Apparently the Respect Party is fielding candidates in every Bradford ward in the coming local elections. I am unsure as to how accurate this is, as I can’t really imagine them getting any traction at all in Ilkley (where their conservatism is so ingrained they still use the party logo selected by Mrs Thatcher) and I am sure there are other areas where they would lose their deposit.
Nonetheless, I should imagine there will be Respect councillors on Friday. In my local area there are lots of posters for Respect around. Apparently the candidate is well spoken and lucid, unfortunately his poster reminds me why I won’t be voting for him: he’s stood next to a photo shopped on George Galloway on it.
It’s an odd piece of image doctoring. George Galloway is either some form of dwarf fresh from filming the Hobbit, or my candidate is a giant, or both. Galloway’s shoulder is at the front, meaning he is at the front of the plane, yet he appears to be a foot shorter. Worse, he looks like an ailing grandfather: “grandad, look towards the camera, I know you have cataracts but turn to the sound of my voice, no grandad, my name isn’t Billy . . .”
I really don’t know how I feel about Respect. I can see them being good councillors, but I think their platform doesn’t really stand up to reality and they have no track record of actually being in power to compare against. I am generally in favour of their aspirations, I think they lack specifics, sometimes I think they are plain wrong but at least the majority of them seem to genuinely believe.
On the other hand, they could give power on Bradford council back to the Liberal/Tory axis. Admittedly, the Liberals aren’t always unprincipled little shits who will sell their souls for a chauffeur (on a local level) and conservatism can lead to very efficient councils, but their previous tenure running Bradford was largely disastrous.
Respect meshes closely with traditional Labour values, so I would see some sort of coalition there as realistic. Of course, it’s all moot if they don’t actually win any seats or Labour manages to pull some off the Liberals (as an aside, I find it fascinating how the Conservative vote appears to be holding steady whereas the Liberal one is dropping off a cliff nationally) and can effectively form a majority. The fact that Respect is even a factor is indicative of how poor a job Miliband is doing and also how disorganised their machine appears to be locally.