One of the interesting things about ‘diversity’ is that it allows almost anything to happen.
Consider Naz Shah, the MP for Bradford West. As I have said before, there is something strange about Bradford, because the city has managed in recent years to elect representatives of three parties. These include the Labour party (Naz Shah), the Liberal Democrat party (David Ward) and the Respect party (George Galloway). Fascinatingly all seem interested in similar themes. Why might that be?
But back to Naz Shah. In the last Parliament it was this Labour MP who plunged her party into crisis. The public exposure of her anti-Semitic, racist comments on social media led Ken Livingstone to run to her rescue and promptly self-immolate. And it was this that caused Shami Chakrabarti to ruin her reputation by whitewashing the Labour party’s anti-Semitism problem, then taking a peerage. Of course after her disgrace, Shah made a pro-forma apology, was reintroduced to the fold and got on with her other interests, such as campaigning against ‘Islamophobia’.
Being a traditionally liberal and anti-racist country, someone who had a reputation for anti-Semitic outbursts would once have been punished for their stance by the public at the ballot box. Not today. And not in Bradford. This week Naz Shah managed to actually increase her share of the vote. By 10,000 votes. It is true that at a hustings she managed to say that she thought the Jews of the Middle East had a right to exist. And it is true that for this massive concession on her part, some of her potential voters accused her of being a Jew. But this is all just a demonstration of the rich diversity that Bradford now represents – a city where a person made most famous in the last Parliament for her anti-Semitism actually increases their vote when next putting themselves in front of the public.