A Truly Sad Day for the Left

by Imraan

Alas, my eyes are tearing at reading this. I’m not one of those people who’ll easily rally around a flag, and nor do I believe in the cult of personality – that’s usually (in my humble opinion) the way of the demagogue and their ilk and followers.

However I’ve just found out that Ms. Yaqoob has resigned from the Respect Party, of which I’m a proud member –  the reasons, though not stated below, are probably obvious to most – though we’ll see if this gets any news coverage in the next few days – if only to villify Mr. Galloway MP.

Finally, I had thought – there was a decent, straight-talking principled woman of colour and of a minority religion who might actually suggest decent policy ideas and be able to help rally a grass-roots and/or working-class movement in the UK (for those three of you who read me, you may or may not know that I’m fanatically Leftist!); I was hoping that she’d actually be able to help redress the imbalance of coverage and negative spin on Muslim women in the UK (Ms Warsi doesn’t appear to be making a positive impact, and her relegation in the latest reshuffle just goes to show how tokenistic her appointment in the Cabinet was in the first place…-plus, she’s a Tory – yeuch!) – and my hopes were that this was a positive step for British politics. Especially given the tone of ‘Muscular Liberalism’  from our Fearless Leader and the notion that multiculturalism had ‘failed’ in Britain  – she was supposed to be our saving grace.

A friend tells me that this is probably the end of Respect as we know it – they already lost Kate Hudson as the candidate for Manchester Central last week, and in the last few years the SWP and other movements haven’t appeared to get on with Respect proper… I’m wondering if I’ll have to shift my political allegiances…although that’s a pretty cheap thing to do in the end, as I still believe in the tenets and credo of Respct.

Back to the sordid, smarmy tripartite menage of UK Politics then. This just really sucks. If Respect is to collapse or lose momentum, it will set us, as the multicultural community (no, not just male Muslims of South Asian origin) back by several years; with the rise of the (might as well be) militant EDL (God help us!) and the BNP (some sort of cosmic joke?!) and the increasingly disenfranchised white working-class in Britain – this spells disaster….unless we can find some other voice that screams out in longing for the equality, respect, and community-spirit we so desperately need

Britain isn’t broken. Don’t get me wrong. But there are several interest groups seeking to widen the cracks, then create and deepen chasms in our society – moreover Government policy doesn’t help, and won’t help. This isn’t a problem with the various ‘cultures’ and ethnic groups in Britain – I think it has more to do with a fundamentally different approach to nation states (see my anarchism seep through?!) – that we are able to hold more than one allegience, with integrity.

One might think that the minorities were struggling to integrate  because they/we don’t have a voice or a plurality of them – but it is more a case  that up until recently, and at least and especially since 9/11, our voices were easy to ignore – so long as the Kebab shops remained open, Britain worked fine. And then Respect came along and gained a fair amount of positive coverage – its figures often asked to speak at televised debates/discussion programmes (better them than that Quilliam lot – egh!)

Now, there doesn’t seem to be a competing, dignified political platform for ‘us’ to join (Labour’s recent fielding a male Pakistani Muslim in the Bradford West by-election just goes to show how tokenistic and shallow Labour politics are).

All doom and gloom?! I pray that I’m wrong.