The British political movement “Respect,” led by George Galloway MP, has imploded after existing for all of three years. One might say that Mr. Galloway himself has imploded.
Mr. Galloway, GG, has been an explosive, unpredictable, divisive force from the beginning of his career. A BBC report gives a restrained overall aperçu: always troubled by charges of financial irregularity, a declared enemy of “Bush, Blair, and Israel” (see the video below), yet an effective rabble-rouser and far-Left politician, Mr. Galloway nevertheless could never manage to cooperate even with those whose views are identical to his. The Independent adds the detail of Mr. G’s justifying, in advance, a suicide murder of Tony Blair.
Mr. Galloway was originally a Labour MP from Scotland, as his truly pretty brogue will attest. But alas Labour expelled him. So Mr. G., with Muslim and Trotskyist supporters, created “Respect,” and then was narrowly elected in a riding in England, defeating the only Black woman in the House in the process.
But now Respect, or so it would seem, has effectively come to an end. It has split, and will hold two rival conferences next week. It’s hard to see how anything effective can survive.
The movement was cobbled together by joining British Muslim groups with the Trotskyist “Socialist Workers Party.” What they have in common is this: all hate the West, all hate America, all hate Israel. It was a matter of lining up, in Mr. Galloway’s memorable phrase, against “Bush, Blair, and Israel.”
But while for the Muslims there surely is a God (at least so one would hope), for the Trotskyists there is no God but Trotsky (well, maybe Marx too). So, like all good things, Respect has come to an end. Galloway still has most of his Muslims, and with them has walked out to found “Respect Renewal.” The SWP retains the old Respect. But without GG, how can that be more than an empty shell ?
The British writer Oliver Kamm has been able to hold his nose long enough to give us news, more or less blow-by-blow, of Renewal’s implosion. The SWP has its own version, and so of course does Mr. Galloway.
Mr. George Galloway, about whom I will have more to say soon, does not like Israel. Some say that Israel loses little and gains a lot from having Mr. GG as such a devoted adversary.
And here is the same Mr. G, debating — or rather refusing to debate — a student at Oxford, February, 2013: