Correspondence: Your Respect report
30 January 2007
I find most of what you publish interesting but I was less than enthused by your recent report on the respect organisation in Britain.
Respect means little to people in the North of Ireland. My impressions are of more of a left wing soundbite than anything that threatens to ever wield any power. A lot of their politics seems to revolve around things they stand, “alongside,” rather than wholeheartedly support hence the stupid right on name. Sounds like the politics of a bunch of ex punk rockers with a fixation on the English media.
The SWP, for it was their idea, reacted to the failure of their crude and politically sectarian recruitment policies by hiding behind yet another front. And this was their solution - unity based on emotion – they should be called the emo party. This was quite natural really considering that a high premium had been put on emotion as opposed to intelligence in the SWP for a long time. That is how it managed to lose an entire layer of people whom it flung out whenever they asked questions.
Unfortunately the SWP believed their own homogenized message was everything they would ever need. They politically ruined thousands of young people enthusiastic for Marxism. The shop window is now Respect, a party that supports you rather than takes you to the heart of any ideas. Respect is a comforting advertisment for anything slightly, possibly revolutionary – sounding like, and the sounding is the important thing, the brassy rhetoric from a public address system.