STATEMENT ON MAIL INTERVIEW WITH GEORGE GALLOWAY
Socialist Unity expresses its dismay at the interview by George Galloway with the Mail on Sunday [text below] in which he attacked the
SSP and called on Tommy Sheridan to abandon the party and join him,
presumably as a Respect candidate. His dismissal of the SSP executive as
"Trotskyite apparatchiks" (this to the right wing press) is especially
SUN's supporters in Respect will demand of the Executive
that it declare publicly that it will not be standing against the SSP in the Westminster or Scottish Parliament elections.
To add your voice to
intervention in the midst of a crisis which the bourgeois media is
attempting to use against the SSP, is a contemptible act.
Did he discuss
this with the other Respect leaders? We suspect he was acting in an
individualist fashion. But if he is allowed to behave in this way without
challenge, it would be the worst political opportunism.
worth the name will support the SSP in this difficult period. Galloway's
disgraceful intervention should be condemned for what it is: an unprincipled
use of the bourgeois media to attack a workers' organisation, at the service
of political self-interest.
If Respect does not condemn this then labour
movement activists who have not already written off Respect will draw their
own conclusions labout an organisation which allows a prominent leader to act
in such a
The Mail On Sunday, 05/12/04
Galloway to team up with
Sheridan for assault on Labour seats at
REBEL MP George Galloway wants to stand as an MSP and is
planning to launch a ferocious assault on the Scottish parliament. And he revealed he is considering a radical joint assault on the parliament
with former Scottish Socialist Party leader Tommy Sheridan.
Galloway believes the recent implosion of the SSP, coupled with its
treatment of Mr Sheridan over newspaper allegations, has created a crucial
opening for his anti-war party, Respect, in the 2007
Attacking First Minister Jack McConnell's `parody' of an administration, Mr Galloway, 50, said he was certain Scots voters would
support his alliance with Mr Sheridan in its bid to win seats from the
Speaking exclusively to the Scottish Mail on Sunday, Mr
Galloway added: `I would certainly like to contend in Glasgow for the Scottish parliament elections.
`Tommy and I would be a great double
act, a dream ticket and people would vote for us. I am certain that together
we could set the cat among the pigeons.
`Tommy is still fighting his
corner in the SSP but I fear he will have to accept they have betrayed him
and move on.' Mr Galloway revealed his Holyrood plans after winning £150,000 damages from The Daily Telegraph over an article suggesting he was on
Saddam Hussein's payroll.
And just days ago he announced that he will
step down as MP for Glasgow Kelvin to stand for Parliament in Bethnal Green
and Bow at next year's General Election under his new Respect party
Although he could be a Westminster MP if he wins the East London seat, he said that would not necessarily stand in the way of his Scottish ambitions.
He explained: `We are talking about two years
down the line. `If I am in Westminster we'll have to see if it is possible
and look at the situation in more depth. If I am not in Westminster then obviously it is more possible.'
The MP, who vowed the Labour Party
would `rue the day' it ditched him over his anti-war views, said Respect has
already started to explore the best way to use the proportional
representation list system to wins Holyrood seats at the 2007
Yesterday, Mr Galloway kicked off his assault on Holyrood with
a stinging attack on Mr McConnell and the Labour-LibDem coalition. He
said: `Jack McConnell's administration is all about small-time
horizons and lacking in its ideas. It is a shameless parody of what Labour
is supposed to be.
`They strike me more as people running Cumbernauld
town council than powering the whole of Scotland and I think the country
Mr Galloway, who won his Glasgow Kelvin seat for
Labour with a majority of more than 7,000 at the last General Election,
would have a powerful support base if he contested the Holyrood
Respect, The Unity Coalition was launched last January as an alternative to Labour. It now has a reported 1,000 members.
Galloway intends to steer it down a more socialist path. As well as its
strong anti-war stance, party policies include linking pensions to earnings
and repealing union laws. Mr Sheridan was one of the speakers who took to
the stage to offer support at the launch of the party.
Galloway said he had discussed the extra-marital allegations about Mr
Sheridan with the former SSP leader, who claims never to have met the woman
at the centre of the reports - now the subject of legal action.
the story appeared, there has been bitter division within the SSP and
members have admitted they are in crisis.
Mr Galloway added: `The
Scottish Socialist Party has made a catastrophic blunder. It is my
estimation that much more than half, maybe even much more than three-quarter
who voted for them, did so because of Tommy Sheridan.
`The idea that
these unknown Trotskyite apparatchiks who have done him down are going to
get the same kind of vote that they did when led by Sheridan seems to me
inherently improbable. These people who
have done him down are not fit to
tie his shoe laces.'
Mr Galloway has stated he has made no plans for his
libel winnings as they have been frozen until The Daily Telegraph makes a
decision whether or not to appeal.
He added: `In the end I will spend
it on my political life, which is what I spend my existing earnings