Saturday 13 January 2018

With Respect

"To my comrade David Lindsay, with respect, George Galloway." So reads the inscription in my copy of his book, I'm Not The Only One. I have enormous political respect and personal affection for George, who needs to face facts. He is not going to be a Minister in a Corbyn Government. He is never again going to be a Labour MP. He is never going to be let back into the Labour Party at all.

Whatever the rights or wrongs of his expulsion in 2003, he has since stood for Parliament against Labour five times, he has been successful on two occasions, he has taken seats from Labour on both of them, he has prevented the re-election of a Labour MP on one of them, he has actively supported several other parliamentary and numerous municipal candidates against Labour ones, he has stood for the European Parliament against Labour (I voted for Respect at those elections in 2004, albeit not in London, where he was the lead candidate), he has stood for the Scottish Parliament against Labour, he has stood twice for the London Assembly against Labour, he has literally allowed his name to appear in that of a London Assembly list against Labour on a third occasion, and he has stood for Mayor of London against Labour.

George most recently stood for Parliament against Labour a mere six months ago. When it comes to merely threatening to stand against Labour, the offence for which I was expelled because I had done it once, even he himself has probably lost count. Even now, he is dropping hints about Kensington and Chelsea Council. He has told me live on air that I ought to stand for Parliament, and he has told me face to face that I ought to stand for Parliament. He has not formally resigned as one of my Campaign Patrons.

George's name has appeared alongside mine on several published and unpublished round-robin letters, and it has also appeared, obviously without mine, on an unpublished letter attacking the abuse of the criminal justice system against me. I have avidly retweeted his material, and he has fairly regularly retweeted mine. I have publicised his radio programme, his television programme and his documentary film, all of which I shall continue to do, since they are excellent. He tapped me to be a weekly panellist on another RT programme that he was to have presented; it was never commissioned, but a pilot was made, and I was in it. He agreed to write a weekly column for my magazine, which remains a work in progress, whatever the George Wallace County Durham Labour Party and the Bull Connor Crown Prosecution Service might do to try and kill it.

I published an article in The Huffington Post making the case for George's London Mayoral candidacy, and The Lanchester Review carried an extensive expression of support for him. Other than those in County Durham which were not being defended by Grahame Morris, the Teaching Assistants' Champion, Manchester Gorton was the only constituency in Great Britain at which I did not advocate a Labour vote last year, calling instead for a vote for George. I maintain that he would have won it if it had been a by-election after all, having accurately predicted George's victory at Bradford West in 2012. Just as I accurately predicted a hung Parliament in 2010, Ed Miliband as Labour Leader, UKIP's defeat at every by-election where its candidate was not the incumbent MP, no UKIP gains in 2015, Jeremy Corbyn's runaway victory after his rivals' infamous abstention, Corbyn's increased mandate in 2016, and (uniquely, so far as I am aware) a hung Parliament in 2017.

Those who say that I am a false prophet either ignored George completely in 2012 or said that he was going to lose his deposit, predicted a Conservative overall majority in 2010, predicted that David Miliband would lead the Labour Party, predicted that UKIP would win every English by-election during that Parliament, predicted that it would return dozens of MPs in 2015 as it "replaced Labour in the North", predicted that Anyone But Corbyn would win the Labour Leadership, predicted that Owen Smith would either defeat him or massively reduce his margin of victory, and predicted a landslide for Theresa May. Had it not been for the electoral fraud to which the Conservative Party freely admits, but which the CPS can find "no public interest" in prosecuting, then Labour would indeed have won the 2015 General Election, as I predicted.

George's doomed desperation to be let back into the Labour Party has led him to set aside all of this in order to declare Laura Pidcock above criticism by a journalist and activist who is also her constituent and near neighbour. Laura has just been named a Shadow Minister for Labour even though, while there ought to be a Ministry of Labour, in point of fact there is not one.

Yet it is either certain or very highly likely that she disagrees with George, and with me, about Brexit, about the Teaching Assistants, about crossparty friendship and co-operation, about working for Murdoch-owned broadcasters, about writing for the Mail newspapers, about Scottish independence, about the relative importance of funding university students over their peers, about all-women shortlists, about being or not being a Marxist, about immigration, about the policy approach to climate change, about Donald Trump's defeat of Hillary Clinton, about the possibility of a State Visit by Trump, about fathers' rights, about abortion, and about assisted suicide.

Laura has been endorsed as a potential future Leader of the Labour Party, and thus as a potential future Prime Minister, by Owen Jones. Does she agree with him about drugs, about prostitution and pornography (including the lap-dancing clubs that have been an issue in this constituency in the past), and about gender as a matter of self-identification? Or does she agree, as I do, with George Galloway on those questions? And what is George's response to her answer?

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