This Is A Disaster For Britain… It’s What Happens When The Tories And Labour Fail To Stand Up For Our Values, Writes Ex-Labour MP IAN AUSTIN

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This Is A Disaster For Britain... It's What Happens When The Tories And Labour Fail To Stand Up For Our Values, Writes Ex-Labour MP IAN AUSTIN

The election of George Galloway isn’t just a problem for Rochdale, it is a disaster for the country. The veteran rabble-rouser has poisoned politics with nasty extremism for decades.

Tony Blair expelled him from the Labour Party after Galloway called on British troops to ‘refuse to obey illegal orders’ in Iraq. He praised Arab dictators, supported communist Russia and said the Soviet Union’s collapse was ‘the biggest catastrophe of my life’.

He was sacked by Talk TV for alleged anti-Semitism.

Particularly nauseating was the spectacle of him grovelling in front of Iraqi tyrant Saddam Hussein. It was almost as bad as the sight of him in a red leotard pretending to be a cat on Big Brother back in 2006.

His return to the national stage is not, however, a laughing matter.

How much does he really care about Rochdale? Ask people in East London or Bradford… he only lasted one term as an MP in both places.

You have to feel sorry for Rochdale’s residents.

It is one of the poorest places in the country. The mills that provided thousands of jobs a century ago closed down years ago. The town has struggled to attract new investment and new jobs to replace them. Shopping centres stand empty. Local schools aren’t good enough. The maternity unit and A&E units have both closed. Crime is said to be rife.

The town hit the national headlines thanks to sex grooming gangs raping and abusing young girls. Its social housing was so dire that two-year-old Awaab Ishak died because damp and mould had been left untreated in his family’s flat.

Despite all that, Galloway drove his bandwagon to Rochdale and turned an election that should have been about the town’s dire local problems into a row about Gaza.

And now the rest of the country are going to have to put up with his demagoguery and vanity in Parliament.

This is what happens when the major parties let people down. The Tory campaign was non-existent. Labour’s was a disaster.

They thought they’d got the ideal candidate in Azhar Ali, a leading councillor from nearby Burnley.

He was, we were told, the voice of moderate Muslims and could lead them to defeat Galloway’s extremism.

That lasted until The Mail on Sunday revealed a recording of him saying Israel deliberately allowed 1,400 of its citizens to be massacred on October 7 to give it the ‘green light’ to invade Gaza. 

He claimed the Israelis had been warned but ‘deliberately took the security off, they allowed… that massacre that gives them the green light to do whatever they bloody want’.

He also lashed out at ‘people in the media from certain Jewish quarters’. 

Not just a lunatic conspiracy theory, but disgusting racism, pure and simple.

They had to drop him as the candidate but the deadline for nominations had passed and it was too late to get another candidate.

To be fair to Keir Starmer, he has tried to tackle the anti-Jewish racism that poisoned his party under Jeremy Corbyn and the hard Left, but I always thought it was too soon to claim victory.

I am very worried the problems are going much deeper.

An appalling alliance of Islamist extremists and hard Left cranks and conspiracy theorists is poisoning our politics and undermining the values on which our democracy and way of life depend.

The streets of London and other cities and towns are being taken over every weekend by so-called marches for peace.

I’ve been to watch some of them. I didn’t see a single sign condemning the Hamas terrorists whose atrocities triggered the conflicts or any banners calling for the hostages they kidnapped to be released.

I did not have to look very far for banners calling for Israel to be abolished, and October 7 showed us what that would mean: the slaughter of its citizens. Foul posters compare Jewish religious symbols such as the Star of David to the swastika or Israeli leaders to Hitler.

Crowds have chanted outside Downing Street about a massacre of Jews by a Muslim army. Extremist mobs have called for jihad and intifada.

The Community Security Trust, which protects the Jewish community, has recorded a record rise in racism and hatred. Jewish students are being targeted. Shops and synagogues attacked.

Protests have targeted not just Parliament but individual MPs and even their homes. Concerns about MPs’ safety even derailed debates in the House of Commons.

Of course, no one is suggesting that everyone on the marches and protests is a racist or extremist. No doubt some of the naive young people and foolish old Lefties mean well as they parade their virtue and pretend not to hear the disgusting chants around them.

But let us be very clear: there are 200 conflicts about land in the world and if the only one you protest about just happens to be the one that involves the world’s one Jewish country, please don’t try to persuade the rest of that you are not an anti-Semite.

Israel is the front line in Iran’s war on the West. We might not have declared war on the mad Mullahs in Tehran, but they have definitely declared war on us. They sponsor terrorism across the Middle East, kidnap British citizens, murder protesters in Iran and target dissidents in Europe too.

Make no mistake about this: Israel is fighting a war for the West. We will pay a very heavy price if they do not prevail. This is why we must give them all the support and help they need to defeat Hamas.

So What Must Happen Now?

Some in Labour will say their defeat in Rochdale shows that the party needs to make further concessions on its Middle East policy to win back the Gaza protesters.

This would be a big mistake. In fact, Labour must redouble their efforts to drive every last racist and extremist out of the party. MPs who have shared platforms with extremists, supported terrorists or praised violent rioters should be prevented from standing as candidates too.

Labour needs to make it very clear indeed that supporting the rights of the Jewish people to a secure country of their own is a key test for membership and representing the party. If you can’t sign up to that, then you can join Galloway in the political wilderness he will return to in a few months.

They have to find a decent candidate who can earn the trust of people in Rochdale and rid the town of Galloway at the General Election later this year.

Most important of all, both major parties and the country as a whole must be much more robust in defending our country’s values and the institutions which underpin our democracy.

We have to be really clear about this: if you want to live in the UK you must uphold the values on which our way of life depend.

Democracy, equality between men and women, freedom, fairness and tolerance are non-negotiable.

If you don’t believe in them, feel free to go and live somewhere else.

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Mr Priceless
A young person with a passion for success and excellence to develop a professional career that encourages empowerment in the overall development of a person which is achieved through hard work. A Journalist with facts and a difference; standing by the truth all the time with interests in Science & Technology, Health, Celebrities' Lifestyle, Crimes, Education and Career Improvement.

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