Some of those who claim to be George Galloway’s supporters are actually doing him a great deal of damage. The only way for Galloway to defend his libel charge against the NUS NEC is to concede that what he said in his podcast was ambiguous. He can legitimately defend himself against his critics by saying it never occured to him that his words would be interpreted the way they were. He can express outrage at the very idea that anyone would dare to suggest he was a rape apologist. He can defend his libel action by pointing out that any ambiguity that may have arisen from his podcast (due to his taking things for granted) had been cleared up in the letter from his office to the NUS NEC. He should remind the court that his clarification was completely disregarded by the NUS NEC, who proceeded to deliberately, and maliciously, whip up an irrational lynch mob against him, with all the consquences that would inevitably follow from that, the same consequences that lead socialists to demand the silencing of fascist rabble rowsers.
I will defend George Galloway 100% if he does that. However, there is no getting away from the fact that his podcast created the circumstances that opened up this pandora’s box. It is simply not credible to say that everyone who saw a problem in his original formulation was his enemy. Salma Yaqoob’s resignation proves that to be utter nonsense.
Galloway has to make clear that in no way does he think it is okay for a man to have sex with an unconscious woman without permission to do that at some prior point. Those on the internet who are claiming to be George Galloway’s supporters who say men can have sex with a woman without permission and if she wakes up and then complains he can withdraw… What these people are doing IS apologising for rape. And if George Galloway defends what they are saying in court, then the NUS NEC majority will win. That is a cast iron guarantee. And that is why Galloway’s supporters in cyberspace need to reconsider how they are ‘defending’ him. And if they cannot do that, George Galloway needs to dissociate himself from them.