Galloway angers public over 'window licker' tweet
28 August 2012
George Galloway has been criticised for his use of the term "window licker", over concerns of causing offence towards disabled people, the Guardian has reported. But a spokesman for the MP has defended the use of the "street term", claiming the report is part of a "campaign against George".
According to the Guardian, Galloway tweeted to user @Hawfa that "you badly need medical help son. Will decent Rangers fans please substitute this windae-lickerů"
The tweet was attacked as insensitive by fellow Twitter users, with many individuals calling for apologies and Galloway's resignation as MP for Bradford West.
@Skipjack451 wrote: "I wonder what the disabled members of your constituency will make of your use of the slur 'window licker'? You're a disaster."
@x__tracy__x wrote: "It's bad when MP use disability hate term 'window licker' especially as he is MP in #Bradford high disability here @georgegalloway #georgeout."
"I know people who've lost their job for calling disabled people window lickers ur a dam disgrace using that phrase," wrote @dukesy12.
In 2003, the term "window licker" was voted on a BBC disability talk show as the third most offensive when referring to a disabled person.
Dan Scorer, senior campaigns and policy manager at Mencap said the charity was "appalled" that a member of parliament had used this "unacceptable term of abuse, which is deeply offensive to disabled people."
"Hate crime and bullying are a daily reality for many disabled people and the use of language like this only furthers hostility and violence," he said. "We call on him to apologise immediately."
But in a response to the Guardian story, a spokesman for Galloway said the MP had been "engaging in a dispute on Twitter with a Zionist Rangers supporter - aka Hun, in street language".
"He used the term, the street term, to dismiss the guy as a moron. Or idiot. Or doolally," the spokesman said.
"To dress this up as some kind of slur on disabled people is shameful."
The comments follow recent concerns by Respect Party leader Salma Yaqoob over Galloway's remarks on rape, which she described as "deeply disappointing and wrong".