Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Dis Respect: "We'll Win the Game, Me Boys; Bobbing Up and Down Like This"

Arthur Scargill was unhappy to leave behind his own highly successful electoral force. But two of the Bobbies persuaded him to "come quietly, sir".

Anyone nostalgic for the long form resolution should go over to Liam MacUaid's excellent blog and feast your eyes on one from the recent Respect National Committee (Saturday 29 September).

Numbering and particularly lettering is profuse and non-exclusive. It runs to three pages of single spaced 12 point type. Here are a few snippets:

Respect has to broaden its forces and build itself outwards if it is to become an effective left alternative. It has to relate to the Labour left after the collapse of McDonnell campaign and the left in the unions given the crisis of representation they face. ...

c) To discuss with the RMT, the Labour left, the CPB and others the possibility of a jointly organised conference to extend the discussion on a solution to the crisis of Labour representation.

b) Take a positive and collaborative approach to wider developments on the left, such as Bob Wareing’s decision to stand in West Derby, and the discussion on electoral strategy inside the RMT and among other significant forces in the movement.

Call me cynical but I would not give three bob for the chances of an organisation with Bob Crow (RMT) and Bob Wareing (ex Labour MP) and Bob Griffiths (CPB) in the Vanguard. The one still unable to get elected to committees at TUC, the next unable to perform the relatively easy tasks of ticking over as a constituency MP and being reselected, the third "who he?" *. Throw in the vainest man in politics George Galloway and the "buried hatchet" of SWP versus the rest and this ain't the recipe for a national political party of significance.

Surely Arthur Scargill would be available to get this worthwhile and essential project marching in the right direction?

* WIKI EXCERPT: Robert Griffiths comes from the city of Cardiff, although he was a Communist Party candidate in the Pontypridd constituency for the 2005 general election and obtained 233 votes (0.6%). Labour held Pontypridd with 52.8% of the vote. In the 2001 general election he stood for the Newport East constituency, winning just 173 votes (0.6%).


susan press said...

Bob Crow is one of the most effective union leaders around and Bob Wareing was utterly stitched up by USDAW.

Chris Paul said...

The former may well be so. I'm not sure. I don't know enough about what he has and hasn't achieved and whether this was optimal for his members or not.

Effective does sound like it might be a factual kind of word, almost scientific, but in fact it is very much moot. Your effective here may be someone else's serially failed.

I like Bob well enough from what I've seen of him at LRC and LAtW events and the like. He is a genuine class warrior and a pickled in aspic throwback of the old school.

The latter assertion also does have some merit. Usdaw did it seems pile in and affiliate lots of branches. They are allowed to do this. The GMB, the T&G, Unison, CWU and Unite could have done exactly the same thing under the rules.

BUT and it's a big BUT no-one but no-one would have been able to stitch up Bob Wareing if he had been regarded as a competent constituency MP and had been even a halfway good organiser.

He should have planned a succession IMO. He should have groomed a suitable successor. He should have recruited and retained members to support his choice. he should be looking forward to a long and peaceful retirement.

Even the local candidates vying to replace Bob themselves failed to do the basic work meeting and greeting and working the membership lists and their 10 and 20 years of local networking.

Beaten by Twigg in Liverpool where someone from Knowsley or Crosby is regarded as a carpet bagger? that is not being stitched up that is falling asleep at the wheel.

Instead he is going to piss away his career standing against his own party.

Again I like Bob 2 well enough from what I've seen of him. But was he a good constituency MP? Has he been making the right moves? Could he not have done better over this sleection?

This Respect initiative is going nowhere Susan and as a fellow supporter of the notion that the fight goes on you cannot possibly see it as anything other than a distraction based on a delusion?