Galloway won by taking on 'cosy conspiracy' over Afghanistan

He was once called the member for Baghdad East – he now risks being labeled the MP for Kabul East

Column LAST UPDATED AT 12:13 ON Fri 30 Mar 2012

GEORGE GALLOWAY is back with a vengeance after his astounding by-election victory last night over Labour in the Bradford West by-election when he won 18,341 votes for his Respect party against 8,201 for the Labour candidate Imran Hussein. He now has a national platform from which to attack the cosy conspiracy of silence at Westminster over Britain's role in Afghanistan.

In his victory address in the small hours, Galloway said the humiliating defeat for Labour was a wake-up call for all three mainstream political parties. He accused Labour of taking their core voters for granted, particularly for going along with Cameron's cuts.

But Bradford was not won on attacking austerity economics alone and, as the dust settles, more questions will be asked about how exactly 'Gorgeous George' achieved his victory and what the ramifications might be.

The fact is, he appealed directly to the large Muslim vote in Bradford by calling for an immediate withdrawal of British troops from Afghanistan.

He is now planning to use his seat at Westminster for his Respect Party to challenge directly the three-party consensus about the need to keep British troops in Afghanistan until 2013.

Nowhere is that consensus more apparent than each week at Prime Minister's Questions when David Cameron and then Ed Miliband read out the names of the soldiers who have been killed by the Taliban.

Opinion polls show consistently that Galloway's call to stop the war and pull out immediately will have far wider resonance in Britain than just in Bradford.

Since failing to win Poplar at the 2010 general election, Galloway has appeared a fringe character, best known to the general public for his absurd appearance on Celebrity Big Brother back in 2006.

But while he may be a maverick - as former Labour Home Secretary David Blunkett described him on the Today programme this morning - he is undoubtedly charismatic, and one of the best debaters in Parliament.

Cameron and Miliband will have reason to be worried that he is going to arrive in Westminster with a populist message which is going to make it much harder to hold the line over Afghanistan.

This morning, Harriet Harman, the Labour deputy leader, hid behind the fig leaf of an internal Labour inquiry into the party's defeat at Bradford West lost, and refused to "pre-empt the results of the inquiry" by offering any analysis on the reason for the 35 per cent swing to Respect.

Galloway was ridiculed as “the member for Baghdad East” when he courted Saddam Hussein before the Iraq war. In some quarters, he is likely now to be rubbished as the MP for Kabul East and an unwitting friend of the Taliban. But with a new platform at Westminster, he represents a serious challenge to what he - and others - call the continued "occupation" of Afghanistan. · 

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This is all the Mole says and more. The only comparison is T P O'Connor's representing Liverpool Scotland in the Irish Nationalist interest for nearly 45 years (and becoming Father of the House, which I doubt GG will :lol: ). Swathes of our inner cities, for better or worse, are now part of the Ummah and it will be astonishing if Respect does not transform itself into an Islamist Party (of the moderate variety, modelled on Tunisia or Turkey, no doubt) and take perhaps a dozen seats at the election after next. This is indeed a wake-up call, a call to wake up to the fact that religion is a far far stronger source of political cleavage than class ever can be.

George Galloway is no flash in the pan best known to the public for his Big Brother appearance.  Huh - you wish!  The majority he secured, and the high voter turn out indicate more than that.  He's a man of principal, and his appeal to Muslim voters - and the many others who disavow our misjudged military interventions abroad - indicate a broad base of support.  It's a sad reflection on all our supposedly independent news media that this by election received so little coverage ahead of the result - which strongly suggests that the result itself is far from a shock.  Sneering at the voters of Bradford won't change it.  Have a cup of tea and a nap. 

George's election sends a clear message out to the Labour party.  The whole shadow cabinet is incompetent. Too many old Blairites still on the front bench.Miliband has the charisma of a slug. For a party that has it's roots in the working class it is a sham. They have to buck up or face a humiliating defeat in the next election.

FACT : Donald Rumsfeld, former US Defense Sec, met and courted Saddam Hussein MORE TIMES than George Galloway. Galloway never courted Saddam or the Taliban. He consistently spoke against them at times when the West was supporting them. He went to Iraq on humanitarian mission just like Jesse jackson.
These lies are put fwd by the morally bankrupt right wing, who cannot stand the truth and courage of people like George Galloway.

This result shows how out of touch the LibLabCons are.
We are strangers in our own country now and multicultural influences hold a lot power at the ballot box.
It is time to fight back before it is too late.
Vote UKIP or English Democrat in the May Elections.

As an octogenarian, I hold the simple opinion that in a democratic society, members of Parliament should owe their loyalty to and represent the wishes and interests of those residents of the UK who elected them and also pay their wages! Unfortunately, these same individuals, once in office appear to believe that their prime responsibility is to ethnic minorities and to right the wrongs as they see it in foreign lands no matter what the cost!. The fact that we are way over our heads in national debt brought about by political ineptitude and incompetency appears to have escaped them completely!  Do they not understand? When one is deeply in debt, it is madness to go flinging away money that must be repaid by our following generation simply to 'Lead the world' into foreign wars with the horrors and cost simply to promote their personal egos. There should be much more publicity concerning the lifelong physical and pychological damage sustained to those soldiers of ours who were not actually killed! One has to wonder how many personal relatives of these war mongers have been also put in harms way! Also, are their personal finances in a similar mess to that they have created on a national scale? I now say most sincerely 'Bravo, George Galloway, force these idiots face up to real life!'

"Since failing to win Poplar at the 2010 general election, Galloway has appeared a fringe character, best known to the general public for his absurd appearance on Celebrity Big Brother back in 2006." 
 That should read " Shamefully given most media coverage for his appearance on CBB2006"  

The general media gave very little coverage to his robust assault on the US senate that thought they were going to give him a grilling.  The Media/Politico's then like to pass the buck and blame the general public's lack of knowlege/interest in important matters for the ills of the modern nation.

Parliament has  true politician at last.  I'm off to you tube to watch GG take on the senate, I never tire of watching them squirm uncomfortably as he speaks.    

GG is not only a challenge to new labour but a wake up call to all the parties that they can't take the working class vote for granted and if the now thoroughly disaffected electorate, especially the Youth can be enthused by populist politicians like  GG a polical change may well be in order. Looks to me like the Ed's need to turn Left if they want to be a genuine alternative.

The Nasty Party is a sheltered workshop for the privileged and the wannabes. Labour, once the Party "of the horny handed sons of Toil, the cream of the working class" has become the scum of the middle class, apparatchiks, time servers and shiny pants who've never had a real job in their lives.
BTW, GG did the Friday graveyard shift on TalkSport for several years and anyone who listened knew that there was a huge section of the populace which felt that "a pox on both your houses" was too mild.