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Galloway wins Bradford West by-election

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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 04 Aug 2004, 20:49
Ideology: Democratic Socialism
Embalmed
Post 30 Mar 2012, 10:35
Galloway re-elected!

Quote:
George Galloway wins Bradford West byelection
Respect candidate takes seat from Labour with 10,140 majority, claiming 'the most sensational victory in British political history'

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Patrick Wintour, political editor
The Guardian, Friday 30 March 2012
Article history

George Galloway, right, is greeted by a supporter as he arrives to hear the results of the Bradford West byelection. Photograph: Anna Gowthorpe/PA
George Galloway, the leading figure in Respect, has grabbed a remarkable victory in the Bradford West byelection, claiming that "By the grace of God, we have won the most sensational victory in British political history".

It appeared that the seat's Muslim community had decamped from Labour en masse to Galloway's call for an immediate British troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and a fightback against the job crisis.

On a turnout of 50.78%, Labour's shellshocked candidate Imran Hussein was crushed by a 36.59% swing from Labour to Respect that saw Galloway take the seat with a majority of 10,140.

Labour had held the seat in 2010 with a majority of 5,763. It marks an extraordinary personal and political comeback for the controversial politician who lost in the UK general election in 2010, and in the Scottish parliament in 2011, appearing to confirm that the remainder of his career would lie in broadcasting and celebrity programmes.

It is also a bitter blow to Ed Miliband, who failed to capitalise on the suddenly plummeting support for the coalition, and did not see the threat posed by Galloway until too late.

The result raises wider questions over whether the result is a simple one-off reflecting Galloway's personal charisma, or instead a sign of a wider detachment from mainstream party politics.

Hailing his triumph before the official result was announced, Galloway said: "By the grace of God, we have won the most sensational victory in British political history … Labour has been hit by a tidal wave in a seat they have held for many decades and dominated for 100 years. I have won a big victory in every part of the constituency, including in areas many people said I should not even compete."

Labour were privately conceding defeat long before the official result which came at 2.30am on Friday morning.

Galloway claimed the path to his victory went back to "the path of treason by Tony Blair in 1994" that has taken Labour "so far away from its traditional supporters that people feel neglected and betrayed".

He added that Blair remained revered inside the modern Labour party, "swanning around making millions, instead of facing trial in the Hague for war crimes. The big political parties have had a very salutary lesson, and I hope they take note."

Galloway said: "Labour should have won a landslide victory, so voters are not looking for the austerity-lite policies of Ed Miliband and Ed Balls." He claimed Labour had tried almost tribal village politics to save the seat and that they had got their answer.

He said: "I am here for the long term," adding that the main parties would get a shock when Respect stands in the neglected towns of the north in the local elections in May.

The Tories, still needing to make inroads in northern immigrant areas, floundered badly as the party licked its wounds over its shambolic handling of the potential petrol strike. Jackie Whiteley, the Tory candidate came third, with 2,746 votes, 8.37%, a drop of 22.78% on the last electioon.

Labour claimed that it might have retained the seat if the Tory vote had not collapsed so completely. Labour argued that the budget, revelations about Cameron's wealthy donors and the petrol queues all led to the severe drop in Conservative support.

The Tories' coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats, had been third in 2010 with 11.7 % of the vote, but this time came fourth with 1,505 votes, or 4.59% of the vote. In the last 48 hours, Ed Miliband's circle started to voice private concerns that a late push by Galloway among the large Asian community might drag the Labour vote down and propel the Conservative candidate to victory. But few Labour officials or outside experts were predicting that Galloway would poll more than 20%, let alone win the seat.

But in the final 48 hours, the Respect vote started to surge, especially among Asian youth, opening up a serious possibility that Galloway could be taken back to the Commons only two years after losing in 2010.

Galloway, a former Labour MP, had previously shown his formidable ability to topple large Labour leads when he won the east London seat of Bow in 2005, overturning a 10,000 majority held by Oona King.

Labour has been campaigning hard in the byelection on the issue of jobs, and the poor showing by Labour suggests Ed Miliband is not able to engender any enthusiasm either for himself or for his calls for an economic stimulus package.

Labour's nerves in Bradford started to show early in the evening when reports emerged that postal ballots showed Labour and Galloway running neck and neck.

At the weekend Galloway held a highly successful 1,000-strong rally, winning the support of some leading mosques, even though the Bradford-born Labour candidate Imran Hussein is a Pakistani Muslim and deputy leader of the council.

Galloway distributed letters insisting that he did not drink and promising he would oppose a war in Iran just as he had fought western imperialist interventions in Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan.

The byelection had been caused by the resignation due to a long-term illness by Marsha Singh, the Labour victor in 2010.

At the 2010 general election Labour won the seat in with 18,401 votes, or 45.4%, the Conservatives took 12,638 votes, 31.2%, and the Liberal Democrats trailed in third with 4,732 or 11.7 %.

The byelection also underlines how local factors can make a mockery of national trends. The latest YouGov poll published by the Sun showed Labour holding a 10-point lead.

The result represents an extraordinary new chapter for Galloway personally. He was initially Labour MP for Glasgow Hillhead and later for Glasgow Kelvin before his expulsion from the party in October 2003 for urging British soldiers not to fight in Iraq.

He subsequently became a founding member of Respect, and he became the MP for Bethnal Green in 2005.

In the 2010 election, Galloway abandoned Bow to try to win Poplar, but found himself unable to recreate his 2005 success in the neighbouring east London constituency.

Full result (with vote share and change since 2010 in brackets)

George Galloway (Respect) 18,341 (55.89%, +52.83%)

Imran Hussain (Labour) 8,201 (24.99%, -20.36%)

Jackie Whiteley (Conservative) 2,746 (8.37%, -22.78%)

Jeanette Sunderland (Liberal Democrat) 1,505 (4.59%, -7.08%)


Sonja McNally (UKIP) 1,085 (3.31%, +1.31%)

Dawud Islam (Green) 481 (1.47%, -0.85%)

Neil Craig (Democratic Nationalists) 344 (1.05%)

Howling Laud Hope (Monster Raving Loony Party) 111 (0.34%)


At last, an independent MP with balls and +1 to the count of socialists in the Lower House.
A coalition partner's candidate (Lib Dem) lost their deposit (underlined).
Why is this a cause for celebration? It's bell-weather for absolute hatred of the coalition government and their plans to wreck the public sector for their next term/Labour's return into government, plus Galloway is an MP of great integrity, standing by his principles against needless discrimination, against privatisation, against illegal foreign wars, for the public sector free at the point of use, for economic justice. Labour were expected to win the seat, but lost 20% of their vote (the Tories, the lead coalition partner ~22%) which was picked up by Galloway - it shows that people want an alternative to the Tories and Lib Dems that isn't afraid of squaring off to them, which is what Labour has adamantly refused to do within the first 2 years of this fragging government. Labour should take heed and move left.

Here is his election victory speech.
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"Phil Spector is haunting Europe" -Dr. Karl H. Marx
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 26 Jun 2006, 15:59
Ideology: Other Leftist
Party Bureaucrat
Post 30 Mar 2012, 11:40
Galloway is not a socialist and has no integrity. His politics lie somewhere between rank opportunism and a strong belief in reactionary ideals. Have you seen his letter to the 'Elders'? No, it's not an attempt to win the pensioners vote, it's an appeal to the patriarchs and clerics with a "I'm more Muslim than this guy, I heard he drinks alcohol you know?".There is no mobilisation of the working class here, his electoral strategy has only two cornerstones: his own personality cult and reactionary Islamic sectarianism, and he's become increasingly indiscriminate in his appeals to the later since the SWP discovered they had one small grain of principle left and jumped ship.
The moment one accepts the notion of 'totalitarianism', one is firmly locked within the liberal-democratic horizon. - Slavoj Žižek
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 04 Aug 2004, 20:49
Ideology: Democratic Socialism
Embalmed
Post 30 Mar 2012, 12:29
Every politician is an opportunist in our system of FPTP. Why the hell would I elect somebody in Chesterfield who was constantly ranting about the housing crisis in a particular ward of Leeds, or why would I, if I wanted to realistically be elected, stand on a platform of nationalisation if I were standing against Cameron in Witney?
The SWP can go to hell for all I care, bunch of rather stupid students and a vain leadership.
Anyhow, you don't need to directly "mobilise" the working class in a single constituency, that is absolute suicide unless you end up with at least a million people voting for such candidates and get at least 30 into the Lower House - "mass mobilisation" can never take place in a single constituency, it would lead to the frustration of those who signed up for a radical platform imbued with a sense of critical urgency, waiting, as they would in this case, until 2015 for the next election. By-elections are totally different because of this, all candidates are granted limitless opportunism.
Oh yeah, he also shattered the nepotism which was gnawing away at the very heart of the Bradford West CLP and had forced it into complete inaction and protection of vested interests. Why is that anything but a good thing to achieve?
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"Phil Spector is haunting Europe" -Dr. Karl H. Marx
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 May 2008, 17:58
New Comrade (Say hi & be nice to me!)
Post 30 Mar 2012, 14:40
Whitten wrote:
Galloway is not a socialist and has no integrity. His politics lie somewhere between rank opportunism and a strong belief in reactionary ideals. Have you seen his letter to the 'Elders'? No, it's not an attempt to win the pensioners vote, it's an appeal to the patriarchs and clerics with a "I'm more Muslim than this guy, I heard he drinks alcohol you know?".There is no mobilisation of the working class here, his electoral strategy has only two cornerstones: his own personality cult and reactionary Islamic sectarianism, and he's become increasingly indiscriminate in his appeals to the later since the SWP discovered they had one small grain of principle left and jumped ship.


I know you don't like the fella, but to say he isn't a socialist is daft. He believes in all the old-school type of left-wing ideals and so does his party. The guy is savvy, incredibly hard-working, has a backbone and knows how to win within the frameworks of the FPTP system. That is no mean feat.

The best thing that could happen in the UK is that when the general election comes around people go out and vote for non-mainstream parties. It's a start ..
The Conservatives:

“One hand in the till the other up America’s skirts“

“Privatise profit, nationalise loss”
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 26 Jun 2006, 15:59
Ideology: Other Leftist
Party Bureaucrat
Post 30 Mar 2012, 17:23
Quote:
I know you don't like the fella, but to say he isn't a socialist is daft.


What exacttly makes him a socialist?

Quote:
He believes in all the old-school type of left-wing ideals and so does his party.


They have seized on the opportunity presented by New Labour's economic policy to offer some Old Labour style state bureacratic capitalism as an alternative, just as the BNP have. They blend in a bunch of reactionary and Islamo-populist bollocks along with it and add a liberal dose of support for clerical fascist and bonapartist regimes that are the enemy of their own working classes.

Quote:
The guy is savvy


As savy as a cat...

They guy can't make one appearance without making a fool out of himself and embarassing the groups he's associated with.

Quote:
incredibly hard-working


The guy hardly ever showed up to work and never got anything done on local issues which is why he never contests the same seat twice. He's a media whore who needs something to do now all his pals in the ME are in trouble.

Quote:
has a backbone


He didn't display much of a backbone with the softball questions he asked Ahmadinejad when he interviewed him, refusing to ask him about the alleged adulteress he was about to have stoned, the murder of trade unionists and communists in Iran by his secret police, etc. The guy's a total sycophant.

Quote:
knows how to win within the frameworks of the FPTP system.


It's the same tactic the BNP use but more successfully, stoke up ethnic tensions, emphasise cultural difference, defend the appalling segregated schooling in Bradford, no doubt have your door knockers subtly reminding muslim voters that the Labour Party is run by a Jew...
Last edited by Whitten on 30 Mar 2012, 17:52, edited 1 time in total.
The moment one accepts the notion of 'totalitarianism', one is firmly locked within the liberal-democratic horizon. - Slavoj Žižek
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 04 Aug 2004, 20:49
Ideology: Democratic Socialism
Embalmed
Post 30 Mar 2012, 17:35
Why would a politician potentially insult a foreign dignitary to their face? I don't think Stalin lambasted Churchill for the British colonialists coming up with the idea of large-scale concentration camps. Khrushchev didn't tell Mao to his face that he thought him a complete tool - he did so through other means that openly confronting him. Confrontation is the job of a journalist, not a politician.

You ask a British worker what is better, state capitalism or socialism, and many wouldn't really have a clue how to answer, even understand what exactly has been asked. At least full employment and empowered unions led to a great sense of belonging and security, it's a step forward, a positive step, even if it's a taster of one aspect of socialism. Any withdrawal from such a system leads to an immediately affronted and militant working populace, and, provided they are organised, something could well happen with the correct steps taken. I don't see a problem with this.
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"Phil Spector is haunting Europe" -Dr. Karl H. Marx
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 May 2008, 17:58
New Comrade (Say hi & be nice to me!)
Post 30 Mar 2012, 19:21
Whitten wrote:
no doubt have your door knockers subtly reminding muslim voters that the Labour Party is run by a Jew...


You have zero evidence for this claim. There was a similar claim back in 2005 by Oona King. The Respect Party said they would sue her if she carried on making such comments, and guess what, she stopped. It sounds like bitter grapes to me.

By the way, I have lived in Yorkshire my whole life and I can tell you that the vast majority of religious folk get along well with one another. Take Leeds for example, there is always various religions getting together for community events, open-days, meetings etc. Obviously such good, positive news doesn't make the headlines.
The Conservatives:

“One hand in the till the other up America’s skirts“

“Privatise profit, nationalise loss”
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Soviet cogitations: 6211
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 04 Aug 2004, 20:49
Ideology: Democratic Socialism
Embalmed
Post 30 Mar 2012, 19:41
Put it there fellow Yorkshireman! Also, I didn't say hi to you back in 2008, so I would like to greet you and say welcome to the board! We hope you stick around, like all new members, it makes things interesting.

Yes, the only news people get about events and happenings in the North of England re: religious and ethnic groups is that of sectarian violence, the EDL, race riots. I would probably suggest retracting that particular statement, Whitten, it just seems like you're making out the disenfranchised in society to be the most backwards, which is quite untrue and already rubbing the noses of some of the most disenfranchised in society in the shit they have to put up with from state institutions.
Also, Whitten, a social democrat who isn't afraid of standing up and being aggressive to Tories is never, ever a bad thing. Labour should have been full of such people from day 1, instead there are those who are cowering like the cowards they are in the face of the Tory onslaught. Galloway is exemplary of what a Labour MP should be.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 24 Feb 2012, 23:00
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Pioneer
Post 30 Mar 2012, 22:38
Hold up guys we've got a third Yorkshireman here!
Huddersfield. Out of curiosoty Benji and E_P_C, where in Yorkshire do you come from?
I think under this Con-dem government and how voters are dissatisfied with Labour, Respect may become a bigger political party. One election at a time.
“It is better to die standing than to live on your knees.“-Che Geuvara
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 04 Aug 2004, 20:49
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Embalmed
Post 02 Apr 2012, 13:16
Near to Hull. Loads of reactionary farmer types and Tory voters, which is a shame, considering Hull will probably remain Labour for the next 50 years.
I doubt the ability of Respect to grow, unless Galloway focuses this time on local issues and proves himself a worthy constituency MP. I doubt any party could make headway in Hull, though it would be nice to bring up socialism, at the very least "Old Labour" at the CLP.
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"Phil Spector is haunting Europe" -Dr. Karl H. Marx
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Mar 2010, 01:20
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Post 03 Apr 2012, 02:21
delete
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Dec 2011, 00:54
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Komsomol
Post 08 Apr 2012, 14:31
Hello Benji! That Sig/Quote of yours is great! ^_^
"A shiny bauble from Capitalism is worthless when the cost is Children & the Elderly going hungry, The Infirm & Sick dying because of Greed & Education reduced to a token few to placate the masses with Illusions of freedom."
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 15 Jan 2012, 12:29
Ideology: Other Leftist
Pioneer
Post 13 Apr 2012, 19:27
tbh if he was standing in my area i would vote for him, but i do think that Respect is a one candidate party, Galloway is there only popular part about them. I dont think many people would vote Respect if any other respect party member was standing.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 Apr 2012, 20:22
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
New Comrade (Say hi & be nice to me!)
Post 20 Apr 2012, 13:25
I'm also out of Yorkshire, North Yorkshire to be exact.

Galloway a Socialist? If he is then I'm glad I'm a communist. He is nothing more than a populist-opportunist. He claims socialism in as far as it benefits him. We'll see how much good he does for Bradford, before returning to his best role as a cat for Rula Lenska.
Next we'll be concluding that Ken Livingstone is a good socialist, because his nickname is 'Red Ken'
"Neither we nor anyone else can calculate precisely what portion of the proletariat is following and will follow the social-chauvinists and opportunists. This will be revealed only by the struggle..." (Lenin)
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Jun 2004, 17:01
Komsomol
Post 27 Apr 2012, 14:23
Good to see. He is not a jelly-back, he has a political spine and has repeatedly defied libel attempts & everything he's said on domestic and foreign affairs has always proven right.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 03 Mar 2008, 02:36
Komsomol
Post 30 Apr 2012, 12:48
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012 ... dford-west

Galloway is a socialist loljk.


"my main political mistake, in retrospect, was that state ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, in which I believed, and for which I campaigned, was a false God." Is that painful to admit? "Yes. I'm not saying, at all, that everything in the private garden is rosy. There's just more flowers than there were in the state garden."
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 03 Mar 2008, 02:36
Komsomol
Post 03 May 2012, 16:10
No replies, from those who were previously hailing the election of a socialist?
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