Rochdale is a working class town that has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. It was one of the towns where White working class girls were the victims of sexual exploitation by older, mainly Pakistani men. The police, social services, and the local Labour Party were all involved in covering up the abuse so as not to be labelled as ‘racist’.
The media has been falling over itself lately to build up Reform UK as a new right-wing alternative to the tired, soft-left Conservative Party. Reform UK is the latest creation of Nigel Farage and Conservative Party defector, property multi-millionaire Richard Tice. The party is firmly wedded in the civic nationalist camp, in the same way that Farage’s Brexit Party was.
Talk of a meltdown in the Tory vote at the next general election, especially in the so-called ‘red wall’ seats in the north of England, has led to Reform UK being touted as the beneficiary of those thousands of disaffected Tory voters. But in recent elections, both local and national, Reform has failed to live up to the hype and has had a string of dismal results.
The upcoming parliamentary by-election in Rochdale, being held on February 29, can be seen as especially important to Reform UK. Will all the media hype help boost the party, or will it all go up in a puff of smoke? It seems as though the reactionaries in the party have already shot themselves in the foot before a single vote has been cast.
Reform UK have thrown their hat into the ring, but unfortunately their choice of candidate is beyond comprehension. In their wisdom, they have chosen Simon Danczuk, the town’s former Labour MP. In December 2015, he was suspended from the Labour Party after sending sexually explicit messages to a 17-year-old girl. Danczuk apologised for his behaviour, which he described as “inappropriate and stupid.”
Danczuk also had to repay more than £11,000 of expenses after admitting he made an error in his claims. The Rochdale MP had been investigated by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority over money he claimed was for the cost of his children living in London.
In 2015, while still a Labour MP, he reported Katie Hopkins to the police after she allegedly appeared to equate men of Pakistani origin to child abusers in a series of posts on Twitter. The spat between the pair appears to have started after Hopkins criticised Danczuk about his decision to mark National Pakistan Day on March 23 in Rochdale by raising the Pakistani flag for 30 minutes.
Richard Tice, the Reform UK leader said, “Rochdale needs an MP who will challenge the lazy Labour local council. We need an MP prepared to challenge Labour’s vested interests. We need an MP who will challenge, not cover-up, Labour wrongdoing.”
“Simon Danczuk, with all his knowledge, his guts and experience, is best placed to challenge and change Rochdale for the better”.
So this is the best man that Reform UK can find to represent them in Rochdale. Hopefully, the people of that town will remember exactly who Danczuk is and the party he represented. The children of Rochdale, Rotherham, Telford and all the other places around the country demand no less.
Top Image: Reform UK election address for the by-election.
Middle Image: Twitter.
Lower Image: Twitter.
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