Bradford West makes the case for a new kind of politics even stronger

30th March, 2012 7:01 am

Petrol madness. Pasty Tax. Granny Tax. A tax cut for the rich. A Tory donation scandal.

It was Cameron’s worst week. Everything was heading his way. And now it will be obscured – in the Westminster Village at least – after Labour managed to lose a “safe” seat to the demagogue that is George Galloway.

How on earth did we allow this to happen? There will be many lessons to learn from the Bradford West debacle, and we will be poring over those in the days and weeks ahead. I had hoped that the Labour Party had learned the lessons picked up so carefully and painstakingly in Tower Hamlets after Galloway was driven out of there in 2010. Unfortunately, it seems that isn’t the case.

We didn’t just lose by a bit – we were given a total 10,000 vote pasting.

Now, just before the media begins to think about Easter and the half term holidays, the PM will believe that he’s been given a huge gift. In reality he has little to cheer either – the Tory vote collapsed too (and in a seat that was a Tory target in 2010). This was an anti-Westminster vote. But for now, let’s not talk of that, or the unusually high turnout which caught some by surprise.

These look like excuses today.

So why did this happen? The reasons are manifold. You cannot lose any election – not even a by-election as topsy turvy as this one, on the day. Voter ID and anti-Tory campaigning was, on this occasion, insufficient up against the onslaught of demagoguery. This is what happens when constituencies are taken for granted. This is what happens when too many of the voters in a constituency believe that an election is about “community” politics and isn’t for them. This is what happens when voters become considered as “voting blocks”, and when wards are talked of as “Muslim wards” and “White wards”, rather than talked of – and to – as individuals, families, neighbourhoods. As fathers, mothers, young people and old. Students and workers. As people. When politics seems irrelevant and parties are machines, the angry man who stokes up tension seems different by comparison. Because for all of the many, enormous, painful and damaging flaws of George Galloway, he is – you have to say – different.

The attacks will rain down on the party and the leadership in the coming days, and in many ways rightly so. But if we’re honest, this kind of politics, and this way of doing things, is exactly the kind of thing that Iain McNicol as General Secretary and Ed Miliband as leader were elected to change. It’s a movement to another kind of politics that we really can’t afford to delay any longer.

And if we are to avoid this kind of result again – we will need to. The next week should be about what form that kind of politics takes, rather than beating ourselves up about such a catastrophic loss – as hard as that might be to do today.

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  • Respect

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha  Taxi for Milliband, Balls, Cooper, Ect ect ect, Although i think a bus would be better 

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  • Its hard to know this early after the event, is it just a single issue effect? In which case because of the cultural background of the voters, the anti-war platform worked well. Have Respect taken their chance really well – as we have seen in the past with byelections.  I’m not taking anything away from the result,but if this is the case then it would be counter-productive in the long run to make changes because of this.

    Or is it a sign that voters are getting fed up with the parties camped in the middle?
    UKIP are doing well on the Tory right, could Respect or some other radical left start to take votes from Labour

    • treborc

      I really hope so we really do need an opposition to the Tories who are now so open to attack and the labour party cannot  see it.

    • Rob Sheffield

       it would be counter-productive in the long run to make changes because of this.”


      A few embarrassing contrived ‘scenes in the huse and the next opportunity taken to mouth anti Semitic Islamist outrages and most Bradfordians will be squirming and ‘gorgeous will- once again- be a busted flush.

      We should  simply ignore this wholly predictable diversion (predictable? oh yes = Galloway; his key demographic forming 38% of the electorate and a by-election..) and concentrate on the Tories and their continuing run of cock-ups.

      • treborc

        It’s not just a one off is it, you lost a whole country for god sake.

  • LondonStatto

    “anti-Tory campaigning was, on this occasion, insufficient”

    Of course it was, because the election was Labour vs the odious Galloway. Labour’s anti-Tory campaigning can only have helped the “tactical” Con->OG switch.

    Personally, I think such voters are idiots – anyone in either main party whose view of politics is so unhinged that they’d rather see someone of the OG’s ilk elected than their main rival is beyond my comprehension.

    But there are apparently many of them on both sides of the political spectrum.

    • treborc

      “Personally, I think such voters are idiots – anyone in either main
      party whose view of politics is so unhinged that they’d rather see
      someone of the OG’s ilk elected than their main rival is beyond my

      But there are apparently many of them on both sides of the political spectrum”

      I’m not middle class, I’m proud of my heritage of being an ex miner, an ex working class, a disabled person who still   hopes that labour will speak for me, not the middle class Tory swing voters.

      Anyone who takes a person who goes to a polling station to vote an idiot is worse then the idiots who believe they  are born to lead this country because they are rich or a lawyer.

      • Mike Murray

        I find your post very strange when you have already admitted on this site that you are a Tory.

        • treborc

          true must be my socialism getting in the way.

          • Rob Sheffield

            Don’t you mean “sowwwcialism”

            personally I don’t want Labour to be supported by a vociferous 5000 people (or is the combined total of SWP, AWL et al less than that these days)?

            You are all on fine form here…


      • Holly

        But surely it is Labour politicians who believe they are the only one’s ‘capable’ of leading. Poor as church mice the lot of ’em I’m sure.
        So far Miliband & Co have said EVERY policy proposed by the government is the right one, but the wrong way.How do us ‘idiots’ out here make head or tail of that?Labour and the Blair policies on immigration have led us to this event, not how ‘rich’ the MP is or whether they are a lawyer.We are all now ’embedded’ in our little segregated communities, and so much water has gone under the bridge, that it will be near impossible to rectify.

      • Rob Sheffield

        “not the middle class…..swing voters”

        and there goes the election- as it did in 1983: which- undoubtedly- was the last time you felt ‘Labour spoke for me’.

        Clouds cuckoos and all that

  • Simon

    Agree. One of the constant responses on the doorstep is disillusionment with the mainstream parties. People are angry with this govt, that’s clear, but many don’t believe that any party will provide a solution. 

    • LondonStatto

      Just a typical first midterm since a change of government then. The new government has started to make unpopular decisions, but the opposition’s unpopular decisions of the past are still in the electorate’s memory.

    • Opposition from Labour would help but all we get is New Labour out-flanking the tories from the right and garbled nonsense terms such as ‘the squeezed middle’.

      • treborc

        That is all labour has now are the few words “squeezed middle” it hopes this will include the Tory swing voters, sadly the people are dying to have real opposition and of course  Galloway is the opposite to Newer labour and the Tories.

    • Rob Sheffield

      Yep- how was it the people of Germany sleep walked into voting into power a trumped up narcissistic demagogue…?!

      • treborc

        Of course he was not a demagogue when people voted him in, he was saviour and when seen what he removed it was not to hard was it.

  • anon anon

    The Muslim block & postal votes worked. Is this the beginning of the end for England?

    • Redshift


    • treborc

       Bloody pure rubbish again, poor old white England, how many Catholics voted for Galloway, Muslim are just another religious group the people voter Galloway because labour had nothing to offer except the same rubbish we had for the last  thirteen years.

      Labour did not offer anything except the same again.

    • ovaljason

      Not sure if you spotted it, this Muslim block voted for a white Scotsman.

    • Rob Sheffield

      Its the pro intifada pro jihad  Islamist vote (and their standard growling bearer) wot done it:  simples.

      • Mike Homfray

        So you class the majority of Bradford Muslims in this way, Rob. Or do you not realise that concern about illegal wars and Zionist occupation is held by the vast majority of Muslims? Not only the minority who would associate with an extreme religious view

  • Tokyo Nambu

    There’s a rich irony that Labour’s enthusiasm for uncontrolled postal voting was in part because if (heaven forbid!) there were any fraud, it was more likely to be machine politics amongst the Pakistani / Bangladeshi community than anywhere else, so any (heaven forbid!) corrupt advantage would go to Labour.  How does Ed Miliband like them apples now?

    • treborc

      what 10,000 cheats, talking rubbish.

      • Me

         1 cheat 10000 times?

      • 2nd class white boy

        “I’m not listening, I’m not listening

        • treborc

           Then take your Richard out of your ears, you might hear a bit more.

  • Mike Homfray

    Mark: like it or not, Galloway’s campaign was almost completely centred on foreign policy. It is a mistake to think that these issues are marginal in consideration to Muslim voters.
    Now, if we had just lost a seat to the Tories, we would now be told that we must trim our policies to suit them. Given that Muslim voters overwhelmingly back Labour I’d suggest the following revisions of foreign policy. First, let’s get out of Afghanistan. It’s clear that nothing is going to change there and being there is helping no-one. Second, no more joining in with wars which are nothing to do with us and make it clear we will not be backing a war with Iran. There are opposition movements in the country we can help who certainly don’t want a Western invasion. Third, we need to have far more robust support for Palestine and should be pushing for sanctions against Israel given their constant breaking of UN resolutions. The occupation of the Palestinian territories must end and Israel be kept within it’s 1948 boundaries.

    • Mark.C.

      What? Pander to the Muslim minority, you mean? Whilst I agree our foreign policy is sometimes shameful, I don’t advocate pandering to block voters!

    • GuyM

      So you are going to set the UK’s foreign policy on the basis of keeping an ethnic minority happy?

      Perhaps invite a few muslim clerics, that might help? A bit of lambasting of gays, adulterers and apostates from the odd cleric or two and your vote should shoot up.

      Turn a blind eye to islamic terrorism and bigoted repressive islamic states and campaign on the basis that the one democracy in the middle east (surrounded by places like Syria, Iran, Iraq and Saudi) is the cause of all problems because it won’t just roll over and meekly accept being wiped off the map?

      I would love Labour to openly become the “islamic party” of the UK, the BNP would have a field day with you and I’d imagine the white working class vote wold desert you in droves.

      It’s bad enough parties allowed London to become “Londonistan” in places, but you Mike take things to a whole new level.

    • Bill Lockhart

      There we have it.  Homfray has spoken. With characteristic ‘logic’, what he believes Labour should *never* do for other groups he now demands Labour *must* do to appease Muslims.  Labour should write its foreign policies in order to appease one sectarian demographic.  To hell with multiculturalism, to hell with universal representation. Race to the bottom of the factionalist sewer.
      Someone give Homfray the “Respect” (sic) membership number- it’s 07794 192 670.  He and they deserve each other.

    • Gravesarthur

      Hi Mike

      Your reply above seems to be thinking along the lines of “Given that Muslims overwhelmingly back Labour” (except on this occation), Labour need to change foreign policy (to win back those votes which look to be emigrating elsewhere just now). But Labour are not in government any more so how will Labour make those foreign policy changes? It’s not as though the Conservatives have anything to loose (as Muslims aparently overwhelmingly back Labour)…

      • Mike Homfray

        I agree with those policies. I think they would be popular

    • Rob Sheffield

      Yeah right!!!
      Lets pander to a tiny (but vociferous and violent) minority and agree with what George says!!!


      • out9rage

        Did you not see the irony? If we constantly have to adapt to the views if Sputhern Tories then why not Muslims?
        We should do things because we believe in them. I think all those policies are the correct ones and that New Labour were profoundly wrong on all three

  • Spitefuel

    You can sum up why Labour lost in Bradford: Blair.

    Until Labour openly disown Tony Blair over Iraq the party loses its Muslim supporters, it also loses huge numbers of non-Muslim supporters as well. The party can’t wait for it to blow over. It needs to launch an internal inquiry into Iraq and expel Tony Blair at the end of it. The party can simply say we realise that Blair betrayed our and the nations trust. That will win back the majority who know the Iraq war was a mistake.

    Alternatively Labour could focus on winning back working class voters who feel alienated by the upper middle class leadership of the Labour party. The problem with that can be summed up in one word: Blair…. Bother he REALLY has to go.

    • ovaljason

      And expel all those Ministers who formed part of Blair’s Cabinet at the time?

      Harman too?

    • GuyM

      Mmm  expel the leader who won you 3 general elections and whom at the time of the Iraq war had the support of the majority of the country in poll after poll.

      You can then retreat Labour into being the narrow focused party of islamic immigrant and white working class voter…. a sure fire way to electoral success (although a bit of a dichotomy if based upon those two groups)… go for it.

      • Arthur

        Why would the country as a whole support a Labour Party whose policies were crafted to appeal to communalist votes in a small number of constituencies?

        Why would anybody who wasn’t a member of the ‘target community’ vote for such a Party?

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      Except that is demonstrably not the case.  In the 2010 election, 3 years after Blair left office, the Labour vote in Bradford West increased by 5.6% (I wonder if it was the only constituency in the UK where Labour increased the vote in 2010?  There cannot have been many at any rate).

      Your analysis, if made then, may have been correct.  Two years later, the Labour vote collapses.Clearly, this was not about Blair.

      • But Bradford West was the only seat which swung away from us in 1997. It is a strange seat, electorally – at least three of the inner city high % Muslim wards have elected Tory councillors in recent years

        Its not likely to tell us much about many other seats but it does suggest foreign policy issues still move voters and that our position remains one in opposition to the views of many Muslims

    • Rob Sheffield

      Blair?!! Who he? What utter nonsense. You had the ‘big G’ biggin’ up the ‘I’m really a Muslim me’ and I don’t like certain countries and a particular group of people (nudge nudge) especially.

      He won because he was the Jihad-Intifada candidate!

      • DaveCitizen

        OMG Rob – what drivel. Your comments suggest people who take a different position to you must have some kind of fanaticism at the root of it.

        Do you really disagree with GG on e.g enforcing UN resolutions on illegal land grabs by Israel, or on rebalancing Britain between the super rich and the rest, or the dodgy dealing with dictators to protect arms sales?  

        If not, then who else offers a meaningful voice on the current Westminster gravy train?

        • Rob Sheffield

          “Do you really disagree with GG on e.g enforcing UN resolutions on illegal land grabs by Israel, or on rebalancing Britain between the super rich and the rest, or the dodgy dealing with dictators to protect arms sales”

          yes bcause- unlike you and GG- I can see both sides of these complex arguments rather than the lazy populist tosh version.

          • DaveCitizen

             I suggest you read a little more and turn off sky or fox news

          • Bill Lockhart

            Or we could watch Galloway on Big Brother re-runs.  He really stuck it to The Man, didn’t he?

          • DaveCitizen

             I gave up looking for perfection a while ago!

          • treborc

            I think Galloway could have won his red suit, problem was when he spoke people can  understand who he is working for, labour I suspect would have said the squeezed middle

    • Rob Sheffield

      “Until Labour openly disown Tony Blair over Iraq the party loses its Muslim supporters”

      Good riddance- I’d rather we were not linked to a near-medieval misogynistic anti semitic imperialist culture (and I use the w0rd culture-as opposed to religion- specifically)

  • If the vote for Respect is, as Salma Yaqoob called it, due to their ‘bold, progressive platform’ and is a genuine move then voters are shifting Leftward (as many suspected) . If this stands up in the post-vote analysis then the London Mayoralty election promises to be very interesting. Labour will have to give up aping the coalition policies and seize the ground that it should be occupying and many of  it’s activists have always insisted exists..

    No comfort for either the Tories nor LD enablers from Bradford West as there’s no chance they are able to move Left if the shift happens as suspected.

    • GuyM

      Splitting the vote on the left is no problem for the Tories in a FPTP electoral system.

      The Tories have had their own problems with UKIP.

      However for every step leftwards Labour take, what remains of middle class, middle income support will drifyt away. And for every step towards overtly appealing to the “muslim block vote” the problem of the BNP in certain Labour areas increases. There is far more chance of Labour being squeezed than Tory.

      As for Bradford, within a decade the city might well be seen as a white no go area, so it’s politics will be fairly unique.

      • Duncan Hall

        What a ridiculous thing to say about my home city.  Anybody “liking” that should take a good look at themselves.

        • treborc

           I know we have global warming but everyone in Bradford getting sun tans.

          Bradford becoming a no go area, boy this rubbish  cannot still be doing the rounds.

    • Rob Sheffield

       ‘bold, progressive platform’
      WTF ?!

  • Does this mean that Jaquie Smith’s  search for policy ideas with a “scallops and celeriac purée” offensive* around the dining rooms of the City of London will be cancelled?


    • treborc

       Tony Blair toured the private dining rooms of the City trying to
      decontaminate the Labour brand with leading business people. Their
      success was part of the foundation of New Labour economic and electoral
      success in the next 20 years.

      Boy was it a success the banking crises the housing bubble and millions of voters walking away.

      How can this women think she is the answer, she is the problem.

      Progress and cuckoo land

      • Rob Sheffield

        and you would have done…..?

        • treborc

          Nothing I’m not labour, have you not guessed I’m a Trot

  • tim blackwell

    Miliband being judgmental and unpleasant to the jobless when hundreds of thousands are losing their jobs or in danger of losing their jobs – a strategic blunder.

  • Bob Williams-Findlay

    When will members of the Labour Party take a “reality check”?  If Miliband was elected to ‘change this type of politics’ then what was he supposed to put in their place? Please don’t tell me what’s you’ve got on offer is the popularist centre-right mongrel politics of “Blue Labour”.  For forty years I’ve been a disabled socialist, but I turned my back on your Party when it put the interests of Capital before the needs of hard working people and those disadvantaged by the system Labour was happy to manage when in power. I stopped voting Labour and hold them in as much contempt as I do the Tories when Purnell and Freud turned to Atos and UNUM to screw sick and disabled people.
    Yes, we need a new politics, but the cowardly middle class Hamstead elite that control of your so called “Labour” Party aren’t capable of delivering what is required. From where I sit there’s only one question to be debated next week: “With Capital or for a genuinely 
    Socialst society?”

  • Arthur

    A Labour Party which plays “communal politics” can hardly complain when somebody beats them at that game.
    But make no mistake. Galloway ran on the basis that he was a non drinker. A better Muslim. This was the most sectarian appeal I can imagine.
    Labour would do well to acknowledge that this appeal worked brilliantly for Galloway. it also needs to pledge to fight against it.
    That means: not doing it, itself.

  • Redshift

    I think it is easy to overstate this. I think this is basically a Bradford West by-election result and that is all. To try and make ludicrous statements about Labour’s polling nationally is wrong. 

    Truth is, Galloway for all his faults is incredibly charismatic and has a very large following particularly in the muslim community, due to his anti-war and pro-Palestine politics. His win in Bradford is rather spectacular, but there are local factors as well at play. e.g. for all Labour’s dominance over the years in Bradford – it is seen as nepotistic. Galloway is a big enough figure to give people a credible voting alternative to Labour. BUT finally, it is worth noting that Galloway is Galloway and there is only one of him. Salma Yaqoob is the only other figure in Respect with any serious profile and that is far, far weaker than Galloway’s. In short, we aren’t going to see Respect beating us in other seats across the country and it will mean little in other seats too. The only question is whether we retake the seat in 2015 or if Galloway retains it – but that is a Bradford West question, not a national political question.

  • Daniel Speight

    Let’s say that this was Labour’s punishment from a Muslim community for its past actions, Iraq especially. Is there something to be learned from this outcome outside of just this community? I suspect yes. It seems Galloway was receiving a good response from young voters on employment issues.

    Somehow Labour has to overcome its own leadership and the PLP to offer a real alternative to the Tories. It could start by stopping the cloning of its existing MPs with new parliamentary candidates. Let’s try a few working class candidates instead of yet another lawyer or party insider. In fact we could start in Manchester by sending Lucy Powell back to Ed’s office with a flea in her ear.

    • treborc

      I think it has a lot to do with labour sleaze and spin, Miliband is offering us the squeezed middle, how many people in Bradford believe they are middle class, or believe labour is the answer to the poverty or the sleaze.

      Labour said New labour is dead that’s just spin  ,because you have to give direction to what is going to replace the dead labour party, and talking endlessly about the squeezed middle is not the answer

      • Rob Sheffield

        How many people in Bradford will have nothing other than a Tory government if they listened to people like you?

  • An excellent article. Not sure how relevant it is specifically for Bradford West but certainly the messages are pertinent generally.

    Basically we need to stop treating people (including ourselves) as merely numbers on a spreadsheet. As Steve Richards said on the Today programme this morning, this result might be seen as part of a general trend of revolt against the established parties, whom people see (rightly) as taking them for granted.

    A bit more human being and a bit less technocratic vote harvesting machine would be much welcome.

    • treborc

      Yes it’s a shame really that labour tried to win  the last election by battling the Tories over how severe they could be on welfare reforms, we will get 500,000 back to work, we will get a million, we will get two million.

      It was that which made me decide it was worthless staying, but also the council house debate, we will house only people who are in work, we will evict people who are not working, now you have only people who  work for the community will get benefits. The people who were born disabled who become disabled who get cancer are now the?  I do not know what the Jews the German hated and the disabled which labour now hate.

      labour squeezed middle I suspect will be voting for the party which offers them the best deal, and the Tories can do this not labour

  • Chilbaldi

    Will this shake awake the people who say it is all rosy under Ed Milliband’s leadership? I doubt it. Will take a few more bloody noses before that happens.

    • Mike Murray

      We need to react to this with a sense of proportion. The mainstream anti-war party, the Liberal Democrats should have benefitted from the anti-war vote. They didn’t and lost their deposit because of their support for the hugely rich and the Tories’ slash and burn policies.  As someone on the Stooges’ website, “Lib Dem Voice”,  has pointed out, in Bradford West  the Lib Dems lost about two thirds of their vote share and the Tories nearly three quarters but Labour lost just under half their vote share. There was also the factor of a charismatic candidate. I don’t think that another candidate for Respect would have achieved such a decisive result. Under Ed Miliband’s Leadership we have won every mainland bye-election so far, I really don’t think that this changes anything.  In the depths of the 1930s depression a communist MP was elected in London but it didn’t alter much

      • Chilbaldi

        is that a bursh that you are holding, standing next to the carpet over there?

        • Mike Murray

          Bradford West was a key target seat for the Tories.

          • treborc

             It a target seat for labour now.

          • treborc

             It a target seat for labour now.

  • Mike Murray

    This result can only be good for Labour in the long run. That’s why we must hold our nerve.

    • Holly

      Bradford West’s result being a great start.
      Erm….. weren’t Labour gloating about being 17 ahead in the polls????

  • derek

    Petrol madness! after the horrific incident in York, where a lady has suffered 40% burns while transferring petrol I’m putting the blame firmly in Francis Maude’s court and he should resign with immediate effect nothing else will do, go Maude and go quick,you disgraceful mindless idiot.

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      She was decanting fuel from one container to another in her kitchen, with the gas cooker lit.  The fumes ignited.

      She was doing so because her daughter’s car had run out of fuel at a time when there is no petrol shortage, because there is not yet a strike.

      I’d put that down to the women’s idiocy, not national politics.

      • derek

        Come on Jaime, Maude caused this fuel rush and told people to fill their jerry cans when there wasn’t a strike in place.The fire brigade  immediately put Maude’s stupid call down.Maude is responsible and should resign now! he is personally responsible for inciting this horrific accident and should face criminal charges for his actions.

        • jaime taurosangastre candelas

          In a city the size of York there must be many petrol stations (I can only benchmark it against Cambridge, where yesterday there were no visible queues and I filled up my car as a normal activity without having to wait).  There should be no reason for the woman’s daughter to run out of fuel.

          And then, transferring fuel from one container to another in an unventilated space with flames close by?

          I don’t think you can blame Maude for that level of  idiocy.  Well, maybe you can, but reasonable people would not.

          • derek

            What do you mean reasonable people? have you seen the news recently, there have been massive queue’s at the petrol station and many have ran dry, Maude ignited the fuel rush as he told the nation on TV to fill their jerry cans and their cars and there wasn’t a strike in place. Maude should resign and take responsibility for his call.   

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            There may have been queues elsewhere in the country, but there is no problem with fuel supply in York.

            So the 2 questions remain:  why did the woman’s daughter run out of fuel in a city in which the petrol stations were open and had available fuel, and why did the woman transfer fuel from one container to another in her kitchen using a jug, with the gas cooker turned on?

            The unfortunate lady will probably be scarred for life, but she cannot really blame Maude for it.

          • derek

            Jaime are you toying with me? there were fuel queues in York, just like there were everywhere else on the island.Maude has got to go, he is personally responsible and the fire brigade told him so.

            The hidden agenda was the massive tax take on the mad rush?

          • Bill Lockhart

            Oh dear. For the hard of thinking:
            Unless people suddenly start driving thousands of extra miles in order to burn off the fuel they’ve stupidly panic-bought, the tax take will be exactly the same.

          • derek

            Deary me Bill, there hasn’t been a 7 day notice yet? many jerry can might remain full, left in unsafe places, so it’s not just a tank top up, it was additional top ups of jerry cans, which weren’t free of charge?

          • William

            No queues in Cambridge-not my experience yesterday. Yet again you make a completely inaccurate comment about Cambridge. The last being Cambridge is lost to Labour forever.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            Cambridge has been represented by a Labour MP for a total of 19 years since 1924.

            The high point of Labour’s vote in the last 20 years was 27,436 in 1997 which was 53.4% of the turnout.  Since then, Labour’s vote share has steadily declined – 45.1% in 2001, 34% in 2005, and 24.3% in 2010.  It is less than half of what it was.

            The Liberal Democrat vote over the same period has risen from 16.1% to 25.1% to 44% and declined in 2010 to 39.1%  The tory vote in the same period has varied between 16.1%, 22.9%, 16.5% and 25.6% in 2010.

            Cambridge City Council was last Labour controlled in 1998, then no overall control to 2000, and Liberal Democrat since then.

            The overall trend is one of declining Labour support.  The decline in Labour support is marked at the constituency level, and less so at the council level.

            The economy in Cambridge appears insulated from the economic downturn.  According to a recent report, Cambridge is the UK’s “top performing city economy”.  See .  The local unemployment rate is 1.8%, with youth unemployment lower at 1.3% and declining.

            While I think Cambridge is lost forever to Labour, there is still a good chance that it will be a Labour / Lib Dem marginal in 2015.  Labour will need to gain about 7,500 votes to win, but an increasing threat to Labour are the Greens, who polled nearly 4,000 votes in 2010, most of which appear to have come from Labour’s 2005 total.  The key unknown is what impact the students will have on the Lib Dem vote.  It will not increase I am certain, but will it come down enough to let Labour win?

            Long term, the demographics and economy point to a declining Labour support base.

            The petrols stations I passed yesterday did not appear overly busy.  I did not have to queue in Girton on my way out.  Perhaps the queues formed later in the day, so your experience was different to mine.

        • treborc

           yep they are out to fight a strike when  we do not even have one

        • Holly

          Come on Derek!
          The ‘people’ acted like nut jobs, and did exactly the opposite of what Maude suggested they do…Keep their tanks ‘topped up’, and store it in a jerry can.

          • derek

            Blame the public all you want Holly, I blame Maude for instigating a crisis out of nothing and telling the public to fill up jerry cans.Maude has got to go and when will the government address what to do about storing fuel in cans?

          • Holly

            The public are the one’s who panicked, then more people followed like sheep.
            Does anyone have an independent thought anymore?
            Does anyone have the ability to use common sense anymore?
            Apparently not.

            The thing that puzzles me is, where did all the ‘poor’/
            ‘squeezed middle’ bods go?
            We are all supposed to be eating our children/grannies, because we are ‘hurting’ from the cruel Tory cuts.
            Get real. Some woman acted completely stupid, some folk panicked…Move along..Nothing to see here.
            The treasury is £32m the richer. Not bad for one day eh?

          • derek

            Holly! a government minister Francis Maude told the public to fill up their tanks and fill up their jerry cans, repeat…a government minister made a TV address calling on the public to fill up on fuel without strike action being in place! Maude should resign and nobody should take this government seriously.

            O’ and by the way, the OECD has said that this governments economic actions have taken us back into recession.

          • Holly

            A re-run has just been played on Sky news..People should top up their tanks or store some fuel * IN A JERRY CAN*, **IN THEIR GARAGE**, IF they think it appropriate.
            Now can you point out where he says,
            decant petrol from a container into a jug, in your kitchen with the GAS cooker on’?

            Mr Holly said earlier, he reckoned she was putting it into small bottles to use on the BBQ over the weekend.

            Strange that, as it also emerged that they were planning a BBQ that very evening.
            IF, as been the reason given, she was doing this because her daughter’s car had run out of fuel, where was her daughters car? In the living room?
            Why would she decant it out of a perfectly adequate container into a jug? Why not just use the first container to directly put it into her daughter’s car?
            I reckon Mr Holly was nearer the mark.
            But I love him, so I’m bias.

          • derek

            He reckoned? Holly so everyone that topped up with jerry cans has a garage? Look! go and ask your dad to set your  barbie house up,in the mean time I’ll keep calling for Maude to show some cabinet responsibility and resign

          • treborc

             No matter how stupid this young lady is she is desperately ill with 40% burns ,accident and stupidity , tell me somebody who has not done something which was stupid at some time.

            So really we should just accept it was an accident.

          • derek

            Did she usually store petrol at home? or was she acting on advice from the government minister Francis Maude, did her daughter run out of petrol because of the queuing at the station or the lack of petrol due to the panic buying incited by Maude. Maude should resign.

          • derek

            Two hits? christ the BBQ arsonists? have a look eh?

      • derek

        Wow! six hits from those who no doubt advocate personal responsibility?

    • Holly

      Nothing like a knee-jerk reaction to a situation where someone was pouring PETROL from a JUG into another container, in her KITCHEN with the gas cooker LIT!

      Francis Maude DID NOT ask anyone to do this, he said store it in the garage!

      This is where Labour’s problems lie….Mud flinging, point scoring, knee jerk nonsense.
      You could also blame the fire service for failing to inform the ‘dim’ never to take petrol into your home.
      Instead we had the usual guff, that Francis Maude should ‘take back what he said’. 

      • derek

        Knee Jerk, a lady is in hospital with 40% burns, that’s almost half her body subjected to burns and you call it knee-jerk? summer is on it’s way and god knows how many jerry cans will have been stored in unsafe areas? Maude needs to resign now.

        • Holly

          And most of the people ‘storing’ them will not be decanting it into a jug in their kitchens, whether the gas cooker is on or off.

      • george

         you cant legislate for the stupidity of some people.

  • Joe

    There’s one possible solution. Stop putting middle-class professionals and lawyers forward and put some actual working class people into Parliament.

  • Holly

    Labour, under Blair played a game of ‘lets get one up on the Tories’.
    Let’s show the public just how nasty & racist the Tory lot are.

    In 2005, when Michael Howard spoke of the problems high levels of immigration could cause in the future, he was shot down as a ‘nasty racist Tory’, along with anyone who agreed with him. Blair winning in 2005 meant Labour could continue playing both sections against each other. To the indigenous Brit Blair put on a show, raiding people’s homes, terrorist threats and ‘defeated’ bomb alerts at airports, yet failed dismally to stop 7/7.
    Yet  the indigenous Brit could see the immigrant/muslim communities were always put first whether with welfare, houses, schools etc.
    Blair & Labour played us off against each other, and kept us apart, in our own little communities, because if we had been allowed to integrate from the start, we would have found that theVAST majority would have more in common than differences.

    Labour thought that because they give out benefits, allow segregation to happen, the people of Bradford West would simply continue to vote Labour, even if with a reduced majority. It never crossed Labour’s mind that they would ever have enough bottle to bite the hand that fed them.

    Fast forward to 2012. 
    Yesterday now see the first fruits of Labour’s mishandling of immigration, and the tensions/divisions that already exist in our towns & cities. 
    I reckon more of the same is inevitable.
    Galloway will play on this and make the situation worse.

    Miliband, Balls & Reeves standing in a Greggs bakery, really does show how out of touch with things on the ground, outside of the Westminster bubble they are. The MSM have lapped up all the childish tomfoolery, while a huge change in politics, and who actually goes out and votes has occurred.

    Ed will wait for the next passing bandwagon to go by and jump on it, instead of dumping the games and leading the party properly.
    Oh well. Never mind.

    • treborc

      Gosh all those Muslims voting for Galloway, nobody else voted for him then, I suspect if that’s true then labour would have won, but lets say the Muslims did vote for Galloway then the simple question is why did the other parties not have an answer to the the questions of the people.

      50% turn out is great, and the 10,000 majority is way beyond a protest vote.

      Labour has to look at why people turned against labour is it all down to new labour, well New labour is dead, I think like everyone else nobody is sure of what labour stand for.

      • Holly

        ‘Gosh all those Muslims voting for Galloway, nobody else voted for him then’..

        That is my point..Because of Blair and Labour’s immigration policy/misleading  on Iraq we have reached a point where the white indigenous stay at home, and the indigenous Muslim/immigrant/anti Labour policy, whatever colour, go out and vote. 
        New Labour may be ‘dead’ and Bozo may be long gone, but the same bods are  still in charge, constantly on the telly, yet not giving any real hint on the direction they want to take the country.
        As long as there is a perception that Labour has not changed results like this will happen.
        Miliband is not going to get anywhere as long as he is tethered to Balls, Coop, Harman, Burnham, and even some of the 2010 newbies, who just brown nose Balls, Miliband, Coop etc. Spouting the exact same lines fed to them by these lot.
        The sight of Reeves giggling, along side Miliband & Balls is enough to put you off your lunch FGS.
        Compare & contrast the newbies on the Conservative back benches now they HAVE held Cameron’s feet to the fire.
        Labour supporters have some tough decisions to make if they ever want their party to be credible again, with no baggage from the failed past.
        They have to ‘bite the bullet’ get rid of the current lot, and let the electorate chose new candidates in the coming years….Hard but, it’s true.
        Supporters lost ‘their party’ a long time ago and clinging on to the current shower is a cop out. 
        For all the lead in the current polls, Miliband is not perceived by the voter as PM material & Balls is not trusted on the economy. Even with the lack of growth/unemployment/cuts etc.
        The clue is ‘perceived by the voter’, not the MSM or other Labour bods, but the voter.
         That should be what concentrates the Labour and their supporter’s minds.

  • With any luck, this should keep Oxbridge PPEs out of northern seats for a while.

    I would not have voted for George Galloway, but I can see why people would.

    Last night on Question Time But there was a question about the potential fuel drivers strike.

    All Douglas Alexander could do was mouth weaselly statements about hoping there would not be strike.

    Why can’t a Labour rep say out loud and clear that the rich and wealthy have all sorts of means to advance themselves economically. 

    Workers have only unions and the reserve weapon of strikes. 

    Once perhaps, unions were too strong (although I don’t thing that) but since Thatcher working people have been driven into the ground and the already rich have grabbed most of the increase in GDP. It’s time to strike back at the Empire.

    • Chilbaldi

      Surprising that you say that, given that the Labour candidate WASNT AN OXFORD PPE-IST.

    • woolfiesmiff

      Ha ha ha ha ha ha that is the funniest post I think I’ve ever read on a politics blog.

      “The rich have grabbed most of the increase in GDP ” ha hah ah ha ha, I’m literally crying with laughter. No wonder Labour has failed the workers, no wonder , that even in these economically straitened times, no wonder with this awful coalition govt, still the Labour Party get creamed in a safe seat. When you are so economically illiterate that you having got a frigging clue what GDP is…..jeeez !

  • Yeah – instead of focussing on this largely illusory bunch of phantoms called “the squeezed middle” (which is a necessary abstract trope of the neoliberal mandate), why don’t Labour actually behave like a Labour Party and support the interests of the working classes?  Blairism (if it every existed) is alive and well in both the Conservative and the Labour parties – it’s just a synonym for neoliberalism, which is the pernicious ideology and practice that defines establishment politics in the UK.  I know the Labourite cult imagines itself to be the antithesis of the Tories, but people aren’t as stupid as Labour Party bigwigs thinks they are – they remember who it was that got the ball rolling on the privatisation of the NHS (and other parts of the public sector); they also remember the Crime of Iraq (and they don’t buy Ed Miliband’s “half-arsed” apology – hence the word “crime”); they also remember that it was the Labour Party that facilitated (or, more aptly, “aided and abetted”) the financial malpractice that led to the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression.  

    Many people are beginning to realise that the Labour Party offer a completely insignificant alternative to the Tories, unless, of course, one buys into the tedious false discourse projected by the cultish Labourite media bloc.

    • Rob Sheffield

      Define what working class is in 21st century Britain: if you do you’ll see that it is such a diluted fragmented notion that we would not win 20 seats if we appealed to an illusory group with a bunch of policies that were resolutely and finally rejected almost 30 years ago !

      • Rob, I actually referred to the “interests of the working classes”, which are directly antagonistic to the interests that Labour (and the Tories and Lib Dems) prioritise. While the extent of the division of labour does somewhat change old assumptions about what exactly constitutes a working class, most workers (on the entire spectrum of those forced to sell their wage labour, or those that cannot sell their wage labour) have interests that are fundamentally opposed to the interests of the bourgeois ruling class and their representatives in parliament.  But of course it is terribly convenient of Labourites to imagine that no such class (and consequent class conflict) exists, because the terrible truth is that the Labour Party are very much on the side of one class against the other.  Thus it is necessary for confused and complicit Labourites to pretend that a working class does not exist in any conceivable form.  Lack of class consciousness, does not equate to the lack of a class.

        • Rob Sheffield

          la la la la la la la

          Shouldn’t you be out selling newspapers ?!

          • Shouldn’t you be out pretending to people that Ed Milband represents a real alternative to David Cameron, or Ed Balls to Gideon Osborne?  

          • treborc

             To busy praying to the idol of Blair I’m afraid, you often see this when they find somebody  who talks sense.

      • Edward. Anderson

         Someone who has now been left to rot on the dole. People who saw their communities changes beyond all recognition , there prospects for the future defeated. People who say that immigration is a big problem and don’t want it in their areas anymore but won’t say it in public because their scared of being called a racist.
        Define middle class : it’s such a diverse notion with different value beliefs but Labour happily talk about them, well what about us? Stop saying the “poorest, lower incomes, most deprived” it’s insulting. Working class as a term is a term of acknowledge and respect. Just because we don’t blindly vote Labour doesn’t mean we don’t exist.

  • Charles Knight

    “But if we’re honest, this kind of politics, and this way of doing things, is exactly the kind of thing that Iain McNicol as General Secretary and Ed Miliband as leader were elected to change.”
    The problem is that Milband simply looks and (worse) sounds like another faceless policy wonk in a dark suit – I really can’t see how he can push the party forward. 

  • I’m sure this result has implications for us but a few things should be taken into consideration.

     This was the biggest by election turnout since Glenrothes in  2008-an awful lot of people voted who normally wouldn’t vote without the hype of a general election. There was less focus on keeping out the Tories etc.

    Marsha Singh had built up a personal following that went against national swing in 2010-we naturally lost that. Also Singh was a Sikh whilst Imran Hussein is, I guess, Islamic. I can imagine that could have had a large effect on changing the vote around.

    Thirdly, whilst Labour only polled 55% of our 2010 vote the Tories polled just 27% of theirs-on a result that was poor for them nationally. This was as bad a result techincally for all the big 3, its just we had more to lose.

    • What are you talking about?  Let’s get this right: a Sikh Labourite in a constituency that is 38% Muslim – and who relied on the so-called Muslim vote – had more chance of winning than a Muslim Labourite?  Your obfuscation is pathetic – Galloway won because he was NOT Labour.  Instead of grasping in the dark, who don’t you actually listen to what the voters (of all colours and creeds) were saying. 

  • Lucy N

    Is this also the Boris and Berlusconi factor?

    This win might simply reflect modern voters current taste for brash, outspoken, clear-speaking, sloganising, argumentative, oppositional types, who are already famous famous for taking up shouty, high-contrast political stances (of any kind). Voters can tell that this type of politician enjoys politics and they want to identify with this in-your-face style : apart from disliking – or not even knowing – Labour’s stand on anything at all this might explain Galloway’s attraction.

    Otherwise he is  just another blow-in as Bradford West will find out pretty quickly. How many other Respect politicians are known in the area? Galloway is acting as a kind of figurehead around which weaker, less experienced, potential candidates will orbit.

    • Yes, I know in the Labourite bubble it is convenient to imagine that 56% of voters in Bradford West were merely ignorant of Labour policy.  I’m sure if they all really knew the fantastic, almost revolutionary, policies of Miliband and Balls that they would have voted for Imran Hussein in their veritable droves.  Wake up, I beg you.  Labour’s policy is neoliberalism obscured by craven opportunism and the superficial appropriation of working class interests.  

      • Lucy N

         No need to beg – I’ve no idea what Labour’s current thinking is on anything. Just trying to understand what attracts voters.

        • Just look around you, Luce.  We have a government that is imposing upon the country a vicious programme of austerity and a Labour Party that is merely austerity-lite.  There is a massive gulf developing between the political class and the electorate, which is a reaction by the electorate to the fact that virtually none of our selected representatives actually represent their interests.  

          • Holly

            But those things will still be there despite Galloway winning.
            He may simply chose to direct the funds to what his constituents think are ‘important to them’ and save/cut back in areas that are ‘less as important to his constituents’ .
            Who knows?

  • So Labour are polling 42% nationally – which surely has to be the softest support in the history of politics – and they CANNOT hold on to Bradford West? A stunning blow for Labour, and a timely reminder, surely, that the ridiculous Ed Miliband could not hope to win a majority.

    “While the polls were still open in Bradford early yesterday evening, broadcasters were notified that Ed Miliband would be doing a walk about outside the City Hall at 07:45 this morning. Funnily enough it didnt happen.”

    Hahahahaha how I would have given anything to see have seen the twisted facial contorsions on Wallace’s face last night.

  • Liberanos

    Okay, you could say it’s another example of little Ed failing the party. But we expected that. He’s not up to the job, which is why the party voted for David.

    But it surely shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that a newly-minted muslim, growing a beard and fulminating articulately and passionately against Tony Blair succeeeds in a muslim seat.

    It’s only relevance is in other seats where religion trumps reason.

    • Yes, because Muslims voting for a party that advocated and implemented the (continuing) murder of Muslims on a massive scale would have been reasonable.  If one thing has been revealed in the advent of Galloway’s win, it is that many Labourites are “against Islamophobia”, only if “Muslims” vote for Labour.  Of course, New Labour stoked Islamophobia in this country after 9/11 and, in particular, during the Iraq war – so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that some of their brainwashed (and thus, regrettably, brain dead) acolytes are willing to stoop to those squalid levels again.  

      You’re a digrace, Liberanos.  A true disgrace.

      • Liberanos

        A very revealing and I’m sure heartfelt response.

        But you may wish to consider whether 9/11 and 7/7 had rather more to do with ‘stoking islamophobia’ in this country, than the views of Labour Party.

        • Rob Sheffield

          Save your words- these are the chosen people who are never wrong: and never let facts get in the way of their tired outdated ‘arguments’

          • Liberanos

            You’re almost certainly right. But one should never give up!

          • “Chosen people” – explain yourself?  

        • Nowhere did I state that Islamophobia originated with the Labour Party, but rather that they “stoked” it – that they, at times, poured fuel on the fire of Islamphobia, which had had been ignited in the wake of these events.  Don’t misunderstand me, Islamophobia in the UK predates 9/11 and 7/7, but encouraging Islamophobia was part of the general “war on terror” discourse , which was partly (but significantly) created and sustained by some of the more vicious (not to mention criminal) minds of New Labour. 

      • Liberanos

        A very revealing and I’m sure heartfelt response.

        But you may wish to consider whether 9/11 and 7/7 had rather more to do with ‘stoking islamophobia’ in this country, than the views of Labour Party.

    • treborc

       I think they still Print the Beano have you thought about writing for it.

      • Liberanos

        Yes,I did think about writing for it once. It’s much more difficult than you’d imagine, the timescales are tight and the money’s not that great. But nice that you’re still interested!

    • treborc

       I think they still Print the Beano have you thought about writing for it.

  • Fran

    I think it was a one off victory for a media savvy man who isnt frightened to speak his mind and challenge. This isnt the rise of Respect, but might indicate that the power of the personality shouldnt be underestimated.

  • 50yrMember

    We must get the Party back to there being a distinction between the Labour Party o f which I am a 50 year Member and the Parliamentary Labour Party of which I have no connection.

    The Labour Party Membership had no role in the invasion of Iraq and they need to say that so that the electorate understand that all these things were done by the Parliamentary Labour Party. 

    • treborc

      That does not fly does it, how many people have said I was only taking orders he was in charge.

      If your in the labour party you have to accept the responsibility  of your leaders, what’s the use of being proud of being in labour if you disagree with the policies.

      I did not agree with labour and I did not agree with welfare, it got to the point I walked away, if in the future labour get back on track I may well  rejoin, but sitting at home saying   nothing to do with me  does not wash

    • madasafish

      Sorry but you could have voted to get rid of Blair.
      You did not.

  • Johndclare

    I agree with your analysis, Mark Ferguson.   Please excuse the presumption of a link to my own analysis of the by-election, which comes to much the same conclusion as you, but by a circuitous route.
    I am particularly worried by the long-term implications of this evident assertion of a local agenda over the national, monolithic ‘party of opposition’:

  • Both left & right commenters have a point, many labour voters want labour to move left & many others want you to move right. Your problem is you cant do both & stay as one party. Poor old Ed is stuck in the middle, slagged by both sides.

  • BNP

    Better get a Muslim leader of the Labour Party installed pretty quick and campaign for Sharia Law.

    • treborc

       Why not I say

  • M Chewter

    There was a time, when I was younger, a few years ago, when I did voluntary work in that constituency. I remember when George went to give evidence to the US senate committee. What a gutsy guy, everybody said, standing up to the Americans. He’s afraid of nobody. Tony Blair, conversely, is only remembered with contempt. Being a legend helps when you are standing for election. We may see his limitations and shortcomings, but all stars have them, don’t they ?

  • Hugh

    At the risk of seeming to suggest we need a new electorate, how far do you really want Labour and politics more widely to accommodate those who reckon  George Galloway’s rhetoric most closely reflects their views?

  • I would never vote for RESPECT – I distrust them on gay rights, but you know, it’s kind of refreshing to read on its website more or less what I think Labour should be about:

    The Respect Party is opposed to war, privatisation and unemployment.

    The Respect Party stands for peace, publicly owned services and a decent future for all.

    We want a world in which the democratic demands of the people are carried out; a world based on need not profit; a world where solidarity rather than self-interest is the spirit of the age. We want to reach out to all those who share our views, to build a new party for change in the interests of ordinary people.

  • Meanwhile,

    Some decent reporting from somewhere, anywhere, on what actually happened, would help.

    I have tried reading the local newspaper for the past few days, and looking at Bradford Council’s website.

    Here are some questions:

    1. Are all the councillors (8 in the Labour Group alone) surnamed Hussein related to each other. Is there a local dynasty  issue here.

    2. Muslims are not a homogenous group. Were there religious, ethnic, sectarian, or national origin splits that might have gone against Imran Hussein.

    3.  Why did all 12 Labour councillors in the constituency unanimously support  Imran Hussein (according to the Labour List article).

    4. Did Hussein campaign at all on Foreign Policy issues?

    5. John Mann in another Labour List post talks about there being NO Labour activists who were able to campaign in Urdu.   First, is Urdu even the majority Asian language in Bradford  (Punjabi – which I know shares some intelligibility – is the dominant South Asian language in the UK).  Second, there are 19, yes 19, Labour councillors with South Asian or Muslim names.  Where were they?  Do they have no local supporters in local LPs?

    I have no answers here.

    Please, can we have some reporting.

    • Paul, you seem to have your head screwed on, but why are you obsessing over identity politics?  Surely, if Muslims merely voted for someone because they were Muslim, Galloway would never have been elected in Bradford West.  Here’s what I do know: all of the leaders of the major mosques in Bradford advocated voting for Labour; Galloway received 56% of the vote, within a constituency that is 38% Muslim, so while we need to all wait for a proper demographic breakdown of the vote, it is probable that Galloway received a significant part of the “non-Muslim” vote.  This isn’t just about sectarianism – this is about a wider malaise apropos the “establishment” political parties.  I urge you (and all) to read this excellent article:

      There could be a real opportunity here to form a bona fide, anti-cuts, anti-austerity alternative to both the ConDems and Labour.

    • rabbas

      Would like to make clear that Hussain is a very common name amongst Muslims.  Nothing to do with any relationship.

  • loftytom

    So many posts and nobody spots the real elephant in the room. This is a serious result for the BNP, candidate plays hard for the Muslim vote, check his last letter to voters at
    and romps home. If Livingstone’s assiduous courting of the Muslim vote 
    “Riddled with homosexuality” ” London a beacon for Islam” gets him in prepare to see BNP m.p.s

    • Yes, we should all begin to become more like the BNP, and hate Muslims, just incase they win election seats due to our “toleration” of these infernal creatures from the East.   We should maybe start rounding up the Gypsies too, just incase the BNP cash in on the “anti-gypsy” vote.   Perhaps we should start a programme of voluntary repatriation for “the immigrants” just incase the BNP start gaining MP’s from the swathes of voters that would like to see Johnny Foreigner sent home on the first boat back to Bongo-Bongo Land or Islamastan.  What a stupid person you are.

      • loftytom

        You really are none to bright so I’ll keep this simple, a bit like you really.

        Galloway played sectarian politics, if you can’t see that  from his letter you don’t know the meaning of words.

        When people play sectarian politics then you end up with a Northern Ireland situation.

        How do we avoid this? Is it the muppetry you suggest? Nope dafty, we point out that crypro-fascist demagogues are crypto-fascist demagogues and not a new dawn in british politics.

        Here to help.

        • Yes, because of the inherent violence of Muslims that you tellingly presuppose, soon enough these bearded barbarians will be calling for (and fighting for) an Islamic Republic in Bradford.  Once again, someone like you, proves my earlier point: Muslims are only “good” if they vote Labour, if they reject Labour then they are, all of a sudden – after years of voting for Labour – menacing hordes who are a serious threat to social cohesion.  Your understanding of the “Northern Ireland situation” is clearly of the same standard as your understanding of George Galloway’s fantastic win in Bradford West.  

          By the way, the letter that is being circulated was written as a response to the Labour Party campaign, which tried desperately to capitalise on the fact that their candidate was a Pakistani Muslim (which seemed to be his entire political raison d’etre ) .  So, I ask, who exactly was “playing Sectarian politics”?    The Labour Party assumed that because Hussain was a Pakistani Muslim (read: token Muslim), he would merely have to turn up to win the seat – which is incredibly insulting to all residents of the Bradford West constituency.

          • Liberanos

            I’m a rather old-fashioned socialist in one sense, in that I still believe that women are entirely equal to men, that homosexuals have exactly the same rights as everyone else, that one can change one’s religion whenever one wants without fear, that anti-semitism is an abomination and that religious violence is the worst kind of  fascism.

            If this is what Islam also strongly supports, I can’t see any reason to fear it. 

          • rabbas

            Would just like to make clear categorically that the Labour candidate at point in time ever claim that he should be voted because he is Pakistani.  This is utterly false.

  • David

    Galloway is an idiot. But at least he is an idiot who does not want to bomb and kill foreigners (be they Serbs,Iraqis, Libyans or Afghans). Unlike the warmongering criminals who lead the Labour Party. 

  • Rburns

    The total tax take will indeed be the same in the end, but we are coming up to the end of the critical quarter for declaration of recession. Good to get the extra millions in before the cutoff eh?

  • Where are you Purplebooker?  

    Wasn’t Imran Hussain your man?

  • loftytom

    Labourite, never voted Labour in my life. I can’t they don’t stand here, which is why I know a shit load about more sectarian politics than you, and where it leads.
    I’ll take you round the streets of west Belfast any time. Muslims? God bless them, they get it in the neck as often as Ulster Catholics.
    You really are a stupid man, over and out dafte.
    You real are stupid

  • loftytom

    Labourite, never voted Labour in my life. I can’t they don’t stand here, which is why I know a shit load about more sectarian politics than you, and where it leads.
    I’ll take you round the streets of west Belfast any time. Muslims? God bless them, they get it in the neck as often as Ulster Catholics.
    You really are a stupid man, over and out dafte.
    You real are stupid

  • Markwturner

    When will the left understand that the Muslim vote is only theirs until there is a tip in the demographics in favour of Muslims, after that, its Islamic parties all the way.
    The immigration led recruitment drive could only be temporary fix. 

  • Ringstone

    A “new kind of politics”, how many times have we been offered a “new kind of politics”, or a “new way” as Wallace put it when Francoise Holland was going to be the wunderkind of the Left? It’s a meaningless verbal tick, an attempt to finesse failure with something hopeful sounding. Labour was founded in 1900, that’s one hundred and fourteen years of “new kinds of politics”, how many more chances do you want to find the RIGHT way in the long term?


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