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A resident’s view of the Respect Party’s Launch in Croydon

November 14, 2012

Living in Croydon in outer London, I went to see Lee Jasper, George Galloway and the Respect party at their Croydon North launch event. I went despite the misgivings of my wife because I wanted to see for myself if the Respect party was anything more than an extension of Galloway’s ego and whether Jasper was just an opportunistic professional black man looking to get into representative politics as Galloway’s less articulate sidekick.

I arrived at the busy venue and was surprised and impressed with all of them. The Respect Party had clearly gone to a lot of trouble to make sure they got their message across. They had clearly understood the vein of serious discontent in Croydon that the ordinary citizen has with the establishment and the inability/ disinclination of the labour movement to do anything about it.

Without going into the two and half hours of speeches, poems and endorsements of Jasper himself, his message was mainly, that in Croydon – the Labour Party:

1. Is not the automatic home of the disaffected centre left or left leaning voter.

2. Has said all the right things to their constituency while in opposition but completely fails to deliver on anything to that constituency while in power.

3. Has taken for granted voters that put them in power saying, “Who else are you going to vote for?”

4. Has lost their principles and what they used to always stand for.

5. Has allowed the state to abuse its powers by colluding with the mainstream media, police and big business at the expense of the most vulnerable in society. The old, the sick, the young, the weak, people who work hard for a meagre living paying disproportionately for the excesses of government, the state and the establishment that runs the lot.

 

The Liberals and Tories were dismissed as the most self-serving, self-entitling, back slapping bunch of hypocrites yet seen who have landed austerity and misery on us all with breath taking disregard.

They are people that are happy to strip the police, strip the military, strip education, strip the hospitals, health and other public services, while at the same time fund foreign misadventures in Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq and possibly Syria and hocking Typhoons to human rights abusers Saudi Arabia. And yet, ordinary citizens were footing the bill in housing they cannot heat and food they cannot afford to buy.

The voter in Croydon and probably nationally no longer has a choice between parties as they are all saying and doing the same thing.

Jasper was charismatic and had an important message for the labour party and probably all other parties.

He states that if you abandon the principles, interests and needs of the voters that give you power, then the Respect party will fill that vacuum with candidates that do not want establishment gongs, cosy relationships with big business, the police or the media. They will be serving you directly.

As a starter for 10 – It was a good message.

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