Welcome To Zelo Street!

This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind

Monday 21 June 2021

Is George Galloway A Serious Candidate?

He was once a Labour MP. Then he got expelled from the party and joined the Respect party, for whom he won Bethnal Green and Bow from Labour in 2005. Later, he scored a memorable by-election triumph in Bradford West, again defeating a Labour opponent, but when his constituents were given the opportunity to re-elect him in 2015, they voted him out. Now, George Galloway is standing for election at the Batley and Spen by-election.

George Galloway

This time, Galloway is standing for the Workers Party, and has wasted no time targeting the constituency’s sizeable Muslim vote. There are, though, some commentators who have also wasted no time - in passing severely adverse comment upon him. Former Panorama man John Sweeney is one of them, citing Galloway’s closeness to dictators.

Sweeney cites the Romania of the immediate post-Ceausescu period, when he first encountered Galloway. He also mentions Saddam Hussain, whom Galloway addressed in January 1994, telling The Great Man “Sir, I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability, and I want you to know that we are with you, hatta al-nasr, hatta al-nasr, hatta al-Quds [until victory, until victory, until Jerusalem]”. But that was a long time ago.

So voters may give him a pass on that. What they may find more relevant is Galloway’s record as an MP, and especially his voting record, which is readily available on the They Work For You site. Here’s how he voted on Taxation and Employment.

Voted against allowing employees to exchange some employment rights for shares in the company they work for” (4 absences out of 5 votes), “Voted against lower taxes on fuel for motor vehicles” (5 absences out of 6 votes), “Voted for a banker’s bonus tax” (7 absences out of 9), “Voted against higher taxes on plane tickets” (7 absences out of 8), “Voted for increasing the tax rate applied to income over £150,000” (8 absences out 10).

There was more. “Voted against raising the threshold at which people start to pay income tax” (11 absences out of 13 votes) and “Voted for higher taxes on alcoholic drinks” (8 absences out of 9). On a further seven categories of taxation vote, he did not vote at all.

On a further twenty-one categories in other areas, Galloway did not vote at all. So how does this compare with Naz Shah, who succeeded him at Bradford West, and Tracy Brabin, who he is looking to succeed at Batley and Spen?

They Work For You records Ms Shah as not having voted in a total of 14 categories. That’s just half the total of 28 categories in which Galloway cast no vote. Ms Brabin is recorded as having not voted in just ONE category. And as They Work For You has noted that all those MPs, and former MPs, mentioned did not vote in one or more category of votes, it has to be assumed that there were occasions where they could have done so.

It must be stressed at this point that Galloway’s Parliamentary voting record does not mean that he was not a diligent and hardworking constituency MP. It is, however, a subject on which he should be willing to put prospective voters’ minds at rest.

It is also a subject where other candidates might be expected to discuss, or even challenge him. The workers he would represent, after all, would be paying, were he to win.

Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at



Anonymous said...

I have no time for the itinerant self-promoting megaphone that is Galloway.

But even less for the screeching right wing male harridan that is Sweeney.

iMatt said...

The faux socialist Galloway is little more than a carpetbagger. If one judges someone at least in part by the company they keep, Galloway is a pretty disgusting individual given he is prepared to share a platform with racists, bigots and xenophobes such as Nigel Farage, Aaron Banks and Steve Bannon.

Nigel Stapley said...

A serious candidate for Colney Hatch.

Anonymous said...

Galloway could win, Labour won't because they have lost the Muslim block vote here on top of losing the working class. Galloway understands how Muslim society works and is taking full advantage, like he did in Bradford. Labour may regain this seat in the future but will need a local Muslim candidate focusing on the concerns of locals to do it. Until Labour understands this is how the world works in such places it's death spiral will continue. Owen Jone's visit was very revealing, and he couldn't or wouldn't see the obvious clearly shown before him, blinkered by his metrocentricity Galloway's voting record will have no traction even if revealed to the Batley voter, he is speaking their language at the moment.

Anonymous said...

Leadbeater isn't selling herself and her LGBTQ+ agenda to muslim community leaders. Labour are sunk here !

Anonymous said...

Ahh, Colney Hatch. Happy days. They are a difficult audience to put one over.