George Galloway has won a convincing victory in the Bradford West Bye-Election. Last Sunday, Soledad Gallego-Diaz in the influential Spanish daily EL PAIS asked in its Domingo supplement: 'Hay futuro para la socialdemocracia?' ('Is there a future for Social Democracy?'). The writer, Senor Gallego-Diaz wrote: 'The worst crisis of capitalism had resulted in a problem not for the Right, but for the Left.' He continues: 'European Social Democracy has paid for the economic and financial crisis of 2008 much more than the Right-Wing, and the social democrats must now prepare for the next decisive few months.' Consequently, Gallego-Diaz writes: 'European Social Democracy seeks Green Shoots.'
If this is so, last night's victory for George Galloway must be an ill omen for the British Labour Party which had planned a victory celebration that had to be called off at the last minute. This morning David Blunkett put it down to the 'Bradford effect' claiming that Bradford may be a special case, and the Deputy leader of the Labour Party refused to explain this disappointing Northern outcome from her office in London.
Could it have been Galloway's clever networking and manipulation of the Asian Clan system ('Braderies') in Bradford? Some reports suggest that the rank and file Asians ignored the pleas of their tribal elders to vote Labour, and one Bradford lad this morning said: 'With bad education statistics and high unemployment in Bradford; we needed someone who can think outside the box!' Other commentators see wider symptoms at work in British society as witnessed by Scottish National Party's success over the Labour Party north of the border, and the failure of the Tories to gain an overall majority at the last General Election. Others are arguing that people are disillusioned with the main stream parties and are looking for summat different up North.