Eight reasons not to let George Galloway back in the Labour Party
1. Galloway is a shill for dictators. Last time Galloway was an MP, he was , the third highest-earning MP in parliament. Why? Mainly, he is appearing on TV stations owned by authoritarian regimes: Iran's Press TV; the Kremlin-run RT (formerly Russia Today - on which see Nick Cohen, Oliver Bullough, James Bloodworth); and the Lebanon-based Al Mayadeen, which is supports Assad's murderous regime in Syria and is linked to Hezbollah (in fact, some claim it is owned by a cousin of Assad, Rami Makhlouf). These stations are not just based in authoritarian countries; they are PR mouthpieces for authoritarian regimes. Not only do they systematically distort the truth in the geopolitical interests of these extreme right-wing regimes, but they also regularly host Holocaust revisionists, 9/11 deniers, British fascists and other cranks. Galloway's politics fit in well with this. Back in the 1990s, he praised the "indefatigable" Saddam Hussein. In 2006, he famosly "glorified" Hezbollah and the Shia insurrection in Iraq. In 2005, Galloway visited Syria praised Assad as a "reformer" and "the last Arab ruler". In 2013, when Assad used chemical weapons on Ghouta, Galloway denied it was possible, saying Assad wasn't "mad enough" - a phrase he apparently repeated this year when the regime used chemical weapons on Khan Shaykhun - and speculated that Israel was behind it. And more recently, he has fully endorsed the Russian airstrikes that have killed thousands more Syrians.
5. Galloway is anti-Labour. While being anti-Labour isn't anywhere near of the same order of odiousness as misogyny, antisemitism or support for fascist dictators, it is a good reason not to let someone into the party. Galloway, recall, was expelled in 2003, not for opposing the Iraq war (several other party members, and indeed MPs, opposed the war without expulsion), but for inciting Iraqis to fight British troops, inciting British troops to defy orders, inciting Plymouth voters to reject Labour MPs, and threatening to stand against Labour. After his expulsion, he didn't try to fight his for Glasgow seat as an independent, but instead set about working with the fundamentally anti-democratic Socialist Workers Party to create a new party, Respect. Respect, building on the organisational reach of Islamist activists linked to Islamic Forum Europe (supporters of Jamaat-e-Islami, the South Asian fascist party which collaborated with the Pakistani army to conduct a genocide in Bangladesh in 1971, as Adam Barnett sums it up), created a rival party in Tower Hamlets and Bradford, based on social conservatism, corrupt patronage and anti-war and anti-Zionist rhetoric. Tower Hamlets is still recovering from the damage this caused at municipal level. He has stood against Labour multiple times since, typically against minority ethnic Labour candidates a black woman in Bethnal Green in 2005, an Asian man in Bradford in 2010, an Asian woman in Bradford in 2015, the first Muslim mayor of London in 2016, and an Asian man in Manchester Gorton in 2017. In the recent elections, he claimed to be have been the "real" Corbyn candidate, but it is striking that he announced his candidacies before Labour selected its candidates.
6. Galloway's politics are divisive, communalistic and sectarian. Galloway has portrayed himself as a Muslim in Bradford and Bethnal Green, for instance in 2005 accusing Labour of pursuing a "war on Muslims" or in Bradford putting out a leaflet addressing: "Voters of the Muslim faith and Pakistani heritage in Bradford West", in which he said:
"God KNOWS who is Muslim. And he KNOWS who is not. Instinctively, so do you. Let me point out to all the Muslim brothers and sisters what I stand for... I, George Galloway, do not drink alcohol and never have. Ask yourself if the other candidate in this election can say that truthfully."Although he reprised those themes in 2017, highlighting Kashmir and Palestine in his Gorton by-election campaign, since the Arab Spring, he has increasingly adopted Putin and Assad's Islamophobic and particularly anti-Sunni rhetoric, for instance denouncing the Syrian uprising as "the head-chopping, heart-eating maniacs of ISIS and al-Qaeda [who have] taken up arms against [the] regime." So even as he was talking about Kashmir to Muslim voters, he was dog-whistling to white voters that "an all-Asian shortlist hand-picked by Keith Vaz is just not good enough for the people of Gorton", i.e. that the right man for the job is a white man.
7. Galloway belongs on the far right, not the left. This increasing anti-Sunni rhetoric, along with his hostility towards Jewish causes, admiration for Ba'athism, and intense social conservatism mean he has a lot in common with the hard right. So it was no surprise to see him getting along famously with Nigel Farage as they campaigned together for Brexit. It was no surprise to see him welcoming Donald Trump's inauguration in January.
It was no surprise that Farage associate Arron Banks' Westmonster magazine would bankroll his Gorton election bid in June.In last hr, George Galloway's RTed:— Bob From Brockley (@bobfrombrockley) January 31, 2017
-Piers Morgan praising Trump
-"TeamTrumpRussia" praising Putin
-Spiked saying Hillary's worse than Trump