The London mayoral hopeful also expresses support for Russian airstrikes in Syriaby Sameer Rahim / February 12, 2016 / Leave a comment
Respect Leader George Galloway seems to support the current Russian military intervention in Syria, saying that Bashar al-Assad’s regime, “whatever its faults, whatever crimes it may have committed,” is an important bulwark against Islamic State (IS).
Speaking to Prospect as part of his campaign to become Mayor of London, Galloway compared the current siege of Aleppo by Assad’s forces and the Russian airforce to the Allies’ “crushing” of Nazi Berlin in 1945. “It had to be as it was. The same is true in Aleppo.”
Galloway also believes that his London mayoral opponent Sadiq Khan has shown insufficient loyalty to the Labour leadership, claiming that “if I’m the mayor, I’ll be standing shoulder to shoulder with Jeremy Corbyn.”
It seems like Galloway is never far from a political battle. At the 2015 general election, the 61-year-old lost his Bradford West seat to Labour by 11,000 votes, after having won the 2012 by-election by 10,000. His time in Bradford was marked by a number of dubious comments, including his dismissal of rape allegations against Julian Assange and his declared wish after Israel’s invasion of Gaza in 2014 to make the city an “Israel-free zone.” Undeterred by the controversy—in fact, he seems to revel in it—Galloway is now standing for Mayor of London.
Speaking by telephone, Galloway said only he had the stature to match London’s first two mayors, Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson: “They were big figures. They were bigger than the party they represented, and they had the capacity to lead.” Galloway, a fan of Livingstone, believes Johnson blew his chance to lead the capital, “through indolence and preoccupation with his wider political ambitions.” As for his mayoral rivals, “Zac Goldsmith is Boris Johnson minus,” he said, “and Sadiq Khan is way short of Ken Livingstone.”
Galloway believes Khan is distancing himself from the Labour leadership. “If I’m the mayor, I’ll be standing shoulder to shoulder with Jeremy Corbyn. Unlike my Labour opponent who pronounces that he’ll stand up to Jeremy Corbyn, I’ll stand with him.” He cites Khan’s opposition to Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell’s proposed levy on financial transactions—the so-called Robin Hood tax. “He stands with…