April 28, 2010 5 Comments
The Respect party bus keeps driving up and down Limeharbour, on the road where I work next to Canary Wharf. I hear the voice of George Galloway bellowing incoherent drool for about three seconds every so often, before turning to look seeing a red blur in motion with the face of their Bethnal Green and Bow candidate Abjol Miah.
A man holding a peace sign waves, but I don’t wave back for two reasons, one serious the other not so serious.
The not so serious reason is that George Galloway recently said to the Wharf newspaper “Tim Archer says Canary Wharf is part of us but there are about 100,000 people working there and just seven per cent live in Tower Hamlets”.
I feel slightly implied in this, but I just generally feel this is a bad move. He follows it up by saying that ASBOs should be rolled out to bankers, which for the ones that gamble and steal our paddles when we drift off into the shit creek might be letting them off lightly, but I can’t see what he means by saying this – are Canary Wharf workers settlers-cum-beneficiaries of imperialist arms deals? Not me sir.
The second reason why I didn’t wave back is because I feel Respect is a symbol of a great deal wrong with the modern left.
The Respect party is still grounded on some very disturbing attitudes and is allied with some disturbing characters.
To go through them all here would be too much like repeating the same old hat, but I will note a few elements that may have been missed or forgotten about while thinking about “bigotgate“:
George Galloway, the firearm of the Respect party, once said:
Hizbollah is leading that resistance [in Palestine]. I do not hesitate to say, and Blair and his law officers may take note, that I glorify that resistance.
I glorify the Hizbollah national resistance movement, and I glorify the leader of Hizbollah, Sheikh Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.
Were this just a SWaPpy flunky then you might simply call him or her stupid for applying that ever-dangerous rule my enemy’s enemy is my friend. But this is Galloway; no idiot – why should he glorify Sheikh Sayed Hassan Nasrallah?
This chap said that implementing Khomeini’s fatwa on Rushdie would have curbed all future insults to the prophet.
He also goes further than most on the subject of Jews. Two examples given on his wikipedia page quote him as saying:
- According to Shaul Shai, Hassan Nasrallah said in a speech delivered in Beirut and aired on Al-Manar TV in September 28, 2001: “What do the Jews want? They want security and money. Throughout history the Jews have been Allah’s most cowardly and avaricious creatures. If you look all over the world, you will find no one more miserly or greedy than they are.”.
- In a 1998 speech marking the Day of Ashura, and published in what was Hassan Nasrallah’s official website at that time, Nasrallah referred to Israel as “the state of the grandsons of apes and pigs – the Zionist Jews” and condemned them as “the murderers of the prophets. “The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), a pro-Israel media watchdog group, MEMRI, and Shaul Shai interpret this language as broadly antisemitic.
Respect have split ways with Lindsey German now, but not for reasons of extremism. She has said before:
whatever disagreements I have with Hamas and Hezbollah, I would rather be in their camp”. And if she lived in Palestine or Lebanon, she probably would be – quite literally. She condemned the language of imperialism, which pretends that “they want democracy. Democracy in the Middle East is Hamas, is Hezbollah.
This is simply a crazy line; and is not absurd to hear among the ranks of SWaPpies/Respect.
Another that Respect has not made efforts to distance from is Dr Azzam Tamimi. To his credit his support of Hamas is on the condition that they change their anti-Semitic charter. Great. But this is not to justify further comments, namely:
Bottom line. Respect is not a party of the left; it is a party of nuts.