Galloway defeated

Submitted by martin on 12 May, 2010 - 9:44

One good thing about the 6 May results: it looks as if George Galloway is finally out of British politics.

In 2004 Galloway, expelled from the Labour Party, was offered a troop of activists to sustain him as a political figure by the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), who founded the Respect movement with Galloway as figurehead.

The SWP hoped that Respect would enable them to win over Muslim youth brought onto the streets by the marches against the Iraq war, and so agreed to overlook Galloway's record of friendship with leading figures in Saddam Hussein's regime; of taking money from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the Emirates for his political enterprises; and of never being particularly left-wing even in Labour Party terms.

By 2007 Galloway and the SWP had fallen out. The SWP hived off, leaving Galloway with a rump. However, Galloway had been elected as MP for Bethnal Green and Bow in 2005, and Respect had won 12 seats on Tower Hamlets council in 2006, so the rump Respect still had hopes as an electoral if not as a grass-roots activist force.

On 6 May Galloway's designated successor, Abjol Miah, finished third in Bethnal Green and Bow. Galloway himself, moving to the neighbouring constituency of Poplar and Limehouse, also finished third.

The twelve Tower Hamlets Respect councillors of 2006 had already been whittled down by defections, and after 6 May only one remains.

Respect still has three council seats in Birmingham. Only one of those was up for contest on 6 May, and Salma Yaqoob defended that successfully. She also did relatively well in the parliamentary election, winning 25% and coming second in the Hall Green constituency.

This may be partly because Yaqoob has a more left-wing - and less demagogic! - political profile than Galloway, and, although a religious Muslim herself, is less Muslim-communalist than the Catholic Galloway.


Submitted by david kirk on Thu, 13/05/2010 - 21:55


You ask "How can it ever be good news that a genuinely left-wing politician is left out of parliament?". It is a good thing because Galloway is a populist demagogue who hides all sorts of reactionary ideas behind a thin left wing facade. His profile as Britain's most prominent left wing MP means he helps conflate socialism in peoples minds with support for brutal anti working class regimes.

Just a few things that make him reactionary and not left wing:

- When asked to take an average workers wage he refused saying: "I couldn’t live on three workers’ wages."

- He is against womans reproductive freedom. At a hustings in Bethnal Green and Bow he said "'I have all my life been against abortion and against euthanasia".

- He has worked for Press TV, an arm of the Iranian state. He is an apologist for the brutal regime, and has refused to condemn the execution of protesters and LGBT people by his paymaster.

- He has praised anti working class and anti-Semitic clerical fascists like Hamas and Hezbollah.

- He didn't bother to vote against the digital economy bill, 90 day detention or many other right wing measures.

Plus I think your reading skills need working on: "Liberty for workers, but only as long as they're available to the SWP, right? Shite.". Workers Liberty are not the SWP. Our website is full of articles critical of the SWP. One of their lowest moments in our view was when the SWP broke up the Socialist Alliance to create the Respect lash up with Galloway.

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