Respect – The Unity Coalition


Respect – The Unity Coalition

Infobox_British_Political_Party
party_name = RESPECT – The Unity Coalition
party_articletitle = RESPECT The Unity Coalition
party_
leader = Linda Smith| (National Chair)
chairman = Linda Smith
foundation = 25 January, 2004
ideology = Democratic Socialism, Environmentalism
position = Left-wing
international = "none"
european = European Anticapitalist Left

europarl = n/a
colours = Red/Green
headquarters = Respect
c/o PO Box 1109
London
N4 2UU 1
website = [http://www.respectrenewal.org www.respectrenewal.org]
[http://www.respectcoalition.org www.respectcoalition.org]
notes = 1 As of November 2007:
209 Coborn House, 3 Coborn Road
London
E3 2DA

Respect – The Unity Coalition is a left wing political party in England and Wales founded on 25 January, 2004 in London. Its name is a backronym standing for Respect, Equality, Socialism, Peace, Environmentalism, Community, and Trade Unionism. It is often referred to simply as Respect or as the Respect Party.

Policies

Respect was created in January 2004 [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3788125.stm BBC News] ] , using the issue of the war in Iraq to mobilise its vote. Beyond this issue it has attempted to "provide a broad-based and inclusive alternative to the parties of privatisation, war, and occupation" [ [http://www.respectcoalition.org/index.php?ite=418 The Constitution of Respect - The Unity Coalition] , 13/09/2004] and have a broad socialist agenda.

Some of the policies on which it has also campaigned include:

* Renationalisation of the railways and other public services.
* Opposition to the perceived privatisation of the National Health Service and the education system, including opposition to university tuition fees and support for pensions increases linked to average earnings.
* Raising the minimum wage to the European Union's "decency threshold" of £7.40 an hour.
* An increase in income taxes on the rich to fund social welfare programs and close the income gap.

* The repeal of the industrial relations legislation brought in by the Conservative Party in the 1980s.
* The defence of the rights of refugees and other asylum-seekers.
* Opposition to the "stability pact" that the European Union seeks to impose on all those who join the euro.
* Support for the Palestinian people and ending British tolerance of various Israeli policies regarding the Palestinians.
* Support for the British environmental movement.

In their founding constitution the founding parties state their overall aim as to "help create a socially just and ecologically sustainable society", giving a definition of social justice that includes "the organisation of society in the most open, participative, and accountable way practicable based on common ownership and democratic control". [ [http://www.respectcoalition.org/index.php?ite=418 The Constitution of Respect - The Unity Coalition] ]

Composition

Respect allows its members to hold membership of other political organisations. Before the 2007 split, it included:
* The Socialist Workers Party.
* Members of the Muslim Association of Britain and Muslim Council of Britain.
* People of no other political organisation

Other notable supporters include:
* Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS).
* British television and film director Ken Loach, who is an elected member of its national council.
* Playwright and Nobel laureate in Literature Harold Pinter.

The coalition also has the support of:
* The Communist Party of Great Britain (Provisional Central Committee) [CPGB] .
* The International Socialist Group. [ISG]
* The Socialist Unity Network.
* Socialist Resistance.
* The Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist) [RCPB(ML)] .

Founding members left include:
* George Galloway, the only Member of Parliament Respect has, formerly expelled from the Labour Party.
* Salma Yaqoob
* Linda Smith

The coalition had the support of The National Council of the Socialist Alliance, until the Alliance dissolved.

The media often assume that George Galloway is the party leader, however according to the party constitution, Respect does not have a leader as such and is run by an elected "national council", a full list of whom can be found on their website and in the register of political parties the leader of Respect is listed as Linda Smith (until November 22, 2004 Nick Wrack).

The party was originally launched by "The Guardian" journalist George Monbiot and Birmingham Stop the War Coalition chair Salma Yaqoob who is said to have thought up the coalition at her West Midlands home.

In its 2006 accounts filed with the Electoral Commission, it noted it has three paid employees including John Rees and had 5,739 registered members on December 31, 2006 (2005: 5,674). It has 42 branches (2005: 25) and had a total income of £273,023 and expenditure of £228,100. [ [http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/files/dms/RespectPartySOA2006_26120-19480__E__N__S__W__.pdf Respect - The Unity Coalition - Financial Statements] for the year ended 31 December 2006]

Electoral performance

The coalition sought to challenge Prime Minister Tony Blair's Labour Party from the left at the London Assembly and European Parliament elections in 2004, and gained a quarter of a million votes. This was the best result, in aggregate, ever achieved by the socialist left outside of the Labour Party. The party claims that these votes had been achieved primarily by capitalising on the 2003 anti-war protests and by attracting the votes of "Old Labour" supporters Fact|date=June 2007 who felt Blair had moved the party too far to the right of their socialist beliefs. The correlation between the performance of Respect and the Muslim population of an area suggests that it has succeeded in attracting the protest votes of some Muslims who feel alienated by Labour's support for the war. It almost immediately had a councillor in Preston, SWP member Michael Lavalette who was elected as a Socialist Alliance candidate in 2003, but subsequently voted with the majority of the SWP to wind-down the Socialist Alliance in favour of the newly formed party, who was joined by a former Labour councillor, Steve Brooks.

2004 elections

Respect candidate Lindsey German came fifth in the 2004 London mayoral election. Its largest constituency vote in the 2004 assembly elections was in City and East London, where it polled 13.46%, reaching third place.

In their first European Parliament elections (also in 2004), Respect's proportion of the national vote was 1.7%, and they failed to win any seats. Their best result was in London itself, with a relatively strong 4.8%, and their worst was in Wales and the South West, with 0.6% and 0.7% respectively. Their strongest borough was Newham, London, with 21.41% of the vote.

The results at the Birmingham Hodge Hill and Leicester South by-elections in 2004, were 6.3% and 12.7% of the vote respectively — enough to retain its deposit in both seats (which requires a minimum of 5% of the vote). However, in Birmingham Hodge Hill the "anti-war" vote was split between Respect and the Liberal Democrats; anti-Labour parties claim that, as a result, the Labour candidate won the seat.

Respect won its first election on July 29, 2004, when Oliur Rahman won away a ward from Labour in Tower Hamlets. The election was called after a Labour councillor was expelled for alleged corruption. In September 2004, Respect candidate Paul McGarr stood in the Tower Hamlets Millwall ward by-election and came second, pushing Labour into third place [ [http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/templates/news/detail.cfm?newsid=3186 Tower Hamlets Council] ] .

2005 general election

In the 2005 general election Respect ran candidates in 26 constituencies and it secured its first Member of Parliament in George Galloway, who overturned the large majority of Oona King in Bethnal Green and Bow. It came second in three constituencies: Birmingham Sparkbrook and Small Heath, East Ham and West Ham. By far their best result outside London was in Birmingham Sparkbrook and Small Heath, where Respect candidate Salma Yaqoob came second with 27.5% of the vote. Again claims were made that the anti-Labour vote was split by the Respect vote allowing Labour to keep the seatFact|date=April 2008.

2006 local elections

Respect stood a limited number of candidates nationally and concentrated on Tower Hamlets, where it stood a full slate of candidates and managed to win twelve seats. Although Respect defeated several high-profile Labour councillors including council leader Michael Keith and Cabinet member for Housing David Edgar, its performance wasn't as good as the party had hoped and the council remained in Labour control.

The party also had a full slate in Newham but won only one ward there despite winning 26% of the total vote, a greater proportion than that gained in Tower Hamlets. In total Respect gained fifteen new councillors including Salma Yaqoob in Birmingham who won 49% of the vote. [ [http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/sw_election01.php Socialist Worker Online: Council election results 4 May 2006] ] Respect narrowly missed winning another council seat in Preston by seven votes where they already have Michael Lavalette as a councillor, some members noting that a Green candidate in the ward had taken 82 votes, possibly splitting Respect's vote. [ [http://www.prestonrespect.org Preston & Lancs Respect] ] Other second places were achieved in Preston and wards in Sheffield, Bristol, and several London councils. The party achieved some strong results in areas with a limited Muslim population; for example, Jerry Hicks, standing in Bristol Lockleaze, came a distant second in a ward that is 4% Muslim.Cite web|url=http://www.socialistreview.org.uk/article.php?articlenumber=9766|title=Respect and the 'Muslim Vote'|accessdate=2007-04-23|publisher=The Socialist Review|year=2006|author=Jacob Middleton]

2006 by-elections

Respect stood Dave Ellis, a trade unionist who organised one of the largest continuous strikes in recent years at Huddersfield Technical College, in the Greenhead ward by-election on 27 July in the district of Kirklees. Ellis got 3.9 percent of the vote, coming fourth and narrowly beating the British National Party's candidate who finished last. [ [http://www.kirklees.gov.uk/you-kmc/kmc-howcouncilworks/votingandelections/greenhead2006-results.shtml Greenhead by-election 27th July 2006 results] ]

In the Metropolitan Borough of Barnsley Worsborough by-election on 16 November, Respect polled 91 votes, 5.5%.

In December 2006, Respect gained another councillor in Birmingham, Abdul Aziz, who defected from the Liberal Democrats, bringing their total in the city to 2.

In February 2007, Respect picked up another councillor when Councillor Wayne Muldoon in Loughborough defected from Labour. [Cite web|url=http://www.respectcoalition.org/?ite=1317|title=Labour councillor joins Respect|accessmonthday=April 23|accessyear=2007|year=2007]

2007 local elections

In the days before the elections Respect lost one of its Tower Hamlets councillors, Waiseul Islam who returned to the Labour Party. Islam has since expressed his reasons for doing so saying, "I reject the notion of dividing the local community for political gain, which is what I believe Respect are effectively doing."Cite web|url=http://www.labourhome.org/story/2007/5/1/25117/07767|title=May Day Present for Labour: Respect Cllr rejoins Party|accessdate=2007-05-13|publisher=Labourhome|year=2007|author=Labourhome]

Respect stood a total of 48 candidates in 2007 and although only three candidates were elected (Mohammed Ishtiaq in Birmingham Sparkbrook, Ray Holmes in Bolsover Shirebrook and Michael Lavalette retained his seat in Preston Town CentreCite web|url=http://www.respectcoalition.org/index.php?ite=1421|title=Respect Election Results|accessdate=2007-05-13|publisher=Respect Web Site|year=2007|author=Respect] ), the number of people voting for Respect increased, with candidates coming in 2nd and 3rd places in many boroughs throughout the country. Their wins brought the total number of Respect councillors in the UK to 18.

2008 elections

As a result of the 2007 split there were two organisations, both claiming legitimacy over the Respect identitiy. The group led by the SWP stood as the Left List, while Respect Renewal members stood as Respect and as 'Respect (George Galloway)' in London (see below for information on the split).

Both sets of candidates received a low share of the vote compared with the results Respect had obtained before the split.

Lindsey German stood as the Left List candidate for London mayor. [cite web|url=http://www.respectcoalition.org/?ite=1833|title=Respect's Left List launches GLA challenge|publisher=Respect—the Unity Coalition|accessdate=2008-03-17] [cite web|url=http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/regulatory-issues/regpoliticalparties.cfm?frmGB=1&frmPartyID=818&frmType=partydetail|title=Register of political parties: Left List] [cite news|url= http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=14397|title=Why Respect is Standing as 'Left List' in London|accessdate=2008-03-17|publisher=Socialist Worker|date=2008-03-15] Some members of Respect Renewal supported Lindsey German, while others supported the incumbent, Labour Party candidate Ken Livingstone. [ [http://www.socialistunity.com/?p=1679 Socialist Unity blog - Reasons to back Lindsey German for Mayor?] ] The International Socialist Group, part of Respect Renewal, called for a first preference vote for the Green Party candidate, Siân Berry, rather than Lindsey German. [cite web
url=http://www.isg-fi.org.uk/spip.php?article632
title=Ecosocialists say vote Berry 1, Livingstone 2
publisher=International Socialist Group
accessdate=2008-04-24
last=
first=
] Lindsey German received 0.68% of the vote (16,796), compared to 3.21% when standing for Respect in 2004, coming 8th out of 10 candidates [ [http://results.londonelects.org.uk/Results/CombinedMayoralResults.aspx London Elects - Combined Mayoral Results] ]

Both Respect Renewal and the Left List stood candidates for the Greater London Assembly. The Left List contested every constituency as well as standing on the London-wide list, headed by Lindsey German [cite news|url=http://www.respectcoalition.org/?ite=1822|title=Respect announces Left List for Mayoral and GLA elections|publisher=Respect - The Unity Coalition|date=2008-03-10] Respect Renewal stood in the City and East London constituency as well as contesting the London-wide list, headed by George Galloway. [cite news|url=http://www.respectrenewal.org/content/view/211/1/|title="We Can Win In East London This May"|publisher=Respect Renewal|date=2008-03-15] [cite news|url=http://www.respectrenewal.org/images/stories/downloads/respectspecialeditionmar08.pdf|title=Respect Newspaper Special Edition|publisher=Respect Renewal|date=2008-03-15|format=PDF]

In the Assembly election, the Left List constituency candidates polled an average of 1.37%. On the London-Wide Assembly Lists, the Left List and Respect (George Galloway) received 0.92% (22,583) and 2.43% (59,721) respectively, compared to the 2004 vote for Respect of 4.57%. [ [http://results.londonelects.org.uk/Results/AssemblyResults.aspx London Elects - London Assembly results] ]

Respect Renewal stood 10 candidates in the local council elections also taking place on May 1st across England and Wales. They returned one new councillor, Nahim Khan, in Birmingham Sparkbrook, who received 42.64% of the vote. [ [http://www.respectrenewal.org/content/view/280/1/ Respect - First thoughts on the elections] ] The Left list stood or supported 24 candidates. Most received few votes, but they came second in Preston Town Centre and Sheffield Burngreave. [ [http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=14777 May 2008 election results for Left List] ]

General election plans

George Galloway, Respect's only Member of Parliament, has announced that he will not be the candidate for his current seat, Bethnal Green & Bow, at the next General Election. Instead he has announced that he will be a candidate for the nearby, newly created and notionally fairly safe Labour seat of Poplar and Limehouse. [cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/6940517.stm|title=Galloway to contest next election|publisher=BBC News|date=2007-08-10]

The split in Respect

The crisis in Respect

In September 2007 George Galloway wrote a letter to Respect's national council members saying that the party was "too disorganised" and "faced oblivion" unless it reformed its internal party management. [ [http://www.themuslimweekly.com/fullstoryview.aspx?NewsID=215082B330A483E173B045F1&MENUID=HOMENEWS&DESCRIPTION=UK%20News Galloway slams own Respect party] , The Muslim Weekly, 14 September 2007] The letter also criticised the amount of money spent on the Organising for Fighting Unions conference and on an intervention at the Pride London LGBT rights event.

The letter was the opening shot in a dispute in Respect between Galloway and his supporters including Salma Yaqoob on one side, and supporters of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) on the other. In particular Galloway called for the appointment of a National Organiser, which the SWP perceived to be an attempt to undermine the National Secretary, SWP member John Rees. A letter from their Central Committee stated: "The SWP believed that the post was created to undermine Respect National Secretary John Rees." [cite web|url=http://www.cpgb.org.uk/worker/692/swp%20party%20notes.htm|title=From the SWP's Party Notes]

In the course of the dispute, the SWP expelled three members who sided with Galloway: Kevin Ovenden and Rob Hoveman, who both worked for George Galloway, and Nick Wrack, who was nominated for the position of national organiser.

On 3 November 2007 Galloway's side announced plans to hold a "Respect Renewal" conference on 17 November, the same day as the planned national conference of Respect. In its opinion, the conference being organised by the officers of Respect was being packed by delegates who supported the SWP. They claimed that the conference was unconstitutional, as it had not been ratified by the National Council and had disagreements especially on the matter of delegations from student branches. As a result, two conferences took place, neither of which recognised the other. The Respect Renewal conference was an open event and organisers claim 350 people attended. This figure has been disputed. The national conference organised by the Respect officers, which went ahead on the same day was attended by 270 delegates from 49 local branches and 17 student groups, as well as 90 observers. [Cite web|url=http://www.isj.org.uk/index.php4?id=396&issue=117|title=The Crisis in Respect|accessdate=2008-01-05|publisher=International Socialism journal|year=2008|author=Chris Harman]

Reasons for the split

Linda Smith, Respect's national chair at the time of the split, has claimed: "The sectarianism and ‘control freak’ methods of the SWP have led us to a situation where Respect is irretrievably split." [cite web|url=http://respectrenewal.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=20|title=Renewing Respect] The SWP has attributed the split to a shift to the right by George Galloway and his allies, motivated by electoralism (placing election-winning above other principles). This, say the SWP leadership, led to attacks on the SWP as the most prominent left group in Respect. [cite web|url=http://www.swp.org.uk/respect_cc.php|title=The record: The Socialist Workers Party and Respect|author=SWP Central Committee Statement|date=2007-11-03]

Electoral stance since the split

The Electoral Commission has continued to recognise Linda Smith as the Nominating Officer for Respect. [Cite web|url=http://www.electoralcommission.gov.uk/regulatory-issues/regpoliticalparties.cfm?frmGB=1&frmPartyID=467&frmType=partydetail|title=Register of political parties: Respect—The Unity Coalition|accessdate=2008-03-17] This means that her signature is required for candidates wishing to use the electoral label "Respect" (and similar registered names) on ballot papers in UK elections. A letter from the Electoral Commission to Linda Smith on 23 January 2008, set out its position on the split, following confusion on the matter from both sides. [cite web|url=http://www.socialistunity.com/?p=1617|publisher=Socialist Unity|title=RESPECT—SWP can't use the name]

Following the "split", the side that included the SWP (but not Galloway or Linda Smith) nominated candidates in two district council by-elections. They could not use the name "Respect" on ballot papers without the signature of the nominating officer. Instead, both were labelled "Independent" on the ballot papers. [cite web|url=http://www.preston.gov.uk/elections/ElectionWard.asp?ward=94|title=Preston City Council Electoral Ward Nominees] [cite web|url=http://www.walthamforest.gov.uk/index/council/elections/leyton-by-election/leyton-by-election-candidates.htm|title=Statement as to persons nominated] The SWP faction stood as the Left List in those elections, and later renamed itself the Left Alternative.

In 2008, one Left List councillor defected to the Conservative Party. In June, the three remaining Left List councillors in Tower Hamlets, including the Chair and Nominating Officer of the Left List, defected to the Labour Party as did one Respect Renewal councillor. [cite web|url=http://www.eastlondonadvertiser.co.uk/content/towerhamlets/advertiser/news/story.aspx?brand=ELAOnline&category=news&tBrand=northlondon24&tCategory=newsela&itemid=WeED24%20Jun%202008%2019%3A44%3A39%3A473|title= New blow for Galloway as four more Respect members defect] [cite web|url=http://www.eastlondonadvertiser.co.uk/search/story.aspx?brand=ELAOnline&category=News&itemid=WeED14%20Feb%202008%2014:33:40:697&tBrand=ELAOnline&tCategory=search|title=Galloway defector signs up to join Tory party]

International affiliation

While Respect is not part of any international organisation and has no formal links to any party from other countries, it does have fraternal links with various organisations. Respect participates however in the European Anticapitalist Left.

Respect is registered as a political party in Scotland but have claimed that this is just so no one else uses their name in Scotland. They have not stood in Scotland and have in the past urged voters to support the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP). Since the split of the SSP the preferred party of support has been Solidarity (Scotland), Tommy Sheridan's new party.

In 2005, Respect took part in the second congress of the European Left. Respect's participation in this event was welcomed by the Left Party's chair Fausto Bertinotti in his closing speech. [Cite web|url=http://www.respectcoalition.org/?ite=914|title=International delegates head for Respect conference|accessdate=2007-04-23|year=2005]

Criticisms of Respect

Reformism

Some far-left organisations did not join Respect. They saw the party as being a "cross-class" organisation, rather than a party of the working class. They argued that those from other classes, with interests different from the working class, would seek to change Respect's policy accordingly. The group Workers Power argued that Respect's politics were populist and reformist rather than socialist and revolutionary [Respect: Rise of a new populist party? By Workers Power May 2005 http://www.workerspower.com/index.php?id=66,516,0,0,1,0] , especially compared with a previous left project, the Socialist Alliance. Such accusations have been challenged, in particular by the Socialist Workers Party, the largest far-left group in the UK, which helped establish Respect. [ [http://www.socialistreview.org.uk/article.php?articlenumber=9380 Socialist Review ] ]

Democratic process

Critics of Respect such as the Socialist Party, as well as the Alliance for Workers' Liberty and Workers Power, former members of the Socialist Alliance, claim that it is undemocratic and has an overly London-centric, top-down approach, its initial programme having been created largely by negotiations between the SWP and George Galloway. Similarly, the Weekly Worker, the Alliance for Green Socialism (AGS) and some other leftist groups claim that Respect is primarily a front organisation for the Socialist Workers Party. [ [http://www.cpgb.org.uk/worker/645/respect.htm - Weekly Worker 645 Thursday 19 October 2006 - Spin, deception and eclecticism] ] Respect has countered this claim by stating that it is simply false, that the Respect programme was formed as an "emergency response" to the 10 June 2004 European Parliament election and 2004 local elections, and that a full constitution will be developed democratically through elections at its annual conferences. Respect's policies were fleshed out to a large extent at its first national conference which took place in 2004; the resolutions passed can be found on their website.

Equality and gay rights

Respect has also been accused of abandoning the left-wing issues of women's rights, gay rights and fighting homophobia in order to attract Muslim support. While Respect included opposition to discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation in its founding declaration, [Cite web|url=http://www.respectcoalition.org/index.php?ite=3|title=The Founding Declaration of Respect - the Unity Coalition|accessdate=2007-04-23] critics claim Galloway has tended to avoid Commons votes involving equal rights for gay people - although he did vote to lower the age of consent for gay people in England and Wales to sixteen in 2000, earning him an invitation to open a new Lesbian and Gay centre in Glasgow. He has also praised New Labour's record on improving gay rights, and says of his absence from one vote that "there was never any doubt about the passage of the civil partnerships [bill] , I wholly support it". [Cite web|url=http://www.pinknews.co.uk/news/articles/2005-539.html|title="What was the right answer for the question?" George Galloway and gay rights|accessdate=2007-04-23|publisher=PinkNews.co.uk|year=2006|author=Benjamin Cohen] Respect's 2005 conference resolved that explicit defence of equal rights and calls for the end to all discrimination against lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people would be made in all of its manifestos and principal election materials. [Cite web|url=http://www.respectcoalition.org/?ite=932|title=Respect National Conference 2005|accessmonthday=April 23|accessyear=2007|year=2005]

Respect and elements of the LGBT community have clashed on two other notable occasions. In November 2005, Respect's second largest single financial donor, Dr Mohammad Naseem [Looking at the figures of political donations to Respect of £15457 is the second highest after Mrs J Turner Cite web|url=http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/regulatory-issues/regdpoliticalparties.cfm|title=Non cash donations to Respect - The Unity Coalition|accessmonthday=May 4|accessyear=2008|publisher=Electoral Commission|year=2008, search must be re-conducted, look for all donations to Respect - The Unity Coalition] , was accused in an article by Peter Tatchell of being homophobic due to his senior position in the Islamic Party of Britain [Cite web|url=http://www.islamicparty.com/textonly/textmuhammad.htm|title=Islamic Party of Britain page for Dr Mohammad's membership of the party|accessmonthday=May 4|accessyear=2008|publisher=Islamic Party of Britain] , which he claimed advocated the "banning of gay organisations" and the "execution of homosexuals". [Cite web|url=http://www.petertatchell.net/politics/cashforpower.htm|title=GALLOWAY'S PARTY FACES 'CASH FOR POWER' QUESTIONS: Senior Respect leader is spokesperson for Islamist party that backs the death penalty for gays and lesbians|accessmonthday=April 23|accessyear=2007|year=2005] Additionally the former point is also repeated on the Islamic Party of Britain's website [Cite web|url=http://www.islamicparty.com/question/ans41.htm|title=Islamic Party of Britain's view on homosexuality|accessmonthday=May 4|accessyear=2008|year=2002] . Naseem, however, stated that the Islamic Party was now little more than a thinktank, and furthermore, disagreed with the statements on the Islamic Party website which Tatchell pointed to, stating his views on homosexuality as follows: "These things are a matter of personal choice...I am not concerned with what people do in their bedrooms." [Cite web|url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/gayrights/story/0,,1650525,00.html|title=Gay group tells Galloway to cut ties with donor|accessmonthday=April 23|accessyear=2007|publisher=The Guardian (UK)|year=2005|author=Hugh Muir] Naseem was also present at Respect's 2005 conference, where the vote to reaffirm Respect's support of LGBT rights was passed unanimously. [Cite web|url=http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/article.php?article_id=7834|title=Debate: combating homophobia|accessmonthday=April 23|accessyear=2007|publisher=Socialist Worker Online]

In January 2006, an article attacking Tatchell's opposition to the party was written by Respect member and journalist Adam Yosef. Writing for "Desi Xpress", Yosef accused Tatchell of Islamophobia but was attacked by gay organisations for "encouraging violence against Tatchell" and for using "xenophobic" and "homophobic" language. Yosef also used other articles to attack same-sex unions, describing them as a front for "tax fraud". Tatchell called on Respect to expel Yosef but the party responded with the following statement: "Adam Yosef has the right to voice his own opinions in his own column – they range from an ecstatic review of Birmingham’s gay pride to venting his thoughts about Peter Tatchell." [Cite web|url=http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2006/01/331831.html?c=on#c145370|title=Galloway activist urges: assault Tatchell|accessmonthday=April 23|accessyear=2007|publisher=www.desixpress.co.uk |year=2006|author=Adam Yosef]

The Green movement

Respect co-initiator George Monbiot, a left-wing writer and activist, left the project before its launch, because Respect intended to stand members of its party against existing Green Party members of the European Parliament (MEPs). Respect had offered to form a pact with the Green Party to stand down in each other's favoured seats, but this was rejected by the Greens. This may have proved problematic as both groups favoured standing in London, where Respect has received its highest votes and the Green Party holds seats. [ [http://politics.guardian.co.uk/green/story/0,9061,1149904,00.html "Monbiot quits Respect over threat to Greens"] "The Guardian", 17 February 2004. Accessed 10 November 2006.]

For the 2004 European Parliament election, an attempt was made by Respect to present a joint slate with the Green Party as articulated in a letter by Michael Lavalette in the "Guardian"(5 May 2005). However, the response from Prof John Whitelegg ("Guardian", 6 May 2004) claims that this would not have been legally possible as electoral law does not allow for joint slates. The Greens have also said that they had selected their candidates months previously by postal ballot, and were sceptical of the SWP influence. [Cite web|url=http://www.greenparty.org.uk/news/1008/l=7|title=Greens regret attack by Galloway/SWP "Respect" party|accessmonthday=April 23|accessyear=2007|year=2004] In a newspaper interview Hugo Charlton, Green party chair, said that he had "... always argued for some sort of understanding with them, not least because we are both 'fellow travellers' on the left"; however he also noted that "any agreement at a local level, in the Green spirit of devolution, is up to local parties, but a formal, national alliance is out of the question". [Cite web|url=http://politics.guardian.co.uk/green/story/0,,1565593,00.html|title=Greens regret attack by Galloway/SWP "Respect" party|accessmonthday=April 23|accessyear=2007|publisher=The Guardian|year=2004]

After the 2005 results, Peter Cranie, the Greens' election co-ordinator - impressed with their results - had called for further discussion about how to further build the left of Labour vote, but did not advocate forming a Green-Respect alliance. [Cite web|url=http://www.socialistunitynetwork.co.uk/voices/green2005.htm|title=Green Analysis of the 2005 General Election|accessdate=2007-04-23|publisher=Socialist Unity Network|year=2005|author=Peter Cranie]

The Alliance for Green Socialism also criticise Respect for being unwilling to discuss the avoidance of electoral clashes with Green Socialists whilst being prepared to offer such an electoral arrangement to the Green Party.Fact|date=May 2007

References

External links

* [http://www.respectcoalition.org/ Left Alternative faction website]
* [http://www.respectrenewal.org/ Respect Renewal faction website - Galloway side]

Respect publications
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/RESPECT_uk_manifesto.pdf "Peace Justice Equality: the Respect manifesto for the May 2005 election" 727 KB PDF document] . Retrieved 5 May 2005.
* [http://www.respectcoalition.org/pdf/040629_ma_hope.pdf "Where now for Respect?" 435 KB PDF document] . John Rees, Respect National Secretary. 22 June 2004. Retrieved 5 May 2005.

Articles
* Harman, Chris. [http://www.isj.org.uk/index.php4?id=396&issue=117 "The Crisis in Respect"]
* Mc Shane, Anne. [http://www.cpgb.org.uk/worker/621/respect.htm "Reformism from above?"]
* Bynon, Huw. [http://www.cpgb.org.uk/worker/620/respect.htm "Drawing class lines"]
* Fischer, Mark. [http://www.cpgb.org.uk/worker/527/01openletter.html "Abortion: make the position clear"]
* Manson, Peter. [http://www.cpgb.org.uk/worker/602/respect%20main.htm "A strange amalgum"] ("sic"), [http://www.cpgb.org.uk/worker/551/respect%20-%20main.htm "Gerrymandering, exclusions and the farce of three- minute democracy"]
* Tatchell, Peter. [http://www.cpgb.org.uk/worker/602/respect%20tatchell.htm "Bizarre, upside-down politics"]
* Grzincic, Natasha. [http://www.redpepper.org.uk/brit/x-apr2005-respect.htm "Respect where it's due?"] . Red Pepper. April 2005.
* Molyneux, John [http://www.socialistreview.org.uk/article.php?articlenumber=8764 "The Necessity of Respect"] . Socialist Review. February 2004.
* Neira, Manny. [http://www.mannyneira.com/weeklyworker/ww513-shibboleth.html "Socialism - the final shibboleth"] . Weekly Worker. January 2004.
* O'Toole, James. [http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05124/498583.stm "British Labor rivals wooing fast-growing Muslim voters Iraq, immigration policies put incumbents on notice"] . Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Page A 6. Wednesday, May 4, 2005.
* Rees, John, [http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/article.php4?article_id=6466 "Respect win is only the start] . Socialist Worker. 14 May 2005.
* Sell, Hannah [http://www.socialismtoday.org/87/islam.html "Islam and Socialism"] . Socialism Today. October 2004.
* Bird, Nick [http://socialistunitynetwork.co.uk/voices/respectadvance.htm "Respect can be a real advance for the radical left"] . Socialist Unity Network. May 2005.
* Reports of 2nd annual conference, [http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/article.php4?article_id=7828 "Celebrate success, but face the next challenge"] . Socialist Worker. 26 November 2005.
* [http://www.butterfliesandwheels.com/articleprint.php?num=63 The Respect Coalition - Reactionaries in Progressive Clothing?]
* Cohen, Nick. [http://politics.guardian.co.uk/localelections2006/comment/0,,1769484,00.html "Bigots, racists and worthless buffoons - so why do they keep getting elected?"] The Guardian 7 May 2006.
* Middleton, Jacob [http://www.socialistreview.org.uk/article.php?articlenumber=9766 "Respect and the Muslim Vote"] . Socialist Review, June 2006


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