Most commentators have dismissed this victory as a shocking one-off with no further significance than an upset by an entertaining maverick.
Not so. For with Galloway’s election, religious extremism has become for the first time a potential game-changer in British politics.
The point being so resolutely ignored is that Galloway ran on an Islamist religious ticket. It wasn’t simply that he was pandering to Islamist foreign policy obsessions. He made explicit references to Islam throughout his campaign.
‘All praise to Allah!’ he saluted his victory through a loud-hailer — having previously told a public meeting that if people didn’t vote for him, Allah would want to know why.
Indeed, declaring in one address that ‘God knows who is a Muslim’, he implied that he was even more of a true adherent of that faith than Labour’s Muslim candidate who, he suggested without a shred of evidence, drank alcohol whereas he himself had never touched the stuff.
Pinch yourself — a British politician using the inflammatory rhetoric and professions of Islamic piety more commonly heard in Iran or Saudi Arabia.
Just as such religious hucksterism inflames millions of followers in the Islamic world, so certain unscrupulous British politicians have now realised they too can tap into the same well of irrational hatred to deliver them electoral victory.So much for "Britons never, never, never shall be slaves."