Britain once had a vibrant anti-war movement. It had one as recently as 2003 when the ‘Stop The War Coalition’ was formed to oppose George Bush and Anthony Blair’s war on Iraq. Since then, the anti-war movement in the UK has been demoralised, fragmented and remains deeply contradicted over Syria, with some people who claim to be anti-war, supporting official western policy for regime change, something that now even the Trump administration seems to have given up in respect of Syria.
Into this rather depressing fray has stepped George Galloway, a long-time MP whose record on anti-war issues is peerless. He opposed all the wars on Iraq, he opposed the wars on Yugoslavia, he opposed Britain’s meddling in Sierra Leone, he opposed the war on Libya and he currently opposes western involvement in Syria and Yemen.
Galloway is currently standing in a by-election in England’s second city, for the constituency of Manchester Gorton. Although to some observers, this might seem like a local matter, because George Galloway is involved, it is worthy of international attention.
Whether speaking before the US Senate about his opposition to the War on Iraq, organising aid convoys for Palestine or speaking to audiences throughout the world about the crucial issues of war and peace, Galloway is a larger than life politician in a Britain beset with minutia and insignificance.
Unlike many in Britain’s consummate war party, Galloway does not pretend that Britain is bigger than it is, but he realises that because the world’s eyes are often on the UK Parliament, it is an appropriate forum for his anti-war message, not least because there are few others articulating this message and frankly now one articulating it as eloquently as he does.
Of course, George Galloway is a man of the left. I am of course not. But the issues of war and peace have nothing to do with right and left and everything to do with right and wrong. In this sense, Galloway is right, very right.
I have no doubt that due to his many years of experience, George Galloway, if elected, would serve Manchester well. But more importantly even, is the fact that people in Manchester like people everywhere, are generally opposed to war. There is nothing more democratic than listening to the voices who want to live in peace.
This is why, I would encourage those living in Manchester Gorton to cast their vote for George Galloway.