Friday, March 01, 2024

George Galloway’s Workers Party


The Rochdale by-election on 29 February was prompted by the death of the previous Member of Parliament for that constituency. From 1972 onwards the seat had a mix of Liberal and Labour MPs. Labour no doubt expected an easy win there, which they may have achieved under pressure, even though a previous Labour MP, expelled from that party and then representing Rochdale as an Independent was standing for the Reform party. Their slogan is ‘Let’s Make Britain Great’, an obvious nod to Trumpism.

Also standing was George Galloway of the Workers Party of Britain (WPB), formed in 2019 by himself. Their slogan is ‘Building a New Working Class Politics in Britain’. Galloway was a Labour Party member for thirty-six years, and while presenting himself as radically left he is essentially a Fabian.

We write this before the result of the by-election is known but the odds on Galloway winning did shorten a little after the official Labour Party candidate got himself into trouble with his own party for remarks he made.

Based on media coverage it did appear that Galloway was concentrating on canvassing support based upon his long-standing support for the Palestinian cause and his complete antagonism toward Zionism.

The WPB Manifesto says:

‘The Workers Party of Britain is a socialist party but we are not Utopian, nor are we bound by abstruse theory. We have a common-sense analysis and a practical mission. The Workers Party is committed to the redistribution of wealth and power in favour of working people’.

Not the abolition of capitalism, note, but change within capitalism.

Their Manifesto goes on to list ‘some things we can do immediately’.

‘We will immediately increase the personal tax threshold for the poorest paid, removing tax entirely from the first £21,200 of wages for two million low-paid workers, and at the same time we commit to a one-off wealth tax on all estates valued fairly at over £10 million to make a start on redressing the colossal gap between the wealthiest 1% and the rest of the population.’

Yup, truly revolutionary. Amongst other irrelevances to the working class:

‘Rebuild British industry… to provide useful secure jobs for all…’

‘We support campaigning to preserve the right to use cash.’

‘We will ensure working-class representation throughout the governance of the Bank of England.’

So much for the claim to be ‘a socialist party’ and the commitment ‘to offer a long-term and well-organised socialist alternative to the corrupt Labour Party…’

Despite all the firebrand rhetoric Galloway just wants to reform capitalism, which is no doubt trembling in its boots at the thought of him being a Member of Parliament.

Update: Galloway won 12,335 votes – 39.7% of the total,  giving him a 5,697-vote majority.

Anyone who thinks that this is a victory for the working class is very badly mistaken.

It’s  still new boss, same old boss. Sections, if not most, of the Media will enjoy clutching at their pearls as they hold Galloway and his WPB up as an example of how awful “socialists” are and workers would be far better off voting for that nice Labour Party.

Macbeth put it well, It is a tale told an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.

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