Tuesday 25 June 2024

The Pakistani Parties May Surprise Britain Next Week





The election campaign goes on, with the bulk of the population oblivious to it. Speaking to friends across Britain and none of them have been canvassed directly by a party activist who has knocked on their door. Some have received party leaflets, but most have arrived in a bundle with rival parties' material and and adverts for kebab houses and curry shops. It looks to me as if the parties are hiring the small companies who deliver advertising leaflets and getting their messages out that way. The problem is that most such additions to the letterbox clutter are thrown directly into the bin unread. People want to be spoken to directly, and that is no longer happening.

Thus, my window poster is still the only one around in my area, but at least it gives me a chance to repost the photo of my front garden and boast about my potato plants which are really coming on a treat. Eighteen plants should give me enough spuds to keep my belly full until the next harvest arrives in 2025. To be honest, I am more interested in how many pounds of potatoes I get from each plant that in who wins the election in my constituency.

However, if you go into Northern England, to those mill towns that have had their culture thoroughly enriched by people from Pakistan, then you will see election campaigns in full swing. Labour and the Lib-Dems are basically Pakistani factions that take elections very, very seriously. They know that politics is about how resources are allocated, so if your machine wins, you can expect goodies from your party and its leadership.

I was amazed when I lived in Nelson, Lancashire, from 2010 to 2013 to see the Pakistani activists being active on election day. Young men talking self-importantly into their mobiles, cars that were festooned with party posters ferrying people to the polls, houses that had Labour or Lib-Dems posters in the windows: this is how elections used to be fought in my day back in the 1980s.

However, in the British parts of Nelson, it was very different. No, posters, no activists getting out the vote, all was quiet. People voted or they didn't, but the parties didn't seem to care one way or the other.

British people seem to have completely disengaged from politics, something that I will write about tomorrow, but for the here and now, with just over a week to go until polling day, it looks to me as if George Galloway and his Workers' Party of Britain along with the plethora of Islamic independents who are standing may very well end up doing better than anyone expects.

They are the only ones who give a shit.

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