From daily The Morning Star in Britain:
A stunning and political win
Friday 30 March 2012
For a representative of one of the three main parliamentary parties to poll over 50 per cent is unusual.
For someone outside the mainstream to haul in so many votes is unique.
Galloway’s success has met the usual tidal wave of trivialisation by the media and spokespeople for the parties whose candidates he trounced.
Voices that ascribed his defeat in the 2010 general election to an appearance in a red catsuit on Big Brother suggest now that voter recognition based on that TV show made him a shoo-in in Bradford.
Politicians pass off the Bradford by-election as a “one-off.” Every by-election is a one-off, but none has ever delivered such a tsunami of popular discontent.
Much has been made of Galloway’s supposed use of the “race card” or the propensity for Muslim voters to back him.
But how can a “blue-eyed white man,” as he describes himself, play the race card against his principal opponent who is of Pakistani Kashmiri origin, the grandson of Azad Kashmiri Assembly former deputy speaker Chaudhry Azam Pothi and nephew of Pakistani People’s Party president Mirpur Zulfikar Azam?
An ethnic breakdown of Bradford West shows 38 per cent of voters as of Pakistani Muslim background, so even if every single person matching this description ticked Galloway – which clearly they didn’t – he piled up another 18 percentage points plus from elsewhere.
What neither the Establishment media nor the Westminster villagers can admit is that the working-class electorate of this constituency, from whatever ethnic or religious background, voted politically.
They voted in four successive general elections for Marsha Singh, from a Punjabi Sikh background, who distinguished himself as part of the principled minority of Labour MPs to campaign and vote against Tony Blair‘s illegal invasion of Iraq.
Far from Galloway’s campaign playing identity cards, it was his Labour opponent’s team that was reduced, once earlier complacency was punctured on the doorstep, to raising such matters in a desperate scrabble for votes.
Labour hopeful Imran Hussain was not best served by the cards dealt by his party minders, who ensured that he was on message in backing the military “mission” in Afghanistan and prevented him from speaking at hustings, confirming their lack of confidence in his ability.
New Labour control-freakery remains self-evidently alive and unwell in the party apparatus.
Ed Miliband declared his determination “that we learn the lessons of what happened,” although his subsequent comments about local factors, being rooted in every community and showing that “Labour politics can make a difference to people’s lives” show no awareness of the scale of political alienation.
The curse of New Labour lives on in support for the cuts agenda in response to capitalism’s crisis and indifference to working-class calls for a new direction.
Labour may comfort itself with current opinion polls, but they have arisen through coalition own-goals not enthusiastic support for Labour policies.
Bradford West should serve as a warning of further one-offs in the future if Labour fails to heed the clamour for change from a bankers’ agenda to a people’s agenda.
From Lenin’s Tomb blog in Britain:
I won’t pretend. I never believed for a second that George Galloway would win the Bradford West bye-election for the Respect Party, much less that he would win with more than 50% of the vote and a majority of more than 10,000 votes, that the coalition vote would simultaneously collapse (the Liberals lost their deposit) and that all this would happen on a turnout of over 50% (very high for a bye-election).
See also here.
THE workers and youth of Bradford West have dealt a body blow at the Labour Party reformist leadership by unprecedently throwing out their Labour MP in a by-election, at a time when anti-Tory government feelings are at an all time high, and electing Respect Party candidate George Galloway: here. See also here.
The Labour Party is in a state of near collapse in Glasgow. The party is considered to be facing defeat by the Scottish National Party (SNP) in local elections on May 3. Across Scotland, the SNP regularly outpolls Labour in opinion polls and currently controls the Scottish government with more than double Labour’s tally of seats in the Scottish parliament. Were Labour to lose its position in the palatial City Chambers, it would be a shattering blow for the party in its traditional heartland in the central belt of Scotland’s former industrial areas: here.
NATO’s New Battlefield: Pakistan: here.