is a big deal for the Left:
is with deep regret that I have decided to resign from Respect. The
last few weeks have been extremely difficult for everyone in the party. I
feel necessary relations of trust and collaborative working have
unfortunately broken down. I have no wish to prolong those difficulties,
and indeed hope that they may now be drawn to a close...
This is obviously a calamity for the Left, particularly for anyone interested in building any kind of radical left-of-Labour alternative. At a time when the two major parties are lockstepped in the austerity drive, and when we can hardly count on the TUC to lead the resistance (this
notwithstanding), yet another disastrous quietus was the last thing we needed. That is not Salma Yaqoob's fault, obviously. The usual suspects will spread vicious gossip ("she's taken the New Labour shilling" etc etc) but as far as I can see, her decision is perfectly justified. I'm sorry to say it, but George Galloway did it to himself: he ought to have had the humility to retract his statement rather than relying on the diminishing fan club to issue cloying rationalisations.
There are serious questions raised by this nadir, and not only about the gender politics. If, only months after Respect's second coming, the whole thing could come crashing down like this then there are wider issues about the politics, institutional setting and tactics of left-of-Labour formations that need be thought over. Not much else I wish to add for now.
Labels: labour, left, misogyny, patriarchy, respect, socialism, socialist strategy