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Why You Should Be Concerned About George Galloway's Political Revival

By Emma-Kate SymonsMarch 5, 2024,

Tyrant and terrorist toady Galloway loyalties lie with the Kremlin, Hamas, Tehran—and Donald Trump

George Galloway's victory speech in Rochdale on Friday, March 1st, 2024 (screenshot).

George Galloway has staged another comeback to the British parliament, garnering the usual labels of  “left-wing firebrand” and “maverick” with a fondness for “inflammatory language”. 

Yet the fedora-wearing Scotsman, who has just been sworn in as the new Member for Rochdale, is much more sinister than a mere “controversial figure” or “renegade”.  Galloway is a brazen conspiracy peddler and recidivist antisemite who has been a paid propagandist for the regimes of murderous dictators like Vladimir Putin, Ayatollah Khamenei and Saddam Hussein.

The political veteran campaigned in the divisive by-election on the Trumpian pledge to “Make Rochdale Great Again”. At the same time he targeted Muslim voters amid waves of pro-Palestine protests, excoriating Labour, the Conservatives, Joe Biden and Israel for the so-called "genocide" in Gaza. Meanwhile, endorsements rolled in from extreme right Jew-haters. The former British National Party leader Nick Griffin and Jackson Hinkle and Jimmy Dore in the United States hailed his return to the House of Commons. Similar celebratory tributes appeared in Islamist "oummah" media outfits like 5PillarsUK. It was chilling proof of the success of Galloway's cynical brand of polarizing "red-brown alliance" politics bringing together radical left identitarians and the fascist far right.

Source: Nick Griffin/X, 02/29/2024.

Gallow declared of his victory "this is for Gaza”. He has a notorious fanboy record of hugs, cash and toxic huddles with the terrorist leaders of Hamas, while glorifying Hezbollah and Iran’s Mullahs. In 2009 he traveled to Gaza to ostentatiously hand over wads of money and vehicles to Hamas calling them "the elected government of Palestine". He also secretly met with the terror group leader Ismail Haniyeh, embracing him as he received an honorary Palestinian passport.  A lesser-known fact is that Galloway is also an ardent admirer of the avowedly anti-Muslim and anti-Islamist conspiracist Donald Trump.

Although that did not stop Houthi jihadists from  “name-checking” Galloway as soon as his parliamentary victory was confirmed.  They sent a message to UK Conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak blaming him for their sinking of another cargo ship in the Red Sea - citing British government policy on Gaza. Even the Trotskyist World Socialist website which approves Galloway’s “No2Nato” and “anti-imperialist” Palestinian advocacy, has acknowledged that Galloway’s “political origins are in Stalinism and Labourism, but he has moved in right-wing circles for many years. What he retains from a fierce British nationalism.”

Praise for “anti-war” Trump and insurrection denial

That conspiracy-laden, pro-Brexit nationalist cocktail comes with heavy doses of gushing affirmations of the former US president Trump, now eying a second White House term. On his social media show “Moats” or “Mother of all Talkshows” Galloway has acclaimed bellicose Trump who encourages Putin to attack America's Nato allies, as “anti-war”. He gleefully repeats Trump's lies that the 2020 election was stolen by Joe Biden with the “Deep State”, including the CIA and the Clintons. As for the January 6 assault on the Capitol it was “the laughably described insurrection in Washington DC.” 

Friendly with Trump adviser Steve Bannon since 2016, Galloway appeared on a Eurasia platform in Kazhakstan with him in 2019.  He eagerly affirmed Bannon’s populist nationalist call for a “left-right alliance” and spoke in conspiratorial terms about the elites and their day being done. “Steve Bannon is right," he said. The only way that you have any chance of controlling the elites and monopolies and the exploiters is on a nation state level.” 

More recently Galloway lauded the prowess of pro-Trump broadcaster Tucker Carlson in his tête-à-tête with Putin. The interview replete with the Russian President’s historical conspiracy theories about Ukraine having always been a part of Russia, and big lies including that Poland provoked Hitler to invade in World War II, was a triumph according to Galloway. “This is the most profound the most courageous the most corruscatingly brilliant broadcast you will ever watch. Trust me,” he posted on X. 

“Tucker Carlson had the courage to let other people hear the other side of the story,” Galloway intoned on his online show. “Also because Vladimir Putin would come across as neither Vlad the bad or Vlad the mad. His history lesson, his erudition his grasp of the facts and the details in a two- hour interview when the president of the United States would be unable to  concentrate for a two minute interview was a stark contrast and emblematic of the difference in leadership of the two rival powers Russia and the US.”

State-sponsored propagandist

An MP for British Labour from 1987 until his expulsion over the Iraq war in 2003, Galloway then ran as candidate for the Respect and British Workers' Party, and moonlighted as a highly paid presenter for despotic regimes. He has appeared regularly as a TV host on platforms like Putin’s Russia Today and Sputnik - even earning a Twitter tag as “Russia state-affiliated media” - and for Iran’s PressTV.

On Moscow-sponsored outlets and on his own channels, Galloway regurgitated Kremlin conspiracies about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as “Nato’s war against Russia in Ukraine”. In Galloway-world Ukraine is overrun with fascists. He obsessively airs unfounded accusations about Vladimir Zelenskyy’s corruption and slanders him for a high-living diamond life with his wife.  In May 2022 he falsely claimed the "the US is about to stage a false-flag #WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) incident in #Ukraine”.

Before the murder of Alexei Navalny by Putin's regime, Galloway frequently smeared the Russian dissident as a racist nationalist. He mouthed talking points denying Moscow ordered the bungled poisoning in Britain in 2018 of the former Russian spy Sergey Skripal and his daughter. In an opinion piece for RT he suggested that two Russian agents had a meeting with the Skripals when “something went wrong” to implying that the amount of time it took the British authorities to release the images suggests they were doctored.

Covid and vaccine conspiracies are also a constant theme for the socially conservative Galloway, who has been criticized for his stances on immigration, transgender issues, and sexual violence. In 2012 for example he asserted that Julian Assange could not have raped a sleeping woman and that the “bad sexual etiquette” allegations were part of an elaborate "setup" intended to hand over Assange to the US authorities after he published classified information. He has claimed that Russell Brand, the accused sexual harasser, and far right American congresswoman Loren Boebert are victims of conspiracies.

October 7 conspiracies

Like Chris Williamson, his deputy party leader, Galloway denies the extent of the massacres of Israelis and systematic rapes during the October 7 pogrom by Hamas. In fact Galloway’s path to victory in Rochdale was cleared when Opposition leader Keir Starmer sacked the Labour candidate Azhar Ali - for spreading conspiracies about Israel having deliberately given a green light to Hamas’ attacks as a pretext to attack Gaza, and the influence of “Jewish quarters” in the British media.

“The foul allegations of rape have been dropped by the Israeli government,” Galloway said in November 2023. “The forty beheaded babies has been downscaled to one dead baby, not beheaded, and killed by persons unknown. Two thirds of Israelis killed on October 7 were military personnel. The killers of the remaining third are definitely to revealed to have been in part the Israeli Armed Forces themselves.”

Significantly, Galloway's deputy Williamson has refused to condemn the Hamas attacks. He alleged Israeli soldiers were responsible for most Israeli civilian deaths and repeatedly rejected any need to distance the Workers' Party from the support of former British National Party leader Griffin.

Galloway handing wads of cash to Hamas official in Gaza in March 2009 (Source: AP Archive/YouTube, 07/21/2015).

The Board of Deputies of British Jews called Galloway’s election “a dark day” for the Jewish community in the UK. “George Galloway is a demagogue and conspiracy theorist who has brought the politics of division and hate to every place he has ever stood for Parliament,” it said in a statement. Prime Minister Sunak  intervened, delivering an unscheduled speech outside Number 10 Downing Street the evening of the Rochdale by-election in which he lamented the result as “beyond alarming” and evidence of rising extremism. Galloway “dismisses the horror of what happened on 7 October,” Sunak said. For Labour leader Starmer, whom Galloway has threatened ahead of the coming general election, the menace of multiple Labour MPs losing their seats as hateful conspiracies fester about Israel and Gaza is all too real.

Recidivist antisemite

Galloway of course has historic form on antisemitism. In 2013 he walked out on an Oxford Union debate when he discovered his opponent was Israeli (it was the future spokesman for the Israeli government Eylon Levy). The MP explained that he had refused to debate “a supporter of the apartheid state of Israel”. In 2014 Galloway, a BDS movement backer, was interviewed by police after announcing his  electorate of Bradford to be an “Israel-free zone”.

He remains close to Jeremy Corbyn, the former UK Labour Leader known for appearing on stage with radical Islamists, and removed over links to antisemitism. Like Corbyn, Galloway has spread denialism about Bashar al-Assad’s chemical attacks on Muslim civilians. On August 23, 2013, two days after the Ghouta massacre in Syria, he declared on Iranian state broadcaster Press TV - for which he hosted a weekly program, "Comment" - that, assuming chemical weapons were used in Syria, they were used by the rebels, by al-Qaeda and not by the Syrian regime. Better still, according to Galloway, it was the State of Israel that supplied al-Qaeda with the chemical weapons needed for the attack.

In 2014 he gushed about the Holocaust-denying former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, interviewing him in Tehran for Press TV to show his “moderate” side and that he was not an extremist. He has also claimed Assad was framed over evidence he organised the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri. 

Beijing similarly gets a free pass on massacres of Muslims from Galloway who has contested the evidence of China’s deadly campaigns against the Uyghurs. At the No2Nato event he sponsored in May 2023 in London he waxed instead about the “rising powers” led by China and the coming “multipolar world”.

Latin American dictators like Fidel Castro and Hugo "my friend" Chavez have also been lionized by Galloway. He claimed to have enjoyed a midnight swim with the Cuban leader, writing a 2006 biography of him entitled The Fidel Castro Handbook. Chavez in Galloway's estimation was "a modern-day Spartacus".

All hail to Saddam

Clearly unperturbed by Saddam Hussein's use of Weapons of Mass Destruction on Muslim populations, Galloway fawned over the Iraqi dictator in an infamous meeting in Baghdad in January 1994. It was shortly after he had visited the Gaza Strip, bringing tidings of good will and support for Saddam from Gazans.

"Sir, I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability,” Galloway said, to widespread opprobrium including in his then political party of British Labour. “And I want you to know that we are with you until victory, until victory, until Jerusalem.” (Galloway was a fervent supporter of the Baath Party).

Galloway claimed he made more than 100 visits to Iraq in the decade after 1993, when he rubbed shoulder's with the dictator's inner circle including deputy Tariq Aziz. In April 2003 he characterized Tony Blair and George Bush as "wolves" engaged in a "crime" of sending in the military to Iraq. Galloway's expulsion from Labour  came after he was criticised for inciting Arab soldiers to launch attacks on British soldiers. He has been described as “The Honourable Member for North Baghdad” and now “The Member for the Gaza Strip”.

Christopher Hitchens, the late contrarian writer and fierce opponent of Islamo-leftists in the post-September 11, 2001 era, engaged in some memorable debates with Galloway during and after the terrorist attacks on the US and the Iraq war. He remarked:  “This is anti-war? This is socialism? This is liberalism? It’s fascism, it’s power worship. Worship of the most unbridled kinds of power by the most unpleasant kinds of people…The man’s hunt for a tyrannical fatherland never ends. The Soviet Union let him down.”

Galloway appears to have finally found that post-Soviet dictatorial holy grail in his conspiratorial hero Putin.

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Emma-Kate Symons
Emma-Kate Symons
Emma-Kate Symons is a Paris-based journalist and columnist who has been published in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, The New European and Reuters. Educated at the University of Sydney and Columbia University, Emma-Kate has reported from all over Europe, as well as from New York, Washington, Manila, Bangkok and Canberra.
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