Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/358/5902

From The Socialist newspaper, 7 August 2004

Respect Wins First Councillor

OLI RAHMAN, Respect's GLA candidate in the June elections, won the St. Dunstan's & Stepney council by-election on 29 July in the East London borough of Tower Hamlets.

Hugo Pierre, Tower Hamlets Socialist Party

He topped the poll with 878 votes (31%) pushing New Labour, who previously held the seat, comfortably into third place behind the Liberal Democrats (754 votes). The Tories polled 445 votes and the National Front 172 (6%), in a ward with a majority black and Asian population.

The huge anti-war sentiment in Tower Hamlets, which has a large Muslim minority, has turned on New Labour. In particular the two sitting MPs who loyally supported Blair's war on Iraq, are seen to have betrayed local people on the issues of war, privatisation and top-up fees.

The 'Muslim Rights' campaign Respect used in the borough during the GLA/European elections gave them a base of support, but this time they tapped into some of the local issues facing Stepney residents such as the planned closure of local youth facilities.

With New Labour councillors running the council on 'market principles' (with their own self-interests to the fore), it is no surprise that only 578 die-hards could be found to vote for them.

Respect's victory in St. Dunstan's, however, does not answer the criticisms that the Socialist Party previously made that a new workers' alternative to Labour must be able to appeal to and address the interests of all sections of the working class.

In the recent Leicester South by-election, for example, Respect's leaflets in predominantly Muslim areas of the constituency appealed for support on the basis that their candidate, Yvonne Ridley, 'is the only Muslim candidate'.

This approach wouldn't have worked in St. Dunstan's, given the population make-up of the ward and with Labour and the Liberals standing Muslim candidates. It remains to be seen how Respect will fare in the next Tower Hamlets by-election, in Millwall ward on the Isle of Dogs, on 9 September.

Respect will face pressure now in Stepney to organise on their election promises. And there are lessons to be learnt in this regard from the degeneration of those Tower Hamlets Labour councillors, including Bangladeshi councillors, who thought they could deliver for local people by making deals in high places with pro-capitalist politicians rather than fighting on a clear socialist programme.

 

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 7 August 2004:

Wealth Gap Widens Under Blair

'We Need Workers' Rights'

Civil Servants On Strike


International features

WTO - The Enemy Of The Poor

Building A Party Of World Socialism

Teamster Rebellion

Genocidal Horror In Sudan


Socialist Party news and analysis

Throw Out Agenda For Change Now!

Respect Wins First Councillor

New Labour Wrecks Firefighters' Pay Deal

South Yorkshire First Bus Drivers On The Road To Victory


 

Home   |   The Socialist 7 August 2004   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Respect:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleYoung people accused of extremism

triangleResignation of five Respect councillors in Bradford

triangleBradford Respect: Where did it all go wrong?

triangleThatcher death: readers respond 2

Socialist Party:

triangleConference on state spies and sabotage: who's watching who?

trianglePowerful picture of the Port Talbot steel workers' struggle

triangleHundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

triangle'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

Socialist:

triangleSocialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleCan you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

triangleNo cuts - hands off King George A&E!

Labour:

triangleSheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

triangleTories torn - bin them now

Muslim:

triangleFinsbury Park attack: No to terror, racism, war and austerity!

Election:

triangleNasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

18/10/17

Art

'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

18/10/17

Democratic rights

Conference on state spies and sabotage: who's watching who?

18/10/17

Council

Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

18/10/17

South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

18/10/17

NHS

Uprising to save the NHS!

18/10/17

Socialism

Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

18/10/17

East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!

18/10/17

North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

18/10/17

Leeds

Striking back against the sackers' charter at Leeds University

18/10/17

BAE

Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems

18/10/17

Royal Mail

Workers' anger increases after Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

18/10/17

Schools

Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

18/10/17

PCS

PCS ballots members to send message to government: scrap the pay cap

18/10/17

Swansea

Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

18/10/17

Local government

Unite local government sector plans strike ballot

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

triangle11 Oct Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

triangle6 Oct Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

triangle4 Oct The nasty party turns on itself... but the Tories must be driven out

More ...

triangle18 Oct Warrington & St Helens Socialist Party: 1917-2017; the October Russian Revolution

triangle18 Oct Hackney Socialist Party: 100 years ago - the Bolshevik-led revolution

triangle18 Oct Tower Hamlets Socialist Party: Capitalism in Crisis - is Corbyn the answer?

triangle19 Oct Waltham Forest Young Socialists: Deaths in police custody

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2