We need to recognise that none of this is going to happen before
June the 10th, but we can lay the seeds now while we work in genuine
unity with other progressive people in RESPECT. It's essential that
RESPECT prioritises money, members and momentum in the current period.
We need money for leaflets and other materials, members to come
together and spread the message and momentum to harness the energies
and talents of those who want to see a more fair and equitable society
But we must help RESPECT avoid the mistakes of the past and ensure
that it is as democratic and inclusive as possible. We need to help
develop a policy for the movement that is principled, steadfast and
connects with a large layer of the general public. Along the way we
are sure to make mistakes and get the emphasis wrong at times, but
these mistakes are to welcomed where we can learn from them and help
us grow both politically and numerically.
We are for a successful progressive bloc at the elections but we are
also for preserving the gains of the Socialist Alliance. The SA was a
massive step forwards for the left in this country and was just part
of a general international re-groupment of the left. RESPECT is also
part of that process, and should be seen as an advance - but one in
which there are pitfalls and problems if we do not work to ensure the
shape it is given is not simply a tool for one group or another to
pursue its own ends - but a
genuine contribution to the movement and further unity.
Every socialist has a part to play in
that process, no matter how painful we have found some of the birth
pangs of RESPECT.
We believe that we should campaign for
RESPECT, doing all we can to achieve a successful breakthrough and in
doing so we will be best placed in the future to shore up the gaps
where they exist. This is more constructive than hoping RESPECT will
fail, or just moaning about some of RESPECT's short-comings.
We believe the best supporters of Respect
should be suggesting ways that the organisation can improve,
particularly after the June elections are over, but to earn the right
to make those suggestion we also need to be actively promoting Respect
now. At the same time we believe that local socialist groups who wish
to stand socialist candidates in June's local elections should have
the right to do so, but we recommend that these campaigns should be
used to promote a vote for RESPECT in the Euro and GLA elections.
If we are to advance towards a socialist society then the
left has to work together.