GEORGE Galloway, love him or loathe him, was voted in as the MP for Rochdale in a democratic vote held under legitimate voting procedures in an allegedly democratic country.

Yet the following day, the Prime Minister stated openly, in a national address, that “it’s beyond alarming that ... the Rochdale by-election returned a candidate who dismisses the horror of what happened on October 7, who glorifies Hezbollah and is endorsed by Nick Griffin, the racist former leader of the BNP”.

No mention of the daily horrors being inflicted on those trapped in Gaza, a topic which was certainly to the forefront in “alarming” Galloway’s campaign.

Instead we were subjected to a diatribe on the extremism of those who dare to protest peacefully (except, presumably, Welsh farmers) against undefined “British values”.

Rishi Sunak insulted the people of Rochdale for daring to vote for their chosen candidate and demeaned the office of Prime Minister by challenging the concept of peaceful protest in a democracy.

And where was the condemnation from His Majesty’s Loyal Opposition of this clear attack on democracy? Non-existent because the unholy Starmer/Hoyle collusion, through their antics on the Gaza debate, had empowered Sunak to talk about so-called extremism in these terms.

How could Keir Starmer possibly object, given his cynical undemocratic derailing of a legitimate SNP Opposition Day motion in case HIS MPs did not vote in line with HIS party?

We in Scotland are now faced with anti-democrats while trapped in an increasingly undemocratic UK. In the 2021 Scottish Parliament we secured a clear mandate – in terms of both seats and votes cast for independence-supporting parties – for indyref2. This mandate has been rejected out of hand by these anti-democrats.

What now? The SNP need urgently to tell us what the General Election strategy is to secure independence, so we can get on with it and, in the meantime, our MPs need to disrupt and cause chaos at Westminster with its ludicrous protocols to be followed to the letter, except when the bad SNP dare to threaten to cause a problem.

That institution and its main parties aren’t worthy of our respect, obedience or support – if they ever were.

Jean Dunlop


IT was without a hint of irony that Prime Minister Sunak delivered an emergency statement last Friday. This was not, as many expected, to confirm the date of the next General Election, but to face down “extremists” currently trying to undermine the UK’s “multi-faith democracy”.

In response to George Galloway winning the Rochdale by-election, the public were warned about Islamists and the far right, though most of the PM’s fire was focused on “extremists” who have been protesting against Israel’s military intervention in Gaza.

There can be few greater examples of brass neck. The Prime Minister and Conservative Party have been sowing the seeds of division for years, stoking up rancour, pandering to the far right and pitting communities against each other for electoral gain.

This was most recently exemplified by Lee Anderson MP’s claim that Labour’s London mayor Sadiq Khan was under the control of Islamists, joining the ranks of his fellow Tory politicians who have pushed the boundaries of acceptability on matters of race and immigration. The Tories have played a major role in creating a problem, which their leader now warns we must all guard against.

Alex Orr


RISHI Sunak’s unhinged rant following George Galloway’s decisive Rochdale by-election win lays bare not only his contempt for voters but his palpable panic that the British Establishment is losing its grip.

His claim that ‘British democracy’ is under threat is risible. Any tattered remnants of British democracy were buried with the passage of the National Security Act 2023, which follows on from repressive laws enhancing police powers and mandating voter ID. The government website asserts the Act “is a response to the threat of hostile activity from states targeting the UK’s democracy, economy and values.”

The UK government has no values any sentient human being would recognise.

The UK supports Israel’s genocide in Gaza and the “hateful ideological agenda” of Zionism, that justifies the Israeli state stealing Palestine from the Palestinians and oppressing and murdering them. 79 UK companieshave an open licence to export arms to Israel, two of which are in Scotland.

The UK criminalises those who dare to dissent from its narrative and threatens to ban citizens from attending pro-Palestine, but not pro-Israel, gatherings.

The UK muzzles journalists who try to hold it to account, effectively neutering the media, turning it into a compliant mouthpiece for government propaganda.

The UK has illegalised migrants and threatened to send them to Rwanda, despite the English Supreme Court ruling it unlawful.

English Labour in Name Only (ELINO) has been captured by the same corporate elites that control the Tories, giving voters no choice.

Scotland does have a choice. As an equal partner in the international Treaty of Union, the sovereign Scottish People can choose to leave the UK. Let’s get on with it.

Leah Gunn Barrett