The split in Respect though ‘finalised’ in the sense that the SWP and George Galloway are unlikely to work together again has still not run its course.
'Respect' and George Galloway
According to an exchange reported on Shiraz Socialist, Respect Renewal is unlikely to mandate its MP George Galloway to vote for abortion rights.
11 articles on the SWP's political collapse into a decade of alliance with Islamic clerical fascism. Solidarity has commented on the SWP's ongoing political collapse at each stage.
The International Socialist Organization of the USA has thrown its weight on George Galloway's side in the Respect split. The ISO is perhaps the most important group in the world, after the SWP-UK, with the same general politics as the SWP, but was expelled by the SWP from its international network in 2001.
Many people reading this article may ask themselves “why join the SWP in the first place?” Others still will ask “why go on to join the AWL?” These are legitimate questions. In fact, the answer to the question “why I left the SWP” revolves almost entirely around answering the other two.
George Galloway was addressing a Whitechapel Respect Renewal rally on Sunday 2 December. According to the East London Advertiser it was “Muslim-dominated”. In that case a socialist message to such an audience could have been anything from fighting low pay to issues about council housing or fighting racism. But according to the Advertiser, and perhaps predictably, Galloway chose to spread a little religious fervour and to highlight the sanctity of his new organisation:
“There’s one God, there’s one Respect”, he said.
Galloway and his fanclub having departed, I recently joined Respect, in order to see what was going on and make the arguments to as many people as possible for a turn towards independent working-class politics. I haven't had time to go to a branch meeting yet; my first foray was an attempt to attend the Student Respect conference on 2 December.
About an hour and a half into the "Respect Renewal" conference held by George Galloway and his allies on 17 September (at which point I left), there were about 200 people present. So the widely cited figure of 250 is probably about right.
The SWP-Respect conference at Westminster University on 17 November was essentially an SWP event — extra observers were turned away “for lack of space”.
As against George Galloway and his close friends, our sympathies in the split now taking place in Respect cannot but be with the SWP. We protested when the SWP trashed its alliance with other socialists, in 2003, rallying its members behind the demagogue Galloway... We can't be other than glad that the SWP is now breaking that alliance, so discreditable for the whole socialist left.