Like the rest of you I awoke on Friday morning to discover that the joke candidate – no, not the Monster Raving Loony but the other one – had been elected to the seat of
Islamabad Bradford West.
Yup, Gorgeous George Galloway is back in the house. No, not the Celebrity Big Brother house but the other one – although, come to think of it, I’m not sure there is that much difference between the two.
Whilst his election brings the ratio of lunatic fringe MPs down from 1 in 650 to 1 in 325, one has to wonder if the people of
Islamabad Bradford West will be any better represented by him in Parliament than those of Bethnal Green and Bow, and Glasgow Kelvin were during the last two parliaments…
Jokes aside, is this result a good thing for politics in the UK? In a country with a sizeable degree of voter apathy and one in which it is sometimes difficult to spot any noticeable differences between the policies and representatives of the big two parties and their wannabe challengers, is not the presence of someone who marches to the beat of his own drum (however wacky) a good thing?
Galloway might mean nothing to the Tories and little to the Lib Dems, but for the Labour party he is a nuisance – a big one. It would be interesting to see how they – and Millipede Jr in particular – react if George actually does something other than grandstand for the next 3 years.
No, for the Tories the danger is the familiar one: UKIP. It is a danger which so far hasn’t caused them any significant trouble but sooner or later one suspects that the the 4th largest party (by share of vote in the 2010 election) will gain a foothold in the House of Commons. If they do then it will be interesting to see how the Tories react – especially if they are forced to rely on UKIP votes whilst in government.
Galloway may not be bringing down the system but perhaps he is the stone which starts the avalanche…