Coffee House

Can Labour avoid another Bradford West?

2 November 2012

6:14 PM

2 November 2012

6:14 PM

There’s no such thing as a safe seat in a by-election as Bradford West demonstrated. But it would still be a major shock if Labour lost Rotherham, a seat they’ve held since 1933.

But the three by-elections coming up after Corby—Middlesborough, Croydon North and, now, Rotherham—will test how much Labour has learnt from the Bradford West experience. In all three seats, Labour has a large majority and no obvious challenger.


Respect are already trying to repeat their by-election success, selecting Lee Jasper—the former Ken Livingstone adviser and chair of the London Race and Criminal Justice Consortium—in Croydon North. Respect have already declared that he’ll be ‘targeting‘ black voters.

In Middlesborough, the independent wild card is Ray Mallon—the former police chief turned three-term mayor. If he decided to run, he would be a formidable candidate.

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Show comments
  • Irish Spring 2013

    Its the end of Labour, next!

  • David Lindsay

    MacShane did valuable work against prostitution and against indecency in the media.

    And he had, at least, the virtue of being honestly in favour of all of the assaults on British sovereignty, inseparable as they are among themselves: the EU, American hegemony, Israeli interference (time to revisit those Israeli Embassy press releases which he used to pretend were parliamentary reports), and so on. Including their imposition on the world by force of arms.

    His fake think tank is the neocon norm. Liam Fox had his Atlantic Bridge. Policy Exchange, long ago exposed as a forgers’ den, is really just a trading name of Michael Gove’s office. And apart from pay its staff such as one of The Spectator’s bloggers, what, exactly, does the Henry Jackson Society, a registered charity, do?

  • Irish spring 2013

    Labour represent no one.

  • David Lindsay

    It is at least as big a question, albeit not at Rotherham, whether the Conservatives can avoid another Bradford West. It had been one of their target seats in 2010. Two years later, Galloway topped the poll in every ward, including the very richest and the very whitest.

  • Douglas Carter

    More to the point James, can Labour avoid another Denis MacShane?

  • Boudicca_Icenii

    In 2010, the Labour Voting Tribe turned out to vote for hundreds of Labour MPs who had been ‘milking’ the expenses system for all it was worth – in a way that would have been considered fraud in any other walk of life.
    There’s no reason to believe they will do any different in Rotherham just because MacShane was stealing from them.

  • Gerry Dorrian

    George Galloway won Bradford West by appealing to hardline Muslims. Not sure they’ll find the same constituency in Corby…

    • David Lindsay

      He won every ward, including the entirely white ones.

  • Mirtha Tidville

    Dont worry if you put up a donkey, or labrador, with a red rosette on it, they would vote for it in Rotherham..How many times did Mc Shameless get voted in??

  • Daniel Maris

    It underlines once again that there should just be a simple formula for MPs.

    Miles from the centre (sliding scale) for travel, and a regional weighting for living expenses (London being the most expensive). The basic salary should be relatively generous – say, £80,000. No other expenses.

    • Telemachus the Teletubby

      No, it underlines the fact that politicians should be trustworthy and not steal from the public purse. It doesn’t matter what rules or formulae there are, they will always find ways to get round them.

    • HooksLaw

      This was not some mistake over confusion of rules, it was deliberate fraud. The motives are irrelevant, he did not have the right or responsibility to decide where and how much public money should be spent.

      Arguably there should be a set fund of money for ‘extra assistance’ and then if wrongly allocated MPs would be cheating themselves.

  • Coffeehousewall

    How many non-British citizens will be voting in each of these constituencies. It would be a journalistic project to go and find out. I know that in Greenwich it was found that 25% of the electoral roll were non-British citizens (that is NOT citizens of Britain). While of course many more will be inmigrants who have been recently given citizenship. How many in each of these bye-election constituencies?

    • Seepage

      Commonwealth citizens, including students, have the right to register and vote in Westminster elections. Get over it.

    • HooksLaw

      Properly registered commonwealth citizens can vote, but the electoral reform society says
      ‘the following cannot vote in a UK general election:
      EU citizens resident in the UK (although they can vote at elections to local authorities, devolved legislatures and the European Parliament)’

      I would have thought that the number of people who are not citizens of Britain who can vote would be quite low.

      As for Greenwich… the 2001 census gave the ethnic proportion of Royal Greenwich as 20.6%. Many if not virtually all of these would be UK citizens, but even if not (and bearing in mind EU citizens cannot vote), the notion that 25% of the registered voters are not UK citizens seems fanciful.

  • eeore

    Margaret Sanger must be very pleased with the way Respect are promoting her work.

  • PeterfromMaidstone

    Why has the Spectator gone silent on Benghazi? Who has told you to leave it alone? Are you journalists with principles or hacks paid by the word. Tell the truth and keep telling it or you are facilitating a lie.

  • Span Ows

    “Can Labour avoid another Bradford West?”

    My God, you mean there’s more than one of them? Anyway, no slimy defender of the indefensible has mentioned duck houses yet so all is well.

  • David Ossitt

    This is disgraceful the Spectator has stopped all comment on the excellent piece by Isabel Hardman at 12:31 and now are refusing any comment on her follow up on the same theme at 17:17.

    The subject of her two pieces the now ex-member of parliament for the Socialist Republic of Rotherham Denis MacShane.

    Come on Spectator this is just not good enough.

    I note that there are now calls for the police to re-open the case that they closed, after stating some weasel words about not enough evidence to bring charges.

    If there is any justice he will do time at her Majesties pleasure.

    • telemachus

      Of course your leader, the vicar would not dream of censorship

      • PeterfromMaidstone

        There is no censorship at all on the Coffee House Wall at www coffeehousewall co uk. But certainly you are not allowed to post. You are a troll. Your opinions are of no value at all.

        • Salisbury

          There is no censorship at all on the Coffee House Wall….But certainly you are not allowed to post.

          When do they hook you up to irony down in Maidstone?

          • PeterfromMaidstone

            Idiot. Opposing trolls is not censorship. Trolls have no ideas and are not interested in ideas. They exist to shut down discussion.

            Are you a troll?

        • Fergus Pickering

          ” There is no censorship on the Coffee House Wall but certainly you are not allowed to post.” What a hypocrite you are Vicar.

      • telekuka

        the first sane thing you have said

    • Russell

      Isabel does not want any nasty comments about MP’s of her party. The blatant support she shows for labour are deserving of life membership of the Guardian and LabourList.

    • Ken Holway

      not heard of sub judice and defamation then?

      • David Ossitt


        1. A false accusation of an offence or a malicious
        misrepresentation of someone’s words or actions.

        2. An abusive attack on a person’s character or good name.

        What false accusation is being made? Where is the malice or misrepresentation?

        What abuse have I written?

        Are you Denis MacShane?

  • Andy

    And when is the thief due in Court ?

    • an ex-tory voter

      Seems grossly unfair to prosecute him alone for the theft. What was it, £12kish over 5 years, I am not sure and can’t be bothered to check. Whatever, it is a paltry sum when compared to tens of thousands gained from “flipping” and “property development” via the public purse.
      Let’s see the rest of them hauled up and charged, regardless of stripe.

      • telemachus

        The world is full of sanctimonious prats

        • EndOfTrolls

          You would know.

        • telekuka

          and you are the biggest

        • Fergus Pickering

          You mean like the Vicar ?

      • Russell

        I think £125,000 for an old broken down garage as an office raises the stakes a bit.

      • Andy

        And creating ‘invoices’ for the sole purpose of fraud makes him a liar and a thief. There should be no question whatsoever to his not being prosecuted to the full extent of the law and if found guilty receiving a custodial sentence.

        • HooksLaw

          He created his own invoices based on a fictitious body. It seems very close to fraud to me. Interesting the priorities the police seem to have.

          • Andy

            Guido Fawkes has already written to the Police, so they now have to investigate. Prior some of the information was protected by Parliamentary Privilege, but those papers are now available to the Police.

            • HooksLaw

              The police go ape over an irascible outburst from Mitchell, and operate in cahoots with the labour party but ignore a clear case of fraud.
              The police sadly are politically motivated.

          • TomTom

            It is probably something policemen are accustomed to do themselves. Take a look at how many Chief Constables and Deputies have been suspended or “retired” for Fraud nationally – try Cleveland, Leicestershire, and recall North Yorkshire under Della Canning……or look at West Yorkshire Police Economic Crimes Unit where the Head was demoted for letting a heroin addict have sex with a policewoman to get him to grass up another criminal. Or go read on West Yorkshire Police dirty tricks unit or how Police Commissioner candidate Burns-Williamson turned a blind eye to corruption in the West Yorkshire Police – a wholly useless institution featherbeed at taxpayer expense

  • EJ

    If Respect win again it will clearly demonstrate that ethnic “minorities” now have the numbers to vote into power their own ethnic champions.

    • telemachus

      After Galloway’s ridiculous comments on rape Respect have as much chance of winning as the revanchist tories

    • telemachus

      PS since we cannot comment on the threads of the man who made all this possible, in defence of free speech

      Truncated by Monitor

      • EndOfTrolls

        What would you and your kind know about free speech? Lies and spin is labour’s poisoned legacy comrade.

        • Dicky14

          MacShane made it possible by defending free speech? I think we’re being had – he’s taking the mickey.

        • telemachus

          O ye of little faith

          The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way and make straight in the desert a highway

          There is one who comes, one who abides, one who backs his leader at PMQ’s with charismatic digitation and ventriloque.

          One who for years to come we will emulate and quote.

          As Disraeli

          “I am a Conservative to preserve all that is good in our constitution, a Radical to remove all that is bad. I seek to preserve property and to respect order, and I equally decry the appeal to the passions of the many or the prejudices of the few”
          This man is a conservative radical and will save the nation

          • telekuka


          • Colonel Mustard

            Looks like someone here finally has the measure of you, troll.

      • telekuka

        noisy raspberry!

      • killed by Cassiphone

        It is probably to do with his legal rights prior to him ending up in court, to face justice from us little serfs. The guy is innocent until proven guilty, however, since you are a lying little twit and defending him, I guess he’s as guilty as hell.

  • @PhilKean1

    It would be a major shock if Labour lost Rotherham

    But I am guessing that Brussels will be equally concerned about the loss of an MP who fought so hard to advance the Federal EU cause.

    This time, hopefully, Rotherham will elect an MP who fights as hard for Britain’s national interest.

    • telemachus

      Worry not everyone
      Rotherham I am pleased to report is in the Socialist Republic of South Yorkshire
      My Ladrador who wears a red rosette would emulate the 2010 ten thousand majority

      • EndOfTrolls

        Did your Ladrador go to New College Oxford also? Or did you make it up as well?

        • telemachus

          Why New?
          It is a hole

          • EndOfTrolls

            Why New? Well you said you were off to the Gaudy, but then again, you were making it up anyway weren’t you fantasist?

            • telemachus

              Not this weekend clever dick

              • EndOfTrolls

                Clever dick? Moi? But I didn’t get a first from Oxford like you milord. What was it in again? Onanism?

              • telekuka


          • telekuka

            you are a hole, an ass hole

          • tellemachus

            I am then hole -m an asshole

      • telekuka

        Did your dog give you rabies, or more likely, did you infect the poor creature?

      • Fergus Pickering

        Why does the Vicar pious Peter post under multiple identities ? PeterfromMaidstone and CoffeeHousewall. It’s Christians like him that give Christianity a bad name, what with his BNP/racist fan site.

    • telemachus

      Rotheram of course is the town where five men were jailed in 2010 for a total of 32 and half years in one case of sexual abuse and grooming in this Yorkshire Paradise.

      There were claims that the crimes were a “cultural” problem caused by the Asian
      community—and that they were ignored because of “politically correct” concerns
      over racism.

      However social workers in Rotherham give a very different account of why the authorities failed to stop the abuse
      There’s a huge shortage of staff—and particularly of qualified staff andt he way the service is run is all about ‘cost management’ rather than getting out there and helping people.

      It sexist attitudes towards the victims, rather than imagined “sensitivities”
      about race, that hold back investigations.

      Grooming is a complex experience for its victims. Many live in poverty and have been in care with few opportunities and low expectations. They are encouraged to feel so worthless that when someone offers drugs, drink and attention it can be perceived as love.

      Investigating and helping victims of grooming can take years. This needs resources. Yet the government and councils continue to make drastic cuts.

      In the wake of the “Baby P” case, management set the priority on babies and very young children. Services for teenagers are neglected

      Further the moral panic about “Asian grooming” is whipping up racism.

      The English Defence League is threatening harmony in Rotherham
      Suggest all right minded folk get up to Rotherham and stand in solidarity with the party’s successor.
      And then when elected with a 15000 majority force central government to fund proper social services in Rotherham

      • Border Boy

        So what is a right minded person? Somebody who agrees with you?

        • telemachus

          Not exactly
          A right minded man is one of compassion who believes in equality.
          In short the kind of person to be elected in Rotherham

          • EndOfTrolls

            You mean someone like MacShane then? That paragon of virtue who is the yardstick by whom we measure all in the labour party? Know what a petard is toff?

            • telemachus

              In the grand scheme of things
              Just what was so very wrong?
              He repaid all £12900 monies claimed when only £7500 was in dispute
              We should perhaps thank him for the £5400
              Bankers do more on a daily basis and screw our finances to boot
              Just when are we to get back the billions fromRBS and Lloyds?

              • Guest

                “Just what was so very wrong?”

                How about, “He’s a fcuking crook”?

              • HooksLaw

                In the grand scheme of your things the only thing he did wrong was get caught.
                If only we, in our mundane life, could send invoices to ourselves and write our own cheque.

              • telekuka

                you horrible little marxist

              • Telemachus the Teletubby

                So what is wrong? No wonder this country is screwed with an attitude like that. He is a crook, no less, and deserves to go to prison. You silly little man.

          • telekuka

            who are you kidding?

      • HooksLaw

        Social workers make a huge mistake and invent reason for their failure. But then we always knew ‘gullible’ was your middle name.
        At least Balls did not sack them illegally and cost the state a fortune.

      • telekuka

        have a lot of experience, dearie?

      • TomTom

        Blackmail….give us more money or we’ll turn a blind eye to crime ! Sounds like the BBC asking for a higher LIcence Fee. Also a form of Vicarious Prostitution – Public Sector Workers Say “GIve Us More Money” or we’ll let your daughters be raped.

      • Boudicca_Icenii

        If the groups of Asian paedophiles didn’t carry out their activities, they’d be no need to increase the numbers of social workers to combat them – would there! And the EDL would have less justification for its activities and ‘message.’

    • Dimoto

      I fully expect the ex-Labour creature to turn up in the Respect party pretty soon, or maybe the LibDems (snuck in as an MEP after a suitable interval).