End of the “Bradford spring”

This is a cross-post from Howie’s Corner

When George Galloway took a parliamentary seat in Bradford West by-election back in March 2012 the “indefatigable one” claimed as the BBC reported:

Mr Galloway, who co-founded the anti-war Respect Party after being expelled by Labour because of comments he made as part of his opposition to the Iraq war, said the result represented the “Bradford Spring”

He said the “mammoth vote” represented a “total rejection” of the three major parties in the British political system.

He said Labour “must stop imagining that working people and poor people have no option but to support them if they hate the Tory and Liberal Democrat coalition partners.

On the strength of this Respect went on to win five seats on the local authority in May, but things were not as rosy as they might seem. Back in August they quit the party whip and sat as independents in a row over Galloway’s plan to stand as Mayor of London.

Now they have decided to quit the Respect Party altogether. The Yorkshire Post reports:

The statement said discussions with Respect officials had failed to address their concerns.

“After much deliberation this has left our group no choice but to fully resign from the Respect party with immediate effect and hence forth we will continue to operate as a group of independent councillors for the remainder of our term. This decision has not been made lightly and we are saddened that certain ‘gatekeepers’ involved in Bradford Respect appear to have no interest in transparency, accountability and equity”

The statement added: “Needless to say we will remain committed to the electorate and will continue to advocate for the citizens of Bradford and work hard for the interests of our constituents and we will continue to represent them in Council on the issues that affect them in the district.

Of course the Trotskyist types at Respect’s “Central Office” issued a retaliatory statement:

This is not about principle, or policy, but self-interest and a naked attempt by the five councillors and one ally to control the party in Bradford. They proposed a constitution which would have given them absolute power in the party in the city. It came to a head when they proposed installing their ally in what they considered to be a safe seat at the forthcoming May election. These machinations were rejected by the national party. Since then they have continued to act against Respect.”

“If they had a shred of principle they would now resign their council seats and stand again in their new colours. Or will they instead continue to draw thousands of pounds of public money until they are removed by the voters?

No love lost there then.

Local Labour Party councillor Ralph Berry sums up these developments succinctly:

I think the manner of the whole Respect situation is typical of the conduct of hard left Leninist authoritarian politics where the cult of the Leader rules.

I think the councillors are now doing the right thing. It means the aspirations George claimed to be supporting were cynically used and then dropped.”

Didn’t all this happen in Tower Hamlets? And whatever happened to Salma Yaqoob?

As for George he is busy flogging his wares over at the odious Press TV station, the mouthpiece of the Iranian clerical fascists.