Coffee House

Galloway’s ugly politics

31 March 2012

1:22 PM

31 March 2012

1:22 PM

Helen Pidd’s report of George Galloway’s victory in Bradford West recounts what happened just after he had
arrived back from the count:

‘Galloway climbed on top of a grey car and was handed a megaphone to preach to the assembled faithful.

All praise to Allah!" he yelled, to jubilant cries of "Allah Allah!" And on it went. "Long live Iraq! Long live Palestine!" ‘

First of all this suggests that enthusiasm for Galloway wasn’t, as some are suggesting, driven by his opposition to austerity but by his sectional appeal. Second, it is a
depressing reminder of what is happening to British politics.

There’ll be a lot of ink spilled in the next few days on the limitations of Britain’s political parties. Much of this will be accurate: it is hardly inspiring that the argument of the
three main parties so often boils down to we are the least worst option. But Galloway represents an even uglier form of politics, one based around crude communal appeals.

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Show comments
  • Capn Flint

    “his sectional appeal”
    I’m guessing you wrote ‘his sectarian appeal’ then either you or an editor altered it.
    ‘Sectional appeal’ is nonsense.

  • TomTom

    “Also the reality of Iraq and Afganistan shows how right Galloway was to oppose these wars.”

    Not quite clear why my nephew should be deployed there to fight India’s War, but I had thought India gained independence in 1947, now I find Britain didn’t

  • John Edwards

    It is actually a defeat for communalist politics. By selecting a Muslim candidate of Pakistani background Labour thought the usual channels would guarantee victory. How wrong they were (and anyway did Parliamant need another lawyer). Also the reality of Iraq and Afganistan shows how right Galloway was to oppose these wars.

  • Hexhamgeezer

    Erica Blair @ 31st 11:54pm

    But not public schoolgirls like yourself?

  • Nicholas

    Erica Blair, rubbing our nose in Galloway, eh?

    How strange it must be to construct a whole ideology around the hatred of an abstract – “the Spectator’s Public Schoolboys”.

    You do realise that you are a parody of yourself don’t you?

  • Douglas Aitken

    Galloway’s rejection of imperialist wars is far less ugly than Labour’s endorsement of one and a half million dead Iraqis or those in Afghanistan or Libya.
    Galloway incidentally also doesn’t support the persecution of the didsabled unlike Labour. My quality of life was very adversly affected by Atos who made me even iller than I already was after my first operation. In fact, I can think of nothing more ugly than the Labour party.

  • TomTom

    “Any party that tries to use divisive politics to get the support of just one ethnic and religious culture would surely be attacked merciless by the liberal media led by the BBC.”

    Funny Labour in Bradford has been doing so for years, and Tories and LibDems put out completely different leaflets in Urdu, and Baroness Warsi is on YouTube answering questions in Urdu.

    Hypocrites all. You simply don’t like your Cartel being disturbed by Voters

  • Ron Todd

    I have no problem with smaller parties emerging and gaining support. As long as they support some basic principles of our society. One being rule of law with one law applied to all equally. That cannot be sharia law because it excludes women and those who do not have a particular religion from equality.

    Any party that tries to use divisive politics to get the support of just one ethnic and religious culture would surely be attacked merciless by the liberal media led by the BBC.

  • daniel maris

    Well, at last the Bubblies are catching up with the rest of us and realising this result was primarily an Islamic phenomenon.

  • Erica Blair

    I love how the Gorgeous One gets up the collective nose of the Spectator’s Public Schoolboys!

  • J H Holloway

    I’d nip back in time to this Spectator piece from 2008….

    Although Powell abandoned imperialism, he never discarded his fear that immigration would introduce communalism, thereby destroying Britain’s homogeneous electorate on which, he believed, its parliamentary system depended.

    For Powell, India’s bloodbath and America’s race riots confirmed where communalism led. This nightmare was the real source of his ‘rivers of blood’ speech.

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/essays/all/526601/part_4/the-real-tributaries-of-enochandx2019s-andx2018rivers-of-bloodandx2019.thtml

  • Wilhelm 1

    Tom Tom compliments Austin Barry

    ” You sound like Enoch Powel.”

  • Fergus Pickering

    Danielle, of course people don’t SUPPORT austerity. The problem is, you useless paerson, that there is NO MONEY. That is why we are printing the stuff. Do you want us to print more? What do you suggest, from the abyss of your ignorance, that we should do about this? Do you support George Galloway’s policy? Do you know what it is?

  • David Lindsay

    Sov_Res, it won’t have been Arabic. It was probably Urdu, or possibly Punjabi, neither of which uses Arabic script. If you can’t tell the difference…

    On Any Questions, Sir George Young, Leader of the House of Commons, revived the story of George Galloway’s previous suspension from that House because of questions around the funding of the Mariam Appeal.

    Well, Liam Fox’s Atlantic Bridge has been deregistered as a charity because it was really just a device whereby the Israeli Far Right, its American Amen Corner, and the genocidal government of Sri Lanka, ran an alternative foreign policy out of the office of Her Majesty’s Secretary of State for Defence.

    So, when is Liam Fox going to be suspended from the House of Commons? Or, more appropriately, expelled from it?

  • Sean O’Hare

    Clear Memories

    Just as the white immigrants in Australia have improved the lot of the Aborigines so the immigrant groups back in the UK improve the lot of the Celts and Anglo-Saxons

    You can believe in an improved lot if you like. I beg to disagree. As yet the Celts don’t have much to put up with and the Anglo-Saxons are still asleep – more’s the pity.

  • Rhoda Klapp

    It’s a triumph for democracy and those people in Bradford West have their views better represented than mine are in Henley by my apparatchik useless tory MP.

    Do I observe on the part of Mr Forsyth the beginning of a narrative that anyone who not is a supporter of one of the clone parties is some kind of extremist nutcase to be marginalised and denigrated? Is that the way things are going?

  • TomTom

    “an even uglier form of politics, one based around crude communal appeals””

    You sound like Enoch Powell…..

  • Hexhamgeezer

    I can do I guess is keep the spare bedroom free for any Jewish refugees from West Yorks.

  • chinasyndrome

    So what is wrong with that? Let him have his say; he’s an MP now! Say’s a lot about all the other rabble in the HoP.

  • Biggestaspidistra

    As Noa said, this much is true: “Inevitably new and smaller parties will grow and displace the void created by the complacency and the lack of response of Lib/Lab/Con.” And as Ralph says, the extremes will be treated differently.

    A fine mess.

  • Clear Memories.

    “But Galloway represents an even uglier form of politics, one based around crude communal appeals”

    Just what is wrong with that?
    We all believe in democracy so why not the democracy of each and every community? Just as the white immigrants in Australia have improved the lot of the Aborigines so the immigrant groups back in the UK improve the lot of the Celts and Anglo-Saxons. Why should they not press their case through parliamentary representation? You seem to want one rule for the whites and quite another for the incomers of colour, however much they may have enhanced the previously declinig industrial economy of the North.

  • David Lindsay

    The last people who put him in were the postal vote-wielding Pakistani patriarchs. They wanted the Labour candidate. It is exactly they who have been defeated. Why aren’t you all pleased?

  • Ralph

    Part of the problem is the media, and the BBC in particular treat the extremes differently. If they place Galloway under half the amount of scrutiny they place on the BNP or the EDL he would never get anywhere near winning a seat.

  • DZ

    Are you surprised? Really? And what do you think should be done?

  • Andrew

    Well – what do you expect?

    Labour’s support of unlimited immigration will come back to bite them!

  • AJC

    Although I doubt it likely to change the result are we going to have a an enquiry into the use and abuse of postal ballots in this election?

  • Holly ……

    Maybe people got sick of hearing the media enthuse everything Labour do, even after the hatchet they did on the country, and slate everything the government is trying to do to fix the mess left by Labour.
    Maybe the people of Bradford West actually agree with Galloway and voted because of that?
    Who knows, but slating the voter for the way they voted will just bug us even more.
    Is Galloway’s politics any uglier than the miserable,lying Labour politics we had with Blair or Brown?
    I find the Miliband ‘rich’ v ‘poor’ politics even uglier to be honest.

  • Austin Barry

    “But Galloway represents an even uglier form of politics, one based around crude communal appeals.”

    This is the true, ugly face of ‘community cohesion’ of which we see more : Islam contra mundum.

  • Fergus Pickering

    How unsurprising, Mr Forsyth. I am completely underwhelmed. And who brought them here, pray? The Labour Party, that’s who.

  • The Engineer

    A straw in the wind is the comment by a Labour insider reported by Andrew Gilligan in the Telegraph: “We thought we had won, then they opened the postal votes”.

    The sooner postal voting is restricted to those who (provably) cannot get to the polls – as used to be the case – the sooner we will get fair(er) elections.

  • MikeF

    This is local politics taking place on a national stage. But if Ken Livingstone wins the London Mayoral election with similar tactics and rhetoric then that will be something different – and it could mean trouble, real trouble.

  • Sov_Res

    People have to stop thinking that Galloway is just a cynical opportunist, and start taking his Islamic pronouncements at face value.

    Respect as it has now evolved, won, because a constituency in Europe with a significant Muslim population, finally had the opportunity to vote for an Islamic Socialist party. (just look at the Respect colour scheme: 1/3rd Red, 2/3rds Green)

    Their gargantuan victory will not have gone unnoticed in specific demographic pockets across Europe: Malmo, Rotterdam, Marseilles, Brussels etc. (Did you see Galloway’s election poster? Swathes and swathes of Arabic script with only three letters in English nestled amongst them: NHS.)

    Lefties shipped millions of immigrants into Western Europe primarily because they assumed they would always vote for them, and that this would keep the Socialists in power in perpetuity.

    We are now starting to wake up to an Islamic hangover born of their hubris. Surprise surprise, when actually given the choice, people vote for candidates who closely share their ideology.

  • Noa.

    “…Galloway represents an even uglier form of politics, one based around crude communal appeals…”

    As opposed to what? Politics based on last nights expensive murmurings over the No 10 supper table? The latest wonkery from the fink tanks? The lordly ignoring of petitions and surveys showing time and againthat people want an end to multi-party immigration, out of the EU, to the waste of spurious welfare, ‘International Development’ and equality agendas.

    Inevitably new and smaller parties will grow and displace the void created by the complacency and the lack of response of Lib/Lab/Con.
    It is ironic that the Islamic left seems the most likely to gain up to 25 seats at the next election, rather than the supra-vilified BNP, or even UKIP.

  • Danielle

    The Asians voted for him because of what he said about wars and his support for Muslims, but white people voted for him because of what he was saying about opposing austerity and solving mass youth unemployment.

    It amuses me how Tory supporters in the media try to convince everyone that the public supports austerity. Get out of the Westminster bubble and you will find just how wrong you are.

  • John Böttcher

    Ah, Gorgeous George triumphant.

    Unlike last year when he only managed a measly 6,972 votes from an electorate of 511,994 on the Glasgow Regional List for the Scottish Parliament which killed his career in Scotland stone dead.

    At least his seat will probably be gone after the boundary review and likely go Conservative.

  • Ron Todd

    Always be suspicious of a rable-rouser who has a list of things he is against, but only appears to be in favour of what one particular ‘community’ will vote for at a particular time.

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