Labour currently run Bradford City Council as a minority administration. Last year a third of seats were up for election and they made five gains. This year another third are up for election.Gaining overall control in Bradford should be among Labour's most modest objectives. They have 44 councillors out of a total of 90. The Conservatives have 28.
But the victory of Respect's George Galloway in the Bradford West byelection puts this in doubt. The Party are contesting a dozen wards. Most are safe Labour wards although one is Conservative held and a couple are held by the Lib Dems. Socialist Worker reports that some of the Respect candidates are former labour Party members.
Labour gains from the Conservatives and Lib Dems might offset by losses to Respect.
Some might welcome this difficulty for the Labour Party. I do not. Respect are a divisive and extremist party offering an equivalent brand of poison to the BNP. They are not democrats but are out to destroy our way of life.
Conservative councillors are putting forward some strong positive messages about their approach – including proposing to save £438,000 currently spent employing 15 union officials at Council Taxpayers expense.
But what is needed is for the mainstream parties to ensure that the people of Bradford are aware of the true nature of the Respect Party – an unpleasant alliance of Communists and Islamic fundamentalists. Faced with that sort of threat negative campaigning is a duty. Nick Cohen offers plenty of material.