Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Thursday, May 15, 2003

A motion at the "Alliance for Workers' Liberty concerning connections to Galloway has some interesting stuff in it. There was a motion to support Galloway without qualification. This is the counterproposal.

We oppose expulsions and disciplinary action on grounds of dissident political opinion within the general parameters of the labour movement, and we demand due process for all.

We note that George Galloway MP:

1. has acknowledged cordial relations with leading figures in Saddam's regime such as Tariq Aziz;

2. has stated that his political campaigns in connection with Iraq were funded by the governments of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia and by a businessman with strong links to the Iraqi regime, excusing this by the comment "needs must";

3. has conceded that the paper he published in the 1990s, East, was funded by the Pakistani government to promote its own political purposes;

4. has since 1994 adopted a stance towards the Saddam regime exemplified by his salute to the dictator in that year: "Sir... we salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability... We are with you! Until victory! Until Jerusalem!"

The left and anti-war movement need clean hands. We should condemn such connections and attitudes. We should not taint ourselves morally and politically, or compromise our principles, by identifying ourselves with George Galloway.

In particular, at trade union conferences this year we should organise an independent Socialist Alliance profile rather than appearing primarily in the role of assistants at Galloway fringe meetings.

< email | 5/15/2003 11:31:00 AM | link

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