Overturn the expulsion of Galloway now!

George Galloway, the Labour MP for Glasgow Kelvin, was yesterday expelled from the Labour Party by the three-member National Constitutional Committee, which is in reality a kangaroo court designed to simply rubber stamp whatever Blair wants. George Galloway took a clear stand against the war in Iraq. This is the reason why he was expelled. They had tried to remove him on the basis of falsified documents “found in Iraq”. As they were not able to remove him with these, they decided another road.

George Galloway, the Labour MP for Glasgow Kelvin, was yesterday expelled from the Labour Party by the three-member National Constitutional Committee, which is in reality a kangaroo court designed to simply rubber stamp whatever Blair wants. George Galloway took a clear stand against the war in Iraq. This is the reason why he was expelled. They had tried to remove him on the basis of falsified documents “found in Iraq”. As they were not able to remove him with these, they decided another road.

The verdict of the three-person national constitutional committee was unanimous. After a two-day hearing, he was acquitted on only one of the five charges he faced: urging voters in Plymouth not to back Labour. He was found guilty of inciting Arabs to fight British troops, inciting British troops to defy orders, threatening to stand against Labour candidates and backing an anti-war candidate in Preston against the official Labour candidate.

In reality what Galloway has stated is that the people of Iraq have the right to defend themselves against a foreign invader, in the same way that the British people would have the right to defend themselves if a foreign army invaded their country. That is not the same as inciting others to kill British troops. In fact the best way of defending the British young men who have been sent to Iraq to do the dirty work of the multinationals, is to bring them back home. It is amazing how the right-wing Blairites and their media friends can twist things. It is not Galloway who is responsible for the death of over 50 British soldiers, but Blair who agreed to them being sent to Iraq in the first place. Their blood is on his hands!

The Blairite leadership had twisted Galloway’s words and framed him on a catch-all charge of “bringing the party into disrepute”. In reality, it is not George Galloway who has brought the Labour Party into disrepute. Galloway merely voiced the opposition to war of the majority of British people. His opposition today is even more representative of what ordinary working people in Britain think of that war. It is the Blair leadership that has brought the Labour Party into disrepute. They lied and falsified “evidence” to push Britain into war. Galloway has been consistently against the sending of troops to Iraq, even when Blair’s lying machine was doing its best to convince the public of the need for war.

This is clearly a witch-hunt against one of the most prominent Labour MPs who came out against the US/British war against Iraq. It is also a clear warning to anyone else in the Labour Party who wishes to stand up to the Blairites. Freedom of speech is fine as long as you say what I want, is clearly the motto of these people.

The party chairman, Ian McCartney hurriedly issued a statement to deny this: "This is not an issue of free speech. He was not expelled for his anti-war views, but for going unsolicited on an international television programme and inciting forces to cross the border and kill our brothers and sisters in the British army."

George Galloway has been a member of the Labour party for 36 years, far longer than many of those who have passed sentence on him. Some of these are fairly recent arrivals, parachuted into the Labour Party, infiltrators who have come in to destroy the socialist values of the party and shift it towards Tory policies. It is these people who have thrown out Galloway without appeal after he was found guilty of bringing the party into disrepute on four counts.

George Galloway said: "This was a politically motivated kangaroo court whose verdict had been written in advance in the best tradition of political show trials. It was a travesty of justice". He accused Blair of being "a conspirator and a liar".

"Mr Blair's response to the disaster of the war is to attack those who stood against the war and to root them out of British politics." He promised: "The anti-war movement is not going to go away and we will continue to hold him to account for a war crime and a blunder of extraordinary magnitude."

Galloway may have no alternative but to stand as an independent at the next election, and has not ruled out forcing an early by-election in his constituency. "Labour will rue the day that they took this decision, as they rued the day to rig party elections in London to get rid of Ken Livingstone." The best way of avoiding such a situation is to reinstate Galloway and allow him to continue as a Labour MP. If Livingtsone had not been expelled then the Labour Party would have the Mayor of London. But the Blair leadership would rather see the Labour Party lose the elections than have left MPs and Mayors. This shows that Blair and his friends are alien to the Labour Party. These people would rather see the party destroyed than see it move in the direction of genuine socialist and working class policies.

The Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs called for an emergency meeting of the national executive to discuss the expulsion. However, it is not enough to discuss the question. There must be action. It is Galloway today; it could be any other prominent left leader in the future.

The trade union and Labour movement must urgently protest about this scandalous action. It has to demand the immediate reinstatement of George Galloway. This must become part of the campaign to remove the Blairites. So long as this unrepresentative clique remains at the helm of the party such undemocratic, witch-hunting measures will be repeated again in the future. The only way of guaranteeing genuine party democracy and making sure the workers in the trade unions and the party are genuinely represented, is through a campaign throughout the length and breadth of the party to re-establish the genuine traditions of workers’ democracy. Trade union branches and labour party wards and constituencies should be sending in resolutions to party headquarters demanding the reversal of this decision.

Give back the Labour Party to its trade union membership.