George Galloway has been and remains one of the most important anti-imperialist and socialist political figures in the west, and by far the most important anti-imperialist political figure in England.
His election victory last night in Bradford West (Manningham) is impressive as it has broken the Labour hold in that area, and has done so by attaining 10,000 more votes than the Labour candidate. Beating Labour in such an area is no easy task as Galloway found out when he tried to beat Labour in East London a few years ago, and is indicative of the alienation from Labour that many mostly working class Muslims feel in the area.
It must be kept in mind that Bradford is a divided city, divided especially between working class Muslim and working class white. The reasons for this division are complex and multifaceted, and both communities need to take responsibility for these divisions, but growing unemployment, bad housing and generally left in the dump by all status quo political parties are main factors which fuel these divisions compounded with non-stop racist propaganda from the media and politicians.
Galloway is well aware of of these issues, and one cannot blame him and his team for reaching out to the more anti-imperialist section of the community - mostly Pakistani Kashiri Muslims - in his campaign. Nevertheless, one hopes that Galloway can build some bridges between the communities his progressive platform of opposing the cuts agenda of the government.
This election win is significant for England due to the general right-wing trajectory of politics, and Galloway's victory is the first concrete political sign of a possible shift to the left, this is of course on the assumption that things will continue to shift in this direction, which is not a sure bet.
There is very little to nothing in the general political atmosphere in England that shows that things will shift to the left, and the media, state and government are doing everything possible to ensure this such as keeping an unofficial media ban on the electricians struggle which has won some small victories. The next concrete development that working class and oppressed people need in England is an election victory of Ken Livingstone for the Mayor of London. More on this in an article later today.
In the meantime, congratulations to Galloway and his team in Respect.
Sukant Chandan, Sons of Malcolm