[Marxism] Article by Chris Bambery (SWP) on the fight in Respect

Joaquin Bustelo jbustelo at gmail.com
Tue Oct 30 22:34:20 MDT 2007

>From the British SWP article that Einde quoted: 

Respect came into existence as a coalition reflecting the major forces in
the anti-war movement.

The Socialist Worker Party (SWP) and Muslim activists were the two biggest
components of Respect but the aim was to broaden support to encompass the
growing numbers leaving New Labour and the rich mix which makes up today's
working class.


Underlying the current arguments is a growing acceptance by some that it's
only Muslim votes that can ensure electoral success.

That has led to a dropping of the original conception of Respect as a wider
working class organisation.

*  *  *

The counterposition of "Respect as a wider working class organization" to
winning "Muslim votes" causes me concern, especially given the absence of
any clear politics in the rest of the SWP's statements and articles on the

This concern is deepened by a post by Lenin's Tomb, who I believe is either
in the British SWP or a supporter, explaining that the SWP's perspective is
that "class politics rather than 'community' mobilisation was the best way
for Respect to remain a distinctive alternative to New Labour."

Frankly, this comes across to my ear as possibly an expression of
"more-socialist-than-thou" workerism, although it is impossible to say this
with any certainty given the lack of a fuller political presentation by the
SWP of what they view as being the political issues in dispute. So far they
have made quite clear what they believe the *form* of the dispute is
--Galloway & Co. trying to drive out the SWP-- but not what the politics
behind it might be.


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