A Labour safe seat since 1974 has been transformed into RESPECT heartland, with a majority of 10,000; and many have made several allegations of sectarianism and pandering to religion, instead of local issues, to justify the victory. The turnout was enormous for a by-election, with the poorest wards experiencing extraordinary turnout. Unsurprisingly, mainstream parties have been speculating on the reasons behind one of the greatest by-election shocks in British political history.
What happened in Bradford West?
Well, firstly, RESPECT canvassed the poorer wards with machine-esque precision. Galloway literally knocked on every door in the poorest areas of Bradford West and we have to speculate whether or not the mainstream parties did the same. The sense of abandonment and isolation within these areas are extreme and RESPECT are probably the first political party this socio-economic group has ever encountered.
The Tories, Liberal Democrats and Labour are unable to appeal, or attract, the anti-establishment block because, of course, they are the establishment. The Greens have steadily been constructing a coalition at local level, especially in Brighton, which has helped to present themselves as an alternative to the status quo. UKIP have achieved the same feat at European level, but are-currently-incapable of producing similar domestic achievements; Welsh and Scottish nationalists have managed to break the traditional parties, too. In reality, Bradford West should not been seen as this revolutionary act; it is a symptom of a wider transformation in British politics.
The ‘big three’ are dying.
The break up of Labour and the Conservatives are inevitable, along with the demise of the Liberal Democrats. This ‘new politics’ is nothing but a continuation of the previous administration; parties and politicians change, but the policies seem to remain the same. Government, taxes, spending are too big and still growing; the state is still feeding away, whilst the rest of society find their rights and wealth depleted by an obsessive centralised system.
If UKIP, Greens and others adopt the RESPECT campaigning style and engage with the most neglected wards within the UK, then we can expect a massive rebellion against the status quo at the local elections.