By George! The personal is political as we approach mayoral election
George Galloway's triumph in the Bradford West by-election should shake the Labour Party to the core.
Here was a seat we've held since 1974, and we should have held onto in a dire week for the ConDems.
But instead, a maverick Respect member and one time one of our own George Galloway ran away with the constituency and a majority of more than 10,000 votes.
I'm disappointed with the result, to lose an MP is always a blow, but I'm glad there's people like Galloway in politics. He shows a personal vote still counts.
His views are different from my own, but he has shown that mandates go beyond the colour of the rosette an identikit candidate wears.
The professionalisation of politics has robbed it of the individualism the electorate crave.
Galloway got out there on those doorsteps and told the mostly Muslim population who feel unrepresented and marginalised he would fight for them, stand up for them, and be their voice.
In Liverpool, we must learn from what happened in Bradford West as we embark on the mayoral campaign.
Joe Anderson faces opposition from some big personalities in the shape of Herbert Howe and Tony Mulhearn.
There's little danger of a figure as well known as Joe being seen as just the party's candidate, but to rest on our laurels and assume potential Labour voters won't be wooed by the independents could have disastrous consequences.