The kitsch, classless left Tom was criticising in his speech have been stomping around for years referring to everyone they don't like as Islamaphobes, racist, pro-imperialists, Zionists, and all sorts of other ridiculous scare-words and slanders as a substitute for political debate without pausing to think twice about the implications of any of it.
But did those of us on the receiving end of those slanders whine about it and demand apologies? No - we dealt with the politics at hand, stated our case and proved that the slanders were just that; slanders.
The situation we're dealing with here is quite different to that, though. As I understand it, Tom didn't call Ray Sirotkin "a Brownshirt" but rather compared Galloway to "a Brownshirt". (Ray's own post here seems to bear this out.) Maybe this is hyperbolic, overly virtiolic, whatever, but it's a political assessment of what Galloway represents and the idea that he should have to apologise for it to anyone is laughable.
Have we really reached a situation on the left where the SWP, Socialist Action and whoever else can run around calling anyone anything they like, but start mewling and demanding apologies the second someone sends a bit of vitriol their way?