Tony Greenstein | 06 March 2024 | Post Views:

When A Ruling Class Is Seen As Morally and Politically Bankrupt Then That is When It is Both Weakest & Most Vicious

Victory Speech

The reaction of Rishi Sunak to Galloway’s election victory last Friday morning was a sight to behold. He slithered out of 10 Downing Street to spew his venom at an audience that was no longer listening,bar the media circus that is little more than an echo chamber.

Sunak is an empty suit, a bundle of clichés, spewing racism and threats of state violence under the pretext that he is combating ‘extremist disruption and criminality’. What he meant of course was the mass demonstrations against the genocide in Gaza that he is encouraging and which 76% of the population support.

It is one of the hallmarks of the political dishonesty of our politicians that opposition to genocide is violence and support for genocide is making peace.

Sunak is the least impressive Prime Minister since the last one,  Liz Truss, whose reign was less than the lifespan of a lettuce.

Sunak’s speech

Sunak demonstrated the moral and political turpitude of an elite that has systematically transferred the wealth of the UK from the poorest to the richest. Sunak himself is the richest man in parliament and he is married to the tax-dodging daughter of a billionaire.

Comedian Tez with voting advice to British Muslims

— Andrew Feinstein (@andrewfeinstein) March 5, 2024

Every action of the government is designed to impoverish the vast majority of people. The NHS is in chaos and underfunded, schools are being privatised, welfare benefits have been systematically cut, Brexit has reduced the volume of trade and yet according to Sunak and Braverman the greatest threat to Britain comes from refugees. Racism and divide and rule  are the order of the day.

Yet it is over Gaza that their moral depravity shines out. In his speech Sunak mentioned October 7, when Palestinian fighters killed 1,139 Israelis, a third of whom were military and police and half the remainder were killed by Israel under the Hannibal Doctrine, which stipulates that in the event of an Israeli being captured it is better to kill both captor and captive than allow the latter to be exchanged for Palestinian prisoners at a later date. A fact carefully hidden by a compliant media.

Galloway Interview with Sky TV

When genocide stalks Gaza, when Israel perpetrates the flour massacre, Sunak says nothing. One Israeli Jewish life is worth more than 100 Palestinian lives. Which is exactly the ratio of hostages killed that the Nazis exacted  when one of them were killed.

Israel is armed to the teeth by Sunak and the US government and soldiers opening fire on starving people waiting for food does not disturb Sunak, Starmer or our political elite in the slightest. Of course if Russia had committed such an atrocity it would have filled the airwaves. Instead Sunak condemned a non-existent violence on the streets of Britain as a pretext for removing yet more of our rights to protest.

Aaron Bushnell’s Brave Sacrifice to Stop Biden’s Genocide

Rochdale is a constituency which has been held by all 3 major parties and was for much of the 19th century a stronghold of radicalism and the supporters of free trade and opponents of the Corn Laws, notably Richard Cobden. So it is not altogether a surprise that the voters of Rochdale have elected in George Galloway another radical.

There was one issue above all other that dominated the election and that was Gaza. As Galloway said in his victory speech, ‘Keir Starmer this is for Gaza.’

Sunak leads an openly racist party. 58% of whose members say that Islam poses a threat to this country. 43% of members don’t want a Muslim Prime Minister, a survey by YouGov found. Substitute Judaism/Jewish for Islam/Muslim and you get a flavour of the state of the Tory party.

The same study found 45% believe there are “areas in Britain in which non-Muslims are not able to enter” and 67% believe there are areas “that operate under Sharia law“. Conspiracy theories are rife in this racist party yet Sunak’s only concern was the false claim that Jewish school students are fearful’ to wear their uniforms ‘lest it reveal their identity.’

Sunak’s concern for British Jews, almost all whom are White, economically prosperous  and not subject to state repression or discrimination is touching but what he is doing is using Jews as a moral alibi for his support for Israel as a ‘Jewish’ State. When you are enabling genocide it helps to point to distract people’s attention by pointing to a non-existent problem.

Sunak declared that:

It is beyond alarming that last night the Rochdale by-election returned a candidate who dismisses the horror of what happened on October 7th, who endorses Hezbollah and is endorsed by Nick Griffin, the racist leader of the BNP… you cannot use that to call for the eradication of a state or any kind of hatred or anti-Semitism…. It is the public’s expectation that they [the Police] will not only manage these protests but police them.

We have had 30,000 killed and 70,000 injured in Gaza and rising but this is not enough for Sunak who had nothing to say about Palestinian deaths and injuries.

Calling for the dismantlement of the Apartheid State of Israel is anti-Semitic. Was the destruction of the Nazi and South African states also racist? 

Galloway at University Debate Destroys Zionist Claims That He is Anti-Semitic 

Sunak’s real agenda was left to last. Unable to ban the mass demonstrations outright like Braverman wanted, he called for wholly peaceful mass protests not only to be managed by the police but to be ‘policed’ by them. Which is code for coercion, violence and harassment of marchers by arresting them for chanting things and holding placards he doesn’t like. 

Police repression is Sunak’s response to the political crisis and the mass movement that has arisen since October 7. No doubt the Met, a byword for corruption, racism and misogyny will step up their harassment of protestors and if violence breaks out it will of course be the fault of those who were harassed.

The irony of Sunak talking about racism is breathtaking. He has been forced to suspend the former Vice-Chair of the Tory Party Lee Anderson whom he appointed in the first place because he was a racist. Yet two-thirds of Tory members support him and Sunak himself refuses to call his attack on Sadiq Khan for being in the grip of Islamists Islamaphobic.

Not surprisingly Starmer echoes every word Sunak says. There was a time when the Labour Party was an Opposition party but today we have a choice of identikit politicians whose only interest is in scapegoating minorities.

Starmer has pursued a consistently racist and Islamaphobic policy in the Labour Party, all in the name of opposing ‘anti-Semitism’. Both party leaders are committed to Zionism and support genocide in Israel.

Galloway condemned the SNP for supporting the protesters

The victory of George Galloway should be welcomed by all those on the left who want change. Of course Galloway is not the perfect socialist. His views on refugees leave a lot to be desired as does his attitude to social oppressions and abortion. But where he is right is in stressing the importance of class as opposed to identity politics.

Most people on the left realised that Genocide in Gaza was the main issue in Rochdale and supported Galloway. The SWP did not.

Nine days before the election the headline in Socialist Worker was ‘Galloway is not the answer for Rochdale – We need a better expression of Palestinian liberation than George Galloway’s party.

Presumably the SWP’s decision to march with Glasgow Friends of Israel on March 16 to mark UN anti-racism day is what they mean by a better expression of Palestinian liberation! Supporters of Israel’s genocide will be taking part in an ‘anti-racist’ march.

10 days later the SWP headline was ‘The Rochdale by-election was a referendum on Rishi Sunak’s and Keir Starmer’s support for Israel’s genocide.‘ which rather begs the question why, in that case the SWP did not support him!

Azhar Ali

The claims of Starmer that Labour would have won if they had not suspended their candidate Azhar Ali is more Starmer’s lies. Nothing that Ali said was anti-Semitic. Given the warning Israel had over October 7 it is quite reasonable to believe that it might have let it happen. It certainly is not anti-Semitic to propound such a theory.

The  truth as everyone knows is that Ali was suspended because Starmer knew he was going to lose and he decided that it was preferable to sack him than lose to Galloway.

Never has it been so obvious that whatever else Britain, America, Germany and the West is they are not democracies. Majorities in every European country see Israel’s attack on Gaza as unjustified. Even in Germany 44% oppose Israel’s attack to 35% who support it.

Even in the US 68% support a ceasefire and 43% oppose sending Israel weapons compared to 31% supporting it. Yet the governments of nearly all the countries chose to ignore public opinion. And when, as in the UK, the public is resolutely opposed to the government’s policy the government attacks the marches as ‘hate marches’ and seeks to restrict them.

Even the Economist is not impressed with Sunak’s attack on the right to protest

Rochdale indicates that we face a profound political crisis with both government and opposition in lockstep. You could not put a piece of paper between Sunak and Starmer which is one reason why in Rochdale the two main parties got just 20% between them. No wonder Sunak was so furious.

The question for the left is whether they can get their act together to pose a unified challenge in the next election when the main task will not be defeating Sunak so much as ensuring the defeat of Starmer.

We should be under no illusions that Starmer is the main enemy. He stands for the continuation of the Tory attacks on the working class and poor. There isn’t even one promise that he hasn’t broken. Not one of his 10 pledges that secured his election as leader that he hasn’t torn up.

The call by Andrew Feinstein for a unified left, the Collective, is welcome. What would be even more welcome would be if Jeremy Corbyn, together with those MPs who Starmer has removed the whip from, were to seize this opportunity to give a lead rather than cowering in the shadows. Corbyn hasn’t even declared whether he will restand for parliament. One can only wonder what is keeping him.

Posted in

Tony Greenstein

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.