Thursday, April 21, 2005

The sorcerer's apprentices

According to the papers, George Galloway was treated with the utmost disrespect -- dissed, in fact-- a couple of days ago by a gang of Islamic extremists. Apparently, they called him a "false god" (true, but a bit cruel) and drew attention to the similarity of his name to the word "gallows". But what did he expect? He, backed logistically and ideologically by the SWP, has decided to play the sectarian, Islamic card in order to try to stay in Parliament. He, together with the SWP, has mounted a campaign, backed by Muftis and other Muslin clerics, to get out the Muslim vote in much the same way as the BNP has set out to get the "poor white" vote. Both of them are encouraging sectarian tensions amongst the working class and are to be condemned on that account.
The SWP, then flying under the "Socialist Alliance" flag, stood a candidate in Vauxhall in 2001 and got 853 votes. What do they think of the SWP's turn towards religious sectarianism? Presumably, the SWP, now flying under the flag of "Respect", decided not to stand here again because they are not enough Muslim electors (but there is an Islamic Centre in Edgeley Road, round the corner from our offices at 52 Clapham High St). There is one advantage in the SWP's latest flag of convenience, though. It doesn't mention the word "socialist", so at least they're not dragging it through the mud by associating it with their latest tactic.
Socialists stand for the unity of all those forced to work for a wage or salary to live, irrespective of their nationality, language, skin colour or legal immigration status, on the basis of socialist understanding -- which involves a rejection of all religion (all gods are false gods) and its reliance on some mythical super-being to improve things. Socialists can have nothing to do with religious sectarianism or seeking support by appealing to religion. As a certain Bishop Brown put it in the 1920s: "Banish Gods from the Skies and Capitalists from the Earth".

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