each that mingled in the thick matter 🙁
Alastair, I salute your indefatigability!
Galloway’s really outdone himself this time, hasn’t he? Just when you think he couldn’t possibly be any more embarrassing. Sending lots of love and support your way!
Whether you agree over Iraq or not is completely irrelevant sam.
The fact is Alastair Campbell is a human being and a father, who is entitled to go about his business and his daily life., and yet some thug starts to verbally abuse him. Which is disgusting, I can relate to Alastair’s ordeal as my parents and I have suffered this kind of thing before. There’s just a lot of sad people out there, he’s most likely a 61 year old jobless twat walking around the streets and lives on the dole and most likely resentful of Alastair’s career and achievements.
Get off his back!
My sentiments exactly. This kind of mindless, uninformed nastiness is prevalent on social media and it’s sickening. Whenever I challenge airheads who think it’s OK to personally abuse people they’ve never met, they rapidly reveal their total ignorant of the facts too. Or, as with Galloway, run away from debate by relying on the block button.
You know all about propaganda alastair… openly admitting to have sexed up the Iraq dosier should see you rotting in jail…
Can you tell me why you go along with the ugly term ‘sexed up’?
It was coined by someone who at least had the grace, very belatedly to admit, was still woozy and hung over at the time of the interview.
It’s obvious from the rest of your post that you’re inspired by hate (two wrongs etc).
I post with my real name and its capital – do you?
I distrust any politician and anyone that works in or for the government. I truly believe that they are in it firstly for themselves and if they can do good along the way, it is only a byproduct.
On this occasion though, I am completely with Alistair. I am sure Alistair has done enough spin in his time and sometimes lied outright for his gain or because if his honest belief, but Galloway is on a different league.
Galloway appeals to all the desperate people who are not happy with their lives and wish to blame it on Islamo-phobia, Jews or Israel, not realizing that they’re pushing a solution further away.
I am not surprised that without checking facts, Galloway immediately started a social-network storm, the people following him, don’t expect him to be reliable, accurate or morally right, they just want some good old anti-war and Israel bashing. (although, you will never catch him say a bad word about Syria or Iran, who basically pay his salary)
Gallers should definitely have left this opaque affair well alone. But it’s depressing to see how many people have internalized the mainstream political / media-class narrative on George. Have a look at the man in debate with any mainstream commentator on you tube and see who invariably comes out on top. You might not like him, but try and dispute his truths.
I agree that GG has a big voice and vocab and all the AmDram tactics of EMphasis but they do not turn what he says in to ‘truths’ (his or any bugger else’s – get real).
‘Gallers’? More like Gallocks.
I wonder how many more apt extensions of ‘gall’ there are.
I’d prefer GallAway (the yucky little exploitative adulterer). If I was Muslim I’d be mightily offended by his exploitation of its allowance for more than one wife.
Oooh thanks Mark but I think that one (in fact much of that evening’s in or output) was all very unladylike of me!…….. picks up hoops and runs to find a lacy hankie 🙁
If a man, a stranger, ran up to me, insulted me, kicked and spat at me, I wouldn’t be likely to give him a friendly hug in exchange. The man should be named and shamed; Campbell is the injured party here. And please, you people bleating on about his role in the middle east, give it a rest. We’ve heard it all before. I greatly doubt there is any connection between that and the current assault. People with high moral aspirations are not normally known to insult, kick and above all spit at those with whom they disagree.
To my mind, GG is very much of the Oscar Wilde “the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about” school of PR.
I suspect AC and GG have more to unite them than divide them (which they would no doubt vehemently deny!), but I’d pay good money to see them as a tag-team against the Tories!
As someone who is totally against Blairite politics and the Iraq war, I’d rather have you in charge than that Stalinist loon any day!
This story epitomises what is wrong in our society including our politicians. Alastair I salute you as a man that always behaves with dignity & honour, we can not say the same for George. I wish to remind fellow readers this is the man that improvised being a cat on one of the worst TV shows in history, why is he still viewed as a politician? He does not have the ability to bring your name into bad repute.
galloway and campbell both…pair of psychopaths…trying to figure out which ones worse…its no cooincidence people want to attack shifty eyed holier than thou psychopaths, hopefully tony blairs next.