Sean Dolat, a Labour party activist who campaigned for the party’s candidate in the Bradford West by-election, has an interesting take on George Galloway’s victory– including this:
Could Labour have held it? Probably, though there were a few problems, primarily that our literature was solely focused on the Tories and national issues, and not on Galloway and local issues, which was key. Galloway picked on local issues like ‘The hole in ground’ which was meant to be a Westfield in the city centre, our Odeon building which is in ruins and Bradford’s 30 year plus industrial decline. All 3 of which weren’t Labours fault, the first being the Tory-Liberal coalition on the council, the Odeon being private, and the industrial decline happened in the 1980s under Thatcher. Though these 3 things were on all the Respect literature, yet we produced no counter leaflets what so ever! And I heard on polling night that our HQ received a paper on everything bad Galloway has got himself into if we wished to use it, from supporting the Iranian and Syrian leadership, to his second home in the Algarve, to his poor attendance in parliament, everything! Though none was used! It was especially annoying when I heard lots of people telling me about what they read on the Galloway flyers and how great he is without knowing all the crap he’s got up to. Such was the scale that even I was being informed of some other negative Galloway facts after 10pm on Thursday in the Hotel that even I didn’t know, so if I as an activist didn’t have all the information at hand how can we expect the electorate to make a fully informed judgement on him. Well they didn’t!
So they had “opposition research” on Galloway but didn’t use it? Why the hell not?
(Hat tip: Rowenna Davis in The New Statesman)