Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Kim Leadbeater Wins in Batley and Spen. Red Brown Front Incandescent with Rage.

with 38 comments

Kim Leadbeater, who saw off challenges from Ryan Stephenson of the Conservatives and George Galloway in a tense campaign.

Labour won 13,296 votes with the Conservatives recording 12,973, according to official results. Kim Leadbeater defeated Ryan Stephenson, the Tory candidate, by 323 votes. George Galloway, representing the Workers Party of Britain, came third with 8,264 votes.

Kim Leadbeater is what many working-class Labour voters think of as an ideal MP: an ordinary local person.

Three words summarise the Batley and Spen by-election: Labour. Fought. Back. Confronted by George Galloway, reborn as an anti-woke campaigner exploiting homophobia, Labour activists faced down the intimidation and the threats his campaign inspired and turned the imagery against him. 

They learned – both in the Muslim community and the tight-knit white working-class villages that form the seat – to go beyond “get-out-the-vote” (GOTV) and engage in deep, persuasive conversations. 

Faced with a vitriolic WhatsApp environment – where the lies of the far right, Galloway and the Tories formed a toxic stew – Labour activists created their own messaging networks in the community hitting back with their own memes, narratives and GIFs. Forced to do infowars, they learned how.

Labour held the seat with a 323-vote majority through sheer endeavour, not luck. Its candidate, Kim Leadbeater, the sister of the late Jo Cox, proved a major asset. Derided by the alt-left media for her hazy grasp of policy, she is, in fact what many working-class Labour voters think of as an ideal MP: an ordinary local person who knows what people are angry about, speaks and looks like them, and can be trusted to represent them at Westminster.

Bad loser Galloway:

Steve Walker is still at it!

Remember this pundit? (From Jim).

May be an image of 1 person and text that says "spiked 'I would stake my life on Labour losing in Batley' Rod Liddle on Labour's meltdown and why it has further to fall. SPIKED 28th June 2021"

And this one?

And him?

Written by Andrew Coates

July 2, 2021 at 8:03 am

38 Responses

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  1. It’s great news, for Labour, and for the Batley area.

    trev

    July 2, 2021 at 8:11 am

    • Andrew Coates

      July 2, 2021 at 8:27 am

  2. Could this be a new low, even for the foul CPGB/Weekly Worker?

    George’s modest flutter
    The return of the British left’s most eccentric celebrity has provided an interesting twist – but can he succeed? Paul Demarty looks at the Batley and Spen by-election
    The Batley and Spen by-election has brought out the usual array of oddball candidates.

    The Monster Raving Loony Party’s is present and correct; so is Anne Marie Waters of For Britain – the counter-jihadist splinter from the UK Independence Party, which is notable for enjoying the support of both Tommy Robinson and Morrissey from The Smiths. Far and away in front of such candidates, in the only poll to have been conducted in the constituency, is an old friend of ours – ‘gorgeous’ George Galloway, standing for the first time under the flag of the party he now leads, the Workers Party of Britain.

    The WPB, according to the Daily Mail/Survation poll, is on course to pick up 6% of the vote, comfortably retaining Galloway’s deposit and pushing the Liberal Democrats into fourth place. More importantly, the Tories lead Labour by exactly 6 points. Though a general miasma of impending doom shrouds Labour’s candidate, the inconsequential Kim Leadbeater, it would be a special headache for Kier Starmer if Galloway were to rob her of the seat occupied by her sister, Jo Cox, until the latter’s brutal murder by a far-rightist lunatic.

    We shall take a closer look at the problems posed for Labour in a moment, but it seems worthwhile to reintroduce Galloway and his Workers Party to readers. Galloway is a man out of time: almost the last relic of a certain cold war ‘type’ – the fellow-travelling Stalino-Labourite. After the end of the cold war, although he described the collapse of the Soviet Union as the biggest disaster of his political life, the then Labour MP for Glasgow Kelvin was tolerated, for a time, as an eccentric who was good at keeping people in line. But his vigorous anti-imperialism put him on a collision course with Tony Blair following the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. After he openly called for soldiers to disobey orders, he was expelled from Labour.

    The Socialist Workers Party, flush with the success of the mass anti-war demonstrations, seized the opportunity to conclude an alliance with Galloway, along with ‘Muslim activists’ who were originally supposed to include the Muslim Association of Britain (the British affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood), but before long consisted of little more than a few petty bourgeois opportunists in especially Bengali and Pakistani neighbourhoods of the cities. This was Respect; its own greatest achievement was electing Galloway as an MP in Bethnal Green and Bow, humiliating the vile, warmongering Blairite, Oona King, in 2005.

    This motley alliance was not to last, however. The SWP – which had gleefully abandoned plank after plank of its politics to make the thing work – did not reap any rewards from the endeavour, and opportunistically flounced out in 2007. Respect limped on without them, and scored one more great victory, electing Galloway again (he had been defeated in 2010) – this time in a Bradford by-election. That was not to last either, and in 2015 he was defeated, after having apparently alienated all of his staff.

    The Galloway playbook has a particular shape to it. He is, it should be said first of all, a talented politician in many respects. He does not always come across well in a video setting, but as a stump speaker he has few equals in his generation. (It is worth remembering that, for all Nigel Farage’s great national profile, he has never won a first-past-the-post parliamentary election on his small-party tickets, as opposed to George’s two.) His personal charisma can go a long way to upsetting the lazy incumbent Labour establishment.

    The other part is more a matter of ‘low’ politics. He has gotten very good at ingratiating himself with local Islamic milieux and mosques. He can very rapidly bootstrap a campaigning apparatus on the basis of his open Islamophilia, as well as his strong record of opposition to wars in the Middle East and support for Palestine.

    Song and dance
    Perhaps here is the point to discuss the ‘controversies’ around the Batley and Spen campaign. Leadbeater made a big song and dance about being ‘chased’ down the road by an ‘aggressive’ man who clearly opposed gay-friendly teaching in schools and wanted her to know about it. The campaign insinuated this man was a Galloway supporter, with no evidence (he later turned out to be a chap from Birmingham, where a similar controversy raged between conservative religious types and local schools a few years ago). Leadbeater laughably tried to link the perfectly acceptable practice of heckling politicians (she will get a lot of that in parliament!) to the death of her sainted sister – the difference between ‘asking a question’ and ‘repeatedly stabbing and shooting someone’ is apparently beyond her innocent mind.

    Somewhat more serious is the subsequent incident where Labour canvassers were accosted by a few Asian youths and pelted with eggs. We would not consider egging as protected political speech (although who amongst us has not gotten carried away on Halloween once or twice … ?), unlike the homophobic heckler. Yet the same insinuations of implied fatal violence (“I was terrified they were going to pull out a knife”, one man told The Guardian) and blaming of Galloway was repeated. Galloway, needless to say, denies any involvement.

    What is peculiar is how little has been made of his ticket: the Workers Party. We have written about this peculiar organisation before,1 but the key takeaway is that – with a moment’s investigation – it becomes clear that the group consists of Galloway, on the one hand, and the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) on the other. The CPGB-ML is a sect of ultra-Stalinist true believers, defenders of the Moscow trials and the conjecture that Trotsky was a western intelligence asset, who was, in any case, murdered by a disaffected follower – and so on. The alliance with Galloway was founded on their common Brexitism, to the point that both backed Farage’s Brexit Party at times. It seems baffling that nobody has bothered to ask George what he makes of the opinions of his deputy leader, Joti Brar, on the great purges.

    Instead there has been some lukewarm ‘Terf wars’ controversy – Galloway seems to take the trans-exclusionary radical feminist line on keeping ‘women’s only’ spaces and services limited to natal females. This is of a part with his opportunistic Catholicism (it is rather useful, when getting imams on board, to be able to tell them what the Labour candidate will not – that abortion is murder and faith groups should be able to teach their own morals in their schools …). We do not expect this to make much difference to the outcome, partly because Galloway has already demonstrated that he is cancellation-proof, and partly because the election is in West Yorkshire, not Shoreditch, and the usual run of liberal shibboleths do not necessarily cast the same pallor of death in a constituency that voted heavily for Brexit in 2016.

    Whether or not the WPB does as well as the Survation poll suggests, you, the reader, will know. I can only guess, but from where and when I write, the signs are not good for Labour. Already facing a chauvinist backlash all along its ‘red wall’, it now has – for the first time in the Starmer era – a real risk of an election-moving showing for forces to its left. It turns out that you cannot just purge and smear people without consequences: those you take for granted – such as Muslim voters looking for a little shelter from relentless state harassment – are apt to be swept off their feet by somebody who does not concoct relentless accusations of anti-Semitism against you.

    All Labour seems to have in reserve is the gimmick of putting up Saint Jo’s sister as a candidate (the lesson seems to be that the Cox cult is rather more intense among the smelling-salts brigade of Westminster than on her old patch), and then empty accusations of ‘bullying’ with distinct racial-religious overtones. But if Islam-panic is your bag, why would you vote for a wet, whining nonentity, when you could have your choice of a Tory or a whole rainbow of far-right cranks further down the ballot paper? Never mind the fact that, at the same time as Islam-baiting Galloway’s campaign, Leadbeater’s supporters distributed leaflets in Muslim areas highlighting Boris Johnson’s chumminess with Narendra Modi, thus alienating those hailing from the rest of the subcontinent.

    Like so much of the present state of Labour, it all just does not add up to anything. The party lurches from one asinine gimmick to the next, incurring all the costs and reaping none of the rewards. The commentariat issues the usual advice about messaging and not losing touch with ‘ordinary people’, but no pollsters’ tweaks will resolve the issue that Labour is divided quite as acrimoniously as it ever was under Jeremy Corbyn and, by all appearances, nothing short of dissolving the party and electing another will do to return it to the full and stable control of the right. Until then, Galloway can cause merry mayhem on the left flank and in Muslim/south Asian communitarian circles; and the Tories can safely assume that Labour’s ‘patriotic’ dress-up routines will meet the derision they deserve on the doorstep.

    It is precisely because Starmerism has not succeeded in its aims – and may therefore be forced into more dramatic methods to achieve them – that the Galloway/WPB effort is somewhat premature. Galloway can hardly be blamed for it – it was the Corbyn leadership that was too cowardly to readmit him to membership. So long as there is any fight to be had in the Labour Party, attempts to replace it with ‘left’ clones (never mind Brexit-bonkers variants, staffed by Stalin-worshippers) are worse than useless.

    paul.demarty@weeklyworker.co.uk

    Jim Denham

    July 2, 2021 at 9:08 am

    • One assumes that these days the Weekly Worker relies on North American correspondents for its news on Galloway.

      “Somewhat more serious is the subsequent incident where Labour canvassers were accosted by a few Asian youths and pelted with eggs. We would not consider egging as protected political speech(although who amongst us *has not gotten carried away on Halloween once or twice *… ?), unlike the homophobic heckler. Yet the same insinuations of implied fatal violence ”

      Howdy Pardners !

      I guess that incident (which involved a head-kicking) was nothing compared to your days in the Okay Coral.

      Andrew Coates

      July 2, 2021 at 11:03 am

      • Socialist Worker.
        George Galloway, standing for the Workers Party of Britain, gained from Labour’s problems. He took 22 percent of the vote.

        He did this partly through his support for Palestinian rights and opposition to imperialism. But this was combined with a horrendous attack on trans rights supporters, LGBT+ education in schools and Labour’s supposedly “woke” agenda.

        This is said to be “real working class” politics. It’s a poisonous caricature that drags politics rightwards.

        Nobody should think this is the way forward.

        Before the result, when most people expected Labour to lose, there were rumours of a formal challenge to Starmer, which would require the backing of 40 MPs.

        This win will put a temporary halt to such speculation. For Labour’s left, challenges to Starmer’s right wing leadership are conditioned by success in elections, not something more fundamental.

        After the result, left winger Dawn Butler MP tweeted, “This is a lesson in team @UKLabour Everyone pulling together.” That means more concessions to the right.

        But Labour’s win in Batley and Spen is double-edged for the party. It allows Starmer to limp on as leader with his disastrous policy of failing to challenge the Tories.

        In any case, the problem is not just Starmer. Labourism itself—obsessed with party unity with the right in the effort to win elections and work through parliament—is in crisis.

        https://socialistworker.co.uk/art/52042/Labour+holds+on+in+Batley+and+Spen%2C+but+the+crisis+remains

        Andrew Coates

        July 2, 2021 at 12:05 pm

        • SW is good on Galloway here (although it begs the question why the party was a cheerleader for him in the 2000s when he had exactly the same social views) but the rest is ultra left anti Labour drivel.

          Congratulations to Labour, Leadbeater and Kier Starmer. However the Red Brown vote was worryingly high.

          IainF

          July 2, 2021 at 2:31 pm

    • Surprised that Galloway has been a bad loser. You’d think he’d be used to it by now.

      IainF

      July 2, 2021 at 4:15 pm

  3. And Steve Walker cannot let it go. Yesterday Labour’s campaign ‘was possibly illegal” Then later, the campaign was possibly ‘racist” and made ‘false allegations’ against good ‘ol George. And today, well Batley an Spen has to set in the context of an obscure council by-election in a set of muddy fields ouside Grimsby that Labour lost……………..I also note Steve Walker cut off the BTL facility too………..https://skwawkbox.org/2021/07/02/hancock-dirty-campaign-racism-an-invisible-tory-candidate-starmer-still-managed-to-throw-away-over-90-of-labours-2019-majority/

    David Walsh

    July 2, 2021 at 10:05 am


  4. Racism and bigotry have won the day.



    Kevin Algar

    July 2, 2021 at 12:36 pm

  5. I’m glad Labour won, but however you look at it, this was a terrible result. Firstly, the Tories came second with 34.4% of the votes, and just 300 odd votes behind Labour. That is much closer than they have ever been in any recent election in the seat. Secondly, 21% of the vote went to the reactionary George Galloway! If he had not stood, and split the reactionary vote, Labour would have lost by a large amount.

    Comparing Labour’s vote of 13,000, it was down 7.4% from even 2019. In 2017, when Corbyn’s Labour mobilised large numbers of votes behind it, before it went off the rails and started promoting a Labour Brexit, Brabin polled more than 29,000 votes, or 55% of the poll. Put another way, Leadbetters vote is just 40% of what Brabin’s vote was in 2017, under the resurgent Corbyn Labour Party. The fact that Starmer has continued the reactionary nationalist trajectory that Corbyn adopted in 2019 can be clearly seen as the reason that Labour continues to decline further and further.

    Labour has clung on by its fingernails in the seat due to a confluence of facts. A large number of reactionary candidates polling small numbers, was enough to rain votes from the Tories, without which they would have won. The fact that the reactionary Galloway drew 8,000 away from the Tories split that vote, without which Labour would have lost heavily. The revelations on Hancock played heavily on the doorstep taking votes away from the Tories. The Liberals with no chance in the seat seem to have voted tactically for Labour, unlike in other seats where they would be more likely to draw progressive votes away from Labour.

    The idea that Asian voters are somehow automatically Labour voters is as flawed as the idea that Jewish voters are somehow automatically Labour voters. The latter has been untrue since 1945, with the clear majority of Jewish voters giving their support to the Tories, since then. Asian voters, particularly those linked to the British-Indian bourgeoisie, whose representatives have become prominent within Tory Associations, not to mention the Cabinet, have seen clear advantages in Brexit, and other such reactionary nationalist ventures, moving Britain into a closer alignment with the sub-continent, and away from Europe. Its an irony that the British economy now relies upon imperialist investment coming from India in the form of Tata, Mittal and so on for its survival.

    But, unfortunately, also, as I wrote the other day, an opportunist Labour already grasping at the butcher’s apron to wrap itself in, as it tries to claw a few reactionary votes, is likely to draw all the wrong conclusions from all that.

    Boffy

    July 2, 2021 at 1:48 pm

    • Some of Galloway’s 8000 votes would have gone to Labour in my opinion not all Tory. And I don’t think it’s such a bad result at all, so a fifth of votes went to GG and a third to Tories, big deal, Labour still won.

      trev

      July 2, 2021 at 5:46 pm

      • Even if some of Galloways reactionary votes had gone to Labour the majority would have gone to the Tories, and with only a 300 majority that means Labour would have lost. Even just take away the votes that went to the plethora of other reactionary candidates, and Labour would have lost in what should have been a safe Labour seat, particularly in the context of a chaotic and incompetent Tory government, and the twin crises it has created of lockouts and Brexit.

        Labour has gained nothing in that regard because Starmer is now a bigger Brexiter than was Corbyn, having merely pressed Johnson to Get Brexit done faster and more thoroughly, and also pressed him to wreck the economy more by even more extensive lockouts! The collapse in the Labour vote – 40% of what Brabin scored in 2017 under Corbyn’s leadership – is similar to the collapse of its vote in Chesham and Amersham, where in 2017, Labour came second, and in 2021, it lost its deposit. In Batley, labour was saved only by Liberals and some Tories voting tactically, because they feared Galloway winning.

        A look at the way labour won in 2017 in seats like Kensington, Canterbury and so on, and how its vote in such places has now collapsed, with a similar loss of its core progressive vote amongst younger voters across the piece, whether in the Blue or Red Wall, shows the disastrous course that Starmer is now taking the party towards, exacerbated by his intention to launch into a civil war agsint the left and centre a la Kinnock and Blair.

        Blair had the advantage that in 1997, electors had had enough of the Tories, who were divided over Europe, and of a rapidly expanding global economy after 1999. No such conditions exist today. Johnson has consolidated the reactionaries around his Brexit nationalism, and Starmer’s attempt to fight on that ground is idiotic and doomed to fail. The global economy is growing rapidly again, but the Blairite policy of relying on blowing up asset price bubbles, which led to the 2008 meltdown is no longer possible, and the even larger bubbles that exist now, are on the verge of bursting even more violently. Brexit compounds that problem for Britain.

        Boffy

        July 3, 2021 at 11:17 am

      • Also, Labour polled just 35% of the vote. It is only a win on the basis of the thoroughly undemocratic First Past the Post system, which amounts to ballot rigging. Had a proportional representation system been in place, the combined reactionary vote of Tory, Galloway and others, would have seen the Tories elected.

        Boffy

        July 3, 2021 at 11:24 am

  6. I come from a similar background to Kim, 90km south. So to see her be elected and her sexuality be a given and be a second tier issue that almost even one doesn’t know or care about makes this old queen very very happy.

    • 56 miles South. I don’t know why you put it in KM but I actually had to Google that to convert it to something I can understand. It’s miles in Britain.

      trev

      July 2, 2021 at 5:49 pm

      • Me told :[

      • “It’s miles in Britain.”

        Its also Kilometres, just as it could be yards, or metres, just as weights might be pounds, or kilograms, and volumes litres or pints, or quarts or gallons. They are all just units of measurement, and its a strangely parochial British nationalism that takes pride in its ignorance of only understanding Imperial measurements.

        Boffy

        July 3, 2021 at 2:43 pm

        • I use metres all the time. and social distancing is measured in metres. Gave up using fahrenheit decades ago.

          Andrew Coates

          July 3, 2021 at 3:31 pm

          • The only metric measurement I adhere to and readily understand is the cylindrical swept volume of a motorcycle engine, ie. CCs, Cubic Centimetres. Apart from that I am chiefly Imperial.

            trev

            July 3, 2021 at 3:42 pm

        • Our road signs and maps are in miles, our vehicle speedometers are in mph, I was taught miles at school in Geography. Kilometers are European/foreign, not British. I also personally believe that seeing as we are no longer a member of the EU we should now revert to pre-Common Market weights & measures, ie. Pounds and Ounces, etc. And pre-Decimal currency would also be my preference.

          trev

          July 3, 2021 at 3:37 pm

          • Spoken like a true reactionary nationalist cretin. Why stop at Pounds and ounces, and pennies and shillings? Why not bring back chains and other such measures? or perhaps, you could go back further and reintroduce the old measurements used for centuries introduced by the Romans.

            Boffy

            July 4, 2021 at 11:43 am

            • I think Trev was being a bit tongue-in-cheek and winding you up.

              Andrew Coates

              July 4, 2021 at 1:02 pm

            • I’m not a Nationalist at all (I actually have past life memories of living in Egypt) and not a Reactionary, I am a White Working Class Socialist who was born in England where I live and just because I am Socialist I don’t think that British values, traditions, customs and culture should be disregarded by the ‘Woke’ right-on brigade such as yourself.

              trev

              July 4, 2021 at 1:09 pm

              • Trev, Boffy is very working class with real experience of the labour movement and the left.

                But to your points.

                My English grandfather, a printer in Fleet Street, born in the East End, used to say he was a *conservative communist* (both will small c’s -he was referring to William Morris -my granddad was a Labour Party and TU member).

                His problem was the Conservatives never really wanted to conserve what he liked about England.

                All this anti-woke stuff (I am hardly on the woke liberal USA left wave length myself I’m a European leftist) means nothing.

                If we really like some of our traditions, love the countryside itself, and customs, like Pubs, not to mention our littéeature, this has nothing to do with helping them.

                Look at this, which proves my Grandad’s point.

                “Red squirrels and pine martens could lose protection in UK review, say experts
                Adders and slow worms also among species possibly affected by changes that could help property developers

                The changes, which have not been widely heralded by the government, could benefit property developers and infrastructure projects such as road-building, which currently have to take account of rare species found within the proposed development areas, and sometimes have to be changed or moved as a result.

                Angela Julian, coordinator of Amphibian and Reptile Groups of the UK (ARG UK), which represents 37 local groups and over 4,000 members, said: “We are shocked to discover these proposed changes, which will effectively remove any form of protection from many of our well-loved widespread species including slow worms, grass snakes and viviparous lizards. Our native wildlife deserves a fair hearing.”

                https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jul/02/red-squirrels-and-pine-martens-could-lose-protection-in-uk-review-say-experts

                Andrew Coates

                July 4, 2021 at 2:37 pm

                • If you look at some of “Trev’s” other “anti-woke” comments on PBC’s blog, for example, where he writes as BDFG, or DFTM or a range of other persona, you will see the same moronic reactionary nature showing through. Like you, I can hardly be described as part of the “woke left” either, but things like facts never stand in his way.

                  Boffy

                  July 4, 2021 at 3:02 pm

                  • Boffy, if you get down off your fkn high horse long enough to look in the mirror you might realize why Labour lost the so-called northern ‘Red Wall’ in the first place. I have nothing more to add.

                    trev

                    July 4, 2021 at 3:17 pm

                  • P.S.

                    I have no idea who or what “BDFG” or “DFTM” are.

                    trev

                    July 4, 2021 at 3:21 pm

                  • I have no idea what they are either. But I am born a North Londoner and I know what it is when Galloway attacks David Lammy, the Tottenham MP a constituency just by my home Manor, and makes a bleeding *crip* joke.

                    Lammy went up a hell of a lot in people’s estimation for his campaigning on Grenfell,

                    ““This is a tale of two cities. This is what Dickens was writing about in the century before last, and it’s still here in 2017.”

                    Giving the poorest and most vulnerable “somewhere decent to live” was “a noble idea that is falling apart around our eyes”, says David Lammy, the Labour MP for Tottenham in North London.

                    Paying tribute to his friend Khadija Saye, he continued: “She was a young black woman making her way in this country. […] She’d done amazing things — gone to university, the best in her life — but she’s died, with her mother, on the 22nd floor of the building. And it breaks my heart, that it’s happening in Britain in 2017.”

                    https://www.channel4.com/news/david-lammy-mp-remembers-friend-grenville-tower-fire-london

                    Andrew Coates

                    July 4, 2021 at 4:18 pm

              • I think that “Trev” is just a troll whose purpose is to wind everybody up, but whose underlying reactionary nature always shows through rom whatever persona he adopts at the particular time.

                Boffy

                July 4, 2021 at 2:58 pm

  7. It’s wonderful to visit Mr Walker’s Skwawkbollox website just at the moment. Scarcely recovered from their hero Howard Beckett standing down in Unite – and to support “Starmer’s man” Turner – Mr Walker and his btl chums cannot hide their grief over Labour’s victory and the defeat of their hero Galloway.

    Jim Denham

    July 2, 2021 at 3:27 pm

  8. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jul/02/george-galloway-batley-and-spen-byelection

    Galloway, some will remember his excruciatingly repulsive antics in Bradford West in 2015, during which he accused Labour’s candidate, Naz Shah, of lying about her forced marriage at the age of 15. According to Galloway, the giant lie was that she was in fact 16, and he produced her nikah (Islamic marriage certificate) at a hustings, having instructed a representative in Pakistan to obtain it. Shah claimed this representative had impersonated her dead father; this was denied. Shah showed the Guardian a second nikah which backed up the earlier date, and eventually won the seat from Galloway.

    But at the time, that surely felt like the peak Galloway contortion: some old white guy telling a British Pakistani woman she was wrong about her own teenage forced and abusive marriage, and accusing her of racist slander. Shah was one of Labour’s key campaign architects in Batley and Spen, and was reportedly forced to call the police over allegations of intimidation by Galloway supporters. I imagine seeing him off again feels satisfying, but no doubt he’ll be repeating on her and all of us again soon enough.

    Andrew Coates

    July 3, 2021 at 11:38 am

  9. Sepoending on the outcome of the crown court case aginst Tower Hamlets MP, Apsana Begum on possible charges relating to tenacy matters (and which she says she will ‘vigorously defend’, to be fair), if it goes against her, there is then a strong possibility of a by-election. If that occurs, expect Galloway to be there like a (literal) rat up a drainpipe.

    David Walsh

    July 3, 2021 at 12:28 pm

  10. Well, it didn’t take long for the prediction made above to be vindicated. For months people have complained that they do not know what Labour stands for. Now we do, not knowing was better, as Starmer via the right-wing capitalist mouthpiece, Rachel Reeves, announces in the Torygraph that Labour has seen the votes accursed by Galloway and the reactionary nationalists in Batley, and is rushing headlong into the same politics of the Red-Brown Front.

    Having rushed into support for Brexit, followed by a desperate desire to wrap himself in the Butcher’s Apron, Starmer has now made the logical next step, and gone full on Kim Jong Ill, demanding that we must all now “Buy British” that everything must be done to produce things in Britain, and so on. In other words, the rational conclusion of Brexit and the chaos its produces, that we head towards autarky, and all the lunacy that goes with it. Given that Starr has led the charge in also demanding that our liberties be removed via the lockouts and lockdowns that wrecked the economy over the last year, this is the logical next step, in further restricting our freedoms, and doubling down on the economic nationalism to cover the consequences of Brexit and lockdowns.

    But, what an idiotic time to announce it, other than in a frantic further attempt to scrounge the votes of reactionaries following the scare at Batley, and the disasters of Chesham and Hartlepool. After all, the announcement comes days after the French/Japanese multinational Nissan/Renault announced a multimillion Pound investment in Britain, – though one that also came with a multimillion Pound bribe from the government. If Nissan followed Starmer’s logic, they would shut up shop in Britain, and move their operations back to Japan and France! Not to mention that after the disaster of Brexit, Britain is dependent on foreign trade, and on the kindness of foreign capital (not actual kindness of course, as they search for profit) such as the giant Indian multinationals like Tata and Mittal that now control large swathes of the British economy such as its car industry, steel industry, and parts of the former ICI etc. Again, the logic of Starmer’s new policy of autarky is that all these businesses would pull out of Britain and repatriate capital.

    So, within hours of the defeat, Starmer adopted the strategy of the Morning Star and Stalinism. He has put himself at the head of the British section of the Red-Brown Front, reminiscent of Mosely in the 1920’s, when the then member of the Fabian Society, and Labour Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, as part of the McDonald government, he put forward the Mosely Memorandum..

    Boffy

    July 4, 2021 at 12:00 pm

  11. Andrew, some of my other comments seem to have gone missing again, sent today.

    Boffy

    July 4, 2021 at 3:05 pm


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