Salma Yaqoob’s departure further exposes George Galloway as a sham


9:10 am - September 12th 2012

by Sunny Hundal    


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Last night the Respect party leader Salma Yaqoob published her resignation letter from the Respect party, effectively signalling its eventual demise.

In her statement she said:

The last few weeks have been extremely difficult for everyone in the party. I feel necessary relations of trust and collaborative working have unfortunately broken down. I have no wish to prolong those difficulties, and indeed hope that they may now be drawn to a close.

I’ve heard from multiple sources that the disagreement over George Galloway’s comments on rape was the final straw – not an abrupt decision based solely on that incident.

There have long been skirmishes and disagreements, including the persistent rumours that Salma was never really kept in the loop about the Bradford by-election.

Nevertheless, Salma Yaqoob held the Respect party together. She was a strong voice in the media and a popular local figure that rallied people to support the party.

With two women now the victim of Galloway’s refusal to admit he was wrong, this incident reinforces the obvious: George Galloway is only interested in promoting and supporting George Galloway.

He didn’t even bother to apologise or retract his comments to keep his party leader on side. That is how much of a team-player he is. He did nothing for the constituents of Tower Hamlets while he was an MP, and he will do nothing for the people of Bradford West.

Last week Socialist Unity’s Andy Newman said it was, ‘Time for the Left to stand up for Galloway‘. The sentiment was so ridiculous I could only laugh at it.

The latest developments only serve to justify my point: there isn’t a single justifiable reason for left-wingers to support Galloway. He would rather throw his party leader under the bus than apologise for his mistakes. The Galloway worshippers, who would rather tell women to shut up about rape than listen and take their points on board, have been exposed.

Lastly, I know that Salma Yaqoob hated the Labour party under Blair and Brown for going into Iraq, but I hope she will reconsider. Ed Miliband should be applauded for admitting Labour was wrong to go into Iraq (it wasn’t his war to apologise for, I believe, Blair and Brown should do that) and she should take that into account. The party would be better off with having campaigners like her.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


Even before the latest story surrounding George Galloway, Respect had already been riven between supporters and opponents of the Islamist insurrection in and invasion of Syria. Galloway was in the latter camp, Yaqoob was in the former.

Led by the candidate whom the pro-life Catholic, Scottish Unionist, Eurosceptical, and never Hard Left Galloway would have nominated if he had still been a Labour MP, only one party now advocates the Union as a first principle, and any concept of English identity. A universal postal service bound up with the monarchy, the Queen’s Highways rather than toll roads owned by faraway and unstable petrostates, Her Majesty’s Constabulary rather than the British KGB that is the impending “National Crime Agency”, and its own 1997 manifesto commitment to renationalise the railways. The National Health Service rather than piecemeal privatised provision by the American healthcare companies that pay Andrew Lansley. Keeping Sunday at least as special as the last Conservative Government left it.

The restoration both of energy independence and of the economic basis of paternal authority, through the reopening of the mines promised by Ed Miliband to one hundred thousand people and the television cameras at the Durham Miners’ Gala. The historic regimental system, and aircraft carriers with aircraft on them. No Falkland Islands oil to Argentina. The State action necessary in order to maintain the work of charities and of churches. The State action necessary in order to maintain a large and thriving middle class. A referendum on continued membership of the EU, explicitly and repeatedly ruled out by David Cameron and William Hague, but never by Ed Miliband. A free vote on the redefinition of marriage, very recently and half-heartedly conceded to Conservative MPs, but always guaranteed to Labour ones.

Labour is reverting to its historical norm as the voice and vehicle of a many-rooted social democratic patriotism in all directions, inclusive of social and cultural conservatives as well as social and cultural liberals, inclusive of rural as well as urban and suburban voices, inclusive of provincial as well as metropolitan contributions, and inclusive of religious as well as secular insights. The 2010 intake is very largely “classic Labour”, the boys in their dads’ suits having decided to sit out the hard work of Opposition. As a result, Labour has long enjoyed a commanding lead both in the opinion polls and at the actual polls.

But Labour came third or below in 211 constituencies in 2010, mostly places where it always does, and in most of those pretty distantly. However, the Coalition has changed the weather. The SNP will also be finished for at least a generation after the loss of the independence referendum in 2014. Imagine a formation which, while welcoming Labour’s present return to the historical norm set out above, was for that very reason fully aware that someone needed to keep Labour on that track or else stand ready to replace it.

Properly organised and sufficiently funded, such a formation could expect to win in 2015 about one third of those seats, i.e., around 70. That would be enough to make a very significant difference indeed, even to hold the balance of power in a hung Parliament. But it could only happen if the unions, most obviously, stumped up the cash. And it could only happen if Labour, with no realistic hope of winning those seats, stood aside in that formation’s favour.

Respect had some aspirations to fill a very British gap, the lack of a party anchoring the Left while engaging fully in the battle of ideas at every level of cultural life and of the education system, while refusing to consign or to confine demotic culture to “the enormous condescension of posterity”, and while co-ordinating broad-based and inclusive campaigns for human rights and civil liberties, for peace (including nuclear, radiological, chemical and biological disarmament, and including against the arms trade), for environmental responsibility, and for the defence and extension of jobs, services and amenities.

Respect was never going to be that party. But this could be. This must be. This will be. If we make it happen. Let’s get on with it.

So Blair and Brown should ‘apologise’ for Iraq and that would make it allright? Galloway was right about Iraq and he is right now. Salma Yaqoob, an honourable lady, has fallen out with Galloway and moved on with dignity. She would make a fool of herself if she associated with the tainted £abour brand.

OK – you don’t like Galloway and will ignore anything he’s ever done that you agree with to make your point. I can see that. What I don’t understand is how you’re very happy to forgive and forget the actions of Labour MPs who voted for the illegal invasion of Iraq, and against an subsequent inquiry into it. Both far greater crimes than anything Galloway ever committed. Why not similar attacks on them? There are even sympathetic articles on here about some of them?

Ed Mil had chance to vote on Iraq investigation – didnt.

The current reason for left disunity is that there is always some group that ‘celebrated leaders’ are quite happy to throw under the bus in order to advance their particular ‘grand plan’.
The right doesn’t require unity, it merely requires obsequence from the masses. Which is why they win.

Ed miliband speaks with forked tongue over Iraq whilst supporting action in Afghanistan Libya Syria and undoubtedly in Iran. Blair is lurking in the background and that can only mean something bad is abt to happen. Salma misunderstood Galloway’s context when speaking of rape on assange – most detailed reporting to be found at Craig Murray website.

So Blair and Brown should ‘apologise’ for Iraq and that would make it allright? Galloway was right about Iraq and he is right now. Salma Yaqoob, an honourable lady, has fallen out with Galloway and moved on with dignity. She would make a fool of herself if she associated with the tainted £abour brand.

Galloway was never ‘right’ on Iraq: his stance wasn’t based on the legitimate concerns of the anti-war Left – that it would cause massive civilian casualties, violate international law and was based on lies about WMD – his opposition was based on salivating adoration for the ‘indifatigable’ Saddam.

I’m sorry, but your hatred of George Galloway is totally unreasonable.

Maybe his comments were ill-judged, but honestly who cares? All the mainstream parties have done thousands of worse things.

“Why not similar attacks on them?”

Liberals will allow mainstream politicians to get away with anything. They’re respectable, don’t you know?

Wendy: Ed miliband speaks with forked tongue over Iraq whilst supporting action in Afghanistan Libya Syria and undoubtedly in Iran…. – most detailed reporting to be found at Craig Murray website.

Above comment tells me all I need to know ‘Wendy’.

Maybe his comments were ill-judged, but honestly who cares?

I suppose Salma Yaoob and Kate Hudson do. Considered that perhaps?

Every day is April Fool’s Day with the absurd David Lindsay.

@8. Dan: “I’m sorry, but your hatred of George Galloway is totally unreasonable.

Maybe his comments were ill-judged, but honestly who cares? All the mainstream parties have done thousands of worse things.”

You may be right on the final point. Politicians in mainstream parties commit mistakes and, in the case of Blair, direct governments to pursue misguided wars. Blair’s misguided war in Iraq was against Hussain who had a history of genocide.

I did not support war against Iraq, but when the decision was made I wished it to deliver democracy. Galloway did not support war against Iraq, but he does not give a toss about democracy, whenever or wherever.

It must be just me who remembers a time when someone was asked to “explain” his comments before being roundly jumpted on. To be clear, i don’t like G.G. at all, he seems an embarrasing example of leftism. But the modern reality of putting your foot a milimetre out of place and getting blasted deeply worries me. And also the “debate” is proceding as if assange is automatically guilty.

“And also the “debate” is proceding as if assange is automatically guilty.”

That does tend to happen if you skip bail.

15. Robin Levett

@Paul Fisher #13:

And also the “debate” is proceding as if assange is automatically guilty.

That is simply not correct; it is true that on one side, the conclusion has been drawn by many (albeit not all) that Assange is innocent of all charges and a victim of the big bad USA and that he should be supported for thsoe reasons. I haven’t seen a comparable body of opinion on the other side. Certainly on this site those arguing that he should surrender to extradition have not assumed guilt.

Sunny, you are being over the top in your continuous condemnation.

“rather tell women to shut up about rape than listen and take their points on board”

Galloway was wrong, we know this. These endless pieces on him are deeply disproportional. Nobody relevant to this issue has told women to “shut up about rape”. It appears you are using the rape issue to pursue your own personal anti-Galloway agenda, which is a shame.

“George Galloway is only interested in promoting and supporting George Galloway.”

Describing Galloway as a “sham” and so on is also unnecessary. Why not stick to criticising the man’s actions rather than vilifying him in this ridiculous, caricatured manner? How many more articles attacking Galloway on personal grounds can we expect to see on Lib Con?

@16. Ben: “Describing Galloway as a “sham” and so on is also unnecessary. Why not stick to criticising the man’s actions rather than vilifying him in this ridiculous, caricatured manner? How many more articles attacking Galloway on personal grounds can we expect to see on Lib Con?”

When describing Galloway, it is impossible to go into detail unless delivering an encyclopedia of his sexist, homophobic, anti semitic or plain crass moments. Shorthand is necessary to get to the simple point that George Galloway is not a nice man or one who should not be considered with respect.

George Galloway expresses personal opinions. He has only been attacked on his opinions.

Im sure he believes what he says he does as fervently as anyone. To say he is a sham and only stands for himself (whatever that means) isnt short hand, its just baseless.

I admire Salma and hope she joins the the Green Party, with whom she much in common.

http://haringeygreens.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/go-green-this-may-salma-yaqoob.html

20. Just Visiting

Ben

< To say he is a sham and only stands for himself (whatever that means) isnt short hand, its just baseless.

But I don't understand why you aren't commenting so little on the specifics of the criticisms of Galloway – why you are defending him but offering no evidence.

Eg – what did you think of Shatterface's comment:

Galloway was never ‘right’ on Iraq: his stance wasn’t based on the legitimate concerns of the anti-war Left – that it would cause massive civilian casualties, violate international law and was based on lies about WMD – his opposition was based on salivating adoration for the ‘indifatigable’ Saddam.

Criticising the specifics of Galloways behaviour is fine- i may disagree with them but im not commenting on them because they arent my contention here. It is ridiculous charicatures (Shatterface, Sunny et al) which are a waste of everyone’s time, and are stupid in principle. In case you are still not understanding me: we all think Hitler a terrible person, but we neednt say he is a sham, that he worships the devil, only acts out of love of himself, that his followers think women should shut up about rape, and so on; its a low level of discussion.

Specific criticisms of Galloways actions are fine. Right or wrong, they aren’t my contention here, which is why im not commenting on them. It is ridiculous caricatures (Shatterface, Sunny et al) which lower the level of discussion that are at best a waste of everyone’s time. Galloway has arguably acted wrongly, but these other charges, that he is only motivated by love of himself, or that his supporters think women should shut up about rape, are ludicrous. I suppose he worships the devil and has horns too.

sorry for the double comment. the first one didnt appear for ages, so i rewrote it.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Margo Milne

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  2. Jason Brickley

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  3. Safwaan

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  9. Ted Jeory

    And exposes Respect as sham? MT @sunny_hundal My blog > Salma Yaqoob’s departure further exposes Galloway as a sham http://t.co/ysU8DX88

  10. Jonathan Fryer

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  18. Abraham Jacobson

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  26. Arun Mehta

    Sunny Hundal: "Salma Yaqoob’s departure (from Respect Party) further exposes George Galloway as a sham." http://t.co/3jFmw8b1 via @libcon

  27. Farzana

    @Clency what do you think of Salma's decision to quit Respect? http://t.co/OaLPSBWi

  28. Antony Taylor

    http://t.co/MIcdgRqK "Respect" has never really been an apt name for the party and Galloway is commanding even less than before.

  29. Rosie G.

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  30. BevR

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  40. Salma Yaqoob, George Galloway And Misogyny « Soupy One

    […] 1: Liberal Conspiracy provides some intelligent and informative points on the dispute with Galloway: “I’ve heard from multiple sources that the disagreement over George Galloway’s comments […]

  41. George Galloway, the media, and the end of Respect | Left Futures

    […] seem to think the story is all about George Galloway. Galloway is “a sham”, Liberal Conspiracy has it, and Respect is a Galloway “ego-proxy” says Labour Uncut. George Galloway, warts […]

  42. Robert CP

    My blog > Salma Yaqoob’s departure further exposes George Galloway as a sham http://t.co/aJq0qOq7





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