Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Respect lies (part one)

Respect don't want voters to know the truth about their party. Respect also repeat lies and distortions in the hope that people will swallow their spin.

So Respect Watch will be providing a regularly updated guide to some of Respect's lies.

Today we start with the widely-repeated myth, repeated sadly in the press, that George Galloway was expelled from the Labour Party because of his "opposition to the war in Iraq".

It is simply not true.


Around 140 Labour MP's voted against the war. Only Galloway was expelled.

Thousands of Labour Party activists opposed the war in Iraq - only Galloway was expelled.

So Galloway was not expelled because he opposed the war.

The weblog Eric Unread provides a timely reminder of exactly why Galloway was expelled from the Labour Party:

Inciting Arabs to fight British troops.
Inciting British troops to defy orders.
Threatening to stand against Labour.
Backing an anti-war candidate (against his own party) in Preston.

It is also worth noting that there has been no campaign from all the other anti-war Labour MP's to have Galloway brought back into the party. They do not treat him as one of their own.

The truth is Galloway's rampant ego and his close links with Saddam's regime in Baghdad were an embarassment to most anti-war MP's and there were no tears when he was booted out of the Labour Party.

Nor did any of the other anti-war parties - the Green Party or the Liberal Democrats want anything to do with Galloway.

So why didn't Galloway do what many isolated MP's do and stand as an independent?

Quite simply he hadn't enough support in his own constituency in Glasgow to mount a credible campaign.

An independent, like Martin Bell, needs to have a circle of friends and supporters willing to help him out. Galloway didn't have that support.

So he attached himself to the Socialist Workers Party, who have plenty of activists but no well-known political figure to lead them.

It was a marriage of convenience. The SWP got the chance to have their first ever representative in parliament (even though they reject parliamentry democracy) while Galloway got the foot-soilders he needed to ensure he kept his tidy salary in Westminister.

Of course those naive SWP activists might wake up one day and realise they have been taken for a ride and that in fact, as always, Galloway's priority was nothing but himself.

SWP members are always being kidded by their leaders and led up the garden path.

But no-one else need be so gullible.