Respect Coalition

The New Battleground Against Blair

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Millwall is another area where Respect can gain.

Respect has received an enthusiastic response while campaigning for the 9 September by-election in Millwall, east London. This comes on the back of Respect's first victory, in the nearby ward of St Dunstan's and Stepney Green, where Oliur Rahman was elected on 29 July. The political climate is clearly very different from 11 years ago, when Millwall was at the epicentre of shock waves sent all over Britain, caused by the election of the first BNP councillor, Derek Beackon.

Vote 04: On Whose Authority?

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Peter Morgan tries to find out how well the left did in the recent elections.

The task, I thought, was a simple one. Socialist Review wanted to print a map showing the breakdown of vote by ward in some of the London boroughs to see how well Respect did. There is a by-election in St Dunstans and Stepney Green ward in Tower Hamlets on 29 July, so it would have been useful for the Respect coalition to gauge how they did at the European election, if their campaign worked, and if their supporters and sympathisers turned out to vote.

Putting Respect on the Map

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Mayoral candidate Lindsey German assesses the impact of the vote.

The centre cannot hold; things fall apart. That's the only conclusion to be drawn from Britain's 'Super Thursday' on 10 June, when right wing minority parties achieved high votes, but the left also put itself on the map and in some areas achieved astonishing gains.

Women on the Front Line: Can't Beat the Real Thing

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Lindsey German receives an enthusiastic response campaigning for the 10 June election, as these extracts from her 'blog' reveal.

The Double Shift
Tuesday 4 May

Alarm goes off at 5.30am and as usual when I have to get up very early I have slept very badly. I'm surprised - as usual again - by how many people are up and working. The people who drive the buses and trains, bake the bread and clean the streets have already been up for hours. This army of workers which keeps London moving is for the most part badly paid and taken for granted by the government.

Countdown to 10 June: Wipe the Smiles Off their Faces

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Peter Morgan looks at the unique opportunity we have to teach Blair and Bush a lesson on 10 June.

There is one memorable moment in Errol Morris's masterly new film The Fog of War, in which Robert S McNamara - the secretary of defence under Kennedy and Johnson and the man responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese - admits that both he and Lyndon Johnson knew the US was embroiled in a war it could not win and a war it had to get out of. That point came, he admitted, after about 23,000 US servicemen and women had been killed. Yet the final total of US casualties in the Vietnam War ended up being 58,209.

Striking parallels

Countdown to 10 June: A Winning Formula

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For Londoners, 'Super Thursday' will be the most complicated election ever held. Sally Campbell demystifies the process.

There are three elections taking place on 10 June:


European Parliament

Which voting system is used?

Regional list system: The UK is divided into 12 regions (eg North East, North West, London, Scotland) and each elects a certain number of MEPs, so London is likely to elect nine, Scotland eight, North West ten.

Each political party puts forward a list of candidates for the region matching the number of seats (independents can also stand as individuals).

Red Light from the Greens

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The Green Party's resistance to making an electoral arrangement with Respect is unfortunate, but not entirely uncharacteristic, finds Andrew Stone.

The destructive forces of capitalism are driving us headlong into the sixth great species extinction of the earth's 5 billion year history. The Green Party has done the left a valuable service in highlighting this environmental emergency, and in explaining human-induced climate change as one of its prime motors. It has been disappointing therefore that attempts by the Respect coalition steering committee to cooperate in campaigning for the 10 June elections were so robustly refused by the Green Party leadership. This article explains why.

Moderate progress

Trade Unions: Making Labour Pay

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The expulsion of the RMT from the Labour Party is hastening calls to democratise trade union political funds - and not before time.

For 100 years the trade union movement has loyally backed the Labour Party. In the past few months real cracks have begun to open up. At midday on 7 February 2004 the Labour leadership expelled the RMT. Its crime? A special conference decision to uphold the right of branches and regions to support parties other than the Labour Party. The decision to expel the RMT was not just made by the cabal around Blair - NEC delegates from Amicus, GMB, GPMU, TGWU and Unison voted for their expulsion. Members of the 'awkward squad' control all five of these unions!

How to Fight the System

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Coalitions can't substitute for revolutionary organisation but are a vital prerequisite.

A couple of years ago Paul Foot wrote an article in Socialist Worker arguing that people who were involved in the anti-war movement needed to belong to something more, a political organisation that took up other issues as well. We received two letters criticising his argument. They were from people who argued that they already had a wider organisation, the electoral united front the Socialist Alliance, and saw no reason to be in the Socialist Workers Party.

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