A Little Respect

You may have seen my recent blog (The Galloway Effect) following the Bradford West by-election. Well, in hindsight I may have published it a little early. Not because I have changed my mind about its content, but because I have more to say on the subject. So, here it is, part 2.

The Respect Party have now said that they will field candidates in every ward in the local elections in Bradford. An idea which hasn’t been met with any horror amongst the left leaning voters in the area. But it really should be.

The day after the election, Galloway was on his open top bus at a victory rally. Ed Miliband on the other hand announced that he would go to Bradford and speak with voters at some point. For the people of Bradford this was again an example of how the three main parties might not be fully in touch. It says something when 2000 people turn up to Galloway’s rally, a much larger number than at theNovember 30thrally last year.

What the Bradford West result shows is that there is a desire for left leaning politics, in fact more than just left leaning. But, the connection with voters was missed by the Labour party. I’ve heard people saying how Galloway appealed to the Asian vote. But Labour’s own candidate was from Pakistani origin.

It was really easy for me, in my previous blog, to highlight how this result could be a one off, but now I wonder. Unless the Labour Party really put an awful lot of effort into Bradford, we could see Respect doing well again. In an unofficial survey at the office I work in (it’s a very large office though); I found that a lot of people, many of them Bradfordians, were drawn to Respect. Not purely because of the anti war stance, but mostly because they see it as more representative of the working class.

If Labour is to do well in Bradford, and the surrounding areas where Respect are also looking to field candidates, they need to be in Bradford now. Not saying they’ll visit soon. There’s a really buzz about the political left, but Labour need to put claim to that section of the voters; otherwise it won’t be a one off.