Tower Hamlets Respect: Aping Tabloid Moralism?

Posted in Janine's blog on Thu, 28/12/2006 - 20:47,

Respect is heading a campaign against sex and strip clubs in Tower Hamlets.

There is an important debate to be had about whether or how to oppose these venues, but I'm sure as hell that this is not the way to do it. Naming and shaming? Isn't that what the News Of The Screws does? Former Respect activist Liam MacUaid tells us that Respect members even plan to take photos of men entering the clubs and post them on the internet. Let's hope for their sake that they don't accidentally snap any of their favourite politicians.

Gorgeous George (now where did he get that nickname?) describes the clubs as "dens of iniquity" on his website, and complains that one of the major problems with them is that they are close to places of worship. (Make sure you're logged into this site and you will see a picture of the leaflet that Respect has been handing out at mosques.)

And nowhere - nowhere - can I find Respect suggesting that the workers in these clubs might join a trade union and fight against their exploitation. No, they prefer to treat women as victims rather than to organise them as workers.

There is nothing in their campaign that distinguishes them from those people and movements who oppose sex clubs because they oppose sex - who think that women being sexual in public is a dirty, rude and sinful thing.

And this from a group that can not even stop its leader supporting attacks on abortion rights. This is not working-class politics, it's not socialist, and it's not feminist. It's reactionary, moralistic crap. I'm shocked - really, I am.

The AWL, Labour and the Left
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