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Sat Mar 31, 2012, 04:09 AM

George Galloway tweets ‘long live Palestine’ to supporters after landslide U.K. by-election victory

Far-left candidate, George Galloway, won a landslide victory in the by-election for the Bradford West parliamentary seat in the U.K. on Thursday night. Galloway, a former Labour MP who was banished from the party after he called the Iraqi resistance to kill British soldiers in the country, celebrated his victory, tweeting to supporters, "Long live Iraq. Long live Palestine, free, Arab, dignified. George Galloway MP."

The Bradford West constituency has been held by the Labour party for 37 years and was regarded a "safe seat" for Labour (party leader Ed Miliband, who had scheduled a victory visit to Bradford Friday morning, hastily cancelled) until Galloway's Respect Party targeted it in the by-election called last month following the previous MP's serious illness. Galloway exploited tensions within the local Labor party branch and targeted Bradford's large Asian-Muslim community (estimated at around 38 percent of the voters) using campaign literature specifically aimed at Muslim concerns. One of his campaign leaflets said "“God KNOWS who is a 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 you believe the other candidate in this election can say that truthfully.”

http://www.haaretz.com/news/international/george-galloway-tweets-long-live-palestine-to-supporters-after-landslide-u-k-by-election-victory-1.421747

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Reply George Galloway tweets ‘long live Palestine’ to supporters after landslide U.K. by-election victory (Original post)
oberliner Mar 2012 OP
DonCoquixote Mar 2012 #1
LeftishBrit Mar 2012 #7
DonCoquixote Mar 2012 #14
oberliner Mar 2012 #18
LeftishBrit Mar 2012 #2
LeftishBrit Mar 2012 #8
azurnoir Mar 2012 #9
LeftishBrit Mar 2012 #10
azurnoir Mar 2012 #15
oberliner Mar 2012 #11
azurnoir Mar 2012 #16
oberliner Mar 2012 #21
kewhawaii Mar 2012 #3
shaayecanaan Mar 2012 #4
izquierdista Mar 2012 #5
oberliner Mar 2012 #12
shaayecanaan Mar 2012 #23
jimmie Mar 2012 #6
oberliner Mar 2012 #13
azurnoir Mar 2012 #19
oberliner Mar 2012 #20
azurnoir Apr 2012 #28
Jefferson23 Mar 2012 #17
oberliner Mar 2012 #22
shaayecanaan Mar 2012 #24
T_i_B Apr 2012 #27
Jefferson23 Mar 2012 #25
shira Apr 2012 #26

Response to oberliner (Original post)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 04:27 AM

1. Is Galloway an actual Muslim

because if not, he is using the idea of being one for political pop, that cannot be Halal, no?

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Response to DonCoquixote (Reply #1)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 10:37 AM

7. Nope. He's a Catholic.

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Response to LeftishBrit (Reply #7)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 04:23 PM

14. Nice

It seems he can misuse religion just as much as any American could; that of course is NOT a compliment.

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Response to LeftishBrit (Reply #7)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 06:03 PM

18. Didn't he convert when he married Amineh Abu-Zayyad?

Or did he re-covert after the divorce?

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Response to oberliner (Original post)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 05:06 AM

2. I think that it's not just a 'Muslim' issue...

Especially as Galloway's opponent was a Muslim.

He does pander to sectarianism, but I doubt that this is the only reason for his victory. I think it's more a deep frustration with all three parties, and the fact that many people are attracted to independent-seeming candidates who seem to reject 'politics as usual'. It should be noted that Galloway portrays himself as more economically left-wing, and more sympathetic to working-class concerns than the current Labour Party; and this may have been crucial.

Also: although the media portrays Bradford West as this formerly impregnably Labour constituency, this is not quite true. It has usually had a Labour MP, but quite often the majority has been under 5000; and in 1970 the seat actually went Tory. The Tory vote also collapsed dramatically this time. So did the LibDem vote, insofar as there'd ever been one in that constituency. Disappointment and anger with the austerity programme of to some extent all three parties no doubt played a big role.

I think that in marginal seats, or those where there is a lot of disaffection with the major parties, it is possible for sectarians and other ideologues to get more influence over the political process than one would expect. Well, I don't think it, I know it. In my constituency in 2010, religious-right 'pro-life' campaigners conducted a vicious smear campaign against our secular, pro-choice MP, and he lost to the Tory by 176 votes. This may not have been the only reason - the MP did not campaign very actively, and he belongs to the almost-extinct species known as left-leaning LibDem. But certainly Christian right-wingers in this country portray it as a great victory for themselves, and an inspiration for future campaigns- UGH!

I think similar things probably happen more often than is sometimes realized. People are now aware of the dangers of the BNP, and I am glad to say that so far their power and influence have been very successfully reduced. But people are not so aware of the other ways that sectarians and single-issue ideologues can court disaffected voters.

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Response to LeftishBrit (Reply #2)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 10:51 AM

8. More generally...

I think (and being a Brit with an interest in American politics has led to experiences that have confirmed me in this view) that there's sometimes a mismatch between what domestic voters, and their foreign observers, see in a candidate. Generally, foreign observers are more interested in a candidate's foreign policy. That's what matters to people abroad. On the other hand, local voters often vote much more on economic issues.

Thus, for example, I may think 'how on earth can the voters of State X vote for hawkish Senator Y', when as has been pointed out to me, they may be doing so mainly because of the Senator's ability to bring home 'pork', rather than their hawkish views. Similarly, an Israeli newspaper will understandably be worried about Galloway's rather simplistic and bigoted views on the Middle East; whereas the local voters may have voted for him more out of utter frustration at the other parties' inability to solve the economic crisis, and because he conveys a message of left-wing populism.

Don't get me wrong; I can't stand the man, and don't think that his left-wing populist economic message is any more sincere than any of his other pandering (unfortunately, as we desperately need some economic left-wingers!) And I've found his attitudes to foreign policy suspect ever since he endorsed Musharraf's takeover in Pakistan in 1999. And But there is a lot more to Galloway's victory than attitudes to the Middle East.

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Response to LeftishBrit (Reply #8)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 01:20 PM

9. Thanks for the information about the Respect Party and Galloway's win

here on DU you'll find 2 distinct worlds 'upstairs Galloway is well remembered for the 'talking to' he gave Norm Coleman a few years back here he is an enemy much the same with Desmond Tutu and Jimmy Carter they are admired elsewhere on DU for their humanitarian work and it has little to do with I/P here nothing but matters and from some of what I've read you would think they are supremacists of some sort

Do not be surprised to see it claimed in the press that Galloway's win proves that the UK is an antisemitic country cowtowing to its Muslim minority or some such

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Response to azurnoir (Reply #9)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 02:49 PM

10. On the UK forum, neither of these attitudes predominates...

he is considered mainly as a rather dodgy, opportunistic, self-aggrandizing twit who would rather appear on Celebrity Big Brother than do much serious work, and whose foreign policy views are questionable at best; nevertheless, his victory didn't appear from nowhere and is a symptom of people's frustration with the current political and economic situation, and should be a wake-up call for the other parties especially Labour.

As far as 'kowtowing to the Muslim minority' - this involved the defeat of a Muslim candidate by a Catholic one FFS! But I wouldn't be surprised to see anything claimed in the press - from using this to demonize Muslims, to using it to demonize the Labour Party. I know our press of old!

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Response to LeftishBrit (Reply #10)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 05:45 PM

15. first that is a repeat of what you said in a previous post that Galloways win was a sign

of frustration on the part of the UK voters and that is what my comment was thanking you for, as far as the press I was not speaking of nor was I specific to the UK press

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Response to azurnoir (Reply #9)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 02:50 PM

11. This poster knows what can be found here on DU with respect to Galloway

Has been following him closely (and posting about him) both in the UK forum as well as in the general ones.

The poster did a good job, in fact, of letting American DUers know how he was viewed by some of the left in Britain.

You may remember that in fact, since the two of you had an exchange about him in that thread in early 2009.

Apparently, you are a fan of Galloway's now as you were then? You brought up Norm Coleman back then as well.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #11)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 05:49 PM

16. yes I did like Galloways taking Colemen to task do you think Galloway was wrong?

as to what is felt about Galloway as I stated most Americans know of him via that confrontation which of course depending on your feelings about the Iraq war and the Republican party is either approval or not unless off course other things about Galloway over ride that and cause a need to delegitimize even that one item, is that the case?

Alternately it could be an insinuation that support of Galloway or even admiration of his words towards Colemen would then indicate support for Hamas who Galloway in more recent times has supported, is that the case or were you 'unaware' of Galloways support for Hamas?

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Response to azurnoir (Reply #16)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 07:27 PM

21. Yes, I think Galloway was wrong

I think Coleman and Galloway were both wrong.

Galloway does admire Hamas, although not as much as he admires Hezbollah, which he often goes on about.

He also appears to be a fan of Assad based on what he's said on Press TV and elsewhere.

All in all, he's a pretty despicable guy as far as I'm concerned.

Coleman and the other neocons, however, were full of BS with respect to Iraq.

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Response to oberliner (Original post)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 06:58 AM

3. Hitch...

.. is turning in his grave.

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Response to oberliner (Original post)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 07:22 AM

4. It was a fascinating result...

the swing against the Tories in Bradford West was even higher than the swing against Labour:-



http://news.sky.com/home/politics/article/16199415

He absolutely smashed them. 56% is a huge margin for any candidate, but it is a thumping result for a minor party in a FPP system. Galloway got more than twice the votes that Labor did. Even without Asian support he would have won handily.

Going forward, it will be interesting to see whether Selma Yaqoob runs in Birmingham again at the next election, as she has performed strongly there before.

It will be even more interesting to see whether Milliband will seize the opportunity to grow a spine. I like the man, but the Labour party is full of people who think they can win by running the tired old third-way line that they have hewed since the 1990s.

Ultimately, if people have got the choice of three conservative parties and George Galloway, a fair few people are going to vote for Galloway.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #4)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 10:04 AM

5. Can he set up a franchise here?

 

It would be interesting to have, in addition to the Democrats, the Republicans, and the Libertarians, a Respect party here.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #4)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 02:54 PM

12. Celebrity Big Brother may have helped

Also accusing his opponent of not being a "real Muslim" because he consumed alcohol was probably effective.

Attacking the men and women of color that he has defeated in the various localities where he has run appears to be a hallmark of his campaign strategy.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #12)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 07:35 PM

23. Almost certainly it helped in terms of recognition...

But the fact is that Galloway was a more lion-hearted supporter of the things that mattered to Asian Muslims.

It wasn't as though he was putting on an act. He has always been strongly pro-Palestinian, and strongly against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Attacking the men and women of color that he has defeated in the various localities where he has run appears to be a hallmark of his campaign strategy.


If you think that Muslims are going to fall for a silly smear like that, you're probably going to be disappointed.

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Response to oberliner (Original post)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 10:15 AM

6. Can Jenny Tonge be far behind ?

 

i miss her

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Response to oberliner (Original post)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 02:57 PM

13. George Galloway Tweets 'Blackburn Triumph', Not Bradford Following Dramatic By-Election Victory

George Galloway has gained 6,000 new Twitter fans following his dramatic by-election victory late on Thursday night.

Unfortunately for the Respect MP, he welcomed his new followers on Saturday by claiming he was "shattered but happy after the Blackburn triumph".

Galloway was elected MP for Bradford, not Blackburn.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/03/31/george-galloway-tweets-blackburn-bradford_n_1393236.html

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Response to oberliner (Reply #13)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 06:23 PM

19. ah your seeming dependence on twitter as a tool of delegitimization

of those perceived to be enemies of Israel such as Mustafa Barghouti and George Galloway is quite fascinating indeed myself I find it a bit too questionable to take very seriously at this point in time, even last year I did not pay as much attention to tweets coming out of Egypt as what the press was saying, but I understand IDF/Israel is finding it quite a useful propaganda tool

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Response to azurnoir (Reply #19)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 07:24 PM

20. What in the world are you talking about?

I just thought it was funny that he tweeted the wrong name.

I have no desire to "delegitimize" anyone - whatever that means.

I do think George Galloway is a tool for a variety of reasons irrespective of anything he may or may not have posted on twitter.

Mustafa Barghouti, on the other hand, is a completely different story. A much more serious individual in every sense of the word.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #20)

Sun Apr 1, 2012, 07:05 PM

28. it seems that twitter is the 'new' medium for political news or rumor

the the beauty part is anything can be said however as to Mustafa Barghouti I have absolutely no doubt he is more serious than Galloway

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Response to oberliner (Original post)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 05:51 PM

17. George Galloway's Respect could help Britain to break the political impasse

UK politics has been governed by Thatcherism for decades. Galloway's triumph should force people to rethink their passivity

George Galloway's stunning electoral triumph in the Bradford by-election has shaken the petrified world of English politics. It was unexpected, and for that reason the Respect campaign was treated by much of the media (Helen Pidd of the Guardian being an honourable exception) as a loony fringe show. A BBC toady, an obviously partisan compere on a local TV election show, who tried to mock and insult Galloway, should be made to eat his excremental words. The Bradford seat, a Labour fiefdom since 1973, was considered safe and the Labour leader, Ed Miliband, had been planning a celebratory visit to the city till the news seeped through at 2 am. He is now once again focused on his own future. Labour has paid the price for its failure to act as an opposition, having imagined that all it had to do was wait and the prize would come its way. Scottish politics should have forced a rethink. Perhaps the latest development in English politics now will, though I doubt it. Galloway has effectively urinated on all three parties. The Lib Dems and Tories explain their decline by the fact that too many people voted!

Thousands of young people infected with apathy, contempt, despair and a disgust with mainstream politics were dynamised by the Respect campaign. Galloway is tireless on these occasions. Nobody else in the political field comes even close to competing with him – not simply because he is an effective orator, though this skill should not be underestimated. It comes almost as a shock these days to a generation used to the bland untruths that are mouthed every day by government and opposition politicians. It was the political content of the campaign that galvanised the youth: Respect campaigners and their candidate stressed the disasters of Iraq and Afghanistan. Galloway demanded that Blair be tried as a war criminal, and that British troops be withdrawn from Afghanistan without further delay. He lambasted the Government and the Labour party for the austerity measures targeting the less well off, the poor and the infirm, and the new privatisations of education, health and the Post Office. It was all this that gave him a majority of 10,000.

How did we get here? Following the collapse of communism in 1991, Edmund Burke's notion that "In all societies, consisting of different classes, certain classes must necessarily be uppermost," and that "The apostles of equality only change and pervert the natural order of things," became the commonsense wisdom of the age. Money corrupted politics, and big money corrupted it absolutely. Throughout the heartlands of capital, we witnessed the emergence of effective coalitions: as ever, the Republicans and Democrats in the United States; New Labour and Tories in the vassal state of Britain; socialists and conservatives in France; the German coalitions of one variety or another, with the greens differentiating themselves largely as ultra-Atlanticists; and the Scandinavian centre-right and centre-left with few differences, competing in cravenness before the empire. In virtually every case the two- or three-party system morphed into an effective national government. A new market extremism came into play. The entry of capital into the most hallowed domains of social provision was regarded as a necessary reform. Private financial initiatives that punished the public sector became the norm and countries (such as France and Germany) that were seen as not proceeding fast enough in the direction of the neoliberal paradise were regularly denounced in the Economist and the Financial Times.

To question this turn, to defend the public sector, to argue in favour of state ownership of utilities or to challenge the fire sale of public housing was to be regarded as a dinosaur.

British politics has been governed by the consensus established by Margaret Thatcher during the locust decades of the 80s and 90s, since New Labour accepted the basic tenets of Thatcherism (its model was the New Democrats' embrace of Reaganism). Those were the roots of the extreme centre, which encompasses both centre-left and centre-right and exercises power, promoting austerity measures that privilege the wealthy, and backing wars and occupations abroad. President Obama is far from isolated within the Euro-American political sphere. New movements are now springing up at home, challenging political orthodoxies without offering one of their own. They're little more than a scream for help.

Respect is different. It puts forward a leftist social-democratic programme that challenges the status quo and is loud in its condemnation of imperial misdeeds. In other words, it is not frightened by politics. Its triumph in Bradford should force some to rethink their passivity and others to realise that there are ways in which the Occupiers of yesteryear can help to break the political impasse.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/mar/31/george-galloway-respect-tariq-ali

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Response to Jefferson23 (Reply #17)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 07:30 PM

22. This from the author of "The Obama Syndrome: Surrender at Home, War Abroad"

Always good to get the POV of the Obama-bashers.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #22)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 08:09 PM

24. The attitude of DLCers towards Galloway is similar to their approach to Kucinich...

firstly, monster them for not actually achieving their objectives, without any regard for the fact that they are one person out of a hundred and that they are opposed not only by the Tories but by most of their colleagues, who simultaneously try to stifle everything that they do while criticising them for not actually getting it done.

secondly, attack them for being self-aggrandising, and for actually having the gall to publicise themselves without recourse to the party machine which so abundantly satisfies the needs of more suppliant candidates. Don't these people realise that its just not realistic to aspire to be elected without taking millions of dollars from the financial services industry?

thirdly, accuse these people of being splitters and spoilers, and that by their actions they risk electing a pro-war, anti-universal health care government party instead of our pro-war, anti-universal health care party.

and lastly, work tirelessly to ensure that people never realise that there is an alternative. Vermont is thinking of going single payer? Pass a law that makes it illegal to do so. Make sure that the voters never see that there might be a choice outside of the foxes on one side and the lions on the other.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #24)

Sun Apr 1, 2012, 05:06 PM

27. When discussing Galloway....

....it's better to think of Blairites rather then DLCer's. The Blairite faction of Labour, who gave us "new" labour and the language of "modernization" are the DLC's UK equivalent.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #22)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 11:36 PM

25. Some people see it that way, when it suits them.

Posted here for people to make up their own mind.

We speak with British Pakistani political commentator, writer, activist and editor of the New Left Review, Tariq Ali. He is the author of numerous books; his latest is The Obama Syndrome: Surrender at Home, War Abroad.
Filed under Afghanistan, Protests
Guest:

Tariq Ali, British Pakistani political commentator, writer, activist and editor of the New Left Review. His latest book is The Obama Syndrome: Surrender at Home, War Abroad.


AMY GOODMAN: Robert Gibbs, the White House press spokesperson, going after the so-called "professional left"? Your thoughts?

TARIQ ALI: Well, I mean, it’s interesting that they are incapable of dealing with the right. With the right, it’s conciliation. That’s what they feel they have to appeal to. With critics from the left, they tend to be very harsh, as if they are saying to us, "You don’t know how lucky you are." But why are we lucky? I mean, you know, we judge people not by how they look or what they say, but by what they do. And what Obama has been doing is, you know, to put it mildly, extremely disappointing at home, and abroad it’s murderous. On Palestine, on Iran, no changes at all. So, one has to spell this out, because if they don’t realize that they’re doing this, they’re going to get more shocks. And Rahm Emanuel refers to people on the liberal left who are critical of Obama, and he uses a bad swear word and then says, "effing retards" — well, we’ll see who the retards are after the midterms, Amy. That’s all I can say.


http://www.democracynow.org/2010/9/21/tariq_ali_on_the_obama_syndrome


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Response to oberliner (Original post)

Sun Apr 1, 2012, 04:00 AM

26. Galloway’s religious appeal: more extreme than Santorum’s

Galloway’s victory shows that if the secular left does not take on sectarians, they will flourish…

Having established to his satisfaction that he was a Muslim, he told a public meeting: “I believe in the judgment day. I believe that one day we will have to answer to the Almighty.” Members of the audience were to say to their friends, “especially to other religious people”, how they would explain to Allah “on the last day” their failure to vote for him, George Galloway, God’s chosen candidate.

Not even Rick Santorum has said: “Vote for me or you will go to hell.”…


http://hurryupharry.org/2012/04/01/galloways-religious-appeal-more-extreme-than-santorums/

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