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Tuesday, April 03, 2012

George Galloway won Bradford West because his politics are truly popular

This piece of mine appears in The Week/The First Post.

Neil Clark: And unlike their parents, young (jobless) voters have no lingering loyalty to the Big Three parties

HE WON because he shamelessly pandered to Muslim voters' "religious passions" and "prejudices about conflicts abroad". He won because there were outstanding local issues and widespread dissatisfaction with Bradford City Council. He won because... well, he's a showman and a good public speaker.

Britain's political and journalistic elite have come up with a variety of reasons to account for George Galloway's stunning by-election win in Bradford West last Thursday, but the majority agree that his win was both (a) a terrible day for democracy and (b) a one-off that thankfully won't be replicated in a general election.

But are they right – or could the political elite be in for the biggest shock of their lives?

You can read the whole of the article here.

1 comment:

David Lindsay said...

Salma Yaqoob tried valiantly on Woman's Hour earlier this week to explain that, far from being a victory of the Pakistani clan system, Galloway won precisely because many women and youths from that community had cast their own votes for the first time, rather than having their husbands and fathers fill in their postal voting forms for them. On that same basis, she herself is now well on course to become the MP for the Birmingham Hodge Hill seat to be vacated by the ludicrous Liam Byrne. The complaints about postal voting fraud have been made by Galloway against Labour, not the other way round.

Why is no one mentioning that Bradford West was a Conservative target seat in 2010, whereas that part is now nowhere there? And how about body of MPs economically in the post-War social democratic tradition, socially conservative in the way that so often accompanied that position, and patriotic in relation to each and all of European federalism, separatism in any part of the United Kingdom, international capitalism, the accompanying cultural globalism, unbalanced immigration, hostility towards the Commonwealth, and subjugation, not least in the form of wars or the threat of them, to any or all of the United States, the State of Israel, and the Gulf monarchies? But reaching that parts that Respect, with its student Trotskyist canvassers and its heavily Pakistani or Bangladeshi core vote, is never going to reach.

That combination of Pakistanis or Bangladeshis and students should give Respect 15 to 20 seats in 2015, when every seat will be new. They and around the same number of Campaign Group MPs on the Labour benches need to be matched by 15 to 20 of ours, plus around the same number of allies within the Parliamentary Labour Party. Together, we could keep Ed Miliband's Labour to the principles on which it would either have won outright, or else become the largest party in a hung Parliament.

Their start has been made at Bradford West, and will be continued at Birmingham Hodge Hill. Ours needs also to be made. Perhaps, if Gisela Stuart does become West Midlands Police Commissioner, then we could make our start just up the road at Birmingham Edgbaston? Also a Conservative target seat. Until then, anyway.