Tuesday, June 15, 2004

turning crusty

Activist and embryonic national treasure Peter Tatchell’s gone crusty. All decent lefties should join him, he says. Well, maybe. I’m not averse to the idea. The Greens are coming out with some interesting stuff. What I’d like to see from them is a formal repudiation of the animal rights nutters. I’m a proud speciesist. I like pigs and I like pork. You can have my vote or the gone-mad-in-menopause vote. The two are mutually exclusive.

Crusty Pete goes on to diss Respect and their prospects, rather politely given the run ins he’s had with their supporters in the past.

I’m not about to play the guilt by association game, except with people who play it themselves. One outcome of Iraq is that all of us, pro- or anti-, are keeping some pretty strange political company. But where Respect did do fairly well last week was in some of areas with a large Muslim vote to mobilize. That part of the coalition came through. It didn’t do so well in traditionally left wing areas without a large Muslim vote. A serious socialist party should get more than a handful of votes in South Wales, even one just out of the gate.

This is what I meant about Respect being crap. It was the same old table-in-the-street, benefit-in-the-pub agitprop, at least in my part of Manchester. And it just doesn’t work. My suggestions? None whatsoever. I’m a consumer of politics, not an activist. It was pretty clear during the campaign what I was supposed to do for Respect, but not at all clear what Respect could do for me. And the danger for Respect’s socialist contingent now is that they could end up as the appendage of a sectarian muslim party, which is no-one’s idea of good news. Anyway, ongoing, as they say in newsrooms.