You may have heard that RESPECT, whose public figurehead is George Galloway MP, has made some major gains in the local elections in Bradford. Five seats were gained on Bradford Council and even the Leader of the Council, Ian Greenwood lost his seat to Respect candidate (and now councillor), Alyas Karmani.
The win is a significant one for the party, which had no seats in Bradford prior to George Galloway winning the by-election and becoming MP for Bradford West. It was done by mobilising the youth and securing their votes by making promises, as all political parties do. However, will all this make any difference whatsoever? Is there any point to this?
In my humble opinion, no.
Respect has no track record of actually achieving any change and change is exactly what RESPECT has promised to the youth of Bradford. What will the new RESPECT councillors in Bradford do when they realise that they can’t actually make real change? The youth may become more disillusioned and this could really backfire on the party. Councils are notorious for being… well… ineffectual – more change is made by people who get off their behinds and go and do something, rather than suited politicians arguing in a meeting behind closed doors, and who only come out to visit you during elections. That may just be a rude awakening for the new councillors, when they get a taste of what council politics is all about.
I really do hope that the opposite is true but at the end of the day, when you take a good look at things, what impact have councillors made? What impact have political parties made? I don’t think people can easily reel off a list of achievements that they are proud that their elected councillors have done for them. The whole electoral system doesn’t work and is all about giving people the illusion that their vote counts and that they are making change by putting their cross on a ballot paper. This system just doesn’t work and RESPECT would do better to move away from wasting time electioneering and move into mobilising people to make real change. If voting was worth anything, the Prophet (pbuh) would have practised it and instructed us to follow suit. But it isn’t worth anything and is another misguidance thrown at people, believers and non-believers. Voting for political change doesn’t work, but Islam does – RESPECT would be best to remember this, especially the Muslim councillors, as they are trying to capitalise on Muslims to vote for their empty promises.
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