In an honest political system, a political party should do what it says on the tin. At one time, British politics had political parties that indeed stood for the views that were clearly and implicitly defined by the names of all the main parties. Today, this is becoming less and less the case and nowhere is this truer than in respect of Britain’s Labour Party.
In the year 2003, George Galloway MP was expelled from the Labour party by Tony Blair, owing to Galloway’s robust opposition to the illegal war on Iraq – an opposition which indeed referenced well established precedents in international law regarding the illegality (and immorality) of obeying illegal orders. But tossing the precedent established at the Nuremberg Trials to one side, Blair proceeded to expel Galloway in spite of veteran politicians Tony Benn and Michael Foot speaking in Galloway’s defence.
Today, no one can say with a straight face that the war on Iraq was a good thing. In this sense, everything Galloway said in 2003 has been vindicated and everything that Tony Blair said in 2003 has been exposed as a what Galloway himself called “a pack of lies”.
Today, Britain’s Labour Party is led by Jeremy Corbyn, a man who shares Galloway’s anti-war sentiments and who himself was a decades long Parliamentary friend of George Galloway. And yet, Galloway remains outside of the Labour Party, owing entirely to the long discredited policies of Tony Blair, a man who is no friend of Jeremy Corbyn to say the least.
This reality is not only perverse, but it is so perverse that even the Blairites who have decided to abandon Labour to ostensibly form their own neo-Blairite party, should champion Galloway’s’ return to the Labour benches in the House of Commons.
It ought to go without saying that the Labour Party ought to be a party which represents the interests of Labour. As such, a Labour Party without George Galloway would be like a Conservative party that prohibited someone who sounds, looks and thinks like Margaret Thatcher from entering its ranks. Galloway dedicated the vast majority of his life to working for the Labour Party and from the beginning up until his expulsion at the hands of Tony Blair, he had achieved nothing but success for the party he was supremely devoted to.
Today, Galloway remains devoted to the cause of the original values of the Labour Party in the same way for example that many in UKIP remain devoted to the Thatcherite cause that in their view has been watered down by subsequent Conservative leaders.
This is why the case for George Galloway’s re-admission to the party of his youth, his life and his values, is about ethics more than about ideology or even the matter of correcting the personal unfairness that Blair dealt to Galloway in 2003. It is simply insincere for a Labour party to operate whilst excluding the most powerful voice for the Labour cause in Britain. The same would be true of a Conservative Party that would not allow Nigel Farage among its ranks, should he ever wish to be among them.
It is a grave disservice to democracy to allow pettiness to deprive the public of the champions of their choice. This is why George Galloway should be welcomed back into the Labour Party which would then give him the option of going to the people at either a by-election or a general election so that they can vote either for or against a man who is the real deal – the real Labour.