Following today’s terrible news of the tragic death of Redmond o’Neill, George Galloway issued the following brief tribute to a comrade who will be sorely missed:
The tragically untimely death of Redmond O’Neill is an enormous loss to all who struggle for peace and justice everywhere and to those of us in London especially.
As senior advisor to Ken Livingstone, Redmond played a crucial role in developing policies which are sorely missed and which the current mayor has ripped up.
He developed the links between London and Caracas, which swapped cheap fuel for transport expertise and provided practical means of bringing the deep social changes in Venezuela to a wider audience in Britain.
For at the heart of what Redmond’s politics was not simply achieving what change was possible in the domestic political structure, but challenging injustice and the abuse of power wherever it occurred in the world. It was a commitment that he stuck with through good times and bad.
When so many of his generation were happy to bend to Tony Blair’s reheated liberal imperialism and its concomitant, virulent Islamophobia, Redmond was one of those who saw his duty to stand as a comrade with nations under great power bombardment and people under the lash of bigotry and racism. He was unshakable.
At times it might have been expedient to abandon those principles and to accommodate to the press barons who tried to red-bait Ken’s administration, and his advisors in particular, or to buy in to the journalistic commonplaces in so much of the liberal media. Redmond refused to do so, and therefore gained the undying respect of those Muslim and ethnic minority communities who were under fire. They and we will miss him terribly – all the more as new tides of social division and scapegoating lap around us in London and across the country.
My deepest condolences and respects to Kate, Redmond’s family, friends and comrades.
George Galloway MP