The Left

George Backs Ken, Absolves Perjurer and Traitor

So, George Galloway has endorsed Ken Livingstone!

As any fule kno, the only reason that George Galloway is backing Ken Livingstone is because he wants to spite his former comrade, the SWP/RESPECT’s Lindsey German, who is running for Mayor.

Galloway’s RESPECT consists of (a) supporters of Jamaat-e-Islami, an extreme right wing clerical fascist party in South Asia, which committed war crimes in the Bangladeshi War of Independence, and which gets a tiny number of votes in that country; and (b) a handful of embittered and confused Trotskyites.

Ken Livingstone and his own pet nutters, Socialist Action, have been courting the same bloc of marginal far right Islamist opinion which swims in Galloway’s wake. The Qaradawi visit, the Hijab conference, the Islamophobia in the Media pseudo-report, and the Clash of Civilisations conference has finally paid off. First, the endorsement by the British Muslim Initiative/Muslim Brotherhood/Jamaat aligned “charities” and community groups. Now, the endorsement by Galloway.

Don’t you love it when a plan comes together?

Galloway’s article is full of the customary bluster and foolishness that serves to highlight, rather than disguise, his alliance with the far right. He condemns those who pointed out that Livingstone – like Galloway – were in bed with Jamaat-e-Islami and the Muslim Brotherhood. Here’s a taster:

And gay rights hyper-activist Peter Tatchell plunged the knife into the mayor – the country’s longest-serving gay-friendly politician – because of Livingstone’s support for Muslims.

Don’t you just love the weird and nasty phrase “gay rights hyper-activist”? And the suggestion that Tatchell was motivated by a desire to challenge “Livingstone’s support for Muslims”, as opposed to horror at Livingstone’s support for a man who believes that punishing homosexuality “may seem cruel” but “have been suggested to maintain the purity of the Islamic society and to keep it clean of perverted elements.”

Oliver Kamm picks up on an interesting aspect of the Galloway article. Galloway compares Peter Tatchell to Whittaker Chambers.

Galloway helpfully reminds CiF readers:

“[Whittaker] Chambers, you’ll recall, was the former communist turned apostate who ‘revealed’ that celebrated senior US state department official Alger Hiss was a red under the White House bed.”

That is indeed what Chambers did: no inverted commas required. Hiss wasn’t merely a covert Communist in the State Department when the Communist Party of the USA was formally committed to establishing a one-party state: he was a Soviet agent. This is just a fact. We know it beyond any serious dispute from the VENONA files. These were Soviet cables intercepted and decrypted by the US, which were eventually published half a century later, in the mid-1990s. One intercepted cable (reproduced here) refers to an agent in the State Department codenamed “ALES”. The biographical details it contains – specifically the agent’s attending the Yalta conference and then travelling to Moscow – match Hiss, and Hiss alone.

Hiss was a talented figure, most of whose long life was devoted to protesting his innocence. Why he did this when he knew the truth was anyone’s guess, but the truth is a matter of record.

Hiss was a perjurer and a spy on behalf of a nightmare-totalitarian state.

I expect that Galloway doesn’t think that betraying your own country to a vicious repressive totalitarian regime and then perjuring yourself about it is, or should be, a crime