Monday, 22 June 2009

George Galloway and Salma Yaqoob of The Respect Party

It's always good when political parties set out their stall and the message from MP George Galloway and Salma Yaqoob is especially welcome at this time. A good text and very little I could disagree with and something I could give whole-hearted support to.

I liked it so much I've reposted it in full from the Respect website.

Westminster in crisis - it's time for change
George Galloway MP and Salma Yaqoob

Monday 22nd June 2009

Many who once voted Labour in the hope of a fairer society now feel betrayed. The European elections saw Labour's vote collapse to just 15%. And there was a shocking breakthrough made by the BNP in the North of England.

Labour is to blame for its own crisis. And it has to take a large share of the responsibility for creating the conditions in which the far right is growing.

Labour loosened the rules that gave licence to greedy bankers to gamble away our jobs and homes.

* Labour failed to protect our public services from wasteful and costly privatisation.
* Labour has overseen growing inequality and a chronic shortage of affordable housing.
* And Labour failed to tackle the scandal of MP's expenses.

Labour's failure has helped the BNP win votes in deprived white working class communities. Labour's determination not to be outflanked by the Tories on questions of race and immigration has created fertile ground for racist arguments to win support.

When mainstream parties treat asylum seekers and immigrants as a criminal threat, it gives credibility to BNP arguments.

When national newspapers treat Muslims as the 'enemy within', the BNP feeds off this to spread hatred and division.

There is an alternative that is both practical and popular:

* The state must intervene in the economy to save and create jobs in the same way it saved the banks;
* Investment must be piled into a massive programme of house building;
* Corporate tax loopholes must be closed and the richest 1% taxed more to support the majority of the population through this recession.

Also, we need:

* Sustainability and human need, not greed at the heart of economic policy to tackle climate change;
* A genuinely ethical foreign policy;
* Protection of civil liberties;
* A clean-up of Westminster and Proportional Representation introduced.

There is a common agenda for progressive change in tune with the views of millions of people. Individually we are weak, but united we are strong.

We have strong RESPECT candidates ready for the General Election battle. But where there good Labour MPs who deserve our support we will back them. And where there are good Green Party challengers we will work with them - as we did in the European elections in the North-West and West Midlands. More people need to come forward to ensure there is a real alternative at the ballot box in many more areas.

As we approach the next General Election, all of us who support the values of peace, civil liberties and social justice must work together to deliver the strongest possible message of hope and change.

Link to the post here.

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  1. I'm very impressed by Salma and George's openness to working with the Greens. Salma spoke at the Compass conference, which indicates a willingness to work with those socialists who remain in Labour.

  2. I wasn't initially impressed by Salma's open letter after the poor showing of the left at the elections but after digesting it I do think she's right.

    Every group on the progressive left needs to stop ploughing their own furrow when it comes to elections and work to actually getting people elected.

    Until we can get to a position where the media can't ignore us then we're never going to get a fair hearing with the voters.

  3. And I'll have to have a nose at the news from the Compass Conference, ta for the reminder!


Keep it clean!