Bradford West voters hammer Labour, Conservatives, Lib Dems and UKIP

 

             Congratulations to George Galloway. The old fashioned virtues of beliefs, passion and consistency have powered Mr Galloway to an amazing victory. He has shown all the established parties that people can vote them out if they are fed up enough with them. I do not agree with a lot of Mr Galloway’s views, though I do think he was right to challenge the establishment wish to fight wars in the Middle East.

             The established parties will all explain it away as a one off, something that only happens in by elections. That is fine as a public position. In private they would all be wise to realise that there is discomfort with what is happening, and to adjust. Many write into this site telling me of this mood againsty the main parties, telling me UKIP will rise on the back of it. Not in Bradford West. Their 3% in this seat should lead them to  ask  some searching questions as well, just as their failure to win in Buckingham in 2010 where there were no main party candidiates was a warning sign about their approach of mainly  being an anti Tory party.

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159 Comments

  1. Andy
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    I know Bradford very well indeed. George Galloway got the ‘Muslim vote’ out on his anti-War ticket. I’m not surprised he won.

    • David Kelly
      Posted March 30, 2012 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      (WOOING-ED) to the Muslims is exactly how he won Bethnal Green & Bow, in London’s East End, a few years ago, although he lost, maybe surprisingly, in the neighbouring Poplar & Limehouse in the 2010 general election. He seems like a one-trick pony to me.

      Personally, I think it’s time he was sent homeward tae think again. If he can’t win public office in his own country, he should be barred from carpetbagging in England, a country he has no connection with, and even less affection for.

      Better still Georgie Boy, you could always try finding a private sector job, a real job, and find out what reality feels like.

      • APL
        Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:43 am | Permalink

        David Kelly: “a country he has no connection with, and even less affection for. ”

        Wondering why Galloway targets that particular demographic?

      • Ali
        Posted April 16, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

        oooh the private sector. George Gallaway has a very profitable media career in the private sector. Anti War vote is not the same as the muslim vote, the labour candidate who lost was a muslim
        Gallaway is British

    • Iain
      Posted March 30, 2012 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      Indeed, Galloway gets his Muslim (etc) vote out. What the main parties have to be very worried about is if /when a political party manages to represent an English view point, then the British political parties who no longer represent our national interests are finished, just as they are already finished in Scotland.

      • Posted March 30, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

        I think the parallel here is with what’s happened in Scotland – not the Muslim vote. The pattern matches the way the vote went across Scotland where voters had a credible alternative to the Westminster parties to support.

    • Ali
      Posted April 16, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      the people of bradford voted for gallaway because of his policies
      if it was the muslim vote, then Labours candidate who was a muslim wouldve won.

      The Wars are expensive and bankrupting this country

  2. norman
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Well done gorgeous George. Although I don’t agree with him politically he seems to me honest and actually believes what he says. The SNP are similarly benefitting north of the border, everyone’s sick fed up of Westminster and the three main parties and any viable alternative will be seized upon.

    No doubt UKIP will make similar gains in the European elections where they do have a chance of winning seats, but those gains will be written off as people fed with the EU voting in an election that doesn’t matter.

    Let’s hope the Conservative party leadership start listening and implementing the types of policies put forward by John Redwood, Douglas Carswell, David Davis and others and not only talking about it (another fine speech yesterday that will come to nowt) and we can stop all the UKIP and Tory bashing by both sides and come together.

    • Disaffected
      Posted March 30, 2012 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      I agree Norman, however, this is not going to happen. These Tories will not be allowed any where near the government, Clegg will not allow it. Look at the front bench at PM Question Time and all are lefty liberal types. Cameron chose them, it was not an accident.

      John can dress it up any way he wants and can try to shift his comments back to UKIP because he is worried about the party. The Tory party is in trouble. Tory voters now know what Cameron is about and they do not like it. I can’t see Muslim voters flocking to support gay marriage or anti marriage/family views.

      Tory supporters have seen Cameron in action and he has failed on all key policy issues with no progress on any of the key issues. As a question of fact all key issues are now worse than when they entered office. Borrowing, spending and taxation up. EU still taking over the UK and killing our economy which the Government is paying £45 million a day for the privilege, mass immigration continues to soar- the numbers rising not decreasing. Unemployment soaring. Public services overwhelmed. The EU has strangled the life out of the fishing industry, it is doing the same with the farming industry, it is doing the same with business and the Government is letting it happen. Clegg’s fanatical dream for the UK to be a region of the new European state continues with the unfettered support of Messrs Cameron and Osborne.

      Tories should have stuck to the key areas and made progress. Instead the party is wondering around like a lost soul because Cameron does not know how to connect to the people and he still thinks that some of the “old values” will not help his modernising agenda- how wrong he is. Let Clegg carry on with his agenda to change the culture of Britain and watch his party fade into oblivion.

  3. JimF
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Surely what this shows is that a specific issue can actually move voters away from the main parties. That should give UKIP supporters some heart, and make you pause before decrying UKIP for not having won a single seat.

    Of course Bradford West wouldn’t vote UKIP in! Look at the tax/welfare payments balance in Bradford West!

    London and the South East, however, just might.

    Reply: If UKIP has nothing to say in the North it will never win

    • rose
      Posted March 30, 2012 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      The appearance of Islamo-Socialism in Britain should give comfort to no-one, least of all the giggling, chippy, toff-baiting Evan on the Today Programme, whose life style choices may well be the first to be affected. (etc etc)
      UKIP are just another Liberal Party, weakening the anti-socialist vote. As the old Conservative Party breaks itself up over the destructive class envy which is being fuelled by the BBC, and getting distracted by absurdly petty anti-conservative spin about pasties and petrol, don’t expect to find a strong patriotic party coming to power in its place. The demographics are against you.

      • rose
        Posted March 30, 2012 at 8:46 am | Permalink

        PS I hope you noticed that Galloway didn’t bother to appear on the Today Programme? Now that I do admire him for. That is a serious uprising.

        • David
          Posted March 30, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

          Ha, yes – did chuckle to myself when Evan Davis deadpanly said, ‘we asked if Mr Galloway would like come on the programme, but he’d gone to bed…’

        • Electro-Kevin
          Posted March 31, 2012 at 12:21 am | Permalink

          No. I didn’t bother to make wifey a cup of tea this morning.

          Now that IS a serious uprising.

          • Electro-Kevin
            Posted March 31, 2012 at 12:24 am | Permalink

            Directed at Rose’s comment 8.46am

        • Bazman
          Posted March 31, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

          Obviously does not have to.

      • rose
        Posted March 30, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

        By which I mean UKIP voters are thinly distributed across the country and cannot hope to poll with the same success as geographically concentrated communities in cities.

        • Andy
          Posted March 31, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

          UKIP is the home of ‘Tory’ protest votes, exactly like the BNP is home to the Labour protest vote. Not really complicated.

          • rose
            Posted April 1, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

            Very plain to me too, but neither party’s natural supporters are concentrated in communities in cities, as GG’s most recent constituents are.

            Ask the Liberals about this problem. It isn’t complicated to explain.

    • backofanenvelope
      Posted March 30, 2012 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      I don’t suppose anybody here believes UKIP will win in the sense that they achieve a parliamentary majority. But they are in with a chance as a repository for voters fed up with the mainstream parties. As for Mr Galloway, 38% of Bradford West’s voters are Muslim. etc etc

    • Duyfken
      Posted March 30, 2012 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      The Tory vote went from 31.1% to 8.4%, so it is just as much a disaster for Cameron as it is for Miliband. At least UKIP increased its share to 3.3%, albeit from a very low base.

      The question we might ask is if the Tories are undeserving of our support, to which Party or candidate should we turn?

    • me
      Posted March 30, 2012 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      “Reply: If UKIP has nothing to say in the North it will never win”

      UKIP should not be aiming to win, UKIP should be aiming to ensure the defeat of the Tory party. By costing Tory MPs seats and the Tory party elections it will force them to come up with more than warm words and weasel promises, they will have to come up with concrete policies to restore the sovereignty of our country.

      At the moment the Tories try and soak up the conservative vote by relying on loyalty and dissembling. By failing to deliver the policies conservative voters want you disempower a huge section of the population.

      • Andy
        Posted March 31, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

        UKIP should become the ‘Militant Tendency’ of the Conservative Party. It should infiltrate the party and gradually use internal influence towards its chosen policy. It is half way there already; it is just the leadership that isn’t listening. It will. The problem with standing against Tories in General Elections is that it lets Labour in and that is worse. UKIP would be better to withdraw from General Elections, but fight European and Local Elections hard.

        • rose
          Posted April 1, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

          This is the policy repeatedly advocated by our patient host.

          • rose
            Posted April 1, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

            But if they can’t bring themselves to do that patient long drawn out hard work, then why don’t they do what Miss Lucas did and concentrate on blitzing one seat at a time, starting with a safe Liberal non conformist seat in the South West, preferably one with a fishing and farming interest? Eventually they could become the tail that wags the dog.

    • Disaffected
      Posted March 30, 2012 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      Nonsense John. People are fed up with all the main stream parties as they all offer the same thing. The current shower are performing worse than Labour did, that is hard to achieve!! Self -serving interest, greed, EU takeover and its bureaucracy. People will vote to snub the main parties.

      Nothing was learnt from the AV vote. People voted against AV to spite Clegg not because they cared. Most did not even understand the issues.

      • outsider
        Posted March 30, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

        You seem to confirm Mr Redwood’s well-argued point rather than refute it. The Muslim voters of Bradford (but not just Muslims on the voting figures) have shown that the electorate can successfully reject all the three main parties if it wants to. In doing so they have given a lead to the rest of the country: your protest vote can be a winning vote.

        This does issue a challenge to Ukip. If Respect can do it, Ukip ought to be able to win a Westminster by-election in a favourable part of the country (say East Anglia). Or they could nurse one or two constituencies (Huntingdon?) with a a strong local build-up, as Ms Lucas did for the Greens, to win a foothold at the 2015 General Election. Note that the Green Party did not fare well nationally in 2010.

        Otherwise, they have to rely on dividing the Conservative vote across the board at a General Election to the extent that the Conservatives lose so many seats to Labour or Lib Dems that they have to rethink their policies. This presupposes that electors are so fed up that do not care which of the three main parties forms the Government from 2015 to 2020. Many will feel that but perhaps not enough to make that strategy work.

        Reply: My point is that UKIP has been trying this approach of threatening the Conservative leadership for a long time now, and the leadership do not respond to UKIP threats. The leadership will respond to MPs elected as Conservatives who want a more Eurosceptic policy – that is why we need more of them. It was MP pressure that took us into voting against Nice, Amsterdam and Lisbon, and to the veto on the latest Treaty.

        • outsider
          Posted March 30, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

          PS. And if Muslims can informally vote en bloc so could Christians or, in a few constituencies, Roman Catholics alone or retired people or people worried about their local hospital.

          Reply: people may choose to vote the same way but it is does not mean they vote en bloc.

          • Mike Stallard
            Posted March 30, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

            “have shown that the electorate can successfully reject all the three main parties if it wants to”

            (has submitted a number of posts suggesting the election was not properly conducted. Those closer to it have every right to lodge a formal complaint if they have evidence. I have no such evidence, and the result looked overwhelming, with none of the other participants claiming there was anything seriously wrong with its conduct. I am deleting any unsupported allegation about it)

          • outsider
            Posted March 30, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

            Dear Mr Redwood, I basically agree with both your replies, for which thanks. UKIP really needs to win a seat. But I do think voters have become more indifferent between parties since the 2010 election and would be still more indifferent if Labour had a “comforting” leader such as Mr Darling, albeit that seems unlikely.

    • Winston Smith
      Posted March 30, 2012 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      Your UKIP rants are becoming ever more desperate and are an indication of the core problems facing the Tories. As a former activist for the Tories, until May 10, and now a supporter of UKIP, I understand more than most what is happening. Forget the polls and focus groups, Tory membership is falling off a cliff. What’s more, it is losing motivated activists to UKIP. UKIP, once a fringe party, are managing to put up candidates in local elections to increase awareness. They are becoming more of an option. Of course, they are deliberately starved of media coverage by the hostile NUJ and the BBC, but progress is being made. For example, the Evening Standard has featured the Lib, Lab, Con, Green and Independent candidates for the Mayoral elections in May. No mention of UKIP.

      To form conclusions on a by-election in a Muslim dominated constituency is frankly, quite ludicrous. It will strengthern the UKIP vote in (other areas-ed).

      Reply: I do not rant about UKIP – I just ask when And where UKIP supporters expect the breakthrough in a Westminster election you are always forecasting, as each time there are special circumstances which seem to thwart it.

      • bob webster
        Posted March 30, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

        I too left the Tory Party last year to join UKIP. I could no longer support a party that had effectively morphed into Blue Labour under Cameron’s leadership. Unless the Tory Party changes course and begins to repatriate powers from the EU in earnest they will lose the next election. UKIP will show well, especially in the South, and may well deny Cameron victory in 30 or more marginals. Don’t worry too much about the NUJ or the BBC. Their power to starve UKIP of media coverage is severely limited in this internet age. Take a look on You Tube. Nigel Farage’s latest broadside against Barroso, Rompuy et all has already had almost 700,000 views.

      • Winston Smith
        Posted March 30, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

        I think you are misunderstanding the posts of people like me. I do not expect a “breakthrough in a Westminster election”. UKIP will not win a single seat in 2015. However, they will come near to topping the 2014 EU election vote. Even if they just increase their share in 2015 to 5% the Tories will lose 20+ seats. If they poll the 8% they are getting at present, you will lose 50+ seats. If that means a Labour Govt, then so be it. I no longer fear such a change, despite your scare tactics. There will be little difference in policy and it will mean the end of the Socialist Conservatives.

        • Andy
          Posted March 31, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

          I disagree with your strategy. By attempting to destroy the Tory Party you are allowing the Labour Party, aided by the LibDems to take over the State with disastrous results. This was Jimmy Goldsmith’s idea and all that has happened is that it allowed 13+ years of Labour rule and now we have to put up with the LibDems who frustrate many of the things both UKIP and Tories want. The whole strategy is stupid – shooting yourself in the foot. The Tories are your allies not the axis.

          I detest the European Union (far more than John does) and I would love it if we could leave the damn thing, but you have to be a realist. What UKIP should do is withdraw from Westminster Elections and actually help any candidate who shares the parties EU view. But you should fight European Elections and possibly local elections too.

          • rose
            Posted April 1, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

            They could stand in local elections too, where councils are starry eyed about the EU and think it a good thing to push with public money. Probably with money from the EU too.

      • rose
        Posted April 1, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

        I too disagree with the use of the word rant here. Mr R seems ever sweet and reasonable in politely putting his case, year after year, for not splitting the conservative vote to no good end. And he explains what no good end means – it means not getting in.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted March 30, 2012 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      The issue here is Islam.
      It would be wrong to come to the conclusion that UKIP may have hope because of this result. UKIP have had plenty of time to get their act toghether. If you have anything to say get out on the street and say it. Were UKIP campaigning actively in Bradford? Were the Tories for that matter?
      It could be argued that Mr. Miliband put many potential Muslim voters off. Galloway is a staunch supporter of Palestinian causes and an outspoken Islamophile. etc

    • Boudicca
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      UKIP’s vote increased on the 2010 GE result. Not a lot, a 1.31% increase, but Lib Lab and CON fell catastrophically.

      We have also just had another councillor defection – this time from a Labour councillor, Alan Graves, in Derbyshire.

  4. Stephen Almond
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    John,

    Your UKIP comments are sounding rather desperate!
    At least UKIP increased their vote in West Bradford – rather more than can be said for the 3 “me-too” pro-EU parties.

  5. Electro-Kevin
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    I believe that a politician ought to stand (or fall) on what they believe in. Not sway with what will get them elected.

    So next time, if we see the same faces standing for main parties in Bradford but with different manifestos then voters will know that these politicians are being cynical.

    On a national scale the main parties tussle over the so called ‘centre ground’ (way over to the left, in fact) and the majority in this country have no representation. It does appear that parties vie for power for its own sake.

    Traditional Tory voters, it seems, are underwhelmed by David Cameron et al. What might save your party is Ed Miliband.

    How dispiriting.

    • Electro-Kevin
      Posted March 30, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

      What is more dispiriting, however, is an E-K post.

      Bland. Banal. Derivative … blah blah blah !

      Like chewing bubble gum.

      It’s not the credit crunch generation – nor the ‘baby boomer’ generation … it’s the ‘comfy sofa’ generation !

      It really is going to take a revolution isn’t it ?

    • rose
      Posted April 1, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

      E-K did you read Norman Tebbit’s piece on the DT blog about the difference between the centre ground and the common ground, and how it is the latter not the former on which elections are won by conservatives, as Mrs T demonstrated three times in a row?

  6. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Cameron will be happy to have the spotlight taken off his incompetence today. He and the other incompetents he calls his cabinet have created a fuel crisis leading to shortages and even more price increases for pure party political reasons. They were playing cheap party politics trying to show the public the link between the Labour party and the Unite union after the cash for access revelations. He is in for a rude awakening though because those who would normally support the Conservatives are no longer willing to vote for a party which has been such a disappointment in government. Local councillors will be the first to feel their wrath in May. No doubt Cameron will see that as a move against the “cuts” he has not made and cancel those he might be planning!

    • Bob
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      @Brian Tomkinson

      Another possibility is that the fuel panic was a deliberate ploy to de-sensitize the public to the 3p duty hike in August.

      The current supply demand imbalance means that fuel stations can increase prices without losing business, and make a little extra, and the govt gets extra vat.

      The public will then be accustomed to £1.40 – £1.50 per litre (£6.36 – £6.80 per gallon) as a price range.

  7. lifelogic
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Indeed perhaps just the old fashioned virtues of not going to war unless it is totally unavoidable.

    Certainly not pointless (worse a counter productive wars), on very clear lies and then staying there for years and for no good reasons beyond inertia and the need to continue to pretend it was not a huge mistake.

  8. Amanda
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    John, I’m shaking my head in amazement at this post. Bradford West is inner city and Muslim.

    (Post goes on to make unsubstantiated allegations about how the voting took place and was influenced – then strangaly asks UKIP to do the same!) The only thing it does show is that if UKIP, who co have stong views on the EU (just as people in Bradford West have strong beliefs !!) could do the same .

    The Conservatives need to take a long hard view at their leader – he is not leading you to victory !!

  9. JoolsB
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Bradford was only ever going to be between Labour or Respect. The Buckingham result was pre General Election and not only was it a safe Tory seat but voters were desperate to be rid of New Labour and were not going to risk splitting the vote by voting UKIP. Now Conservative voters realise that the present party calling themselves Conservatives are not really Conservatives at all (few exceptions obviously) think you will find more and more traditional Tory voters will now take the plunge and vote UKIP at the next election, after all, Nigel Farage is the Conservative Cameron will never be.

    I’ve voted Conservative all my life, even campaigned on doorstops in 2010 but no-more. UKIP are no longer a one trick pony. Not only are they offering a referendum on the EU but also an English Parliament to address the undemocratic and unfair manner, both politically and financially, in which England has been governed post devolution, the only party willing to speak about the democratic deficit which exists in this Un-United Kingdom, both of which Cameron to his shame has refused to address.

    • Andrew Johnson
      Posted March 30, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      Well said.

    • Boudicca
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      Well said. I too am an ex Conservative member and now UKIP activist. Nigel Farage is a conviction politician, a fine orator and a patriot. Cameron is none of these.

  10. Old Albion
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    UKIP may not have won anything in Bradford West. But unlike the Lib/Lab/Con it increased it’s share of the vote.

  11. A.Sedgwick
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    The message from George Galloway’s victory is loud and clear and has been evident in endless comments in the press and blogs in recent years – a seriously large number of the electorate are totally and irreparably disallusioned with the three(one) party sytem. Continuing to castigate UKIP and ignore the reality that Cameron has created an unelectable Conservative Party will not solve the country’s needs and problems.

    The answer is for the real Conservative MPs to break away and form the Real Conservative Party, which would eliminate UKIP at a stroke (unfortunate Heathism).

  12. Bernard Otway
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    John do not be naive,the muslim vote have NO comprehension of let alone interest in the EU
    issue,as is sometimes said ALL BETS ARE OFF especially with this result in this particular constituency,I commend UKIP for standing in it,if I was their strategist I would have not bothered. HOWEVER,having watched MONTY HALLS programme recently on fishing set in
    Cornwall I have urged UKIP to target all the south west constituencies ,they are a prize waiting to be won,as no other party can address the issue of eu quotas and the Bye catch issue
    which can only be ERADICATED by leaving the eu doomsday machine,likewise all other fishing [even former fishing]constituencies,I wonder how many jobs would be created IF we
    got our fishing grounds back, kept them solely for OUR fishermen,directly on the ships and indirectly after catching and landing. If I was still a conservative I would be very afraid
    of the next election,in my opinion Cameron is a ONE TERM PM just like his alter ego
    the fool Edward Heath. PLEASE JOHN lead a coup d’etat with David Davis.

  13. zorro
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    John, come on now, you mention quite correctly that there is a mood against the mainstream parties. There is clear reason why this seat voted the way it did. This seat is not representative of Britain as a whole. There are, howev?er, many Tory seats which could see UKIP as a Respect type party in their own seat. It is not just Miliband who will be sweating, Cameron will too and he will only have himself to blame…..Tory voters will have seen that there is no real difference in policy so what do they really have to lose? Maybe it might shake the Tories from their complacency. It could well be a game changer.

    Zorro

    Reply: I do not recall saying the result was good news for the Conservatives!

  14. Ashley Greenup
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    John, why are you praising George Galloway? He is a ( a man of questionable views-ed) who supported Saddam Hussein and who has spoken out against our boys and girls in uniform.

    Reply He has just won an election, and I respect the views of the electorate.

    • Susan
      Posted March 30, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      Ashley,

      I agree Ashley. I for one will not be rushing to congradulate George Galloway any time soon. I have listened and read a lot of what he has to say and his views are indeed questionable. All reasonable people should be worried about this result not just Politicians. I would not want to think that Mr. Miliband lost a single vote for anything other than his politics but I fear this may be the case.

      I said it was perhaps time for a new party in politics to shake things up a bit, George Galloway was certainly not what I had in mind. A case of be careful what you wish for I guess.

  15. Posted March 30, 2012 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Well done George. I’m delighted he’s back in parliament.

    All the work I’ve done in cyberspace discussing Middle East issues has brought me more and more respect for him and what he does.

    It’s the nature of getting engaged in these issues that in exposing concealed truths you get some things wrong and you get absolutely hammered for them so it is very difficult for people like George to be part of mainstream parties. Well done to the people of Bradford West for putting him back into parliament where he belongs.

    • Posted March 30, 2012 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      Here’s a link to George’s evidence to the US senate for anyone who hasn’t seen it:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnflzhtDkJM&feature=related

      It’s certainly something everyone interested in politics should watch at some time.

      • Electro-Kevin
        Posted March 31, 2012 at 12:16 am | Permalink

        FFS – this guy played the cat on Big Brother !

        Hardly Gladstone or Churchill is it ?

        That a western politician speaks out against disasterous ME policy is refreshing, but not beyond your average sixth former, unionist nor bloke on a bus.

        Clearly our leaders are getting nailed by the CIA whenever they get elected.

        • Posted March 31, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

          He played the cat in big brother because he wanted to engage with young people so that they would listen to him talking about things which really matter. He seems to think it matters that we reach out to engage our young people in politics.

          • rose
            Posted April 1, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

            What does this say about our young people and the way they have been educated in the recent decades?

          • Posted April 1, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

            It says they found big brother interesting and were watching it.

          • rose
            Posted April 1, 2012 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

            PS You may well be right Rebecca, about GG’s motive for disgracing himself on TV, but this is a sad reflection on our entire culture, not just our schools.

            When Dorothy Sayers wanted to persuade people to a higher purpose, she first wrote a series of very well written detective stories to attract their attention, which they read and enjoyed, as well as reading a great deal else.

  16. zorro
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    John, it is a developing situation….worth keeping your powder dry but your advice visible.

    Zorro

  17. Graham
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Really!!

    Bradford West is only representative of the asian majority and George has a history of being able to convince them that he speaks for them.

    Let me know when Respect gain a seat in (other types of-ed) constituency.

  18. zorro
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Why will it be a game changer. People want to shake the complacent parties. In many aspects this government is as incompetent if not worse than Brown. You should be fine as a decent, straight down the middle guy, with your consistent and sensible views which strike a chord….but don’t burn your bridges and sense the mood.

    Zorro

  19. Posted March 30, 2012 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    I suspect local conditions are key here. Respect will have worked the Muslim vote well, and everyone else will have seen the best protest available was Respect.

    I don’t think anything can be said about the other minor parties support beyond the general public are now willing to give all the main parties a bloody nose.

    Things are getting to be unstable.

    George Galloway will at least be good value for entertainment.

  20. DavidG
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    UKIP’s anti-Tory campaign worked on its own terms. Tory voters stayed at home rather than vote Tory.

    UKIP is a single issue party which wrongly thinks that having multiple policies written on their website is the same as being a multi-issue common ground party that can win seats at Westminster.

    Peter Oborne was right when he said that UKIP are the conservative party in exile. They ought to come home. David Cameron won 134,446 member votes to become leader. In 2010 the national UKIP vote was 919,471. These vote results show how UKIP members are wasting their time on ineffectual ways of being influential in modern politics.

    • AJAX
      Posted March 30, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      Old fashioned points

    • Andrew Johnson
      Posted March 30, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

      Where have you been? Don’t you know about the control exercised by CHQ over candidate selection and many other areas. The fear that many new MP’s have of a career vanishing overnight if they vote against the whip.
      Parliamentary Democracy? I think not. May I recommend a re-read of George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm. One things for sure, we’re in for a bit of a bumpy ride and not just in Britain. Our European cousins aren’t too thrilled with the way things are turning out either.

    • Cliff. Wokingham
      Posted March 30, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

      We would like to come home but, home to what?

      I suspect many traditional Conservatives have stayed away because they know that there is no party that they can, with a clear conscience, vote for.
      I have always voted Conservative, because I nievely believed we voted for our local MP; in my case our host, but John is kept off the front benches by Mr Cameron because he is a Conservative.

      I listen to EWTN (catholic radio) and hear the way those of the Christian faith are being mobilized against Obama’s health care reforms which force Catholic organisations to provide policies, that fund contraception and abortion services. I hope that we may see a similar movement in this country because, many of the current “right on” policies of the main parties, go against the belief system of many different faiths, not just Christians.
      If a clever politician could mobilize people of all faiths in the way it has been alledged Mr Galloway has in Bradford, then perhaps we could see a real change in this country back towards what were traditional British values. I also suspect many people of no faith would support many policies that reversed our moral decline as presided over by this and the previous government.

      I watched Question Time last night and felt embarrassed by the lack of real choice between the main three parties. Even the person supposedly representing Conservative opinion sounded left wing.

      As far as I can tell, and this is based on the rhetoric the main parties come out with and their actions when in power, there is no real choice in terms of policies, just a choice of which suit/face presides over it.

      Mr Cameron has let people down since coming to office. In opposition he made hundreds of promises and almost none of them have came into being.
      Where is the reduction in spending?
      Where is the bonfire of the quangos?
      Where is the great repeal bill?
      Where is the reduction in the size of the state?
      Where is the reduction in the interference in people’s lives by the state machine?
      Where are the squeaky clean politics?

      I could go on but I’m sure you get the idea. We are fed up with most of our politicians and the main parties and those politicians that we like, like you John, have so little influence that we feel completely excluded from the political process.

      • Andy
        Posted March 31, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

        Cameron did not win a majority in 2010. So now we have a Coalition Government in which the LibDems, who actually LOST the 2010 Election, almost have a strangle hold over policy. Anything they don’t like the damn well try to strangle. But many of those who have posted in this thread should now accept the reality of their own position. They complain that Cameron hasn’t done this that and the other, which is true, but it is because UKIP has help to split the vote and has denied the Tories seats. What we badly need is for UKIP to make common cause with the Tories and fight the EU and many of the other issues upon which they agree. The present policy is self defeating. etc

        • Cliff. Wokingham
          Posted April 1, 2012 at 8:10 am | Permalink

          UKIP is not the problem, merely a symptom of what is wrong within the Conservative Party at the top level. If the party were more Conservative in out look, then UKIP’s entire reason to exist would not be there.

          Given that we had the least popular PM, perhaps of all time in Mr Brown, a government that had become more detached from reality and the onset of a major financial downturn, we still managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

          If we had more Conservatives at the higher levels within the party, we would have ran away with the last election instead of having to jump into bed with a party and its leader that are as opposite to us as Playboy was to Mary Whitehouse.

          What do we stand for? I don’t know and I have a keen interest in politics, so how are ordinary members of the public supposed to know?

          • Posted December 26, 2012 at 4:34 am | Permalink

            Ray, the party’s members are its soul, and not pelpoe that merely voted for it. Many of the latter feel betrayed, it is true. But the members I have spoken to, with one or two exceptions, do not feel betrayed. The party is about achieving results, and that is what Nick Clegg is doing. The party must explain itself to the electorate, of course, but it has already achieved a lot more than it did under the two previous leaders.

      • Boudicca
        Posted March 31, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

        The female supposedly representing the Conservative Party is ex SDP. She is left-wing.

  21. APL
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Two years of the Cameron administration, and nothing has been done about the affront to democracy of the open abuse of the postal vote.

  22. rose
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    If Labour lose Scotland, Wales, and Moslem England, where does that leave a strong and united Conservative party? Why is it then tearing itself apart over pasties, petrol, and police horses?

  23. Tally
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Ukip will go no where until they become an English party

  24. MajorFrustration
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Perhaps some Toy MPs – lets say for example Frankie Maude – should not be regarded as “shoe-ins” come the next election.

    • norman
      Posted March 30, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      maude is one of the architects of the de-toxified brand and so a Court favorite who will have ask the resources he needs. why do you think there will never be open primaries? imagine someone up against him in a primary, put old Francis

      • norman
        Posted March 30, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

        not drunk stupid predictive text

        • Electro-Kevin
          Posted March 31, 2012 at 12:03 am | Permalink

          No. I think you’re drunk, Norman.

          As an ex cop I am – by law – qualified to say so.

  25. Mactheknife
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    John, although not a UKIP supporter your comments regarding UKIP are pretty silly. Its clear that all the main parties suffered last night, in particular Liebour, who were already counting down to an easy win. The demographics of Bradford are such that its basically akin to holding an election in Pakistan as most of the population originates from that part of the world. Galloway campaigned on an anti-war platform stirring up feelings from a few years ago, which the main parties thought were forgotten. What did you really expect ? You know Galloway and you know his politics and agenda. The test for UKIP is that if the Conservative party continue to allow the LibDems to dominate policy and waterdown legislation, particularly around Europe and its institutions, in the next two year or so, lets see what happens to the Conservative vote.

  26. A Different Simon
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    UKIP made a stupid mistake with “ban the burka” campaign .

    They didn’t think of the consequences of a woman being imprisoned in her own home if the burka was banned . They didn’t think .

    The Conservatives didn’t think either , about who to chose for a leader and now they have got a dilema .

    Cameron always was a disposable P.M. , only ever good for one term , unre-electable .

    Do you change leaders without delay and if so who for ? Or keep him and accept innevitable defeat in the next election ?

    • Electro-Kevin
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 12:05 am | Permalink

      ‘Ban the burka’ has a cracking ring to it, you must admit.

    • Boudicca
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      UKIP didn’t propose a blanket ban on the burkha. They proposed a ban on it in public places, such as airports, banks, governmental buildings etc. for security reasons.

  27. MadAlbert
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    As UKIP increased their share of the vote (albeit by only 1.31%), being the only party other than Respect to do so, should this result be described as a hammering?

  28. Mark
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    I’m not so sure that congratulations are in order. There are tales of some extremely divisive campaigning tactics,(words left out-ed) and using methods to ensure votes that many would regard as questionable. Perhaps even the Labour Party will feel a little more inclined to reconsider its attitudes to key electoral reforms on voter registration and postal voting.

    The damage done by this result is the consequence of the awakening of the youth of disaffected immigrant (and second generation immigrant) communities. (The impact of this needs to be thought through-ed)And where was the Baroness Warsi?

    Reply: The magnitude of the victory was so huge that I am prepared to accept that it was the clearly expressed view of the majority of those voting that they preferred Mr Galloway to all others. Losers will of course look at all kinds of factors that brought this about, but they should not lose sight of the simpel fact that a very large number of voters wanted Mr Galloway to win.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted March 30, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      “00.08: All sorts of rumours now, from Galloway winning 75% of postal votes, to having won 50% or more or the vote. None of them suggest a way back for Labour. It would be foolish to say that Galloway has definitely won – but it’s hard to see any other result now.”

      Labour list (see above)

      Reply: The victory looked pretty comprehensive to me!

  29. forthurst
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    The largest negative swing was -22.78% against the Conservative Party. UKIP made a small gain +1.31%. Fancy losing all those votes to George Galloway! The Conservative Party is now firmly ensconced as the party that expects people to vote for them without offering them any reason at all for doing so, but plenty of reasons not to. Time to ditch the current leadeship and reform about someone who can offer at least one section of the community what they want which includes competance and putting the national interest first.

    • rose
      Posted March 30, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

      It would be interesting to know how many people in Bradford West voted for GG who had previously voted for Mrs T. For example, working class people who could have voted Labour then but didn’t, and didn’t vote Conservative this time.

  30. alan jutson
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Yes a real smack in the face for the traditional Party’s.

    Will they learn anything from it ?

    I doubt it !

    I wonder if the prospective traditional Party candidates for police comissioners are starting to worry about their “taken for granted voter support”.

    Would be really good to see the likes of Mr Prescot fail.

  31. Posted March 30, 2012 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    You are correct that while it is a very good result for “not the LabConDems” the failure of UKIP to capitalise on it is disappointing. We got 72% of the LibDem vote which is barely better than most polls show.

    Galloway is unquestionably a very good speaker and campaigner & while economically illiterate has been absolutely right on all the crininal wars.

    PS when we started bombing Yugoslav civilians I wote to a number of MPs and his response – to send me copies of the Hansards of both debates was a courtesy nobody else came close to. Reading those debates, which the MPs self congratulatally describes as Parliament at its best I found that almost all the MPs were ignorant & predjudiced and willing to say or do almost anything, no matter how murderous if their leaders wanted it.

    PPS there was an independent candidate there called Neil Craig – this is purely an interesting coincidence.

  32. Posted March 30, 2012 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Politics has changed. Muslims are no longer willing to vote for a party with a Jewish leader which supports the killing of their muslim brothers in Iraq, Afghanistan and coming up – Iran. Muslim-majority areas will not be Labour in the future; Respect has found a very fertile niche.

    In the past party allegiance was based on class and ideology. In the future it will be more about ethnicity.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted March 30, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      “I have seen confessional and ethnic politics at work around Europe. In little pockets across the Continent, parties have sprung up to represent linguistic minorities and irredenti communities. They are always complacent and frequently corrupt, for nothing is more deleterious to democratic engagement than the belief that you have to vote for ‘your’ party. Candidates take voters for granted; voters stop caring about manifestos.”

      Dan Hannan’s blog today.

    • Andrew Johnson
      Posted March 30, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

      Jews are a race who may or may not practice Judaism, Muslims comprise many races who follow the religion called Islam, (which incidentally takes many different forms and whose two main branches, Sunni and Shia, do not seem to get along together too well. “In the future it will be more about ethnicity”, or race, or religion, or political conviction, or self interest, or a whole bunch of reasons, just as now.

    • Posted March 31, 2012 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      If politics becomes about ethnicity then everybody loses a bit. However the big losers are bound to be ethnic minorities because they are a mibnority.

      This morning I saw the Labour spokesman on the BBC assert that it was all the fault of the Moslems and that the “white working class” had stayed loyal to Labour. This is obviously the sort of cynical racism they, plus the BBC, would have condemned if anybody in the BNP had been sufficiently blatant to say it. It is also a lie as proven by the fact that Galloway won in nearly every ward

      Reply: It is no fault to vote for a different candidate! It wasd also a secret ballot, so no-one had to vote for a person they did not want.

  33. Michael Read
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Yes, he gives terrific theatre. But he was playing a (questionable-ed) card. You should be concerned that the BNP could probably do even better than Respect if they had a leader of Galloway’s theatrical ability.

  34. colliemum
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    With a loss of over 22% for the Tory Party, I would have expected UKIP to have done far better than the comparatively tiny 1.35 they actually gained.
    I would have expected this especially since a by-election is traditionally one where protest voters feel free to show the main parties what they really think of them, and even more so because Bradford was such a firm Labour seat that any Tory vote lost wouldn’t have made a huge difference to the outcome, under ordinary circumstances.

    So I find it puzzling and disquieting that Tory voters did not vote UKIP, but seem to have voted for Galloway and his islamic ‘party’.

    • Sean O'Hare
      Posted March 30, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      The few Conservative voters living in Bradford West in 2010, that just might have voted UKIP this time, have probably fled elsewhere by now.

      • sjb
        Posted March 31, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

        In the 2010 General Election 12,638 voted Conservative in Bradford West. [1] On Thursday that figure fell to 2,746. [2]

        If, as is often claimed by some contributors, disenchanted Tories favour UKIP policies – especially with regard to the EU – then it seems surprising that eight thousand of them in Bradford West couldn’t be bothered to spend just a few minutes each to register their protest thus giving UKIP second place and lots of publicity.

        [1] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/election2010/results/constituency/a60.stm
        [2] http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/mar/30/george-galloway-bradford-west-byelection

        • APL
          Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:53 am | Permalink

          SJB: “If, as is often claimed by some contributors, disenchanted Tories favour UKIP policies – especially with regard to the EU ”

          It is also a claim our host makes persistently, UKIP cost the Tories this or that constituency, thus equally untrue in that case too.

          • rose
            Posted April 1, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

            But, APL, it is a puzzle. Where did these erstwhile Conservative votes go?

            It seems most likely to me that the conservative voters who defected to GG this time were conservative Pakistanis or of Pakistani descent, rather than alternative lifestyle crusties. Why did they feel let down by the Conservative Party? Presumably for many of the same reasons as everyone else, but not perhaps on the EU question. I suggest the break down of the family and law and order, high taxes, bad schools, bad hospitals, filthy streets, too much drink, too much immigration…all the usual disenchantments and anxieties, but not our particular anxiety about national sovereignty.

            I have even met young English fishermen in our Farmers Market, up from Dorset, who have no idea about the CFP. When I explain it to them and how it came about through the deception and treachery of a conservative PM in the 1970s, they are at first incredulous that we could ever have had such a thing as an exclusion zone in the past, or an active navy to back it up, and then incensed. No-one has ever told them before.

  35. Martin
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    The government and the opposition deserved it.

    IT workers see no change from the last lot

    IR35 – still in place.
    IDS and Grayling offshoring IT jobs to India- still going on.
    P.S. folks DVLA are sending all your details to India.

    • Sean O'Hare
      Posted March 30, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      Did the Conservatives ever give a manifesto commitment to repeal IR35? No, thought not!

  36. AJAX
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    With an unfortunately poor calibre candidate UKIP advanced its vote compared to a wipe-out of the main parties in a constituency which has a hugely atypical demographic motivated by Mohamedanism, which Galloway (etc etc) is piratically wandering around the electoral map in the swansong of his parliamentary career expoliting.

    Bradford West with its minarets is not a sensible yardstick to measure to the bulk of England’s parliamentary constituencies by.

    Admittedly also, UKIP does need better candidates than was on offer here.

    Don’t burn bridges with UKIP Johnny, you might need them yet.

  37. Phil Richmond
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    John part of UKIPs problem is that they are starved of oxygen. Firstly the BBC which controls 70% of the newsmedia never tells the British people what is going on & all the 3 main parties try to bury the subject.
    If the British people had any understanding of what is going on and that it is the EU which is adversely affecting every aspect of their lives then you would see a very different result.
    Tory backbenchers are also doing a poor job in standing up to Cameron as well. Somebody needs to grow a pair. We need David Davis as leader asap!

    Reply: I do not think MR Galloway got much airtime either for this election.

    • Mark
      Posted March 30, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      Do we know this for certain? After all, Ken Livingstone was getting regular airtime on Press TV before it was banned, and with today’s satellite and internet broadcasting is isn’t necessarily the BBC that controls what is seen, or even that it is broadcast by a UK entity.

      • Mark
        Posted April 3, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

        I note that Press TV, the Iranian sponsored channel banned by OFCOM, but whose website is freely available made the following claim:

        Some supporters contacted Press TV, as a major force behind Galloway’s election win, hoping the same would happen to the British politician, Ken Livingstone, who is running for the post of Mayor of London. Livingstone has been recently under fire from British media for his regular cooperation with Press TV.

        (my added bolding)

        Reply:A Parliamentary candidate cannot prevent people from contacting media outlets, whatever their status. I note you are not making any allegation of election misconduct against either Mr Galloway or Press TV.

        • Mark
          Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

          Indeed, I merely report the claim made by Press TV here:

          http://www.presstv.ir/detail/234246.html

          I make no assertion as to its truth, nor as to whether if it were true such support could or could not be provided in accordance with electoral law, or whether any electoral law has been breached. It should be evident that any foreign based news organisation may comment on elections and offer support in their expressed opinions without infringing UK electoral law, which does not have extra-jurisdictional reach.

          Press TV make no explicit claim of providing financial backing, although they have clearly provided a platform over time to Galloway as one of their presenters. The position of funding by foreign entities is hardly a new issue: the Communist Party of Great Britain relied for many years on funds from the Soviet government, often channelled via Russian unions and so forth. This was at least tolerated (partly because some other parties benefited in similar fashion) until made illegal by, I believe, the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000. EU elections add another dimension by virtue of their international nature, and EU law effectively makes local elections international (I was entitled as a UK citizen to vote in local elections in Holland for example). It is perhaps an issue that should be reconsidered among the wider issues surrounding political funding that have arisen under “donorgate”.

    • rose
      Posted March 30, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      DD turns an awful lot of people off. They can’t say why, but he does, and not just women either. Emotional feelings about a party leader shouldn’t have a bearing on how people vote, but I’m afraid they seem to in practice, especially in our TV democracy.

  38. Bob
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    I think you are taking this partisan thing too far.
    Remember, the Tories lost votes to UKIP yesterday!

    Which ukip policies do you disagree with?

    – UK independence?
    – Flat tax?
    – Grammar schools?

    Play the ball not the man.

    Reply: I am not playing the man. I am just pointing out the ball does not seem to get into the Westminster net!

    • rose
      Posted March 30, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      “I am just pointing out the ball does not seem to get into the Westminster net!”

      As you have consistently on this blog, for as long as I can remember. I agree with you. The same applies to other subjects which are right up at the top of people’s concerns – until they get into the booths. Francis Maude came up with an unconvincing explanation for this strange phenomenon, and we have paid rather a high price for it. Can you come up with the actual explanation? I think it is to do with most people being essentially apolitical.

    • Bob
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      What I mean is challenge their policies not their inability to overturn a voting system that favours the incumbents. That is not worthy of you.

  39. peter davies
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    I doubt this is a good yardstick for how things are going because the Bradford constituency isn’t the norm due to its ethnicity/religious makeup.

    Plus as previous commentors have pointed out, Galloway has a well documented history of sucking up to dodgy middle eastern regimes though he was right to make a stand against the invasion of Iraq – shame most of the other MPs allowed themselves to be hoodwinked by Blair/Campbell’s ‘dodgy dossiers’.

    One thing can perhaps needs to happen though is that tories need to be tories and not pretend to be anything else, labour need to be honest about their true socialist intentions/beliefs and the Libs – no idea? – the identikit politicians are perhaps what is putting many off at the top level – Blair set the tone of politics and everyone else seems to have followed suit ever since.

    Perhaps we will see a return to this at the next election if the tories get a majority.

  40. Posted March 30, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    The power of traditional pork barrel politic, skillfully deployed won it for Galloway. Munching on a pastie, supposedly bought from a store that had in fact already gone out of business while trying to kid the rest of us that it is delicious doesn’t qualify. as such.

    • Sean O'Hare
      Posted March 30, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      I do hope Galloway’s pastie was vegie or made with Halal meat.

  41. Popeye
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    “Many write into this site telling me of this mood againsty the main parties.”
    Then who John?
    Unless you backbenchers sort out the ruling clique who are failing dismally, and get a real Tory Leader, it will have to be UKIP because at the moment, the rest of you are rubbish.

  42. sjb
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    The Conservative share of the vote fell from 31.1% (2010) to 8.4% yesterday; UKIP’s share rose from 2.0 to 3.3%.

    Would anyone like to explain why they think UKIP could attract so few of the 2010 Conservative voters?

    • norman
      Posted March 30, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      I say it time and time again, despite a vocal presence here (me being one I’ll admit) UKIP shouldn’t be keeping political genius George Osborne up at night, the missing millions of stay at home conservatives should be. last night being a glaring example of that.

  43. Barbara Stevens
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    John, 40% of the vote in this seat are ethnic minorities, campaigning on Afganistan, and Iraq would appeal to these voters where the majority are Muslims.
    (bulk of piece does not seem to understand the nature of the constituency or the issues raised that mattered to the legally registered British voters there, so I have deleted it-ed) Yes Galloway as won fair and square, giving who resides within the seat, I just hope those who run this country take enough note and take action. They won’t of course they have no courage. I truely dispair.

  44. Posted March 30, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps David Davis has learned from this; DC would probably prefer a parliament of dunces like Galloway. (words left out)

  45. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    George Galloway knows where to stand for election. His victory is partly due to passion and hard work. It is also due to the fact that many people who are ethnically from the Indian sub-continent, particularly the Islamic part, (etc etc)

  46. Normandee
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    There you go again decrying UKIP, you are right it is not going to get anywhere as it is, and that is because people like you keep knocking it. It has ostensibly the same desires on Europe as you say you have, but will never be treated seriously whilst serious politicians, which you are, keep treating it as a joke.
    Or is that part of the conservative plan ? people like you soak up the sceptics and keep them busy, knocking back any serious plans to make headway by kicking UKIP whilst the executive parcel us up for the komissars. Is there a knighthood in it for you and Douglas and Dan ?.

    Reply: For heaven’s sake – my point is Eurosceptics need to unite and fight. I am fed up with being criticised by UKIP supporters for trying to sort the problem out, and am entitled to point out that their way of doing it has hindered rather than helped so far. We need more strong Eurosceptics in the Conservative party, as numbers and voices count.

    • Sean O'Hare
      Posted March 30, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      Reply: For heaven’s sake – my point is Eurosceptics need to unite and fight..

      UKIP have made the offer before, and on more than one occasion, only to be rebuffed by the Tory leadership. Activist Eurosceptism is not yet strong enough to make a difference within what is a largely a pro-EU Conservative Party. UKIP needs to grow to a size where the Tories cannot afford to refuse any future offer made.

    • Paul
      Posted March 30, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

      JR “We need more strong Eurosceptics in the Conservative party”.

      But the leadership of the Conservative party is not eurosceptic and many Conservative backbenchers voted against a referendum, so why on earth would any genuine eurosceptic who wanted withdrawal and had principles join your party? Particularly at this time as your current leader and cabinet is the most europhile in Tory history. The Conservative eurosceptics have about as much influence on things as UKIP do at the moment even though there is not a single UKIP MP. Time is getting on John, you have been calling for a refendum for decades and it has got nowhere. Maybe it’s time to get behind UKIP and hope they grow and grow. As a UKIP member, I would be delighted if UKIP contributed to the Conservatives losing the next election. Maybe then they would get rid of that useless leader of theirs and put some proper policies in their next Manifesto (or just copied UKIP’s policies).

    • Steven Whitfield
      Posted April 3, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

      I like to think i’m reasonably in tune with political matters but I can’t think of the name of a single member of the UKIP party.
      Is it that man on daytime tv i don’t know. That seems to be the problem: nobody knows who they are beyond the cravats and blazers image.

      What they need, it seems to me, is to get some big political names behind them with a proven track record – not big businessmen with an axe to grind or tv personalities that can too easily divide opinion or come across as opportunistic.

      A name change would also help – UKIP sounds too much like a short term, single issue protest party to be taken seriously.

      It could all change if credible politicians that have come to realise that maintaining the status quo isn’t working get involved . John Redwood perhaps ?

  47. Atlas
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately for the Conservative Party it is rapidly gaining a “let them eat cake” image. So if Labour and the Lib-Dems have their problems, they are not quite so toxic as the Tories. As for UKIP – well they have not stormed the Winter Palace Gates by any stretch of the imagination. So we seem to have a 1930s malaise with many parties; a malaise where political drift ended up in disaster.

    John is perfectly correct in pointing out that UKIP will have to do better if it is to stand any chance of serious influence – but the Tories will have to do better as well there (the North of England) to stand any chance of a majority administration.

  48. dog biter
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    UKIP increased their share of the vote in Bradford by 1.31%. An increase of 1.31% on their last general election turnout would cause a major headache for the Tories at the next election wouldn’t it? We all know UKIP won’t win but, hell, if you feel like I do that you just want to get your revenge on a party you have been a member of for 40 years and which has completely trashed its traditional membership (gay marriage &etc.) , then you know a vote for UKIP is going to get right up Cameron’s nose and, with luck, will keep him and his slimy metropolitans out of office.

  49. Gary
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    ” I do think he was
    right to challenge the
    establishment wish to
    fight wars in the Middle
    East.”

    In these times, this is a brave and principled statement IMO.

    I thank you for that.

    • Andrew Johnson
      Posted March 30, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

      Me too, and I also thank you John for contributing to democracy by providing this blog from your own money, and being willing to put up with the comments and false imputation of motives so many of us crabby, disaffected, angry and frustrated real conservatives come out with . Goodness knows what we do without it and you!

  50. lojolondon
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    (allegation left out re Bradford)
    John, the UKIP is NOT anti-Conservative, they ARE the conservatives.

    The LibDem alliance that is running our country, pro-EU, pro-‘Ealth n Safety, pro-high taxation and social benefits is what we are anti.

    Reply: UKIP is designed to be mainly anti Tory ,as many of its supporters tell us here. Their strategy is to lose the Consevatives the next election to get the Conservatives to change policy.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted March 30, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      John,
      What are we to do to change Conservative policy? Voting for them hasn’t worked! Your leaders have let down those who voted for them, are too arrogant to change and don’t want to anyway. As long as you and your colleagues keep them in office they will keep you in the wilderness.

      • Brian Tomkinson
        Posted March 31, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

        Still awaiting moderation after almost 22 hours! Still, I suppose it is a hard question to answer.

    • dog biter
      Posted March 30, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

      “Their strategy is to lose the Consevatives the next election to get the Conservatives to change policy.”

      Got it in one!

    • AJAX
      Posted March 30, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

      Yr understanding of what UKIP is out of date, it abandoned that strategy 5 years back & is now seeking to destroy the Conservative Party & thereby cause a realignment in England’s politics. If you had heard the way the Tory Party is spoken about internally within UKIP, including by some long-standing former Conservative Party members, you’d understand the hostility they now have to the Conservatives as an organisation.

      They are way past caring about what Tory party policy is 1 way or the other.

    • Bob
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      @JR
      You really ought to stop calling the Tories “Conservative”, they are not conservative. Conservatives did not and would not allow a man to take another man as his bride.

    • lojolondon
      Posted April 1, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      Hi John,

      I am disappointed you left out my comment regarding postal votes in Bradford. Some parties have long depended on and won elections through manipulation of the postal vote, Labour knew it was being manipulated and set an end date for postal votes, the Tories were going to close this loophole, and it is a big mistake that they have not.

      I am sure you will be able to look into the situation, but I believe that :
      – Turnout in Bradford was low, around 30%
      – Respect party took around 75% of the 9,000 postal votes cast

      Is this true, are my facts correct?

      Reply: No, your facts are not correct. Turnout was higher than you say, and Mr Galloway won a high proportion of the total vote.

  51. Mike Stallard
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    I think this is one of the most important threads which you have started for ages. And I am a regular and very supportive follower of this truly excellent blog, as you know.

    I do hope that, having read through and moderated carefully all the unpleasant remarks, you will concur that the general consensus is that there are several very disaffected Conservatives out here who feel very let down by those in the front seats.

    Reply: I have never doubted that!

    • rose
      Posted March 30, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      And that there are others who are very worried at the way the Watson-inspired spin against the Govenment is having its effect. Anyway, he was so busy successfully turning Conservatives against their own front bench, that he neglected to get the Socialists of Bradford to vote for his man.

    • Anthony Harrison
      Posted March 30, 2012 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

      Re your closing sentence, congratulations on a truly massive understatement!

  52. Iain Gill
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    abolish all political parties, only allow independants to stand, randomly force people to stand like being selected for jury service…

  53. Posted March 30, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    We need more independents, and more independently-minded MPs like Messrs Redwood, Rees-Mogg, Leigh, Cash and Frank Field. We also need more issue-driven by-elections like David Davis’.

  54. Martyn
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    George Galloway’s victory, Pasty-gate, Ministerially- inspired fuel frenzy, talk of changing husband and wife into ‘partner 1′ and ‘partner 2′, increased taxation burden, raising social handouts by 5% and for workers and pensioners far less than that. The past 2 years are littered with broken promises, sound-bite leadership which fails to impress, a Prime Minister who clearly thinks that shouting as loudly as he can in Parliamentary debates is a statesmanlike way of behaving, the list of disenchanting behaviour and performance is terribly depressing.

    Is the government quite mad? Have they any idea just how much discontent they are stirring up in those with a conservative outlook on life, often those who like me are inclined to being both big and little C by nature? As a voter, what can I do? Waste my vote on UKIP or some other fringe party, not vote or maybe just grin and bear it and hope that enough true Conservative MP such as yourself gather together to knock some common-sense into government.

  55. Adam5x5
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    Having read the comments to now, you seem to understandably get more exasperated John.

    Given the turnout (from the BBC website) was 50% and was in the Bradford area (my hometown area) it is fairly safe to assume that Galloway mobilised the asian community while the rest stayed home. After all, a fair chunk of that area is asian and Galloway appeals to the muslim vote by constantly banging on about supporting Palestine against Israel.

    Personally, I can’t stand the man – but if the people in Bradford West who can be bothered to vote want him as their representative then they are welcome to him.
    (personal allegations about Galloway removed-ed)
    Regarding UKIP, Mr Redwood, at the risk of irritating you further – it is not UKIP who are the problem in undermining the Conservative vote. It is the party leadership who are constantly kowtowing to the Lib Dems and insisting on introducing gay marriage and pasty tax instead of concentrating on conservative policies like sorting out the deficit and cutting the state down to size.

    I agree, the eurosceptics need to unite and fight. I do not agree that we all need to be in the same political party to do this. Nor do I believe that the Eurosceptics joining the Conservative party and pressuring the leadership are going to do it – Cameron has repeatedly shown that he doesn’t give a rat’s jacksy about the party (splitting the chairmanship in two, trying to bully the 1922 committee, three line whip on a non-binding referendum).

    You say the UKIP ball does not get into the Westminster net, the greens didn’t for a long time but now have had a major influence on policy for years – even before they managed to con people into believing AGW and giving them a seat…

    I don’t pretend to have a magic solution to solve the problems – but getting shot of Cameron and Osbourne and putting yourself and Dan Hannan (among others) in the cabinet would be a good start.
    Maybe we should prevent people becoming politicians unless they’ve worked in private ndustry for 10 years to get an appreciation of what the world of work is like outside the public sector.

    Reply: The strong presence of Eurosceptics in the Conservative Parliamentary party got the veto on the budget treaty and is now pressing for powers back.

  56. Backwoodsman
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    Everyone seems to be getting extremely excited about a relatively common event.Large swings in by-elections, with low turnouts and and large protest votes are a common enough phenomenon…think back to Crewe and Nantwich and the apparent rejection of class politics and the redemption of ‘toffs’ for example.Nor are oddball results unheard of.Mile End returned a Communist,the bourgeoisie did not fall.Some southern English seat returned a supporter of the Tichborne Claimant,it did not do him a whit of good.The closest analogy to this result is probably the Irish Nationalist hold on the Scotland Road division of Liverpool.That an Islam-sympathising candidate can pull off a result like this,in a seat with a very large Muslim community,and a highly alienated native-born population,as well as a very flawed system of postal voting,is hardly surprising and will be difficult to replicate even in Bradford,and certainly elsewhere.
    What worries me a great deal more is to read one of the standard bearers of the the Rightwing of Toryism,a man of admitted integrity and intellect,congratulating this vulgar,unpleasant and utterly disloyal man,a sycophant to dictators and enemies of Britain,as if he was some sort leftwing Enoch Powell.
    I can see why you might oppose the war in Iraq,although I think you gravely underestimate the strategic imperatives that drove it,in a way that is rather surprisingfor a resolutely non-populist politician.What I cannot understand is why you would link that to Galloway and his stand ,which was focussed on toadying to Saddam,and parlaying that into a Muslim support base,he is still expanding ,and utilising to undermine British cohesion at home and reputation abroad.

    Reply: I made clear I do not support much of what Mr Galloway believes, and certainly disagree profoundly with his stance towards some dictators. It would, I thought, be churlish to deny his achievement in winning so much of the popular vote and important that members of established parties consider why their parties failed.

  57. Anthony Harrison
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, you seem beset by more than the usual number of UKIP supporters, and I’m afraid I am yet another. But it is exasperating for those of us who admire your trenchant analyses of our dire economic situation, and of the baleful effect of the EU, to listen to your continuing criticism of UKIP. Surely you recognise the frustration of those such as myself, who voted for Tory candidates over decades but became utterly disillusioned with Tory impotence in the face of just about everything, as we observe the continuing feebleness of your Party?
    You write, “Eurosceptics need to unite and fight. I am fed up with being criticised by UKIP supporters for trying to sort the problem out, and am entitled to point out that their way of doing it has hindered rather than helped so far. We need more strong Eurosceptics in the Conservative party, as numbers and voices count…” No-one criticises you for your consistent stand against the EU and economic profligacy: we criticise you for failing to recognise that many of us have listened to claims of inherent Tory “Euroscepticism” for decades and just don’t believe it! You are one of a few Tory MPs with the right mindset. Most of your colleagues are hopeless sycophants and placemen. UKIP increased its vote in real terms at Bradford West, with a turnout substantially reduced from that in the General Election. The Tories’ votes diminished… In a constituency such as that, no-one expected UKIP to pull a giant rabbit out of a hat. Look, for many of us, UKIP now represents the only politically honest alternative! In your heart of hearts you cannot claim that your Party is going to transform itself into a White Knight in the forseeable future, to rescue the economy and pull us out of the EU’s deathly embrace. Do not insult us by suggesting that we should return to prop up a moribund Party led by people who are at best equivocal about the EU.

  58. Fernando
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    I think it would be too easy for Labour to see this as the ‘moslem’ vote defecting to Galloway. After all, their candidate was a moslem of Pakistani origin.

    I liken it to the Romsey by-election under William Hague where we lost a safe seat to the Libdems. Labour are in danger of suffering the same problems as we had after 1997: ie they can’t even rely on their former strongholds. This has already happened in Scotland. The inner cities could be next.

    The Tory vote fell dramatically but this is not unusual when the voters see a chance of defeating the incumbent party and rally behind the main opponent, even if they disagree with his policies.
    The two main parties are distrusted and disliked, something compounded by the expenses scandals and the revelations of how they cosied up to the Murdoch press. If they weren’t in the coalition this is the sort of seat where I can imagine a libdem break-through.

  59. David Langley
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    I deeply regret that my Conservative MP is happy with the status quo of our government amongst other things our economic future being subject to unelected EU project leadership and our relationship with the EU. Having spent time studying and having read “The Great Deception” and various papers such as “Terms of Endearment” by Dr Lee Rotherham I am convinced that we must leave the EU project now.
    What I would like to know John is what your Tory Eurosceptic plans are? What plans have you to convince your cohorts to turn on your Tory leaders and convince them. Indeed what tactics have you to recruit and lead MPs like mine into becoming true National representatives not just some “Super” local councillor? It seems that your sensible and reasoned approach is not having effect, quickly enough to satisfy the electorate. In the long run we are all dead, and in the short run we are all poorer for the inaction. Maybe thats why UKIP strikes a chord with the voters, listening to the UKIP Leadership I feel empowered and energised by hope that we can get out of the stifling grasp of the corrupt and venal EU project. Regarding the rest of their policies I see no practical problem with a technocratic government recruited by a core leadership that knows where they are going.

  60. Bazman
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Maybe they are fed up with the Tory party becoming an elite cult for the rich and their followers and Labour constantly supporting this idea by refusing to confront the Tories on this ideology? As labour is supported by union donations maybe they should speak up for the working person a bit more. The working people are reaping the benefits of thinking they are middle class and have made it because they own a Mondeo and have bought their own council house. Single mother extolling the virtues of the Tory party. I ask you? Many are seeing where their loyalty to big business and their political supporters are getting them.
    Low wages or no job and sky high prices whilst being told they are feckless and lazy for taking from the state by a rich minority and their apologists who live from the fat of the land. Who see hardship as only three holidays a year. A BMW as a cheap runabout and telling the poor a pet is a luxury. Ram it. The electorate have voted with their feet. What do the fantasists have to say. No doubt this was the fault of the BBC or a tin foil shortage caused by the BBC.

  61. Boudicca
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Ah, but while Lib Lab and CON votes fell dramatically, UKIP’s rose by 1.31%. Disappointing, obviously, but we were never going to do really well in Bradford.

  62. backofanenvelope
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    It is often said, Mr Redwood, that you are a Vulcan. If you are, then you are different indeed from the bulk of our politicians. They are from the Planet Zog. It is well known that Zoggians have no common sense.

  63. Mark
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    A year ago in Barnsley Central, UKIP did seem to have the beginnings of some momentum, attracting about 12% of the vote from across a broad spectrum according to polling data. It’s plain that was not replicated in any way in Bradford West, where mid term protest votes alone could be expected to have swelled the UKIP score by much more.

    However, congratulating Galloway (is a bad idea-ed). His public support for totalitarian dictators of some very unpleasant regimes is surely unwelcome. His ability to organise the votes of a narrowly defined section of the constituency without even the local Labour party apparently being aware of it until the postal votes were counted must rank alongside the organisation of last August’s riots as a demonstration of the power of modern communication techniques. There is much more to be concerned about arising from this result.

    Reply: I made it clear I do not agree with a lot of his views, and certainly dislike his support for dictators. I do not think he organised a narrow section of his voters, nor did he rely on postal votes. He was elected by a big majority of all voters, including many who cast their ballot in the polling station for the man they wanted having made up their own minds. He drew support from all wards and all sections of the community. The Conservative vote as well as the Labour and Lib dem votes fell sharply. As a democrat I respect the choices of the electorate, even when I disagree profoundly with their choice.

    • Mark
      Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      While it will take a pollster of Heineken skills to reach the parts that others don’t reach in order to give a full understanding of what happened, I can commend David Herdson’s analysis (aided by another local, but Labour politician) as a starting point:

      http://www7.politicalbetting.com/index.php/archives/2012/04/01/david-herdson-on-how-the-bradford-spring-happened/

      Comments on that article also highlight some other important factors, such as changes in the religious/ethnic backgrounds of the candidates chosen by the parties. There is not much of a convincing analysis by anyone as to why Galloway might attract a significant vote outside the Muslim community: there were plenty of other candidates for protest voters to choose – including UKIP, Green and OMRLP. The previous Conservative candidate was a Muslim, so it is likely that Galloway secured some of those who had voted for him because their votes were not deeply based on party allegiance.

      Comparing voter turnout with Barnsley, it is clear that there was a significant “get out the vote” success for Galloway. I can recall one of the “open primary” caucuses to select a Tory candidate for the general election having been hijacked by a similar effort.

      The problem is that when so many politicians turn off their voters, democracy can be hijacked by a minority of the electorate – albeit they are a plurality of the votes cast. That is not democracy. It is not just a phenomenon for Bradford – you can see the same thing in Scotland, for example.

  64. The PrangWizard
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    When will the investigation into this absurd vote begin? Does anyone really believe that it was honest truthful and fair? Galloway appealed to the anti-war sentiment of course. (makes a series of allegations about the vote without proof-ed)

    Reply: Just because you do not like the result does not mean the election was badly conducted. I have often had to live with election results I do not like, but I do not turn round and claim the people concerned were made to vote the way they did, or to argue that the ballot was rigged. None of us can be sure what influence, phrase, thought or relative persuaded someone to vote as they did. What matters is that all who were registered to vote and wanted to do so, voted in a secret ballot. We must accept that their cross on the ballot paper in that secret ballot represents their wishes, for whatever reason or motive they came to that view.

  65. Backwoodsman
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    I am curious to know why my posting of 30th March is still under moderation.A not dissimilar posting by Mark 0n 1 April is apparently in a different category.Perhaps you could clarify the ground rules,so that this difficulty is avoided in future.It is the second time this has happened to me here…on the first occasion the posting was entirely anodyne to the best of my recollection.
    On the main topic: this by-election does show the dangerous level of disaffection from the three main parties.In that sense they should be taking serious note.Galloway and Respect thoughcan be dismissed as just another (word left out-ed) protest group,unless and until they show an ability to to repeat this performance in other seats with a high Muslim concentration,etc .
    I do not recollect you congratulating Nick Griffin and his supporters as a democratic gesture .Perhaps I missed it.Ditto with Gerry Adams.Griffin at least,while as critical of the Iraq adventure as you and Galloway are,has not been tripping off to Argentina to endorse turning over the Falklands to President Kirchner…as a follow-up act to friendship with Saddam,and stirring up the Kashmir issue.There are, dare one suggest , rare circumstances in which the normal courtesies of the Westminster village are best suspended.There are plenty of precedents for that. This dangerous clown is not just another maverick or quaint eccentric.

    Reply: I have no time for many of Mr Galloway’s views, nor for his cosiness with certain dictators. I do not recall Mr Griffin winning a Westminster by election, and I certainly do not agree with his views.
    I have to delay postings when I am busy if the post is long/contentious/making false allegations or using extreme language.

    • rose
      Posted April 2, 2012 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      “I have to delay postings when I am busy if the post is long/contentious/making false allegations or using extreme language”

      This is an ever increasing burden for you, but many of us appreciate it more than we can say. This blog has the highest standards of courtesy and good taste of any I know. We learn more from each other on the urgent and important questions of the day because you keep it that way.

      It is also a comfort to know that you are conscientiously protecting us from being prosecuted for expressing ourselves sincerely. That too is a taxing responsiblity to have taken on singlehanded.

    • Backwoodsman
      Posted April 3, 2012 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      I did not suggest you agreed with Nick Griffin,except on Iraq,that being reasonably obvious.I dont myself,as it happens.I compared your response to his electoral success with your congratulations to Galloway,and praise of the latter’s consistency etc.As you know Galloway was an advocate of Saddam and the present Syrian regime.Even more to the point ,near the anniversary of the Falklands War, he has been out and about in Argentina praising President Kirchner and advocating handing over the islands and removing their inhabitants.Worse to my mind than anything Griffin has done.
      I am not sure what is contentious or extreme about suggesting that a leading Conservative politician should have avoided even the appearance of pleasure at Galloway’s success.Obviously I am insufficiently sensitive,to post here though,and will refrain.I suspect for all your intellect and moral courage you have a good deal yet to learn about the current mood of the British people,especially in the North,if you think my postings false,extreme and etc.
      I still wish you well, as I always have,and hope you have a part to play in extricating Britain from the present morass.I shall watch with interest.

  66. Steven Whitfield
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    John, I don’t agree that calling UKIP an ‘anti Tory’ party can be justified although I understand your resentment. UKIP challenged your seat at the election – yet despite this you won demonstrating the strength of your position . Only weak Mp’s should be wary of challenges – you have nothing to fear in Wokingham from UKIP.

    Your voters vote for the man John Redwood. They largely do not vote anymore for the now unconservative party or the clique of Eton boys that has taken it over .

    So why not join UKIP, as a high profile and popular politician and take your electorate with you ?. Many of the conflicts between your own and your party’s position would be resolved much more satisfactorily under this arrangement.

    It’s not surprising that UKIP does so badly when both sides of the political spectrum seem to be against them.

    Reply: As I held these views long before UKIP was thought up I am waiting for them to join me.

    • Steven Whitfield
      Posted April 3, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

      I should add that I do think UKIP were wrong to target John’s Wokingham seat. They shot themselves in the foot.

      However Conservative Mp that consistently demonstrate they are ‘wobbly’ on matters European and put party and career, before national interests, should rightly be targeted by UKIP.

      Would the loss of this type of so called ‘Conservative’ Mp’, be really such a loss to the Eurosceptic cause ?.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood has been the Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987. First attending Kent College, Canterbury, he graduated from Magdalen College, and has a DPhil from All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.
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