Debate and discussion: Why I’m voting Respect

Submitted by Anon on 23 June, 2004 - 12:35

I think I will vote Respect in the Euro elections despite taking on board the very real criticisms levelled against them by Workers' Liberty. I don't think that you can ever vote for a party uncritically anyway.
I can't bring myself to vote Labour anymore, nothing in their manifesto, policy or action is left-wing. Whatever battle has gone on in the Labour Party the working class have clearly lost.

Galloway may have some dodgy views (and a dodgy past) but his views, e.g., on abortion are not Respect policy, just personal views. Most Respect candidates I'm sure would disagree with Galloway's pro-life stance immediately.

My local Respect candidate, Paulette North, is a genuine Socialist, and well respected NUT activist. This compares to a Labour candidate who is a professional politician and genuine Blairite.

Even though Respect may not be the way forward, it seems ridiculous to vote for an essentially right-wing Labour manifesto compared to Respect's left-wing policies, which include taxing the rich, nationalisation, a Europe organised for people not profit, proper funding of transport, education and health and a repeal of anti-union laws.

AWL is right to disagree with the way Respect is organised around the figurehead of Galloway and the way it is cynically going after the Muslim vote at the expense of Socialist ideas, in some areas anyway. However, the policies which Respect are putting forward are in line with Socialism.

No other party is putting forward left-wing policies.

To vote for New Labour rather than for Nationalisation, Trade Unionism and Redistribution of Wealth seems absurd.

To vote for New Labour following the war with Iraq seems amiss and sends out totally the wrong message.

Respect are the only left-wing group with any presence in these elections. We can't ignore them, we must engage with them.

Many of their candidates and supporters are genuine Socialists who passionately believe in creating a better world along the same lines that AWL advocates.

It is over the top to call them "fake socialists". It is surely wrong to ignore them and go off and vote for Tony Blair's New Labour.

Jason Edwards, Bristol

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