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Galloway Back In Parliament, Declaring Duopoly Defeated

Above photo: Giles and Galloway celebrating victory Friday morning. Joe Lauria.

George Galloway won a crucial by-election in the North of England on Thursday in which the Gaza genocide played a key role.

Galloway said his victory heralded the demise of Labour-Tory dominance in British politics.

George Galloway began his victory speech on Friday morning with these words: “Keir Starmer: This is for Gaza.”

It was a clear message that he sent the British Labour leader: “You will pay a high price for the role that you have paid in enabling, encouraging and covering for the catastrophe presently going on in occupied Palestine.”

Galloway declared his victory in a by-election here to be the beginning of a major change in politics.  “I want to tell Mr. Starmer above all, that the plates have shifted tonight,” he said at the town’s election center.

“This is going to spark a movement, a landslide, a shifting of the tectonic plates … beginning here in the northwest, in the west Midlands, in London … Labour is on notice, that they have lost the confidence of millions of their voters, who loyally and traditionally voted for them generation after generation. … Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak are two cheeks of the same backside and they both got well and truly spanked tonight.”

‘Changed For Good’

The sentiment in the Galloway camp is that victory by a third-party start-up in an important by-election may be a harbinger of voters rejecting entrenched duopolies in Britain and elsewhere. “Tonight was the redrawing of the political map,” Galloway said.

“We crushed Labour by ten thousand votes,” he told supporters back at headquarters. “The second place candidate was not the Conservatives,” but an independent. “This is the first time in British political history that in a by-election both of the major parties were completely crushed,” he said.

“We changed politics in Britain for good,” James Giles, Galloway’s campaign manager, told supporters back at campaign headquarters. “Maybe we have changed politics in the world for good. Something spectacular has been achieved here tonight. Two thousand Labour votes. Twelve thousand Galloway votes.”

It was the first parliamentary victory for Galloway’s new Worker’s Party of Britain, which he told CN was like starting a new Labour Party. He said the party would contest 59 seats in the upcoming general election in 12 weeks.

Galloway will have to stand again, having served only 200 days — the remainder of the term of Labour MP Sir Tony Lloyd, who died in January after representing Rochdale for seven years.

The local issues Galloway won on were promises to restore a maternity ward and emergency room to Rochdale, as well as returning an open air market and saving the town’s football team. “Rochdale was once one of the most prosperous towns in England and is now one of the poorest,” he said. “This is the start of a Rochdale revival.”

Galloway thanked the people of Rochdale “who voted for me in such numbers.” He won 12,335 votes, or 39.7 percent; the Conservative candidate got 3,731 or 12 percent; and Labour officially had no candidate when it dropped Azhar Ali (though he was still listed as Labour on the ballot). He got 2,402 votes, or 7.7 percent.

Turnout was low. Only 39.7 percent of eligible voters voted.

Gaza Defense In Parliament

Galloway will bring the strongest voice to Parliament in condemnation of the genocide taking place in Gaza.

A taste of the establishment’s reaction to his election was a question posed by a reporter from Times radio to Giles. He asked Galloway’s campaign manager about the safety of members of Parliament. Last week it voted itself £31 million for MPs’ security. Giles said he expected that proper security would be given to Galloway.

But the reporter corrected him. He said he meant that some MPs are worried about their security, because Galloway will now be in the House.  It was an extraordinary question. It spoke of an insidious mindset surrounding the Gaza massacres, namely that fear should not be of those committing genocide, but of those who forcefully oppose it.

Without mentioning Galloway by name, Richard Tice, leader of the Reform UK Party, told reporters at the election center, “By Christmas we face the prospect of numerous extremist, anti-semitic lawmakers in the House of Commons.”

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