Support our Nation today - please donate here
Opinion

You Are the Mob

03 Mar 2024 5 minute read
Keir Starmer, Rishi Sunak (PA), George Galloway by matlock CC BY-NC 2.0.

Ben Wildsmith

Watching the political establishment’s shock at George Galloway’s election in Rochdale was revelatory of its detachment from life as we live it.

Rishi Sunak rushed out to his lectern to warn us we are sliding into mob rule.

Now first off, Rishi, the only lectern-issued warning we’re after from you is that we’re having a general election. Your mandate-free cuckooing of Downing Street disqualifies you from lecturing us on democracy. Stop it, it’s silly.

Additionally, your first act as Prime Minister was to reappoint the bomb-throwing bigot fluffer, Suella Braverman as Home Secretary. You weren’t so worried about inflaming mobs then, were you?

Your political output since clambering out of Boris Johnson’s codpiece has consisted solely of hare-brained deportation schemes pandering to the paranoid, racist imaginings of potential Reform UK voters.

If dogs were uniquely able to detect the frequency of dilettante tech-bros harnessing xenophobia to distract from their personal incompetence, Pets at Home would sell you as a whistle.

Violent multitude

It’s not his cultivated mob we’re supposed to be frightened of though, is it? Aside from some passing mentions of the ‘far right’, Sunak’s violent multitude is the same as Braverman’s: people who oppose Israeli action in Gaza.

Sir Keir Starmer, as we have come to expect, agreed with the Prime Minister’s intervention. For a brief moment last week, he allowed Labour policy on Gaza to diverge slightly from the official government line; so slightly, in fact, that the government allowed it to pass into law in the Commons.

Until that point neither Labour nor the Conservatives was prepared to back an immediate ceasefire, despite polls indicating that 66% of the public were in favour, not only of a halt in fighting but that Israel should enter into negotiations with Hamas.

So, how exactly is a majority view to find political expression if both parties in a de facto two-party state refuse to reflect it? If people opt for peaceful demonstrations, they can expect to be condemned as ‘hate marchers’.

Now, it seems, the election of an MP to advance the case is somehow evidence of antidemocratic intentions.

Questionable company

There is plenty to find distasteful about George Galloway. From the minimising of rape accusations against Julian Assange, to his dismissal of independence for Scotland and Wales, he has outraged many on the left for years.

He is vain, a self-publicist and a man who keeps highly questionable company.

Anybody who saw his performance in the US Congressional hearings on the Iraq war, however, will not doubt the sincerity of his position on foreign affairs. In standing virtually alone against that illegal catastrophe which claimed the lives of 300 000 Iraqi civilians at a conservative estimate, he earned credibility that has endured.

If Galloway is an opportunist, then it is Labour who have gifted him an opportunity. Its failure to run a candidate in Rochdale should be ringing alarms as to its fitness to govern the country.

Its original candidate, Azhar Ali, was a Starmer loyalist. When newspapers reported his antisemitic remarks, he was initially backed to remain in place. Only when further remarks were reported did Starmer withdraw support.

Contrast this with the treatment of Andy McDonald MP, who is from the left of the party. He was immediately suspended after hoping in October that, ‘…Israelis and Palestinians, between the river and the sea can live in peaceful liberty.’

Mr Ali opined that Israel, ‘deliberately took the security off, they allowed… that massacre that gives them the green light to do whatever they bloody want.’

Moral position

Anybody watching the suffering of Gazans, particularly if they have access to Al Jazeera’s footage from within the strip, will form a certain moral position, one way or the other. The response of the UK parliament has been confused, contradictory, evasive, and dishonest.

Put simply, if 66% of people in a democracy oppose the government’s position, the opposition has an obligation to reflect that view. George Galloway arrives in parliament next week because, if nothing else, he knows how to do politics.

Venal self-interest is hardly new amongst the political class. The job of a politician is to wed the desires of the public to his or her own fortunes.

Neither Sunak nor Starmer has the political skill to persuade. Sunak relies on distraction, Starmer on repression. If they do not learn, then independent candidates will become a potent force across the UK and the two-party system will tremble.

Plaid Cymru, the Green Party, and the SNP should be on alert.

In these circumstances, the ball can squirt out of the back of the scrum in a host of constituencies.

Galloway, Nigel Farage, and even Lee Anderson will be waiting to scoop it up if radical Britain doesn’t up its game.

Flags & Bones by Ben Wildsmith is available to order from Cambria Books


Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
15 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Linda Jones
Linda Jones
1 month ago

Galloway will hopefully shake up the corrupt, self serving echo chamber that is Westminster. A place where the well heeled prove daily they are out of touch with the electorate and out of touch with the real world. Its an elected dictatorship not a democracy with no representation or concern for ordinary working people.
Go George

CapM
CapM
1 month ago
Reply to  Linda Jones

But when it comes down to it you’ve got to question the judgement of a man who buys a hat that’s too small for his head.

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago
Reply to  CapM

If that’s your only complaint then it’s best you don’t share it. He serves a useful purpose in puncturing the smug, self satisfied air of the majority of our political establishment.

CapM
CapM
1 month ago
Reply to  hdavies15

I’m all for puncturing the smug, self satisfied air of the majority of our political establishment which includes George Galloway.

There’s a lot of puncturing to do. I’m trying my best. One pr ick at a time!

Rob
Rob
1 month ago
Reply to  Linda Jones

I’m all for standing up to the Westminster establishment, but racist bigots like George Galloway – no thanks.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
1 month ago

It doesn’t matter who’s in power, in Westminster, the two main parties, more or less, act the same. It’s why nothing really changes. Will a new Labour government actually level up the country? Well it didn’t happen under Blair, why would it happen under Starmer? It won’t. Little will change for Cymru. The article mentions Independent candidates they may well start to become the norm to beat the system but it won’t help Cymru. Ultimately, an independent Cymru is the only way.

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Duggan

But would a Cymru that is a pale reflection of the current situation be a prize worth winning? As things stand, especially in the light of what is happening in the current Welsh Labour leadership campaign, that is most likely what we’d have.

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago
Reply to  Padi Phillips

Where are the Welsh equivalents of George Galloway ? Someone, or better a few people, who could shake that dozy lot in the Bay out of their slumber.

Annibendod
Annibendod
1 month ago

For the leader of a Tory party that has waged “culture wars”, whipped up mobs of far right thugs, and delivered one of the most pig-ignorant political moments in history, that racism-fuelled shot to the foot aka Brexit, to claim that the Left protesting the slaughter of tens of thousands of Palestinians somehow constitutes “mob rule” is abjectly, morally deplorable. The latest plunge into depths below depths of ethical depravity. For Starmer to bleat meekly in agreement is supine cowardice. I’ve no time for the whopping ego on stilts that is George Galloway nor the majority of his views but… Read more »

Pen
Pen
1 month ago

George Galloway is a false friend because he is against Welsh devolution and Scottish devolution….. Sometimes equating them with divisive nazism

Rob
Rob
1 month ago
Reply to  Pen

I don’t think he is against devolution, but is definitely opposed to Scottish and Welsh independence. But aside from that I agree. He has made it clear he would rather vote conservative over the SNP. He is a hypocrite, claims to be opposed to nationalism yet he supports Brexit.

Rob
Rob
1 month ago

I used to listen to George Galloway’s radio show in the early 2010s, even though I wasn’t a fan, I was curious to hear things from his perspective at the time. Back then he was very much for multiculturalism, open borders, anti-Tory and anti-nationalist (both Scottish and British). He campaigned against Scottish independence as on a ‘No to Nationalism platform, even arguing that a No vote would ensure Scotland’s place in the EU. Yet today he has done a complete 180. He supported Brexit, endorsed Farage, as well as endorsing right wing conspiracy theories such as the 2020 election being… Read more »

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob

Its a job like any other, if an oil man can become Arch-Bishop then from hard left to hard right is one small step on the dark side of the moon, just ask Clare Fox, Gove’s mate from the Moral Maze, now in the House of Fun, a demagogue just like her running mate… BBC News and Current Affairs I curse you… See you in Hell Buerk, Gove, Fox, Phillips and Neil et al ps always see who they are married to… Always where they can cross pollinate, eavesdrop and political insider trade… The land where scum comes to the… Read more »

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

He was looking rough and his pate must rarely see the light of day, is this the working man’s Fat Shanks I see before me ?

It’s fun to let a bear loose in a care home but there is an awful lot of sh*t to clear up afterwards…

What a Palace of Gargoyles and Grotesques it has become…

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

I may not agree with you but that comment is funny and should be added to the long term list of good’uns.

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.