You are correct Dear Reader. George Galloway whose penchant for self publicity has earned him the sobriquet “Gorgeous George” is the Leader of the Respect Party. Mr Galloway is the MP for Bradford West.
Professor Alan Sked will of course be well known to all UKIPers. This is because UKIP was founded on Friday 3rd September 1993 at the London School of Economics by Professor Alan Sked and other members of the cross-party Anti-Federalist League.
Alan of course left UKIP and became one of it’s critics. Doubtless you will recall Dear Reader, a few days before the 2004 election to the European Parliament, in which UKIP increased its representation from three to twelve seats, he criticised his former party in a national newspaper, saying, “They are racist and have been infected by the far-right.” He also went on record as saying, “UKIP is even less liberal than the British National Party (BNP). Certainly, there is a symbiosis between elements of the parties,” and, “UKIP’s MEPs are a standing joke at Strasbourg, where their attendance record, even by the standards of most MEPs, is relatively poor and where, according to independent research by the European Studies centre at the London School of Economics, the three often vote in different ways on the same issue.” These later opinions were contained in a short article, “Reflections of a Eurosceptic” penned in 2007.
The clue as to what links Alan to “Gorgeous George” of course is the character in the middle of the above image, the actor Peter Cushing.
Peter Cushing, OBE (26th May 1913to 11th August 1994) was best known for his appearances in Hammer Films, in which he played the sinister scientist Baron Frankenstein, Sherlock Holmes and the vampire hunter Dr. Van Helsing, among other roles. He appeared frequently opposite Christopher Lee, and occasionally Vincent Price.
The link between the three lies in the 1957 film The Curse of Frankenstein. Based on the novel Frankenstein (1818) by Mary Shelley, it was Hammer’s first colour horror film, and the first of their Frankenstein series. Its worldwide success led to several sequels, and the studio’s new versions of Dracula (1958) and The Mummy (1959) and established “Hammer Horror” as a distinctive brand of Gothic cinema.
The film was recently screened on BBC 4 and those who watched or can remember when they last saw one of the Frankenstein genre films, the plot is invariably based on the standard premise that the clever Baron Frankenstein creates his creature with the best of intentions, but looses control of it and the monster escapes and wreaks havoc in the community.
As with the Baron’s “creature”, Alan Sked lost control of UKIP in the sense that many of those who joined UKIP subsequently had a political philosophy that was of the populist right and Alan was well to the left of this. Finding himself politically isolated, he left.
As to George Galloway, he is the Leader of the political party Respect. It’s Chairman is Abjol Miah, it’s Deputy Leader is Dawud Islam and it was founded on 25th January, 2004.
The party was founded by the journalist George Monbiot and Birmingham Stop the War Coalition chair Salma Yaqoob. The party was opposed to the War in Iraq and the War in Afghanistan. It seeks to “provide a broad-based and inclusive alternative to the parties of privatisation, war, and occupation” and has a socialist agenda.
George Monbiot left in February 2004 because the party intended to stand candidates against the Green Party. Respect had offered to form a pact with the Green Party standing on joint lists in the European elections, but this was rejected by the Greens. The Greens also said that they had selected their candidates months previously by postal ballot for the 2004 European Parliamentary elections and were sceptical of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) influence on Respect.
In its founding constitution the Respect Party states its overall aim is to “help create a socially just and ecologically sustainable society”, giving a definition of social justice that includes “the organisation of society in the most open, participative, and accountable way practicable based on common ownership and democratic control”. Mr Galloway stated in April 2004: “Respect. It’s a young word. It’s a black word. It’s the first post-modern name for an electoral political movement; most are one or other arrangement of the words The, Something, and Party. With respect, we’re different.”
Salma Yaqoob later left the party following comments made by Mr Galloway on the issue of rape.
Since that time, Mr Galloway is behaving like a rider on an untrained horse – desperately trying to avoid being thrown off.
You see, the Respect Party is seen by many Muslims as a party that can be used to promote their interests. Far from wanting to see the back of Mr Galloway, these folk very much want to see white, non Muslim faces in Respect. They may seek a Islamic agenda for Respect but they do not want it to have a uniformly Islamic face. They want the party to be multi-racial and multi cultural.
In the past many communities that have been identified as “ethnic minority” – that term is increasingly invalid as in many parts of this country the so called “ethnic minority” is set to become the “ethnic majority” – have seen the Labour Party as the party to join. This is still the case and Labour politicians feel that as the “ethnic minority” becomes the “ethnic majority” their electoral success is guaranteed in future.
This complacency on the part of those such as the Unfortunate Ed Miliband however is dangerously misplaced. You see, Mr Miliband has a little problem. Well no. It is a very big problem. You see, many Labourites such as Harriet Harman are fully paid up supporters of the “LBGT” agenda. For the uninitiated “LBGT” stands for “Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgender.” These are the people who from time to time organise the various “Gay Pride” marches around the country.
Mr Miliband’s problem you see is that these folk are an anathema to many Muslim members of the Labour Party. Therefore increasing numbers are wanting to join a political party in which they can have more influence. The one thing these Muslims do not want to do is to set-up an openly Islamic party.
At the moment Respect reflects the political philosophy of such as George Galloway – left wing along the lines of the Socialist Workers Party. Expect this to change as many Muslim business people join. Of course these folk like any joining a political party will want to see their party prosper in elections.
In the past new and minor political parties have suffered under the First Past the Post electoral system. The Liberal-Democrats are the classic case of the FPP treating them unfairly. That is because the Lib-Dems attract their votes across a broad spectrum of the electorate across the constituencies. The FPP favours parties whose vote is concentrated in specific constituencies. Thus, FPP has particularly favoured Labour. Muslims joining Respect however realise that the Muslim vote tends to be concentrated in certain constituencies and as such the FPP will favour any party setting up its stall for these folk.
These developments do not take place overnight. Expect Respect to evolve into a party of the democratic centre – in terms of its economic and capitalist-versus-collectivist focus – and right – in terms of its social and moral philosophy – in a decade or so. In 2024 Malala Yousafzai will be a young woman of 27. Doubtless she will have graduated from university and may well have a Masters Degree. She may well have stayed in academia and have by that time been awarded a PhD. So she will be Doctor Malala Yousafzai. Do not be surprised if she ends up leading Respect. See our earlier article: