I woke up on Friday morning a very angry and disillusioned man. After retiring to bed Thursday night thinking the Conservatives were about to bag another Labour seat, I rose at 6am to see Kim Leadbeater with a grin like a Cheshire cat all over her face and pontificating about how the politics of division had been defeated. Is she serious?! Honestly?!!

Let’s just rewind to put Batley and Spen into some sort of context over the past few months. The party that when a teacher had to go into hiding because of the antics of a potentially violent mob of theological Neanderthals, spent more time supporting the cavemen than the teacher concerned, has just been re-elected. What does that tell you? If you’re struggling to answer, let me throw in this addition: Labour spent more time during this campaign talking about Palestine than it did about Heckmondwike. Doesn’t this prove, notwithstanding the candidacy of the odious George Galloway, that radical Islam now counts the Spen Valley as another of its notches on the electoral bedpost? That you can harness and weaponise the Islamic vote to get you over the winning line when necessary?

Economically and in terms of social mobility, Batley and Spen is very similar to Hartlepool. So the only thing, when you sit down and consider it carefully, separating the colour of the two winning parties in these respective seats HAS to be both the demographics and the tactics employed to win those demographics over. On Teesside it’s Brexit and the economy; in Batley it’s extremism and anti-Zionism. That’s how far some of our constituencies have fallen thanks to turning a blind eye to the worst manifestations of that religion. How anyone can run the campaign Leadbeater did, to subsequently enunciate the propaganda of overcoming ‘division’, is beyond me.

It’s not just Labour we have to criticise here. The Conservative candidate, Ryan Stephenson, was content (as were most of the others) to play along with the illusion that we live in a healthy democracy while a teacher of good standing was forced into hiding by religious gangsters. There was no resistance from the state and no fear of prosecution or arrest from those entrusted to guard and protect us. This is the omnipresent rule now of both social and political engagement: ‘WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T OFFEND THE MUSLIMS!’ They can turn the streets of the Spen Valley into a shrine to the Gaza Strip, plastering their cars and shops with Palestinian flags. They can also force people into hiding like the IRA did in Northern Ireland did for more than 30 years. But whatever you do, you must not kick back or offend their creed in any way. Because the state and its politicians will crucify you before they’d even lift a finger to oppose them.

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