Dead Men Left

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

John Rees on Respect

There is already enormous turmoil inside the labour movement and the Labour Party because of the election. It is normal for a party leader who has lost an election to be greeted by newspaper headlines demanding his resignation.

It is a sign of the degree to which Blair has suffered a defeat that a party leader who has won a third term in office faces speculation as to how swiftly he will resign.

Under these circumstances the vote for the left alternative — the Respect vote — is of pivotal significance. If George Galloway had not won Bethnal Green & Bow, the whole arc of the Stop the War movement would have suffered an enormous reverse...

More than this, George Galloway’s victory is a victory for Respect as the political project whose aims include and then run beyond the anti-war movement.

It is the beginnings of an organisational and political embodiment of a mood previously visible only in opinion polls. These show the majority of people against privatisation and racism, and in favour of trade unionism and the welfare state.

Read the rest here.