Dead Men Left

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Respect shaping up nicely; two Parliamentary by-elections are coming up - Birmingham Hodge Hill and Leicester South - in areas where the party polled very well in the Euro-elections. More indicative of its future, however, is the development of credible, left-opposition policies to New Labour: check out the Birmingham leaflet in particular for a set of local bread-and-butter demands placed in the context of opposing a far broader neoliberal policy agenda. I also hear the press conferences today were a success, the local media especially starting to pick up on Respect's pivotal role in both elections. The decisive test for Respect is in turning credible protest votes into credible Parliamentary votes; not an easy task by any means. (New Labour, I suppose, must be simply hoping that sneaking through the "handover" in Iraq will make everyone stop grouching about the war, and think of all the wonderful work Blair has done for, erm, gosh, er... PriceWaterhouse? The Princess Diana memorial? Bernie Ecclestone?)