Bradford West hustings: A review
I had the opportunity to go to the Bradford West hustings yesterday.
It featured George Grant (Conservatives), Celia Hickson (Green Party), Naz Shah (Labour), Alun Griffiths (Liberal Democrats), George Galloway MP (Respect) and Harry Boota (UKIP) on the panel.
It was a very insightful event, and controversial in many parts but host Ratna Lachman from JUST West Yorkshire controlled the situations fairly well.
One half of the audience seemed to be sided with Labour, while another section seemed to side with Respect. The Tories, Greens, Lib Dems too, had their fair share of supporters whilst UKIP didn’t seem to have any.
Throughout, it seemed that three panelists got the most attention. They were Galloway, Naz, and Harry.
People clapped or had something to say when Galloway and Naz clashed, and Harry was laughed at (though he took it extremely well and played along).
But I didn’t care. I was there to see which party can bring about change in Bradford.
Unfortunately, the hustings was over-shadowed by personal clashes, which dragged on and AREN’T going to help Bradford in any way.
Petty arguments over marriage papers aren’t going to help the economy. The only thing it will do is give the city media attention for the wrong reasons (as Grant rightly predicted).
Personal attacks aside, the ones who did seem to stand out when it came to talking about party policies were Celia and Alun. Both also seemed to be very sensible in what they said and to-the-point (for example on the topic of the biradari system).
If voters are more interested in personalities only, then it’s no doubt that it will play a huge part in the elections.
But voters need to look at policies first.
By Mohsin Manzoor, Bradford.