Galloway on Respect
None other than George Galloway himself has written an 8 page critique of Respect. It seems that all is not as comradely as it could be.
You can read it all here: http://www.cpgb.org.uk/worker/686/galloway.htm
The astonishing thing is that a politician of Galloway's experience should seem surprised that the SWP - who after all are Leninists who practice democratic centralism and a vanguard party where "cadres" exploit "fodder" - have tried to control and dominate Respect just like they have every other front group they have ever set up, or campaign they have taken over.
- "Ealing Southall ... just a few weeks before, marked the lowest point in Respect’s three-year history. The failure to harvest even the vote we had secured in just one ward of the constituency in the local elections 12 months earlier was a sharp reminder that what goes up can come down and should shatter any complacency about the London elections next May."
- "Respect is not punching its weight in British politics and has not fulfilled its potential either in terms of votes consistently gained, members recruited or fighting funds raised.
The primary reasons for this are not objective circumstances, but internal problems of our own making."
- "Despite being a rather well known political brand our membership has not grown. And in some areas it has gone into a steep decline. Whole areas of the country are effectively moribund as far as Respect activity is concerned."
- "There is a deep-seated culture of amateurism and irresponsibility on the question of money. "
- "People pop up as staff members in jobs which have not been advertised, for which there have been no interviews and whose job descriptions are unclear and certainly unpublished. One staff member was appointed at a meeting at which that same staff member was present, making it obviously embarrassing for anyone to query whether they were the right person for the job, whether they could be afforded or why the job should go to them rather than someone else."
- "at the selection meeting for our Shadwell candidate two members of staff were openly proselytising for one candidate and against another - including heckling - and even after the decision had been taken. This undoubtedly contributed to the exceedingly poor involvement of the wider membership in the subsequent election. No paid member of staff attended the Shadwell victory celebrations and when I asked one of them if they would be attending I was told ‘no, I will be watching the football’."
- "There is a custom of anathematisation in the organisation which is deeply unhealthy and has been the ruin of many a left-wing group before us. This began with Salma Yaqoob, once one of our star turns, promoted on virtually every platform, and who is responsible for some of the greatest election victories (and near misses) during our era.
Now she has been airbrushed from our history at just the time when she is becoming a regular feature on the national media and her impact on the politics of Britain’s second city has never been higher.
There appears to be no plan to rescue her from this perdition, indeed every sign that her internal exile is a fixture."
- "Then there is the practice of the creation of false dichotomies between candidates for internal elections. Neither Oliur Rahman nor Abjul Miah nor Haroon Miah is Karl Liebknecht. And Sultana Begum is not Rosa Luxemburg. Yet in internal election contests these four contested in Tower Hamlets the divisions between them were deliberately and artificially exaggerated and members mobilised about “principles” which never were. This has led to deep and lasting divisions which show no signs of healing in the current atmosphere."
- "Relations between leading figures in Respect are at an all-time low and this must be addressed."