Scores of constituencies will vote for my point of view says Galloway

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250,000-strong march for Gaza – Galloway insists he will work for a ceasefire vote in parliament

SUNAK and the Tory government are ‘so bereft of public support that they cower in fear’ of calling a general election, while the Starmer Labour leadership also faces ‘the opprobrium of right-thinking people,’ George Galloway said in his defiant press conference outside parliament yesterday afternoon.

Galloway had just been sworn in as the new Workers Party of Britain MP for Rochdale, following his landslide by-election win last Thursday night.

Galloway told the assembled press: ‘The people of Rochdale voted for me and it’s not for the unelected prime minister Rishi Sunak to pick the MP in Rochdale. The people of Rochdale have that prerogative and they exercised it very clearly with a thumping majority in which the governing party didn’t even come second and actually only got a tiny handful of votes… It’s frankly horrifying that we have a government so bereft of public support that they cower, frightened of calling the general election that this country badly needs…

‘I certainly will work with the SNP to try to force a proper vote on a proper ceasefire. I’m not a supporter of the SNP or their central cause of separation, but I think they’ve been outstanding on the Gaza question, at least by comparison with the two big parties of the state…’

Asked what his maiden speech would be about, Galloway replied: ‘It will be about Gaza because there’s a genocide going on. I know that many journalists like to shut that g-word down but when the International Court of Justice, the highest court in the world, finds that there is a plausible case that Israel is committing crimes of genocide and sends Israel for trial on genocide charges it doesn’t get more serious than that.’

He went on: ‘I would ask the journalists … if the by-election had been in February of 1940 or 1941, would anyone seriously have condemned me for putting the crimes of the holocaust at the centre of my election campaign? – actually in some papers they would because some of the papers were supporting the Blackshirts. “Hurrah for the Blackshirts” screamed the Daily Mail in the run-up to the Second World War…

‘And yet the same fourth estate seemed, or pretended to find it inexplicable that I would put a genocide in Gaza in front of the voters in a by-election in 2024.’

The BBC correspondent asked Galloway if he thought Hamas should be running Gaza and if Britain is right to be supporting Ukraine in the war against Russia.

He replied: ‘These are two very big questions that would take me some time to deal with and do justice to. But it’s an intriguing question, dripping with imperial condescension. “Do I think that Hamas should be allowed to govern Gaza?” Should we ask Britain to decide who runs Gaza – or the BBC perhaps. The people of Palestine must pick their own government. I would not myself have voted for Hamas. I’m an Arafat man and have been since the 1970s. But the Palestinian people picked Hamas and, as I said in some quite substantial speeches here in 2008 when the siege began, no good can come of former colonising countries trying to pick the leader of other people’s lands.

‘Ukraine is a very long story indeed. Not fit for an outdoor press conference. But I absolutely oppose the iron-clad consensus for war across the two front benches in this parliament and many people in Britain agree with me…

‘It’s clear to me that Sunak has identified Muslims and Gaza as the proximate centre of that wedge issue that he intends to use as perhaps his only hope of re-election. It is quite clear that there is going to be a raft of measures that will take away still further freedoms from the British people – freedom to speak, freedom to assemble, freedom to protest and to demonstrate. And if they had their way, freedom to elect people that the establishment doesn’t like. That was also the meaning of his rather embarrassing impromptu performance outside Number 10.

‘What do I mean by a wedge issue? They want to force Starmer either to stand up and defend the democratic rights of the British people, including the rights of its religious and ethnic minorities – and if he does that I’m a Dutchman – or to engage him in what will turn out to be a Dutch Auction of nastiness.

‘If he chooses, as I suspect he will, the latter, then that’s going to allow us and independent candidates to pick up potentially millions of votes from those who treasure the free rights that we have enjoyed since WWII in this country and who wish to defend the Muslim communities in Britain …

‘The truth is that you know, and certainly Kier Starmer knows, that I am speaking for a very large number of people in Britain and that in dozens, if not scores of parliamentary constituencies, people who support my point of view or who will vote for it or who will vote for independents who think similarly, could alter the outcome of the general election.’