The Bradford Spring


Image © David Martyn Hunt

As the morning dew fell from a Friday Spring morn, the political class awoke to one of the most sensational by-election results in modern history. George Galloway’s election vindicates those who have long argued that Labour’s opposition to the Tory agenda is, to quote Mr Galloway, “feeble to the point of paralysis.” Labour is currently the only established party of opposition, yet is finding no way to even begin to channel the fury voter’s feel about tax increases for pensioners, the privatisation of the NHS and savage cuts to public services to pay for tax cuts for the rich. Labour cannot channel this righteous indignation because it has, in government and opposition, acted as the Tories would. Even now they promise merely a sanitised dose of spending cuts as the answer to Britain’s ails. What of the ever widening gap between the have nots and the have yachts? What of the stagnation of working class wages and representation for the last 30 years?

Galloway’s Respect Coalition proved that by coalescing the united forces of the left, we can alter the corporate media narrative of a servile public willingly accepting the political fantasies of a government of, by, and for the rich. Just look to public opinion and it will show you that dissatisfaction with all three political parties is, quite rightly, at unprecedented levels. Furthermore, Galloway is correct when he contends that he didn’t merely win by tapping into Muslim anti-war sentiment. Rather, the British people at large are repulsed by wars that have cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians around the world. People are crying out for radical change and waiting for an alterative to a future of misery, war, and austerity to be articulated.

However, I end this article with a cautionary note. Do not place your faith in Mr. Galloway’s hands. Indeed, history will show that with Iraq and Afghanistan, Mr Galloway was completely vindicated. He has exposed the lies of the British Government and their allies abroad in Israel and Saudi Arabia. But his support for tyrants, past and present, in addition to his contention that the Iranian elections of 2009 were free and democratic means we cannot take him seriously as a friend of freedom. His hypocrisy is no different than that of Western leaders who condemn Iran for its appalling human rights violations before cosying up to regime in Saudi Arabia. I can think of no less socialist mantra than “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Our moral duty is to stand steadfast against all regimes that suppress freedom and justice. During the Cold War, the left used to say “neither Washington nor Moscow.” Perhaps it should now be “neither Tel Aviv nor Tehran.”


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