In the Huffington Post, George Galloway has declared he intends to “fight Boris Johnson” for the job of Mayor in the next Mayoral election. George of course knows perfectly well this will never happen. Boris has made it plain he will not stand as Mayor for a third term, publicity seeking George is just talking through his ass as usual.In a move that duplicated the incendiary leaflet campaign in Bradford West that helped win the seat for Galloway, in March 2012, the Sunday Times reported that leaflets were sent to 75 mosques and Islamic centres smearing Boris Johnson. No doubt if George Galloway were ever fool enough to stand in the election, we would endure more of the same dirty tactics.
Muslims form 8.5% of the London population, and many Muslims have already wised up to the fact that Ken Livingstone, for all his much vaunted support of the Muslim population, was playing communities off against each other for his own ends. When Boris and Ken attended the Muslim hustings during the last election, Boris was chided for an old article in the Spectator for which he apologised. Ken however, took a body blow from the sharp witted Muslim Lady Chairman, who told him “You are making Islamophobia worse.”
On 30th March, 2012, a Times leader said of Ken’s election strategy: “A divisive politics that seeks to exploit tensions between religious groups for electoral gain would be a disaster, not just for the city but for the country. And it is to be hoped that Mr Livingstone will find it a disaster for him as well. Muslims value a united London too.”
The above is even truer of George Galloway. Don’t bother to run, Mr. Galloway, Londoners are wise to your game. You will lose.
Update: Amidst a storm of protest from Londoners and biting criticisms from councillors in Bradford West that already George is “bored of Bradford West”, George is already backtracking….
One aspect of the election campaign that helped win Bradford West for George Galloway was a leaflet smear campaign against his oppenent, Imran Hussain. The leaflets accused Mr. Hussain, amongst other things, of drinking alcohol. Galloway, said the leaflet, is teetotal.
This at least is one claim bombastic Ken cannot make – Channel 4 devoted a whole programme to his drink problem, but he has the dubious advantage of George Galloway supporting his campaign.
In a move that duplicates the incendiary leaflet campaign in Bradford West, the Sunday Times reported today that 75 mosques and Islamic centres throughout London were targeted with leaflets smearing Boris Johnson.
The leaflet urged Muslims to vote for Ken Livingstone and accused Boris of believing that Islam is as wicked as the Nazis. (Boris’s great grandfather was a Muslim and could recite the entire Koran by heart.) After the 7/11 bombing, Boris wrote a harsh article in the Spectator, criticising extremist aspects of the religion. He has told Muslim leaders he regrets this. As in Bradford West, it is not known who sent the leaflets. Livingstone’s campaign denied any knowledge. Boris has been doing extremely well in the polls.
Somebody is so desperate to win they are prepared to fight dirty to conquer the formidable opposition.
Today’s Times makes the point that ostensibly, Ken Livingstone’s attitude to the Jewish community is hard to understand. Ken is clearly “no stranger to political calculation.” Nor is George Galloway. He has just trounced Labour to win Bradford West with a majority of over 10,000.
The Times reports: “His (Ken’s) late-night comments comparing a Jewish reporter to a concentration camp guard, his extraordinary suggestion that a couple of Jewish immigrants go back to Iran (although they did not come from there), and his decision to present programmes for the state television station of the Holocaust-denying Government of Iran all suggest at the very least an awkward lack of familiarity with Jewish sensitivity.”
There have been more recent insults. He said that one of his policies was as unpopular as the suggestion that Jews bought disease to Europe. He later said “Rich Jews don’t vote Labour” The first comment might not on the face of it, be an insult, but the example is a tactless one, considering Ken’s troubled history with the Jewish people. The second comment caused a huge furore until Ken “apologised”.
The Times continues: “Yet awkward lack of familiarity with the sensitivities of others is hard to associate with Mr Livingstone. So a more troubling explanation presents itself. He is doing it on purpose. There are more than four times as many Muslims in London as there are Jews. Mr Livingstone may believe that he can divide and rule. He may have seen the impact that George Galloway has made with a similar strategy.”
“This turns what would otherwise be a nasty squabble into an issue of importance to all London citizens and, indeed, beyond. A divisive politics that seeks to exploit tensions between religious groups for electoral gain would be a disaster, not just for the city but for the country. And it is to be hoped that Mr Livingstone will find it a disaster for him as well. Muslims value a united London, too.”
When Diane Abbott made her ill-advised tweet that “White people love to play divide and rule – we must not play their game” the behaviour of Ken Livingstone immediately sprang to mind. Mrs. Abbott made no reply to my tweet pointing out that the behaviour of Red Ken was a good example. Of course Ken is doing it on purpose. Of course he is playing George Galloway’s game. And of course he is absolutely not fit to stand as a Mayoral candidate and Ed Miliband must know it by now, if he didn’t all along.
Cathy Newman’s interview with an arrogant George Galloway is above. He walked out after 2 and a half minutes.