Dead Men Left

Friday, April 30, 2004

This made me chuckle, though probably not in the fashion it was meant to. It was posted on an interminable email "discussion" list following an advert for a Respect meeting and manages to condense every single anti-Respect argument/smear into a suitably demented and vaguelly libellous whole; the image of Bill Rogers, Shirley Williams and Saddam Hussein appearing on the same platform is one that may haunt me for some time yet.

"Comrades and Friends.
   I too am voting Green. Another nice point from the Reester. Respect is something we see the UK left do every 10-15 years: remember the SDP? It is crazed parliamentary reformist nonsense with a tint of the 'get-a-mass-movement-going-quick-until-the-police-tell-us-to-sit-up-straight' rubbish that we saw recently from the people who brought you, um, nothing: our chums in the SWP and that allows it to pose as socialist or whatever. The Respect line-up so far? All people banking on some Tony Benn style fame: Galloway (working for MI5) Monbiot (working for ASDA in v. near future) Saddam (also now working for MI5/possibly also ASDA if the book deals go wrong). Gimme a break from all the egos. And, actualy, stop splitting the left with nonsense promises of projects that will be a new dawn or 'something important to defend' and go work on the already existing components of the social movement however dull that may seem. Respect, unlike the Green Party, will be yesterdays news, I think, the day after tommorow when it a) fails to change anything because it exists for the inner pruposes of Galloway's swollen head b) fails to get that swollen head re-elected in a Labour safe seat. My local elections tied the Greens and Labour with the BNP and the Conservo-Fascists no where to be seen (until Labour won the seat on lots). Nuff said. Vote Green and keep the real socialism for things that don't name themselves after a P-Diddy record.
Maximum Respect."

Now, whilst I don't think that this is typical of some of the anti-Respect stuff the groupuscules and particules of the British Left pump out, it does rather conveniently illustrate just how inconsistent and often how ill-informed their arguments are. We've got to both oppose "crazed Parliamentary reformism", and then vote Green; stop splitting the left, but then slander significant parts of it; and so on.

(Strange how email discussion lists attract this sort of thing, descending rapidly from lofty ideals about free exchange of ideas and open access into a sectarian-infested swamp. This is why god invented moderators, I suppose. Personally, I never bother posting to them. Life is too short.)