pashankyPaul Cruikshank responds to yesterday’s controversial article and says a return for George Galloway would be a backwards and damaging step. 

 

Yesterday, Scott McGregor wrote that Scottish Labour should welcome George Galloway back into the party, and even let him stand as an MP in 2020.

He was right to highlight that we lost a great deal of talent in May. Part of Kez’s rebuilding of Labour is to refresh talent across our party at all levels and the current list selection process for the Scottish parliament is part of that. We need fresh people who have new ideas, and experienced people who know how to get things done.

What we do not need, though, is George Galloway.

Yes, it might be interesting. For some, it might even be exciting. It cannot be denied that the man is a fantastic orator – but it’s what he has said, and not how he has said it, that causes me, and others, grave concern.

A man who says – and has repeatedly refused to withdraw or apologise for saying – that rape is merely “bad manners” and “bad sexual etiquette” is a man who can sit behind the feminist leaders of my party.

A man who refuses to debate a teenager, merely because he is an Israeli, is not a man who can reach out across Scotland’s multicultural divide.

A man who writes that “it’s not true…that you are executed in Iran for being gay” (which is, of course, not true) is not part of the LGBT and equality tradition which I and my party are proud to be a part of.

But it’s not just his misogyny and casual anti-Semitism. It’s him.

One of the many, many lessons Labour must take from May is that we can never again be arrogant or presumptuous. We can never again allow ourselves to believe we our infallible and untouchable. Can George Galloway be part of that? It doesn’t take much thought. We laughed at UKIP blaming their defeat in Oldham on dodgy postal votes; shouldn’t we do the same with Gorgeous George?

Scott’s right, though, to say that Galloway standing in Glasgow would certainly make the headlines. He could declare the South Side an “Israel-free zone”. He could question the harrowing experiences of a remarkable woman who face more mental anguish than I could even conceive – who could even be his “comrade”. His overtures to Scotland’s continuing shame would, I’m sure, go down a treat in the city at the heart of it all.

George Galloway is a law unto himself. So long as he keeps it to himself, that’s fine. And Labour has changed since George was rightly kicked out of the party. While Galloway has jumped about from Bethnal to Bradford, standing against Scottish Labour in Glasgow in 2011 along the way and now standing against us again in London, Scotland has moved on, and now so must we.

Let our future candidates bring electoral experience and statesman-like qualities, but let them also be true to Labour’s values of social justice and equality for all forever. Not just those they like, and not just when it suits them.

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38 thoughts on “Galloway is no way back

  1. Well said,Mr Cruickshank.I think Scott McGregor will find it hard to build a real head of steam behind any attempt at a Galloway candidacy.Galloway still has a following within Labour…but it’s just not big enough.At the end of the day,his attitude to women makes him a liability.Before anyone shouts about hipocracy with consideration to Frank McAveety it needs to be emphasised that Galloways mysogony is on a whole different level and he has made no attempt to apologise for it.

    1. Kev,is that an apology for McAveety. Galloway’s mysogony a 10. Mcaveety’s only a 5?

  2. “He was right to highlight that we lost a great deal of talent in May. Part of Kez’s rebuilding of Labour is to refresh talent across our party at all levels and the current list selection process for the Scottish parliament is part of that. We need fresh people who have new ideas, and experienced people who know how to get things done.”

    Problem is you’re not going to find them in Scotland because all the best talent and future potential here supports the SNP and Independence.

    The youth of Scotland are overwhelmingly in support of constitutional change the Union only exists because of the elderly voter.

    Something to think about consider and acknowledge.

  3. The misogyny vote may be bigger than you think. Especially in Glasgow.

    You should concentrate your criticism of Galloway based on his insincerity and lack of conviction. Or you could if it didn’t also apply to most other Labour members.

  4. Paul the reality Is that the Scottish Labour section leader Kezia Dugdale is in charge of the branch office and Jeremy Corbyn is charge of the Labour Party UK the head office and the whole shebang and being that gorgeous George Galloway is a crony of the Muesli Muncher he is guaranteed to be parachuted into a safe Labour seat south of the border at the next general election, notice I say south of the border it’s for two reasons number one the people of Scotland would not vote for Galloway at a general election and number two by the time the next general election comes around Scotland will probably be an Independent country.

    1. I might have believed that even last week but since seeing Corbyn once again bottle out of getting rid of his Blairite parasites in cabinet I can no longer believe in Corbyn doing anything for socialism or Social Democracy in labour.
      So I honestly don’t see Corbyn parachuting a Champaign socialist such as Galloway into anything anywhere.

  5. Far be it for me to support Galloway but if you’re going to accuse him of doing something then at least accuse him of doing something wrong.

    “A man who says – and has repeatedly refused to withdraw or apologise for saying – that rape is merely “bad manners” and “bad sexual etiquette””

    As your links show and prove Galloway was talking specifically and “CORRECTLY” with regards to the accusations thrown at Julian Assange. He was clearly not referring to rape in general. In this case the allegation of rape is just that an allegation. A very dodgy politically motivated allegation at that.

    Like I said Galloway has all the sincerity and conviction of the self centred and self absorbed but credit where credit is due he isn’t stupid enough to have actually spoken in the manner you are accusing him of.

    That’s typical Labour and in behaving this way you will actually push people towards supporting Galloway.

    When will you people ever learn? Right now Cruickshank I have more distain for you over this article than I have for Galloway and if that’s how it can make me feel then I bet it will make Labour members who are on the fence about Galloway even more distainful and more sympathetic to Galloway.

    This is a prime example of why Labour is in the toilet waiting to be flushed away for good.

  6. “A man who writes that “it’s not true…that you are executed in Iran for being gay” (which is, of course, not true) is not part of the LGBT and equality tradition which I and my party are proud to be a part of.”

    I find this piece particularly risible considering how much time Labour spent campaigning on the same platform and stage as UKIP the BNP the NF and every other pro UK xenophobic homophobic extremist with a point of view with regards to the Scottish constitution.

    Do you believe reality is an affliction for the unwary?

  7. We need this level of outstanding talent. If the moral values you push for were the set standard we would lose a few of our existing MPs.

    The rape quote is a statement taken out of context and pushed by those who oppose his return.

    Bring him back now.

  8. That’s hardly fair.Labour campaigned alongside the Tories,but I don’t recall ever hearing of Labour actually campaigning on the same platform as the NF or BNP.

    1. I truly find that extremely hard to believe considering some of the latest SNP bad spin seen in the media over the last couple of days with regards to Anne Begg.
      Not to mention the scenes we all saw in George Square the day after the vote.
      Or how about the 10,000 Orange lodge march in Edinburgh? Going to tell me none of them were labour supporters?

      Its getting hard to tell the truly ignorant from the deliberate trolling.

      1. The Orange Order marching for a No vote doesn’t equate to the Labour Party campaigning on the same platform as the NF and BNP.The thugs in George Square AFTER the referendum quite possibly numbered members of the Orange Order,BNP and NF..There may even have been members of the Labour Party in the crowd.That,again,doesn’t equate to the Labour Party sharing a platform with these groups.I’ve seen the pictures of former Labour MP Anne Begg joking and laughing with a No campaigner who happens to be a prominent NF member.She says she didn’t know who he was.I’m sure we’ve all been caught in a situation where we didn’t recognise someone we perhaps should have..Labour campaigned on the same platform as the Tories and Libdems..Not the BNP and NF.

        1. The entire concept of “Better Together” was and still is inclusive of everything that is the UK of GB.
          We were told Scotland was “Better Together” with every aspect of the UK of GB than it ever could be Independent.
          That inclusion incorporates all that is UKIP the BNP the SDL the EDL the Orange lodge the NF and every other pro union pro UK organisation and affiliation that exists because if it doesn’t then “Better Together” was the biggest lie the No campaign told to the people of Scotland.

          The story of Anne Begg and the seriously ridiculous claim that she didn’t know who David MacDonald was in spite of her Tweeting about his campaigning in Aberdeen previous to the meeting is risable. But it does prove that you are amongst the Labour self delusional willing to stupidly lie for an agenda rather than give way to the facts and the truth.

    2. “That’s hardly fair.Labour campaigned alongside the Tories,but I don’t recall ever hearing of Labour actually campaigning on the same platform as the NF or BNP.”

      labour also campaigned on the same platform as George Galloway. So according to you and Paul Cruickshank, labour have shared a platform with a rapist apologist an Anti Semite and a misogynist willingly.

      Does labours lack of principles from your own perspective not stick in your throat at all?

      1. The No campaign should have had nothing to do with George Galloway.I find it hard to believe he was given such a high profile without the support of the Labour Party.Did Galloway actually share a platform with a Labour representative? I can’t remember who all was on the platform at the Hydro.

        1. The fact remains that he was and will be again when Indyref 2 is debated. And Labour as before will join him along with all the other Pro UK affiliations in opposing the campaign towards Independence on the same platform same agenda making exactly the same arguments telling exactly the same pack of bare faced lies.

          Yes Galloway did share an actual platform with labour representation. You can see it on the BBC Question Time program as one example.
          Galloway also “OFFICIALLY” represented “Better Together” in one to one debates against Nicola Sturgeon Jim Sillars and Tommy Sheridan.

          Labour ludicrous habit of denying the indisputable is truly beyond belief.

  9. Just to clarify what George Galloway said about rape:

    ‘one of the women concerned had consensual sex with Mr Assange and then “woke up to him having sex with her again” – arguing that this did not constitute rape.

    “Not everybody needs to be asked prior to each insertion,” he said.
    He added: “It might be really bad manners not to have tapped her on the shoulder and said, ‘do you mind if I do it again?’ It might be…bad sexual etiquette, but whatever else it is, it is not rape ‘

    From the BBC website http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-19334598

    Just so we are absolutely clear, rape is sex without consent. George Galloway said sometimes sex without consent isn’t rape. It’s pretty simple. Here’s something that might help you figure it out.

      1. I once woke up to a girlfriend of mine giving me oral. Was I being raped or sexually abused?

        If rape cannot be taken into singular context on a case by case basis then there will be more cases of innocents going to jail.

        You cannot blanket convict based on a criteria for any crime.

        George was absolutely right in the context of the actual specific event. Consent had already been given the first time they had made love. If a second time was unwelcome in this case then it could have easily have been expressed and no doubt Assange would have cooperated.

        The alternative is to convict Assange on a presumption that he wouldn’t have stopped if asked to.

        I bet there are millions if not billions of examples throughout history where a second attempt at love making was rebuffed without an accusation of rape being made or even considered.

        This is really stretching Labours credibility beyond belief as if it needed anymore stretching. But here we are once again witnessing the worst levels of agenda driven bullshit being used to condemn without justification.

        1. I find many of your comments laughable, Mike, and most of them seem to just be a dull and highly repetitive banging of an single-track anti-Labour agenda. But on this issue I need to say this: your views disgust me. Sex without consent is rape. There are no justifications, protestations or arguments that stop that being the case. I suggest you watch that video and learn something.

          1. Your view on this one Duncan is blind and blinkered.

            No crime can be presumed on a basis of a given criteria. Each and every accusation of crime should be taken on a singular specific case by case basis.

            Take the example I gave you.

            I woke up to find a girlfriend giving me oral without my specific consent to that specific act. Your criteria tells me I was being sexually abused by law.

            So now anytime I feel vindictive towards my now ex Girlfriend I can have her convicted for sexual abuse even though I welcomed the act at the time.

            Do you understand? Even though I welcomed the act after the event the criteria states she committed a serious heinous crime by not seeking consent before proceeding.

            I was told by the same girlfriend she loved being woken up by caresses. Now in saying that she was probably aware that there would be times where she wouldn’t welcome it at all but was I given consent to caress or not?
            Suppose I took her at her word and caressed her one morning when she wasn’t in the mood?
            Is that grounds for conviction?
            More importantly would that be justice?

  10. “Sex without consent is rape. It’s not a debate, it’s a fact.”

    So there are literally billions of rapists running around free in the world today on that basis. including Police officers Judges lawyers politicians and me.

    Yes me Duncan. I presumed sexual contact by waking said Girlfriend with caresses which she sometimes welcomed and sometimes rebuffed.

    According to you I am a vile sexual predator and rapist.

  11. “Sex without consent is rape. It’s not a debate, it’s a fact.”

    So every accusation of every type of sex act without consent is an automatic guilty verdict? There are absolutely no grounds whatsoever to consider each and every case on its singular merits or demerits?
    We can blanket convict rape cases 10 at a time?

  12. Put it this way every single physical relationship anywhere ever relies on one partner making first contact first approach first move call it what you like.
    In some cases you get immediate acceptance by partner 2. All above board straight forward no controversy.

    In some cases you get initial reluctance sometimes actual sometimes playful sometimes somewhere in between. Each and every case at this point by law is taken as non consensual. But not in reality. In reality its a very grey area but the law wants and expects everybody to err on the side of caution which is reasonable from a legal stand point.

    But from a social stand point it means that budding relationships have no chance of flourishing into anything better. It removes the spice of relationships and relationship building for many. Practically everybody actually.

    By law in pursuing the initial reluctance approach to relationship building you’re acting illegally yet many if not most relationships start off with initial reluctance some with outright hostility. In fact initial reluctance is part and parcel of many courtship rituals. Getting over the reluctance actual and playful is an accepted social course of relationship building.

    Sometimes you have to work hard in order to get the consent you both actually want. That work includes initial physical contact by somebody. At that point by definition of the law of consent a crime is being committed.

    Given the blanket one criteria fits all approach each and every case will return a guilty verdict irrespective of the circumstances or result of the physical approach including the result of acceptance and consent which is only given AFTER THE CRIME HAS BEEN COMMITTED!

    Do you not see therefore why each and ever singular case should be taken on its own individual merits or demerits?

    1. You’re now pretending that anyone touching anyone else would be in danger of being locked up. A stupid, rape apologist trope. The sort of thing George Galloway would say.

      Go away and educate yourself on this subject. Of course you won’t. You’re an idiot. Every comment you make on this site proves it.

      1. But that is exactly the case under the criteria you advocate! And whats more you know it and once more refuse to acknowledge.

        If you’re out of actual argument then fine but for once spare us all the usual post argument failure bullshit.

        1. No it isn’t.

          To recap: Sex without consent is rape.

          Maybe try re-reading it a few times. It might sink in.

          1. How do you define consent?

            Does it have to be an initial acceptance of a verbal request or can it be physical cooperation after initial physical contact?
            Or can it be both?

          2. Consent to sexual activity can be communicated in a variety of ways, but one should presume that consent has not been given in the absence of clear, positive agreement.

            Verbal communication prior to engaging in sex helps to clarify consent.

            Consent must be clear and unambiguous for each participant at every stage of a sexual encounter. The absence of “no” should not be understood to mean there is consent.

            A prior relationship does not indicate consent to future activity.

            A person who is asleep, or mentally or physically incapacitated, either through the effect of drugs or alcohol or for any other reason, is not capable of giving valid consent.

          1. And as usual you come back with the irrelevant.

            The law is clear on how it defines rape but none of that shows how it defines “CONSENT” which as you stated is the “KEY” and the whole point of this debate.

            There is no one size fits all blanket legal definition of what constitutes consent therefore you cannot take rape or sexual assault on a one size fits all blanket charge because as you’ve said

            “CONSENT IS THE KEY”!

            And as the tea analogy likes to tell us unambiguous consent cannot be established until after the physical act is in progress.

            Is none of this obvious to you yet?

  13. Duncan Many many people all over the world in all walks of life have sex with willing partners without initially seeking verbal consent. The consent all too often comes after and during the initial physical approach and act.

    That’s also a FACT! Yet according to you its Rape.

  14. Consent to sexual activity can be communicated in a variety of ways, but one should presume that consent has not been given in the absence of clear, positive agreement.

    Duncan the most prolific courtship rituals including the physical contact work on the basis of non presumed consent.

    “Verbal communication prior to engaging in sex helps to clarify consent.”

    Agreed but verbal communication is not always required to gain consent.

    “Consent must be clear and unambiguous for each participant”

    Consent is never clear nor unambiguous Duncan until after initial physical contact is made and accepted physically. Do you remember the analogy with the tea? The one that you praised?

    You can verbally accept the offer of tea but can physically refuse to drink it.

    “The absence of “no” should not be understood to mean there is consent.”

    That is ludicrous! Sometimes the word No is actually uttered in passion during consensual sex. Its all a matter of context.

    “A prior relationship does not indicate consent to future activity.”

    That goes without saying.

    “A person who is asleep, or mentally or physically incapacitated, either through the effect of drugs or alcohol or for any other reason, is not capable of giving valid consent.”

    Of course not which is why the whole consent argument falls on its arse. Ive already given you a perfect example of when non consensual sex in the context that you advocate is not rape or sexual abuse on a person who is asleep.

    There are indeed cases where a sleeping person has been raped and sexually abused but not all cases of being woken by sexual contact is rape and abuse as a result of these cases. Which is my whole point of taking the consent argument on a case by case basis and not on a blanket fits all criteria is valid and correct.

  15. Duncan Do you believe in the idea of altering society and social interaction on the basis of making Law unambiguous?

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