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Steven Schaefer

Mar 19, 2024

Galloway's Electoral Success and Political Background

On February 29th George Galloway, running as a representative of both the Workers Party and the Palestinian resistance struggle, celebrated an electoral success and became the new parliamentary representative (MP) for the constituency of Rochdale in the north of England.

This isn’t Galloway's first election victory; he represented the constituencies of Glasgow Hillhead-Kelvin (1987–2005), Bethnal Green (2005–2010), and Bradford West (2012–2015) at various points in his political career.

Galloway ran as a representative of the Workers Party of Britain, a new party in the British political sphere he founded in 2019 with a cadre of socialist organizers from various backgrounds seeking to break the mold of the contemporary British left.

The Workers Party and Galloway found themselves in a highly saturated election, facing off against ten other candidates for the MP position. Their appeal to left-wing economic policies and anti-imperialist foreign policy, without the cultural lunacy often associated with the western left, proved to be a winning formula.

Galloway won with nearly double the votes of the independent runner-up and nearly four times the votes of Labour and Conservative candidates.

Voters likely also looked towards Galloway's well-documented political career. Galloway has been a vocal supporter for the Palestinian liberation struggle since 1977 following a visit to Lebanon and rallied behind Palestinian solidarity organizations in the lead up 1983, when he ran for MP in the constituency Rhondda on behalf of the Labour Party.

While he was unable to secure victory during this election, he made political inroads in securing the endorsement of the Transport and General Workers' Union as well as the National Union of Mineworkers.

Key Stances and Advocacy

In the Rochdale by-election, Galloway ran on a platform against the unjustified war of aggression Israel is currently waging against both the Palestinian resistance and civilians alike.

He was among the first in British politics to dispute the sensational and sloppy hasbara pushed by Israel and the West about the October 7th 2023 Palestinian incursion into Israeli settlements. He added that those who perpetrate Israeli lies are equally as complicit in the war crimes and genocide Israel is committing against Palestinians in Gaza.

Galloway also rejected the Arab Spring as a western color revolution, maintaining firm opposition to NATO's dirty war in Syria and emerging as a pointed critic of former British Prime Minister David Cameron's arming of Turkish based jihadists, known as the Free Syrian Army.

In 2016, Galloway expressed his Euroscepticism, highlighting the many ways that British workers continually suffered economic loss since they joined the economic and political grouping known as the European Union in 1973.

In February of the same year, Galloway teamed up with United Kingdom Independence Party leader Nigel Farage to push for Brexit, in a political union largely based on that single issue. Attacked for this alliance, he defended his collaboration with his unlikely bedfellow Farage on Twitter, writing, "We are not pals. We are allies in one cause. Like Churchill and Stalin."

In Asia, Galloway has defended socialist states. He rallied behind the People's Republic of China, defending Hong Kong authorities' quashing of the western-backed widespread rioting in 2019-2020, and rejecting the patently-false claims of the internment and genocide against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang.

He has supported the Democratic People's Republic of Korea’s right to self defense, and called the southern Republic of Korea a mere puppet of the United States.

Since the start of the 2014 Euromaidan Coup in Ukraine, and continuing on to the ongoing Russian Special Military Operation, Galloway has also correctly identified the various geopolitical actors at work and their true intentions. He dubbed the 2014 coup a "foreign financed invasion of the sovereignty of Ukraine,” one which traces its roots directly to the Ukrainian ultra-nationalists' close relationship with Nazism and fascism. 

Critiques and Challenges

Of course, Galloway should not be mistaken for a communist revolutionary and his career has been marked by a well-documented history of the same ideological wavering, inconsistencies, and opportunistic tendencies that pervade bourgeois electoral politics. That Galloway has consistently tethered himself to the British electoral establishment raises lingering questions of his intentions and commitment to any genuine revolutionary change.

Galloway was elected under the banner of the Workers Party of Britain, a Party which until 2022 was jointly led by Joti Brar, vice-chair of the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist).

These ties were severed by a statement posted on the Workers Party website in 2022; more disturbing still was a section that read “The Workers Party of Britain welcomes the participation in its ranks of communists (and non-communists) from any party, but the Workers Party is not a communist party and had no intention of becoming yet another party of this type.”

The statement sows doubt that Workers Party could ever emerge as a truly revolutionary Socialist party within Great Britain with widespread mass support in the working class. George Galloway's recent victory is a lesson to the revolutionary Socialist movement on imagery and aesthetic, but also opportunism and failure.

If we adopt an approach which both in form and function appeals to the masses of working people, we will succeed; if we falter in either, we will use up our political potential without reaching our true aspirations for the emancipation of mankind.

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