[Marxism] Re: RESPECT direction after the election

Tony Hartin t.hartin at qmul.ac.uk
Mon May 23 06:57:02 MDT 2005


calvin wrote
>Yes, I only wish the Labour Party would go back to the basic principles of 
>'Old' Labour, like cracking down on militant trade unionism in the 1980s and 
>anti-Imperialist strikes and struggles in Ireland since the party's 
>existence, bombing and killing people in Iraq, India, Malaya, signing 
>contracts with South Africa's apartheid regime, sending gunships to China to 
>secure gains made by British imperialism during the Opium wars, sending 
>troops into Ireland, opposing Egyptian demands on Suez, Kenyan national 
>liberation demands in late 1940s, supporting Zionist demands in Palestine, 
>not-so covert support for US imperialism in Vietnam, Special Powers Acts and 
>torture of prisoners in north of Ireland, In Place of Strife trade union 
>legislation in 1970s, increasing inequality, vouchers systems and 
>snatch-quads for ayslum seekers, selling hawk aircraft to Indonesian 
>military for use in East Timor, and a million other 'red' measures. Still, 
>they supported the Welfare State. But, then, so did the tories.
>And much of this with George Galloway in the party. Eh?

Quite. Though Galloway opposed all of those measures, has been at odds with the leadership for years
and then expelled for being too left wing. Still, I am uncomfortable with the formulation that RESPECT 
put forward on being "real" Labour - which is posed in terms of what workers thought the Labour Party
would deliver, but never has. In my book that doesn't go far enough in explaining the nature of parliament, 
reformism and the ruling class.

Galloway is not necessarily an impervious left reformist. Fortunately events are bigger than individuals
and I suspect events, combined with the influence of the revolutionaries within respect, are pushing Galloway's 
trajectory more and more to the left. i hope so anyway.

RESPECT is something that is politically alive that the far left is playing a vital role in... and I'm not in a 
hurry yet to see a shibboleth kill it off

Tony





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