Implications of Respect By-Election Victory in Bradford West

Chris Guiton

The Government’s having a bad time of it, what with the fall-out from the Budget, the cash-for-Cameron scandal and their handling of the fuel ‘crisis’. Senior Tory strategists must be having sleepless nights as poll ratings slide. A fatal combination of sneering unpleasantness and rank ineptitude can only serve to underpin the growing recognition by voters that a wealthy elite is waging class war on ordinary people.

In this context, George Galloway’s by-election victory in Bradford West offers some useful pointers for Labour. It’s no good dismissing the result as a ‘one-off’ or representative of a narrow section of the local electorate. With over 50% of the vote secured by Respect, this is a clear indication that Labour can win when it presents a clear set of progressive policies to voters. Let’s hope they heed the lesson!

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3 thoughts on “Implications of Respect By-Election Victory in Bradford West

  1. The people are suffering from all the cuts – whilst the rich continue their untroubled lives – let’s hope the Galloway result is the beginning of the turn-around.

  2. This is interesting and I welcome the debate on this as I fear that internal reflection within the Labour Party will be absent as there will be the usual obsession in stuffing printed leaflets through letterboxes and selling the “brand” like a detergent (new, cleaner, greener, younger…..!?)

    Galloway made a very insightful comment in his victory speak: Labour took their vote for granted. This is something we see locally within Croydon as well as nationally as Milliband and the Party hiearchy attempt to repeat the performance of New Labour with Blair and Brown.

    If Galloway and the Respect victory tells us anything it should be this: there is appetite and support for socialist parties and that there is no choice between Tory, LibDem and Labour in communities let down by the unacceptable faces of the parties.

    With the collapse of capitalism in 2008, there is surely need for a new narrative and model in organising the economy that doesn’t rely on globalised corporations and banks to dictate the preferences of Governments.

    The issues facing people are simple: unemployment, housing repossession (particularly in the rented sector where it has significantly risen in the past 18 months) and the dismembering of the welfare state.

    Labour’s narrative has to be different and socialist: not making itself a Conservative alternative.

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