I must admit I never saw that coming! I did briefly wonder why George Galloway was standing for election in a predominantly Asian constituency in Yorkshire given that he is a white Scotsman. I did notice that huge placards had suddenly appeared on the Bradford streets announcing that this one man party was standing for election as the 'Respect' party . I did wonder how good old George could afford that kind of publicity and now we know.
Years ago when I left the army I attended a resettlement course in London. Sometime during the course I was partnered with an RAF Corporal called Patel. We had to devise a business plan to sell 'widgets'. Now I had never met a 'Patel' in those days or a 'Singh' or a 'Mohammed' as I had spent 22 years in the army being cushioned against the rising tide of immigration. I was therefore unaware that racism existed and I thought that Corporal Patel was a decent guy (he was). He scribbled down a few figures for our business plan which I thought were ludicrous but his reply has forever remained with me, 'Sir you may outrank me by a good few tiers but you Brits know nothing about business. Leave this to me and we will wipe out the rest of them'...and we did.
At lunch he educated me about the millionaires in the 'Patel' club and how the money was all going back to India. He loved the RAF but could no longer reject the opportunities open to him in civilian life. I suspect that the is now a very rich guy...but back to George.
I think that George has recognised the power of the Asian community in our midst. Traditionally they have voted Labour (ask Jack Straw MP for Blackburn) but I believe that for whatever reason they have given Labour a kicking. Don't get me wrong because the Labour party has deserved a kicking for a long time but this is highly significant. Bradford West could be a turning point.
George Galloway is an eloquent and articulate orator. He is once again entering Westmonster so he has got his wish. The Asian community, who chaired him out of the polling station, have also won because they now have a British candidate representing them. I wonder what the trade off is? Somehow and I don't know why but I don't think that this is a good day for democracy. I should really be pleased that a minority party has defeated the 'modernisers' but something troubles me about this result. I suppose time will tell.