Galloway wins Bradford West By-Election

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Mr. Jolly's picture
Mr. Jolly
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Mar 31 2012 10:22
ocelot wrote:
Also to a degree you are talking about a break from the corrupt quasi-colonial communal politics game that both Labour and the Tories have been playing in Bradford for nearly 20 years.

Are we? It seems to me that the 'balkanisation' of Bradford along cultural and religious lines is exatly the reason why Galloway and the shower of shit Respect can insert itself into that situation and play on it. Letters to particular asian communities (Islamic and Pakistani) about God and his halal behaviour as opposed to the Labour opponent (suggesting he is a drinker) play on these sectarianisms, not somehow an alternative or more inclusive agenda.

He did a similar thing with Oona King in Bethnal and Bow, criticising her for her support for the war in Iraq(correct), but then playing on anti-semetism in the fact that her mother was Jewish (== Isareal). I really see no difference between the multicultural games that the BNP/EDL play and Respect and George Galloway play.

martinh
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Mar 31 2012 10:50

Galloway 's certainly no socialist, or even a consistent anti-imperialist as the quotes about Morocco's occupation of Western Sahara shows.
It looks like he also took votes directly from the Tories, whose vote slumped. I think this result can only be understood in terms of communalist politics. In previous elections the Tories had put up a conservative muslim. In this one it was a white woman; Galloway has made it clear he shares the same politics as a lot of small c conservative muslims - anti-drink, anti-abortion, he only looks progressive to some because he talks about jobs and pulling out of wars. This position is not unique to people on the left - the libertarian right in the US are also consistently anti-war.
And he is certainly not a grey career politician, though I'm not keen on career politicians who are more colourful.

Regards,

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Apr 1 2012 12:56

Galloway certainly never met a (non-Anglo American) power hierarchy he didn't like. In that sense he is a classic populist in that his public discourse is aimed at appealing to "the common man", i.e. the people at the bottom of the social power hierarchy, whereas his actual networking and deal-making practice is aimed at the top of those same hierarchies. I've no doubt that little time will be lost since his election to open negotiations with same Mirpuri mafia that his Pakistani-origin supporters were hoping he would be a break from. And as for those people who backed this particular horse in the hope that at least he'd make a loud-mouth advocate for Bradford West, they will likely find out this particular runner is a nag. If past record is anything to go on, he'll be spending more time jetting around the middle east shmoozing dictators. Although last year's Arab Spring winnowed out a few of the older and less flexible incumbents, if the Muslim Brotherhood manage to get the Egyptian Presidency, look out for some classic displays of Galloway toadying and sycophancy in Cairo. Bradford West is basically just too damn poor to keep someone with George's tastes and outgoings hanging around there much of the time.

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Apr 3 2012 00:53

Caroline Swords Chair of tower hamlets Respect, is she a real full blown anti-semite or just a bit thick? Her latest post FB that has had many thumbs up links to an article that conclusion is to watch the videos of a rather repugnant little American anti-semite. If she is that brazen online, what the hell is she talking about offline?

http://www.deliberation.info/george-galloways-victory-apparently-not-good-for-the-pro-israel-jews/

"Watch a brilliant video here which explains how sectarian pro Israel politics work in the United States to see how it is the very similar here in the U.K. by Brother Nathaniel of the Nathaniel Foundation."

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Apr 3 2012 02:23

Head line from the great ones weekly self love fest in the daily record-

Bradford1893:Keir Hardie founds the Labour Party.

Bradford2012:My victory is rebirth of REAL Labour.

you have to say the Man is nothing if not modest. eek

Rory
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Apr 3 2012 04:22

Galloway is just an egotistical brute tbh, I agree with some of what he says but a lot of that I think he probably only says cause it gets him attention.

what made me laugh on the night of the by election though was some of my friends from Uni who are in the SWP celebrating his victory as a moment of significant change in class conciousness laugh out loud

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Apr 3 2012 08:07

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2124227/George-Galloways-new-Dutch-bride-Putri-Gayatri-Pertiwi.html

rooieravotr
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Apr 3 2012 13:32

When I read all this, I think that it is fully justified to dismiss Galloway as just an opportunist politician (some of the things I knew already, some of the more horrible things are new for me, and I thank contributors for enlightening me), out to gain electoral power. But I think we tend to confuse what Galloway stands for with what people try to express by voting for him. Galloway offers no solution whatsoever - no politician does -, and does not deserve support. But many of the people supporting for him do that for perfectly sensible reasons: opposition to wars and racism, anger because of austerity, disgust for the rest of the political establishment. THese people deserve to be taken seriously.

The election does not raise class consciousness or something like that. But it can justifiably be seen as expressing attidudes that, while finding a useless expression in support for Galloway, are themselves not at all bad as such. Endlessly explaining how horrible he is does not address the reasons why people support him. And unless and until people find better ways to express these things, they will continue voting for people like Galloway as the occasion occurs.

wojtek
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Apr 3 2012 19:41

Irrelevant, play the ball and not the man. Resorting to Daily Mail standards of what's proper just looks desperate imho.

When Populism Is Dangerous For Democracy - To The Media Gallows With 'Controversial' George Galloway

wojtek
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Apr 4 2012 06:37

Did anyone see last night's Newsnight? I rarely watch it, but I like how the establishment bubble all got around to discuss how Bradford ended up voting for the 'wrong' person and what the solution is, the whole thing was so blatantly partisan. And they don't have a clue between them beyond 'ooh they're disillusioned' and something about overcentralisation. You had the liberal intelligentsia in Will Self; the Oxbridge sheep in wolf's clothing Jeremy Paxman (who when someone decent comes along, i.e. Tommy Robinson or Galloway, is humbled and exposed for the rubbish he is), the Tory gent and the faux-opposition in Diane Abbott absolving Labour's very active role in de-industrialisation, introducing/ raising tuition fees, austerity, etc. and blaming everything on those EVIL TORIES!!11!

It comes to something when even social democracy/ old school conservatism seems radical.

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Apr 4 2012 08:31

I agree w/ rooieravotr in this thread, nothing to add.

And wojtek, did you really call Tommy Robinson "someone decent"? I agree Paxman just brought him to the show so he could humiliate him, but they both looked (and are) idiots that evening. Tommy Robinson, someone decent? Really?

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Apr 4 2012 10:49
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Jeremy Paxman (who when someone decent comes along, i.e. Tommy Robinson or Galloway, is humbled and exposed for the rubbish he is)

While I applaud mentioning Galloway and Robinson in the same breath, their politics playing with sectarianism and various religious and middle eastern motifs to garner support is exemplary.

BUT YOU SAID THAT? WTF

The BBC (and UK media in general) rubbishes anyone that is not part of the political mainstream, Left or RIght. I am loathed to say its a class issue though, think Farange and Cyclops. But their discourse is oxbridge and whiggish.

Thought they were over generous to Galloway tbh.

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Apr 4 2012 12:49

I hope wojtek calling Robinson a decent person was a typo or a moment of madness. The man is poison.

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Apr 4 2012 12:54

I took it to mean someone decent at debating. Calm down.

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Apr 4 2012 13:25
flaneur wrote:
I took it to mean someone decent at debating. Calm down.

Galloway is a great orator, a firebrand, the best in UK politics, but he's not a brilliant debater. And Lennon is neither. If you mean someone who would be great to have a well informed debate with then yes Paxman is shit. He seems to put little effort into any research just scans the interweb about what other people are saying and use that. A bit like me.

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Apr 4 2012 13:23
flaneur wrote:
I took it to mean someone decent at debating. Calm down.

Actually I reread it and yes, correct sorry Wojtek

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Apr 4 2012 14:43

Re the Media Lens article. Fair enough as it goes, but when they take umbrage with Sunny Hundal for tweeting

Quote:
I don't want any part of a left that supports dictators thanks.

Then they take him to task for being a hypocrite for supporting Obama when the latter gives money and arms to dictators. Which is fair enough, but doesn't really answer the challenge from those of us who don't support Obama, Blair or any other of the "Bombs you can believe in" crowd of 'liberal' interventionists. Which kind of reinforces the point that the cosy bi-partisan, or tri-partisan (I quite liked his joke about the tri-partisan consensus between tories, libdems and labour, that if an arse had 3 cheeks then it's sat in the House of Commons, on both sides) consensus with the media elite, that Galloway is a "wrong 'un" is possibly his greatest asset. Add to that that he has sufficient skills to make Paxman and Self look like the sulky public school dullards they really are, and he is capable of producing public performances that will only help reinforce his supporters belief that they have elected someone different who can really "speak truth to power". Of course in reality it all depends which particular powers we are talking about...

I think rooieravotr's point is well made. But I think there is a deeper lack behind it, in some ways.

I think there's a tendency to confuse animosity with critique in the way anarchists react to trends or movements in electoral politics. Because we (rightly imo) see electoralism as a whole as having no positive role to play in the recomposition of the class, quite the opposite*, we tend to dump all phenomena into a catch-all "bad stuff we disapprove of" category, followed with a healthy dose of ritual slagging. But antipathy does not really cover up the fact that an undifferentiated catch-all dismissal is essentially an incapacity to analyse, critique or explain anything in that category.

After all, if Galloway really is simply a money and power loving egotist, surely he would have done better to climb the Labour party greasy pole, become Blair's Minister for War and then retire into lucrative non-executive directorships with BAE and other arms companies and indulge his tastes for Middle East travel (and women) in the course of jetting around selling jet fighters to the local despots?

The problem is that if we start by saying that all politicians essentially are ideology-free corrupt egotists - in some weird echo of neoclassical economists rational profit-maximising agents - then we lose any ability to say something insightful about why Galloway's career path has diverged so widely from those of other Labour politicians.

* Comes under "Sterile and harmful action is whatever reinforces the passivity of the masses, their apathy, their cynicism, their differentiation through hierarchy, their alienation, their reliance on others to do things for them and the degree to which they can therefore be manipulated by others - even by those allegedly acting on their behalf."

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Apr 4 2012 15:27
ocelot wrote:
The problem is that if we start by saying that all politicians essentially are ideology-free corrupt egotists - in some weird echo of neoclassical economists rational profit-maximising agents - then we lose any ability to say something insightful about why Galloway's career path has diverged so widely from those of other Labour politicians.

Well, I am for one, tempted to say that "all politicians essentially are ideology-free corrupt egoist" because their majority fits in this category, whenever I look at the mainstream politics. There are exceptions of course, but there could be some considerations how inner fighting in a party works out. I mean, you know as well as me, that not everybody in Labour or in other party ends up in the position which you described above. In fact, sometimes it makes much sense to depart from the main party line in order to get to where these liars want. Principles are the result of how one can make use of the surrounding communities, as you can see the born-again Christian politicians. There are just too many examples for this. As my personal favourite, the current PM of Hungary at the time of the "transition" represented the hard-liberal line of keeping the Churches away from budget, today he is a sacral Christian in whom the Churches found their best supporter (passing large number of council schools to the hands of all sorts of Christian churches, with idea of "moral education"). So I would say yes, the overwhelming majority of politicians are devout egoist, and if the neo-classical economy agent is true anywhere it is the representative politics.

This is not to say, that it doesn't worth to look in to this politics to analyse how the world is going today if we want to change anything any time soon.

no1
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Apr 4 2012 16:16
ocelot wrote:
After all, if Galloway really is simply a money and power loving egotist, surely he would have done better to climb the Labour party greasy pole, become Blair's Minister for War and then retire into lucrative non-executive directorships with BAE and other arms companies and indulge his tastes for Middle East travel (and women) in the course of jetting around selling jet fighters to the local despots?

The thing is Galloway loves his ego more than he loves money and power, and to survive in the labour party you have to be incredibly dull and submissive - there's simply not enough space in the Labour party for someone with this big an ego.

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Apr 4 2012 17:12

So is politics to be reduced to individual psychology? Was Alan Bullock right after all?

It just seems to me that if all we can do is condemn Galloway for the same political/moral failings we would condemn any of the other candidates with, should they have won instead, then really what we are saying is that we have no theory of politics. It doesn't necessarily mean that we might not have value theory, a theory of exploitation and capitalism's systemic contradictions, etc, but it does mean that. Some people may say that if we have useable theories for all those things, then what do we need a theory of politics for? I'm not so convinced.

I don't think the bourgeois mainstream has a theory of politics either. Their approach is to examine policy declarations to see where people and movements are to be placed on their rather unimaginative political spectrum. The orthos, like the Trots, originally believed that political parties mapped onto the different classes in society. They don't practically use this anymore in most cases (except for rhetorically) so they too, tend to fall into policy critique, by default.

At least the rejection of policy comparison as being the most significant determination, is a break from that. But only in the negative. People feel that somehow the BNP are different from the Tories or Lib-dems in a way that isn't captured by comparing their policy manifestos, but I've yet to see that properly theorised. Similarly Galloway-style populism appears to be of a different character (leaving aside moralism for a moment) than the electoralist efforts of the Labour Party in Bradford West, but how? You may say apparent differences are illusory, but I'm even less convinced by that as an explanation.

wojtek
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Apr 4 2012 17:28

Re. Tommy Robinson, yeah I meant debating. You could add Chomsky to that list when he dropped some knowledge on Paxman's ass.

no1
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Apr 4 2012 17:57
ocelot wrote:
So is politics to be reduced to individual psychology? Was Alan Bullock right after all?

Of course not.

Quote:
It just seems to me that if all we can do is condemn Galloway for the same political/moral failings we would condemn any of the other candidates with, should they have won instead, then really what we are saying is that we have no theory of politics. It doesn't necessarily mean that we might not have value theory, a theory of exploitation and capitalism's systemic contradictions, etc, but it does mean that. Some people may say that if we have useable theories for all those things, then what do we need a theory of politics for? I'm not so convinced.

I don't think the bourgeois mainstream has a theory of politics either. Their approach is to examine policy declarations to see where people and movements are to be placed on their rather unimaginative political spectrum. The orthos, like the Trots, originally believed that political parties mapped onto the different classes in society. They don't practically use this anymore in most cases (except for rhetorically) so they too, tend to fall into policy critique, by default.

At least the rejection of policy comparison as being the most significant determination, is a break from that. But only in the negative. People feel that somehow the BNP are different from the Tories or Lib-dems in a way that isn't captured by comparing their policy manifestos, but I've yet to see that properly theorised. Similarly Galloway-style populism appears to be of a different character (leaving aside moralism for a moment) than the electoralist efforts of the Labour Party in Bradford West, but how? You may say apparent differences are illusory, but I'm even less convinced by that as an explanation.

I think you're trying to mystify what happened in Bradford West. It's not particularly hard to work out: people were pissed off with the established parties (especially "the Muslim vote" who were being taken for granted and were being mobilised for Labour), they saw an opportunity to give them a bloody nose, so they voted for Galloway. It all has very little relevance for working class politics, except that the erosion of faith in electoral politics opens a space for more self-organisation.

freemind
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Apr 5 2012 10:27

Would it be fair to say Gallowaay is racialising working class politics a la BNP or is this simplistic and mistaken?
To me he panders to Religious nationalism which in turn leads to separatism and factionalism.

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Apr 5 2012 10:36

from http://www.socialistunity.com/bradford-spring-fundraising-t-shirt-now-out/

sad

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Apr 5 2012 11:30

only available in green roll eyes

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Apr 5 2012 11:39
ocelot wrote:
only available in green roll eyes

Orangise! should protest!

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Apr 5 2012 11:54

Heh. Somehow I doubt either the Irish or the ecologist associations were foremost in the designer's minds. black bloc

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Apr 5 2012 11:57

But it's ok, because the dot on the i in "Spring" is a tiny red star, so that's like Socialism, dude.

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Apr 5 2012 13:18

I like how it's simulating graffiti and therefore applies to the urban yoot.

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Apr 5 2012 14:09

Isnt it the colours of Respect anyway? Originally a red/green coalition....?