Published On: Sun, Mar 8th, 2015 on 1:58 pm

What Bradford politics looks like from an outsider

It’s a loud city. With the elections looming closer, the city of Bradford has become a melting pot of political differences, opinions and controversy.

Bradford Lion Statue

Stock image. Image: The Yorkshire Standard.

Two weeks ago, a candidate for Labour resigned her candidacy due to what she said was family commitments in the matter of 72 hours after being selected.

When she did (and no announcement was made at the time), rumours were flying around that Labour had fears of facing standing Respect party MP for the Bradford West seat. Some time later, a Bradford resident was selected to fight for the seat for Labour.

But then Twitter became a fighting ground. One fake account which was set up in the name of newly-selected candidate sent messages to the Respect MP out of the blue saying she would kick his “a** back to where ever he’s come from” – leading people to believe this was real.

Not long back ago did another Labour candidate shortlisted for the seat, an ex-Lord mayor, become the centre of attention when she claimed an online smear plot tried to make her out as a closet racist.

That said, social media in general has been buzzing with political campaigners arguing over who deserves to win ever since.

And it’s deeply worrying that candidates are being ‘trolled’ online, particularly by what seems like political opposition bent on trying to tarnish their image – if allegations are true.

The ‘biradari’ system, or in other words, clan politics, have also been the centre of attention recently and the BBC also did a report on the Sunday Politics. Political campaigners have made accusations against particular individuals for enforcing the block votes to help ensure a win.

Some people I know personally, have told me they’ll be voting for so-and-so just because they know the candidate in some way or another. But I guess this can happen anywhere.

Now there are accusations that politicians or key individuals are stepping in from outside Bradford and interfering with the politics from within. But it all remains an area of controversy and speculation that shouldn’t be said as truth without evidence.

The claims are still flying around though.

But Bradford right now seems like a dangerous territory when it comes to politics, it’s a loud city. And even though I encourage voting, it wouldn’t be a surprise if people chose not to vote.

By Alyas Haris, Leeds.

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