George Galloway was a member of the British Parliament for nearly 30 years. He presents TV and radio shows (including on RT). He is a film-maker, writer and a renowned orator.
Published time: 27 May, 2019 by www.rt.com
Desperate spin notwithstanding, the tsunami created by Nigel Farage’s six-week old Brexit Party may sweep away centuries-old parties which may now begin to split into their constituent parts.
But first a word about Farage. As a populist politician he is perfectly evolved. Cheerful, possessed of only the ordinary vices, personable, a communicator of genius. He is neither a philosopher nor an ideologue but gripped by one iron-clad obsession – British withdrawal from the European Union.
Single-mindedly pursued for a quarter of a century, this obsession has changed the course of history in a way not matched since Mr Churchill in the summer of 1940, Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair not excepted.
I have privately criticized him for prematurely departing the stage when Brexit was won after the 2016 referendum – but in fact his timing has been perfect. He gave the ruling elites, conspiring to wreck Brexit and defy the voters, just enough rope. And now they have hanged themselves.
The Duke of Wellington was still telling his Battle of Waterloo war stories in the British Parliament when the Tory Party was last this kind of void in British politics and that was only because they hadn’t then been formed. In getting on for 200 years the Tories have largely lorded over us and this week they polled in single digits. The departure of Theresa May has triggered a scramble of candidates for her job but it is bald men fighting over a comb.
The Labour Party as we know (and some of us loved) it, is dead. The coalition of Blair-Labour and Corbyn-Labour, of Remain members depending on Leave voters, of right-wing wreckers and liberals masquerading as leftists, identity-politics freaks and shop-stewards peace campaigners and blood-soaked warmongers, that Labour Party is dead.
Jeremy Corbyn’s 70th birthday party was surely spoiled as the results emerged on the day. His sincere, often skillful, walk down the middle of the road had ended as such walks always do – in his being hit by the traffic going both ways. I have known Corbyn for nigh 40 years and for decades had a close personal and political relationship with him. I have been his most stalwart defender on a daily basis in the British media for four long years – I could show you my scars. And so it pains me to say that this is the end of the line for him.
When his effectively number-two-man Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell – like so many an erstwhile Trotskyist – joined the betrayal of democracy cause in a tweet, the morning after the results, the writing was on the wall for Corbyn. McDonnell joined up with Labour’s disloyal deputy leader Tom Watson, leadership hopeful Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry, and Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer QC, to demand an immediate volte-face by Corbyn in full unequivocal support for a new referendum. With Labour campaigning for remaining in the EU he signed Corbyn’s political death warrant.
Either the Labour leader complies and abandons the millions of working class Labour-inclined Brexit supporters all over the country (Farage won every region in England and Wales except London) but especially in Wales, the English midlands and the north – Britain’s rust-belt analogous to the swing states which propelled Trump to the White House – in which case the party will soon conclude they are best led by a younger woman with less baggage, or refuses and is overthrown by his members of parliament, 9/10ths of whom have been against him from the start.
In any case, gone is the elan, the campaigning brilliance, the new broom Corbyn represented just two years ago. Bled pale by compromise, appeasement of his enemies – the fifth column without whom he’d have already been in Downing St – and the relentless attrition of false accusations, fake news and sheer mendacity, Corbyn is now a dead man walking.
There is an imminent parliamentary by-election in Peterborough – one of the biggest Leave majority constituencies in the country – on D-Day, June 6. It will be the Longest Day for Britain’s long-established political class. Their day is done, the tide has turned. The road ahead, still difficult, only leads one way.