"There is a revolt spreading throughout the land in those areas where the poorest people live, where the immigrants, where the exploited live. The revolt is spreading in these areas because these are the areas New Labour has betrayed the most in the last eight years." – George Galloway
Here is a rough but, I think, largely accurate transcript of George Galloway's 6am speech to his supporters:
"This victory belongs to all of us and neither time nor my memory will permit me to thank everyone… We won support across all the communities in Tower Hamlets. However, I want from the bottom of my heart to thank the Bengali community here [cheers and chants]. That community has shown its political power. I promise you no one will ever take it for granted again. No one will ever ignore it again, and anyone who betrays it again will do so at their peril. [Goes on to thank several individuals] One of them even went to prison for me when I was trapped in a room by people calling themselves 'Muslims' who threatened to kill me… [more individual thanks].
"The Muslim Association of Britain are our allies in the Stop the War Coalition and in Respect and I want to thank their President who is here with us tonight. I also want to thank all the other Muslim organisations who put their heart and sole into this great battle.
"Thanks to the organisers of this victory within Respect. I'd like to thank my dear comrade and friend John Rees… [and other individuals, Respect staff and volunteers, and his office staff].
"This is an outstanding night for Respect, not just here in Bethnal Green & Bow, although that's what the headlines will concentrate on, but the results we've achieved elsewhere have been outstanding too. Ollia Rahman, who spent almost the entire election working here in this constituency, still got more than 20% of the vote in Poplar. … Respect won 2nd place in both East Ham and West Ham, with Abdhul Kaliq Mian gaining 24% and Lindsay German gaining 20% respectively. Salma Yaqoob in Birmingham polled more than 10,000 votes, coming within 3,000, I think, of capturing seats.
"There is a revolt spreading throughout the land in those areas where the poorest people live, where the immigrants, where the exploited live. The revolt is spreading in these areas because these are the areas New Labour has betrayed the most in the last eight years.
"We will now build on our campaign to capture the London Boroughs of Tower Hamlets and Newham, starting on Monday. We intend to be the new broom that sweeps clean these two rotten boroughs. …
"I want to close with a word or two on a subject I raised in my acceptance speech.
"Mr Blair, this is for Iraq. This victory is for the people of Iraq. [Re-spect re-spect chants]. My telephone is full of texts and audio messages from Fallujah, from Baghdad, from Palestine and Lebanon. All over the Arab and Muslim world people are dancing in the streets. As I said to Blair tonight live on television: all those lies that you told all those people that you killed are coming back to haunt you. And they will haunt you to your end and beyond.
"We will not rest until every last British soldier has been withdrawn to safety from the frontline of Iraq to which Tony Blair has sent them. And we will not rest until he and his war cabinet of fellow criminals are on trial in the Hague in front of the International Criminal Court. ['re-spect re-spect' chants]
"Comrades and friends, we have really written history today.
by the way, you'll soon not be able to find one person in Tower Hamlets who
didn't vote for us today. The Bangladesis talk about the 16th
division… the division that turns up the day after liberation. Nevermind, we'll
accept them all. Every person here has written a glorious chapter in the history
of the popular movement in this country. This great battle between war and
anti-war. This great battle between new Labour and real Labour, the ideals of
labour that were fought for here today and which were won decisively by us.
[Chants: Re-spect Re-spect repeat to fade…]