vehicle repair shop owner beats Tories & Labour

  • Post last modified:March 4, 2024
  • Reading time:5 mins read

Vehicle repair shop owner and local independent businessman David Tully got more votes than both the Labour and Conservative candidates in the Rochdale by-election. And he didn’t even come first. Upon the result, Tully said:

To come from nowhere in a few weeks to second in a by-election in my local town, I’m very proud. I’m humbled that people have backed me.

We’ve had a voice tonight, Rochdale. I felt the community I was in wanted a local lad and a voice for them, so I feel I’ve stepped up and we’ve achieved that between us.

Tully ran as a “breath of fresh air” from the establishment. Veteran George Galloway of the Workers Party of Britain came first, on an anti-establishment, anti-genocide ticket with around double the votes of Tully at 12,335 votes.

So the mainstream two parties received a reckoning. It’s no surprise that, in an emergency speech, the prime minister called the Rochdale by-election “beyond alarming”.

“Two cheeks of the same arse”

Galloway told the media after his by-election victory that Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak are:

two cheeks of the same arse… and that arse was spanked, knocked out of the park.

Indeed, Starmer and Sunak agree on the status quo where we have over 170 billionaires in the UK, while at the same time, more than 300,000 homeless people. Neither party has a significant plan for the wider housing or climate crisis.

And besides, Starmer lied about nearly every pledge he made to become Labour leader. If he becomes prime minister, he will not scrap university tuition fees, end the two child benefit cap, or bring essential services back into public hands.

It’s difficult to trust any new promises Starmer makes for the incoming general election. Meanwhile, Sunak of the Tory Party is presiding over a cost of living crisis while doing nothing about the billions in profits huge corporations make out of people’s basic needs. Galloway’s comment makes sense.

Galloway: ‘this by-election victory is for Gaza’

But it’s a key foreign policy issue that has most vividly united the Tory and Labour leadership. Upon winning in the Rochdale by-election, Galloway said:

Keir Starmer, this is for Gaza … You will pay a high price in enabling, encouraging and covering for the catastrophe.

Israel has massacred over 30,000 Palestinians since the latest escalation of violence on 7 October.

It has occupied the Palestinian people since 1948 through ethnic cleansing: displacement and mass murder.

What is now Israel was Palestine. Both Starmer and Sunak support Israel in its colonial endeavour. Starmer even said Israel “has the right” to cut off power and water for Palestinian civilians, a form of collective punishment.

But there are other options.

A vehicle repair shop worker trampled both Conservative and Labour in a by-election. On top of that, Galloway came first, bringing an important critique of UK and US foreign policy back to parliament.

A brilliant result for those sick of the status quo – and potentially a hint at things to come.

Featured image via X- George Lythgoe and Rishi Sunak

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