How long can the Galloway-SWP alliance in Respect last? Galloway appears to have little respect for his main partners, the organisation which after all provided the bulk of the foot-soldiers for his victory in Bethnal Green and Bow.
How else to explain his cheerful proclamation of his personal (and reactionary) views on all sorts of issues? On immigration, drugs, abortion... views which were sure to cause consternation among many members of the SWP.
We were reminded of his long-term hatred of Trotskyism during his attendance at the Senate Committee he called Christopher Hitchens, among other things, a “former Trotskyite popinjay”.
In his book Who Do We Vote For Now? rock-pop journalist and ex-Kinnockite John Harris interviews Galloway. As one Trot-hater to another, Harris asks Galloway about his association with the SWP. Galloway replies:
“I have a long track record of opposition to them [Trots].... I think, first of all, in this post-Soviet world, we have to redefine our terms. We’re no longer really talking about Trots. What we’re really talking about is ultra-leftism. If we come across ultra-left groups, we certainly know about it. And the SWP doesn’t behave in an ultra-left way. If it did, it wouldn’t have been the driving force behind the Stop the War movement, which brought two million people onto the streets...
“Like everyone else, they’re changing.... Their leaders are changing. Old ideas are seen to have failed, new ones come along. I think what you’ve got now is an SWP that wants to work in a broad way. I think they’ve taken a parliamentary road; so you should rejoice, rejoice, and not be churlish about it”.
What do average SWP members think about this claim that the SWP is all right because it is not really “Trot” any more?
Their leaders clearly think all this sucking up is worth the prize — self-enlargement. But it may all end in tears. There are signs that many SWP members are getting fed up about deprioritising socialist politics and are leaving the organisation.