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Respect newspaper

by Nick Fredman
The new newspaper of the UK Respect party, since the split with the Socialist Workers Party and allies, is downloadable from here

Below is some comments I made on the Marxmail list where there's been a bit of discussion. Lenin's Tomb is referring to the Socialist Resistance paper which folded into the new paper.

Lenin's Tomb:
Best of luck with it - I only hope that it doesn't have the same distribution network!
Yes best of luck to the Respect newspaper, it appears a good attempt at a broad radical left paper - accessible yet fairly substantial. I agree with Lenin's implication that it's difficult to win a substantial distribution without a sizeable and dedicated network - and I don't think that's generally happened for a campaigning left paper without a revolutionary organisation or organisations involved.

One of the most striking things though is that nearly all of it could easily have sat within the UK Socialist Worker - there's even an almost identical (and equally lightweight) article on Marxist ecology in the RR paper (p.14) and the current SW . I suspect Respect in its original lineup was doomed when the SWP (and most likely at the time Galloway) refused to countenance throwing their weight into a new, broader paper. This could have created a new and interesting publication *with* a viable base that could have shaken up the left, had virtually everything you'd have wanted in SW, and also consolidated Respect as a campaigning party within which the SWP could easily continued as a revolutionary component, with a public face, magazine, whatever, along the lines Nick Wrack argued for.

In Australia the ISO dipped their toes in the broader paper idea in 2003-4, by writing some very good articles for Green Left Weekly. The sky did not fall in. They could have easily hopped on board the editorial team, had a substantial input, argue to change the name and whatever else. However sometime in 2004 the word came from London that Socialist Alliances were just soooo 2002 and attitudes changed quite abruptly, sadly.

The article on the Australian elections in RR (p. 18) is by the way quite superficial and soft on Labor, especially for a paper that's fighting a New Labour government. Months before the election there were plenty of important union leaders, apart from others, speaking out against the ALP leadership's sell-outs (two being expelled from the ALP), and already since the elections
others, including union Labor rightists, calling for a campaign, rather than sitting around, to press the government. RR would do better to source Oz copy from Green Left.

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