John Hemming's Web Log John's Reference Website
Monday, March 21, 2005
  Vote 2005 and Respect
Vote 2005 is an interesting exercise. It involves an online debating forum with a large number of parliamentary seats identified. It is a better forum than the traditional usenet uk.politics.electoral which has been the online location generally where political activists debate from many places. Usenet, however, has a number of problems which means that it can take a lot of time to review matters.

George Galloway's - Respect the Unity Coalition not to be confused with respectcoalition.co.uk - the "lunacy coalition" have been floating around for some time now.

This is an attempt by the Socialist Workers Party to build an organisation that people will actually vote for. Previously they had Socialist Alliance which had some marginal success locally where they had hard working candidates.

Their plan was to turn the Stop the War campaign into a political party. In doing so they have lost a lot of the support and activists the SWP had without gaining that much.

Through the internal contradictions in the nature of the SWP and the rest of Respect they have now created a situation in which they are "considering" supporting Blairite pro-War Labour Candidates against anti-War Conservatives or Lib Dems.

To that extent they have now completely undermined their starting thesis.

They have also accepted that as with the Lib Dems they "support the Troops".

The difficult question, of course, is how quickly they end up falling apart on the basis of the internal contradictions. Personal loyalties do hold organisations together even when they lose their way (vide New Labour).

Sources of information: The resolutions at the Respect October Conference http://www.respectcoalition.com/pdf/041103_resolutions.pdf
which includes the text:
"Consequently we will not challenge anti-war Labour MPs and will consider calling for a vote for Labour in those areas where Respect is not standing and where there is no other credible left candidate. "
 
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Doesn't that Respect resolution say they are prepared to support anti-War Labour MPs, not loyal Blairites?
 
The resolution follows. Respect are not standing in all seats in which there are pro-War Labour MPs.

Hence "will consider calling for a vote for Labour in those areas where
Respect is not standing and where there is no other credible left candidate."

Applies where the Labour candidate is a blairite Pro-war as much as anything else.

I accept the adjective "consider" exists.




1. That we will enter discussions with all left candidates in order to avoid, as far as possible,
more than one left challenge to the establishment parties in the forthcoming general election.
We will pursue such electoral agreements whether or not other candidates are willing to call
for a vote for Respect in those constituencies where Respect is the only or the main left
challenger.
2. That, where there is no Respect candidate standing, we will call for a vote for those left of
Labour candidates that are willing to call for a vote for Respect in similar circumstances.
3. That the Labour Party is, unlike any of the other left parties, a mass party to whom millions
of working people still owe their allegiance. If Respect is to prosper it is predominantly from
among these people that we will need to gain support. Consequently we will not challenge
anti-war Labour MPs and will consider calling for a vote for Labour in those areas where
Respect is not standing and where there is no other credible left candidate.
4. That the decisions about who to support in those areas where Respect is not standing can
only be made after local discussions have been completed. The National Council will make
a final decision on this issue.
 
Personal loyalties do hold organisations together even when they lose their way (vide New Labour).

And the SDP....
 
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