Under the heading “London Muslims Let’s Do a Bradford and Ensure Ken Livingstone is elected Mayor,” the author of the “London Muslim” blog writes:
Bradford Muslims have shown how if you have the right policies with the right candidate you can activate the Muslim base to come out in huge numbers… our vote is the ultimate weapon of mass destruction that sends fear into the hearts of all those Israelites who have been having kittens since [George] Galloway’s election.
While Jews in London have sent warnings to Ken Livingstone to change his pro-Muslim views it is Bradford Muslims, and inshallah we London Muslims, that will fire the ultimate warning and send the Israelites into a tailspin. Bradford will be our catalyst and also a warning to you useless buffoons in the Mosques that have treated your own community with arrogance and contempt expecting us to follow your diktats.
As I reported in yesterday’s Daily Telegraph, the new MP for Bradford West ran a campaign extraordinary in its naked invocation of Islam – at one rally, he actually suggested that voters would “have to answer to the Almighty” on the Day of Judgment if they did not support him. Livingstone – who’s been down at one of London’s most controversial mosques pledging to make London a “beacon” for the words of the Prophet Mohammed – is, as Nick Cohen says in today’s Observer, a kind of Galloway Lite.
The links between Ken and George are fairly close. At the last London elections in 2008, Livingstone backed Galloway’s bid for a seat on the London Assembly. He told the East London Advertiser (25 April 2008):
I would like to think we could work together and he’d form part of a broad coalition with the Greens and us against the Tories and Islamophobes. George and I have had our differences in the past. But so have I and Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. Yet we’ve been able to work with each other.
He [Galloway] has taken a very correct line around the consequences for London if Boris Johnson is elected. We have so many non-entities who don’t add to the Assembly’s work and who don’t turn up for meetings. I think George would be better… if he’s elected, that is.
A few days before the election, they shared a platform in Tower Hamlets. They shared a platform again in 2010 to campaign for the borough’s controversial move to an elected mayoral system – the system that gave us Lutfur Rahman. Galloway spoke at the “Progressive London” conference, organised by Livingstone, in 2009. He used a picture of himself in a fond embrace with Ken on his election leaflet for his (sadly abortive) bid to take Poplar and Limehouse at the last general election.
Both men also, of course, enjoy the enthusiastic support of the extremist Islamic Forum of Europe, based at the East London Mosque, whose activists helped secure extraordinary – indeed Gallowayesque – swings towards Ken in Tower Hamlets in 2008, boasting that they “got the vote out” for Livingstone after he gave them half a million pounds in GLA grants, against the opposition of his senior officials.
The IFE has been even closer to Mr Galloway – as he said in a secretly-recorded tape obtained by the Telegraph and Channel 4’s Dispatches after his 2005 election victory in Tower Hamlets: “I am indebted more than I can say, more than it would be wise – for them – for me to say, to the Islamic Forum of Europe.” They played the “decisive role,” he said, in his “historic victory.”
The IFE activist Abjol Miah was one of the keynote speakers at Galloway’s “Day of Judgment” rally in Bradford last week, along with various other Respect types from Tower Hamlets – so I’m watching closely to see what, if anything, goes down in the East End at this election.