Batley and Spen – We Need an Independent Working-Class Candidacy

In the Batley and Spen by-election, called because the previous Labour MP, Tracy Brabin, vacated the seat after being elected as Mayor of West Yorkshire, there is currently no genuinely supportable left-wing candidate running, though there is still time should someone with the resources to run one, such as the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), decide to stand. In the absence of that, there is no one standing that is supportable by socialists up till now.

The Labour Party candidate, Kim Leadbetter, is the sister of the former MP Jo Cox, who was murdered by a fascist during the 2016 Brexit referendum campaign. Notwithstanding that, she is an imposed candidate by the Labour Party leadership of Keir Starmer, who are beholden to the Zionist Board of Deputies and still on full pelt to purge the Labour Party of leftists and particularly those who oppose the Zionist genocidal project against the Palestinian people. The witchhunting of the Labour left, and the destruction of Corbyn’s leadership in the last period is a major attack on the working class, in which Zionists played the role of vanguard/spearhead, and no Labour candidate is supportable in an election to the Westminster parliament who is not prepared to stand up and denounce these attacks.

George Galloway is also unfortunately not supportable in Batley and Spen, where he is standing on the ticket of his ‘Workers Party’ organised jointly with the Maoist Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) (CPGB (ML)). He has betrayed much of what he used to stand for. There was a time when he was able to boast that he was the most pro-immigrant MP in Britain, after his defeat of the pro-war Blairite MP Oona King in Bethnal Green and Bow as the candidate for RESPECT in 2005, right in the middle of the Iraq war, after playing a crucial role in mobilising the mass anti-war movement that brought 2 million people onto the streets of London in February 2003. His defiance of the US/UK war in Iraq was legendary – his attack on the US Neocon Senate shortly after his election as a RESPECT MP in 2005 was likewise exemplary.

He was hostile to any whiff of anti-immigrant politics in those days, even though he could not oppose immigration controls in principle … having too much national-reformist baggage for that. But nevertheless in 2009 he refused to support Bob Crow’s No2EU left wing Eurosceptic election campaign because he did not like its implicit nationalism.

In the spring of 2014 he ran a principled, working class campaign (Just Say Naw) against Scottish separation, and correctly attacked the Labour Party for its ‘Better Together’ anti-independence campaign that was jointly organised with Tories.

From left: George Galloway, Nigel Farage, Laurence Fox

But in 2016 he supported Brexit and even tried to work with Nigel Farage. In 2019 he called for a vote to Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, and even attempted to become a Brexit Party candidate. His bloc partners in the CPGB (ML) also called for Brexit Party votes. This crossing of class lines was not a one-off aberration – it has continued. In 2021 his ‘Alliance for Unity’ Campaign in the Scottish Holyrood Parliamentary Election called for votes for Tories against the Scottish National Party. There is nothing wrong with challenging the SNP but allying with Tories to do so is crossing class lines, as Galloway said sharply in 2014. Obviously there has been a major political shift in Galloway since 2014, and he is doing pretty much the opposite of what he did before then.

He appears to have suffered a major loss of political coherence, and left-wing commitment, since then. It is obvious that the change occurred after George was outrageously beaten up by the Zionist fascist, Neil Masterson, in August 2014, after the Scottish referendum and during Israel’s Protective Edge massacre, and was betrayed by the entire parliamentary left, who ALL (including Jeremy Corbyn) failed to publicly condemn the terrible, violent attack on a 60-year-old man and elected MP by an assailant 20 years younger.

That was a terrible betrayal by a left that capitulated to Zionism, which also included most of the cowardly far left. Apart from individual leftist bloggers, such as that run by one of our political predecessors Communist Explorations, (see https://commexplor.com/2014/11/11/state-collusion-jewish-extremist-escapes-trial-for-religious-assault-on-galloway/) hardly anyone on the far left even made a fuss about it. Unfortunately, those events politically destroyed the old George. The new George, the husk of what once was, is still acting politically and inadvertently trampling over his own honourable past by doing things like this. A tragedy. But in the wider interests of the working class, we cannot indulge him.

It would have been excellent to give electoral support, still critical of course, to the old George in current circumstances. But the old George Galloway no longer exists. Instead, we have someone who supports Tories, and Farage, and gives a platform to the proto-fascist celebrity Laurence Fox, who really needs to become better acquainted with the pavement, on his media show.

George Galloway is not supportable in Batley and Spen because of these things. Nor is Zionist New Labour, beholden to the racist BOD, who really would have considerable common ground with Laurence Fox since they praised Donald Trump for his Jerusalem policy.

George Galloway’s still-fervent anti-Zionism is commendable. But it is not enough on its own to merit electoral support. Supporting Farage and Scottish Tories is incompatible with basic class independence, which is a sine qua non for supporting a candidate in an election. Sayeeda Warsi and Sir Alan Duncan have both been fiercely critical of Zionism, but they are still Tories and not supportable by socialists. George is now politically promiscuous across class lines in a way that the old, pre-Masterson George would not have been happy with at all.

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