Lee Jasper Unveiled As Respect Candidate for Croydon North By-election

Lee Jasper will be standing as Respect’s candidate in the Croydon North by-election, scheduled to take place at the end of November.

The by-election has been called in response to the death of Malcolm Wicks, who held the seat for Labour with one of the largest majorities in the country since the seat was created for the 1997 general election out of the previous Croydon North West and part of Croydon North East constituencies. At the last election Wicks was elected with 31. 9% of the vote, giving him a majority of 16,481.

Croydon is one of the most deprived boroughs in London, registering above national average levels of poverty, crime, and social exclusion. Child poverty is a major problem and currently stands at 4 in 10 (45%). The South London borough is ranked in the top 10% of deprived electoral wards in the UK and is home to a large Muslim, Black and Asian population.

Lee Jasper’s record as an anti-racist and community activist is unparalleled, and he carries with him a formidable track record as a campaigner that no other candidate standing could hope to match.

He issued the following statement, announcing his candidature:

“‘I’m delighted to be the Respect candidate. Following George’s amazing victory in Bradford West I welcome the opportunity to offer the people of Croydon North a viable alternative to the tired and failed politics of the mainstream political parties. The responsibility for the economic crisis lies with banks and not the people of Croydon North and yet they are seeing their services cut and the welfare reforms are causing real hardship and acute distress.

“‘I will be a minority of those articulating that there is another way. I will be arguing against the austerity programme and for investment in public services and jobs. I am looking forward to taking these argument to the voters of Croydon North.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

111 comments on “Lee Jasper Unveiled As Respect Candidate for Croydon North By-election

  1. “What had been a safe Labour seat since 1997 may not be safe any more.”

    Really? A tenner says that Mr Honey Glaze doesn’t save his deposit.

  2. sergeantcupcake on said:

    well done to lee and the Respect party. Now that’s going to be a very good battle. I think he will do a lot better then just keep his deposit. SSDO you are a complete Muppet.

  3. Why? Has a Respect parliamentary candidate ever saved a deposit in a constituency with fewer than 30% Muslim electorate? I ask that purely as a question of fact.

  4. That comment was in no way racist. It merely draws attention to some of the candidate’s activities in work time during his stint as a £120,000 a year political advisor.

    Respect got 275 votes in 2010. What concrete reason is there to suggest that its performance will be any better this time?

  5. jack ford on said:

    If Labour were to lose some safe seats to Respect in non Muslim areas that would cause the Blairites real pain and might make it harder for them to take working class and the poor for granted.

  6. sergeantcupcake on said:

    Well, i will be out every day of the election and i know respect has 100s of activist ready to rock and roll. We will work hard and may thwart best candidate win.
    If you don’t like lee or respect maybe you should post somewhere else.

  7. jim mclean on said:

    sergeantcupcake: If you don’t like lee or respect maybe you should post somewhere else.

    Why, I am sure there are people in Respect that don’t like Lee. Would genuinely like to know how the selection process works though. In Manchester and now Croydon individuals who have been in the Party only a few months have been given candidacies.

  8. sergeantcupcake,

    NO. Many people who post here will be supporting the Labour candidate. Some regular commenters here may even be supporting the CPB candidate.

    I dont believe Labour has yet selected, and may chose a candidate that will enthuse

  9. If you don’t like lee or respect maybe you should post somewhere else.

    That’s not how this site works. It’s not how it’s ever worked, and it’s not how it’s going to work now. There are many different opinions about Respect, Lee Jasper, Labour etc. People are free to post for and against. Dave Osler is a bit of an idiot, obviously, but he’s still welcome to post here.

  10. Well, I’m being called ‘an idiot’ and ‘a muppet’, but nobody has answered my substantive political point. Has a Respect candidate ever saved a deposit in a constituency without at least a substantial Muslim presence? Not to the best of my knowledge, but correct me if I’m wrong.

    Respect polled 275 votes in Croydon in 2010. Granted, Jasper has a higher profile, but not an uncontroversial one. There are real questions to be asked over his performance as a £120,000 Livingstone aide, and his attitudes towards women.

    There is also the matter of Respect’s women’s office, who only a month ago questioned whether Hitler was a bad guy.

    It is true, as Jack Ford points out, that the loss of safe Labour seats in non-Muslim areas would hit home at Labour headquarters. But wishing for something doesn’t make it so.

    The first precondition of a left advance – and I am here accepting purely for the sake of argument that Respect can be classified as leftist – is a realistic grasp of the facts.

    All I sought to do (however irreverently) is to question the unsupported assertion in the post above that Croydon N may no longer be a safe Labour seat. Evidence, please? Anybody?

  11. Lieutenant colonel cupcake on said:

    okay so its confirmed. A. yes he can continue to post here. B.he is an idiot..Glad we got that sorted.

  12. Leftie lady on said:

    It really isn’t helpful to dig up what Jasper did in the past or attack the women’s officer . She did not say it when in Respect and has now changed her mind, thanks to Galloway debating this with her I believe .

    Weneed to rally round Respect and not side with the likes of Harry’s Place who have used this one off past comment to attack George and the gains he has made .

    It’s about time we focused on the al issues and not getting caught up on semantics re rape . We should praise Nas Khan for changing her views .

  13. jim mclean on said:

    Labour shortlist:

    Simon Burgess
    Faz Hakim
    Steve Reed (Progress?)
    Val Shawcross
    Louisa Woodley

  14. Nadia Chern on said:

    Yes and I don’t view Dave Osler as ‘leftist’. After all, he does repeat every smear from the right about Respect without so much as questioning them.

    1st problem: Respect got only 1200 votes in Bradford West in 2010 but still overturned Labour in March.

    2nd problem: Respect has a lot of support among south Asian voters which of which the party is proud. It rather beats the days of Labour believing it could take these votes for granted and abusing its position as a result.

    3rd problem: Lee Jasper had 18 separate inquiries launched into his conduct while working for Ken Livingstone after allegations originating from…you guessed it, Gilligan (that well known leftist). He was exonerated on every inquiry. If you doubt this, show me the evidence.

    4th problem: the scurrilous articles relating to the Bradford Respect Women’s Officer (which is not what you said, is it? so much for a grasp for the facts, Dave) originated in the Jewish Chronicle (another bastion of leftism). The remarks were made before she joined the Respect Party and they generated an argument that led her to change her position. Hence, she joined and is posting up quotes from famous Jewish intellectuals such as Einstein and Schweitzer.

  15. Not a wise choice for Respect. I don’t think LJ will poll at all well.

    One of my reasons for thinking that is that friends in what should be his core constituency express little enthusiasm for him. That’s my friends obviously – not his.

  16. SSDO: There are real questions to be asked over his… attitudes towards women.

    Judging by recent, and not so recent statements by Mr. Respect, M.P., I supsect that those questions were asked before the “selection” took place and the answers that may then have been given would have been judged as being entirely appropriate and in keeping with the leadership line.

  17. If Jasper is lurking then there’s money to be made, nobody has a track record of rent extraction from race relations like his. I wonder how many organisations in Croydon North are about to be identified as institutionally racist and in need of a workshop, a community leader, a diversity consultant or some other suspiciously commercialised race relation service?

  18. Caroline:
    What’s with the ‘Mr Honey Glaze’?

    Is the option to google “honey glaze” not available where you are, Caroline? Not even without the associated phrases “cook you slowly” (which reminds me only to get some lamb chops out of the freezer) and “passionate and torrid embrase”.

  19. I think Lee Jasper is a strong candidate for Respect in spite of any “controversies”, but not only do I think Dave is right but I think Respect is terminally damaged by George’s remarks on Assange and rape. Had he not made those remarks, Kate Hudson and Lee Jasper may well have turned in quite respectable (though certainly not winning) votes in Manchester & Croydon . But as he did, and has failed since to recognise the magnitude of his error, it’s a game changer for Respect.

  20. Do you really expect me to believe that there’s SSDO and an innocent person called “Leftie lady”, one at a computer the other at an Ipad, both with completely opposing views (both of which centre on exactly the same thing), innocently posting on the same thread, both happening to be sitting in the same room together?

    Good grief. Not everyone on the internet is gullible, Dave.

  21. robert p. williams on said:

    andy newman: I dont believe Labour has yet selected, and may chose a candidate that will enthuse

    The only thing that would ‘enthuse’ me to vote for a Labour candidate would be if they were to oppose the cuts and vote against them.

    The Socialist Party has given our full support to those Labour councillors who have opposed the cuts in deed as well as words:

    http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/15450/11-10-2012/southampton-anti-cuts-councillors-form-new-council-group

  22. jim mclean on said:

    Googled Honey Glaze and it is getting stained during sex with somebody with a fake tan. WTF

  23. Tony: I expect that would be his girlfriend Tony. It’s not rocket science.

    On the post: Lee Jasper is a strong candidate and I wish him well. He might even get his deposit back… although he may struggle to do so with Respect’s recent troubles hanging like a weight around his neck.

    Anyway, good luck to him.

  24. jim mclean on said:

    Prediction Greens out vote Respect 3 to 1
    UKIP Outvote NF/bnp 3 to 1 and beat Lib Dems.
    Labour select a muppet and get over 52.35% of the popular vote.

    (NF candidate was BNP until recently)

  25. We are not in the ‘same room’, Tony. My home is fortunately bigger than a bedsit.

    Just for the avoidance of doubt, I have not used two names in this thread. I am not in any way responsible for the opinions of ‘leftie lady’.

    I know that Respect doesn’t really ‘get’ feminism, Tony. But you need to be aware that some women have minds of their own. No kid.

  26. jim mclean on said:

    Jon Lansman,

    I have heard (sorry read) at national level the GMB are supporting Val Shawcross but some diddy local group went for the other guy whose internal campaigning is getting on members nerves. Also read Ms Shawcross is having a number of barriers put in her way. Something to do with they wont let her resign from the assembly.

  27. South Londoner on said:

    Shawcross has both the personal support of Ken Livingstone and Paul Kenny of the GMB,even though she is very much in the Blarite mould. However neither Ken nor Kenny have a vote in the selection contest on Saturday.

    Steve Reed is claiming the support of a local GMB branch affiliated to the constituency, despite his association with the Progress group that the national GMB are trying to get banned.

    The left in the Labour Party fought long and hard to prevent parliamentary selections being carved up by national trade union bosses and get them into the hands of local members. So it should not matter one jot what the national or regional GMB think of him. Even if he is the devil incarnate or just another right wing New Labourite little shit, it is the members who should have the right to decide that’s what he is and reject him. Sadly the members of the current day Labour Party are not so enlightened as they were in the past, despite their ranks being swollen by the likes of Andy. Fortunately, Reed does seem to be alienating constituency members by his constant telephone canvassing, having somehow got hold of their phone numbers.

    Shawcross is also a Blairite, though perhaps not quite so obnoxious as Reed. However, she may get squeezed leaving it open to Louisa Woodley to come through the middle as the local candidate untainted by the national bickering over who counts for more in the GMB.

    Of course the Party members may also be panicked by Jasper’s candidacy for Respect into voting for a credible black woman candidate, and my money is on Woodley getting the nomination, though for once in a Labour Party selection it is actually quite open and any one of the three could get it.

  28. At the last election Wicks was elected with 31. 9% of the vote, giving him a majority of 16,481.

    Actually Malcolm Wicks had 56% of the vote to the Tory’s 24.1% – in other words, he had a majority of 31.9%. It was the 69th largest majority, and the 26th largest Labour majority, in the entire country. I wouldn’t call this a tactical move by Respect.

  29. That said Lee has at least some links locally through the Justice for Smiley Culture campaign. He has a profile and a credible claim to being “real labour” through his time at the GLA.

    He could well turn in a credible vote and at least should open up some real political discussion in this election. There could be many worse choices for a left of Labour candidate. If I have some time might well give out a few leaflets for him.

  30. redscribe on said:

    SSDO,

    “I know that Respect doesn’t really ‘get’ feminism, Tony. But you need to be aware that some women have minds of their own. No kid.”

    Hehehe, does that include Naomi Wolf?

  31. andy newman on said:

    South Londoner: Steve Reed is claiming the support of a local GMB branch affiliated to the constituency, despite his association with the Progress group that the national GMB are trying to get banned.

    Let us clarify this.

    For the GMB to endorse a candidate requires a conversation between the national office in Euston, and the region; with the aim of reaching a consensus. The region – certainly in Southern – will be heavily influenced by the views of the local brnach and activists. Croydon is well plugged into the regional structures, as the branch secretary sits on the regional committee.

    Three potential candidates who are GMB members approached the local branch / region for support. None of the three were told they were being supported, but the local branch will have passed their recommendations and impressions to the regional political officer, and regional secretary; who would then have discussed it with national.

    It was at this point that Stece Reed, tweeeted his false claim that he was being supported by GMB.

  32. andy newman on said:

    tony collins: Do you really expect me to believe that there’s SSDO and an innocent person called “Leftie lady”, one at a computer the other at an Ipad, both with completely opposing views (both of which centre on exactly the same thing), innocently posting on the same thread, both happening to be sitting in the same room together?

    For what it is worth, I think it is highly credible that two people could be using the same wireless Internet connection; and that Dave Osler is surely telling the truth here.

  33. Andy, obviously it’s highly credible – my partner and me use the same net connection. That’s not my point. Just look at the two different posts. It’s a joke.

    Same response to Jim Jepps – of course different people use the same IP address. That’s not my point. Just think about the history of this guy and his smearing, and look at the other post. SSDO doesn’t exactly have form as an honest contributor. I’m surprised that it didn’t stick out as strongly to others, given SSDO’s history.

  34. andy newman on said:

    tony collins: Just think about the history of this guy and his smearing, and look at the other post. SSDO doesn’t exactly have form as an honest contributor

    Well that is a different question.

    Dave Osler is a strange beast, because he seems to have abandoned all traces of left politics, and yet has adopted an Internet persona that trades heavily on his past involvmement with the far left; his website relies upon presenting caracatures of left positions as straw men, and then world-wearily refuting them, as if those ridiculous caracatures were the real arguments.

    He is not a bad writer, but one wonders why he bothers.

  35. I actually supported Lee in the Gilligan/Livingstone furore but looking at his website recently I don’t support a lot of his politics in particular when he writes “It time to build the African Academy and take responsbility for the education of our own children….With Government announcing it policy on free schools now could be the opportune time to establish the UK first school designed to meet the needs of African and Caribbean young people.”

  36. “Dave Osler is a strange beast, because he seems to have abandoned all traces of left politics”

    I’ve just had a quick look at the first 5-6 articles on his blog and am struggling to see how that allegation could be sustained. Maybe you just disagree with his views??

    And anyway…this sort of ritual denunciation of people for “not being of the left” because they fail to meet certain putative standards of ideological purity is just so fucking boring. It’s not a bloody religion!!

  37. Andy BH: you don’t have be an Osler fan to see that the claim that he has “abandoned all traces of left politics”
    is just risible.

    Really?? Just go and look at his website. Every article drips with cynicism and corrosive negativity about the left. The fact that Osler does so using the vocabulary and iconography of an embittered former trot doesn’t detract from the air of defeatism and demobilising inertia.

  38. James: certain putative standards of ideological purity is just so fucking boring

    I think that anyone who is basically a cyncial arsehole pouring only scorn and contempt on the left has moved so far away that we are not talking about lack of “ideological purity”, but of someone who has moved into ideological opposition.

  39. Despite all the corrupting influence of Lee Jasper’s time at City Hall – I still have a great deal of respect for Lee’s campaigning skills. However, even if RESPECT can mobilise resources and support for Lee in Croydon I doubt he will get more than the 2-3% of the vote that fringe candidates normally secure. In fact the Green Party Candidate Shasha Khan is probably on course to pick up disgruntled Lib-Dem votes and could well get 8% or 9% without much effort.

    http://croydon.greenparty.org.uk/news/the-green-knight-enters-the-fray.html

    In this context then Lee’s Campaign is little more than an exercise in vanity and Socialists in Croydon in my view should back a genuine local community campaigner standing on the radical policy platform of the Green Party. With Respect don’t split the left vote – Vote Shasha Khan!

  40. #57 I think some will accuse me of hypocrisy here given the tone of some of my contributions, but I agree 100%.

    When I read DO’s stuff it really does smell of someone who’s lost faith and simply wants to justify it by dragging everyone else with them into a pit of cynicism and loathing for one’s past existence.

    I just wonder why he bothers.

    A shame because he is a good writer. But who said being talented was protection against being a knobhead.

  41. #57

    That’s just bollocks though –

    Current articles include an enthusiastic write up of Owen Jones on neo-Bennism, support for Walmart strikes in the US, critical support for Chavez and a call for Labour to prioritise the Unions over its business interests.
    So it’s hardly pure negativism!!

    However, as an ex-Trot (now (left) Labour Party) myself, I do very much recognise the targets of some of the more cynical articles. The plain fact is that so much of the far left just looks plain weird to those outside it – it’s strange archaic language, it’s hierarchies, the hero worship of those deemed to be prophetic, it’s tendency to loudly denounce those regarded as “apostates” etc. These are not caricatures for anyone who has spent a long time in far left activity and now sees it from a different perspective.

    The far left really needs to be able to laugh at itself more. It’s a healthy trait and it might make it more “human” to the 99.99% of people in Britain who have never heard of Trotsky and think that Lenin is a type of toilet cleaner.

  42. #57 ‘critical support for Chavez’.

    Is that conditional or unconditional?

    One bit of trotspeak that some will never outgrow.

  43. redscribe on said:

    James,

    “I do very much recognise the targets of some of the more cynical articles. The plain fact is that so much of the far left just looks plain weird to those outside it – it’s strange archaic language, it’s hierarchies, the hero worship of those deemed to be prophetic, it’s tendency to loudly denounce those regarded as “apostates” etc.”

    Its not the bizarre elements of the left who are the target of Osler’s barbs. Its the harder and more principled opponents of imperialism. He is on the fringe of the ‘decent’ left but manages to just about keep a step to the left of actually joining it. He tends to echo a great many of their tirades without actually endorsing their conclusions in the wider world.

    His appelation ‘SSDO’ = ‘Sad Sectarian Dave Osler’ is a conceit. He fancies himself as a left-wing critic when in fact he is invariably attacking the targets of his tirades from the right.

  44. Obviously I will be supporting Ben Stevenson as the Communist candidate, in getting across an explicitly socialist message, in mobilising the local labour movement and making politics about expressions of popular participation and mass organisations.

    A Labour win on the basis of an expanded majority will further support the fight against this government in parliament, and support media pressure against their unpopular policies that are nakedly in the ruling classes interest.

    Support for the Greens and Respect might indicate liberal voters and others seeking to bloody the noses of the three party consensus and led to way to a more plural system of party representation.

    Yet, from experience of supporting communist electoral interventions, I know Ben will continue building local organisation against austerity and will engage with local union branches, charities and campaigning groups on how they intend to keep up and increase pressure on the government both during and after the election, not stopping when Labour are re-elected.

  45. The People Will Rise on said:

    @63: Sadly the working class in this country isn’t interested in “explicit socialist messages”.

    We know a Communist candidate will get hardly any votes so why stand one? There’s no political gain in doing spectacularly badly.

  46. jim mclean on said:

    The People Will Rise:
    @63: Sadly the working class in this country isn’t interested in “explicit socialist messages”.

    We know a Communist candidate will get hardly any votes so why stand one? There’s no political gain in doing spectacularly badly.

    Yes there is, the latent effect of unifying the members and brings them into contact with local workers. It is the campaign that counts in this instance and not the result of the campaign. If it were a marginal seat it may have a negative effect, but this is a Labour shoo in.

  47. 65
    exactly.

    And it keeps the advanced workers within the process. There are some trade unionists who are such committed socialists they will refuse to vote labour until they change policies. There are those who are campaigners who are so pissed off with the whole process they wouldnt vote otherwise.

    But yeah, a small number of people and a small number of votes but it gets the message out, always results in more recruits and better relations with the local labour movement and campaigners..etc

    Very worthwhile

  48. markcopestake on said:

    Saying that RESPECT only ever win in areas heavily populated by Muslims is untrue, not only is it suggesting that Muslims do not have minds of their own, but it also suggests that RESPECTS manifesto contains something that is ‘special to Muslims’ which is untrue. I think that it is only fair to point out that the university area in bradford has mostly a white population and Galloway got 86% of the votes, So im guessing that theory appart from being racist is ‘pea brained’

  49. Mark Victorystooge on said:

    I haven’t been by his site for a long time, but when I was, Osler struck me as being a very cynical ex-leftie who expected others to share his cynicism, or else merit ridicule. Too cynical to even be a Shachtmanite, though his views resemble theirs in other respects, and Islamophobes flock to his blog to write comments like flies to pudding.

  50. #67 Mark Copestake good to see you posting on here !http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8PTG5_x9l0&feature=plcp
    It’s worth Watching George Galloway’s Latest Podcast on the Molucca Red Channel in full… a chance to catch Lee Jasper in action in a prolonged Live SkyNews street interview from Brixton at the height of the London Riots.

    I think I have altered my perspective on this and now believe that it would be useful for GG,Lee on behalf of RESPECT to approach Shasha Khan and the Leadership of the GREEN Party to come to some agreement on the best way to maximise the Radical Anti-Establishment vote in the Croydon North Bye Election..

  51. andy newman on said:

    SSDO: Has a Respect parliamentary candidate ever saved a deposit in a constituency with fewer than 30% Muslim electorate? I ask that purely as a question of fact.

    In answer to this, a shaddow cabinet member confirmed to me verbally, that the local labour Party was shocked that George not only won every ward, but almost won every box in Bradford West, including in areas with a white majority

  52. andy newman on said:

    James: Current articles include an enthusiastic write up of Owen Jones on neo-Bennism, support for Walmart strikes in the US, critical support for Chavez and a call for Labour to prioritise the Unions over its business interests.

    Do you mean a thinly veiled attack on peopple who critique Owen jones’s politics and ubiquity, implying that it is all sour grapes and jealousy; a cut and paste stocking filler about strikes; thinly veiled NON-support for Chavez; and a cynical and tired piece about the Labour Party implying that the left’s project is entirely futile?

  53. andy newman,

    Andy…the extent of the victory that RESPECT and George pulled off in Bradford West was extraordinary… but Croydon North is a different kettle of fish. However, if RESPECT can replicate the campaigning spirit and esprit de corps of the Bradford West Campaign then given the very volatile nature of politics and the alienation of many people from what are seen as the Establishment parties then Lee Jaspers skills as a campaigner may create another shock to the establishment. A lot depends on reparing the credibility of RESPECT as a brand in the aftermath of the resignation of Salma and Kate over the ‘rape apologist row’…. However, this ‘row’ only really reached into the consciousness of the Guardianistas and the Twitterati… I suspect that most people in Croydon are completely unaware of the henious ‘crimes’ of George Galloway… As a Green Party memeber I will be supporting Shasha Khan a 36 year old community activist who lives in North Croydon and who has built a small base via previous Green Party Election Campaigns… However, I am in favour of a meeting between both the RESPECT and GREEN Candidates to see if agreement can be made to maximise the Radical Anti-Establishment vote.

  54. #71 – Looks like it is you that is being the cynic – always attributing the worst possible motives to anyone whose opinions you happen to disagree with…

    It’s quite a common feature of those who have spent too long on the embittered and disconnected fringes of left-wing politics.

    Open criticism and debate is a healthy and productive thing.

    And some of us genuinely want to make left-wing politics more appealing to a broader audience – old fuddy-duddy’s still rehearsing tedious arguments about the Russian Revolution and the U.S.S.R. doesn’t do that.

  55. James: And some of us genuinely want to make left-wing politics more appealing to a broader audience

    Andy Newman is currently playing a key role in organising immigrant workers in an almost year long industrial dispute. It hardly counts as being on the ‘disconnected fringes of left wing politics’.

  56. James: Looks like it is you that is being the cynic – always attributing the worst possible motives to anyone whose opinions you happen to disagree with…
    It’s quite a common feature of those who have spent too long on the embittered and disconnected fringes of left-wing politics.

    Nonsense, I don’t ascribe any hidden motives to Dave Osler. I think he is a cynical and tired former activist, who is relentlessly negative, and on the fringes of the “decent” left; but I don’t think he really makes any secret of that, does he?

    Are you seriously arguing that the disfunctional zoo which Dave Osler allows in his comments box is an example of “healthy and productive” “Open criticism and debate”, which makes ” left-wing politics more appealing to a broader audience ” ???

    FFS.

  57. John: Andy Newman is currently playing a key role in organising immigrant workers in an almost year long industrial dispute.

    Thanks John

    This is perhaps relevent in terms of contrast. What exactly does Dave Osler actually do as a political activist? Who is he “connected” to?

    It strikes me that he has given up on the idea that the world could be changed for the better, and has settled instead for spending his time with a few people who share his jaundiced liberal politics, while pouring negativity on those who are actually engaged.

  58. Andy Newman: It certainly is; and I think that Lee Jasper will struggle, TBH.

    That was my initial assessment and I thought that a straightforward Labour Landslide victory was the inevitable outcome and that the high profile local Green Party Candidate Shasha Khan could pick up significant disgruntled Lib Dem voters to come in a good 3rd with 8-10% of the vote.
    Nevertheless, the sought of in your face campaign that was wage which huge banners and an enthusiastic team pounding the streets for a month… led to a spectacule transformation of the situation in Bradford West… which untill RESPECT’s intervention looked like a safe victory for Labour… Things have moved on but as you stated RESPECT proved in Bradford West that it’s constituency is not restricted to a pakistani/muslim base but can have a much broader appeal… If Lee George and RESPECT can mimic the dynamic and enthusiastic campaign perhaps we will see a Croydon Winter on the heels of the Bradford Spring.
    It may be unlikely but that was the assessment of all mainstream commentators about Bradford West right up to polling day.

  59. SSDO: There are real questions to be asked over his performance as a £120,000 Livingstone aide, and his attitudes towards women.

    I hadn’t noticed this, pure Osler.

    The “real questions” about Lee Jasper’s performance, were racist lies peddled by Gilligan and others in a right wing withch hunt designed to discredit Ken Livingstone.

    Now, some years later Dave Osler gives them credence.

    And see what he does here “real questions to be asked over his attitudes towards women.”

    Just innuendo.

    Actually, based upon what I have been told by former comrades of Dave Osler’s in his IMG days, there are real questions to be asked about HIS OWN attitudes to women, particularly prostitites.

    See, using the Dave Osler school of innuendo, I haven’t actually accused Dave of anything; I am just inviting readers to draw their own conclusions.

    remember when the labour right were attacking Walter Wolfgang, and Osler wrote a “critical” defence of Walter that included the line “I have serious reservations about Walter Wolfgang’s politics, very serious reservations”, without being prepared to back it up. Just leaving a passive aggressive innuendo hanging in the air, suggesting that the right wing witch hunt might have a point.

  60. #76 – Fair point about the comments box at DO’s site – I don’t touch them with a barge pole. However, I would also suggest that this place attracts it’s fair share of people with extremely abhorrent politics i.e. people who are entirely indifferent to the lack of democracy and human rights in regimes they deem “anti-imperialist” or suitably “left-wing” – but let’s not rehearse those arguments again! There is, likewise, a toleration of those from organisations who still bear the insignia of genocidal regimes but are somehow are deemed acceptable in some “left-wing” circles.

    I quite like the content of a lot of DO’s articles – but DO’s site seems to be down at the moment so can’t give quotations to refute your rather cynical interpretations.

    And I fully support your work with on the Carillon issue BTW – as unsupportive as I am of your general politics (as a democratic socialist and someone who doesn’t seem to want to vomit at the mere mention of the word “liberal”).

  61. James: the insignia of genocidal regimes

    You mean – for example – the Labour Party’s use of the union flag at its conference this year? the butcher’s apron that flew from the slave ships, and over the forts in India, Africa and elsewhere who were crushed under the heel of British colonial savagry.

  62. I don’t think that the Union Jack still has that association for most BME people in the UK – especially since the Olympics and Danny Boyle making it all ok and all.

    Hammer and Sickle, on the other hand, is still regarded as a symbol of genocide and oppression in much of Eastern Europe (particularly the Baltics), and many parts of the former SU (particularly the Caucasus and parts of Central Asia).

  63. Think I probably will go and “Fuck Off” – this doesn’t seem like my kind of place!!

  64. tigger on said:

    Oh yes I have been deleted again for pointing out the petty sniping at Dave Osler from Collins and Newman and for objecting to the abuse of James. Sad

  65. #87 maybe it has something to do with the fact that the hammer and sickle was the symbol of forces that resisted nazi occupation all over Europe, the Red Army thanks mainly to whose sacrifice Hitler lost the war and we aren’t living under Nazi rule (those of us who would actually be around now anyway), a significant proportion of those who fought the Japanese occupation of China etc.

    Or maybe not, who knows?

  66. tigger on said:

    Vanya,

    Too late Vanya my post was deleted so yours does not make a lot of sense now.

    To answer your point however in a civil way I have the following comment. No I think self evidently you are wrong and I fully understand that you come from a different socialist viewpoint to mine. The liberation of the Eastern Bloc countries, over time, became perceived as occupation and exploitation of those countries by the USSR whether you or I like it or not. So the Hammer and sickle became a symbol of soviet imperialism. Now I dont happen to have much truck with CIA funded resistance movements but I am aware that some of the dissident movements within the Warsaw bloc countries came from a socialist and marxist perspective and provided a class based critique of what was happening in their countries.

  67. tigger,

    #89
    None of which explains the fact that Communist parties still have significant support in former Eastern Bloc countries.

  68. lewisham left lawyer on said:

    mark anthony france: I am in favour of a meeting between both the RESPECT and GREEN Candidates to see if agreement can be made to maximise the Radical Anti-Establishment vote.

    Wouldn’t it perhaps be a good idea if such a discussion could take place BEFORE candidates were declared as a fait accompli?

  69. tigger:
    Vanya,

    Too late Vanya my post was deleted so yours does not make a lot of sense now.

    To answer your point however in a civil way I have the following comment.No I think self evidently you are wrong and I fully understand that you come from a different socialist viewpoint to mine.The liberation of the Eastern Bloc countries, over time, became perceived as occupation and exploitation of those countries by the USSR whether you or I like it or not. So the Hammer and sickle became a symbol of soviet imperialism.Now I dont happen to have much truck with CIA funded resistance movements but I am aware that some of the dissident movements within the Warsaw bloc countries came from a socialist and marxist perspective and provided a class based critique of what was happening in their countries.

    Although they were completely marginalised and made no impact when the systems collapsed in 1989. Even many of those who had made some of the most nuanced Marxist critiques of the system succumbed to capitalism once it was reintroduced. For example, Jacek Kuron who served as Minister of Labour when the shock-therapy reforms were introduced and whose greatest contribution was handing out soup to the poor. In his defense he did admit it was his greatest mistake at the end of his life.

  70. tigger: The liberation of the Eastern Bloc countries, over time, became perceived as occupation and exploitation of those countries by the USSR whether you or I like it or not. So the Hammer and sickle became a symbol of soviet imperialism.

    Hmmmmm. Yet the forces which mainly promoted this view seem to be very happy with East European countries being dominated by the EU economically and NATO militarily.

  71. titch mitch on said:

    so the
    conclusion?
    labour, respect or communist-best vote and political voice for the left
    after all this drivel?
    who cares
    stay here and leave others to do the work

  72. “Now I dont happen to have much truck with CIA funded resistance movements but I am aware that some of the dissident movements within the Warsaw bloc countries came from a socialist and marxist perspective and provided a class based critique of what was happening in their countries.” says tigger.

    Now if you were the CIA wouldn’t you support these type of movements in the context of undermining the existing governments. I’m sure the secret services have similar tactics here too, if there are going to be opposition movements (and there will be) then get involved (the secret services that is) and take them up a blind alley. Seems obvious to me.

  73. More harsh words here, I see. To carry on something from another thread, you know, Tony Collins, you say I lie about the site, which is untrue, and that I twist what people say. I don’t think that’s true either. However I admit that when I come here I’m not very polite, and am looking for an argument. That’s not great, I shouldn’t spend time that way.
    But in mitigation I can say that well, I learned it all here. My education in internet politics and how to treat people online took place on this site, back when Respect was gaining in Tower Hamlets. I don’t think I came to the site with a bad attitude, but as a critic of Respect I was immediately subject to all sorts of abuse. It was quite something, being called an Islamophobe and racist over and over again. I remember that this was the prefered way to deal with any and all critics of the party (who would also be accused of being pro-US, right-wing, imperalist, secular and zionist of course, but none of that feels quite like being called a racist). I had never experienced anything like it. Since there’s not been, as far as I know, any sort of reckoning or even apology about using this tactic against critics I still feel quite pissed off from time to time and imagine others do too. Maybe a bit of self-reflection would be in order, especially with the direction Respect seems to be going now. If I’m now an internet troll, then well, SU had a part in making me this way.
    No need to tell me to fuck off, I plan to.

  74. Rachel, with that incredible bunch of hooey you kind of prove what I was saying. I didn’t just conjure up the idea that you twist and lie on here. I went back and read your posts: it’s your MO on here. It’s what you do. It’s odd how those people who can’t act honestly have such a problem when people call them out on it.

    You *started off this way* from your first posts on here – twisting stories about Respect and Islam and all the usual racist stuff about Tower Hamlets. People called you out on it again and again. No one did anything to make you into a dishonest debater – that’s what you presented us with.

    Looking for an argument is fine. If you do it honestly. But you’re one of those classic people who start off with a fake proposition – normally a twisted version of something someone said – and then try to condemn us for not arguing against it. All your posts drip with it.

    It’s absolutely hilarious that you seek to blame this site for this – but the thing is Rachel, I’ve been around a long, long time, observing the sort of behaviour you exhibit so well. The sort of distorting you do of other people’s arguments wasn’t taught to you by anyone other than your own twisted politics.

    The thing is, I used to do all of this as well. Probably 4 years ago, I stopped posting online almost completely while I tried to modify how I approach people. I have a simple rule now – if you deal with the politics honestly, I’ll argue with you. If you’re dishonest, well yeah, you’re gonna get called out on it. Dave Osler is a prime example. The Harry’s Place lot. Shiraz – all of them incapable of simply assuming good faith and arguing with an open spirit in the hope of convincing others.

    It’s what you did from the moment you started posting here. If anyone needs to reflect, it’s you – after all, your memory is *so* faulty, your political analysis *so* messed up. If you like, I can reproduce every single thing you’ve posted here, so you can apologise for all the accusations you’ve made, and so you can realise that yes, you really did bring a lot of shit to this site – and then, as now, you disappear when called out on it.

    There’s no space on here for that nonsense. It’s a long process, and evidently it’s quite painful for some people to realise that they’re not gonna be able to hit-and-run or promote racism or spread bile or get away with lying about their opponents’ arguments on here anymore. I’m sure we’ll make lots of mistakes as we go along – we’ll perhaps delete a comment that we shouldn’t, or ban someone who we shouldn’t. But it’s necessary, cos there’s actually a real audience out there who aren’t interested in the political mutual masturbation of the far-left ghetto. They’d like to read good solid comments and maybe they’d join in if they knew they weren’t gonna be put through your type of distortion and fabrication.

  75. Charles Dexter Ward on said:

    >>She did not say it when in Respect and has now changed her mind, thanks to Galloway debating this with her I believe.>>

    Whether or not Hitler was a bad guy is a matter for DEBATE in the higher echelons of Respect??!!

  76. andy newman on said:

    Charles Dexter Ward: is a matter for DEBATE in the higher echelons of Respect

    I think that the term “debate” is being used to suggest only that there was an exchange of views. I imagine the flow was quite unbalanced and in one direction only!

  77. #100

    Leavung aside the question of whether the question was a dishonest attempt to suggest that Respect is sympathetic to Hitler, do you not accept that people can change?

    Do you think that every young person whose parents were not even alive at the time of the holocaust should be simply shunned because they have a warped view of events that happened nearly 70 years ago?

    The reality is that left groups have frequently recruited people who have flirted with and even been members of far-right organisations and who have been persuaded through argument that their views were wrong.

    I think of the lads I knew at school in the late 70s who changed their views after arguing with anti-fascists (including those like myself that they used to threaten with violence for being commies).

    It appears that the comment made by this young woman were made in the context of supporting the just Palestinian struggle against zionism, not a nazi agenda. She was wrong,and accepts she was wrong. Anyone who has that argument and wins is to be applauded in my view.

    I would be equally glad to see a young Jewish person who had previously considered the racist oppression of the Palestinians as okay change their views. Or an EDL supporter conclude that their problems were not caused by the fact that Muslims are allowed to build mosques or wear what they choose.

    I suspect that would be unwelcome to many of Respect’s critics as well. Probably far more so.

  78. #102 That should have read, ‘MADE in the context of supporting the just Palestinian…’

    I don’t have the option to edit text after it’s sent on my Blackberry.

    [Edit - ok, ok, I changed it for you, signed Mysterious, Good-Looking Admin)

  79. Mike B on said:

    Vanya,

    Where in Europe did the hammer & sickle resist Hitler? Bit of history being re-written I think. Certainly there was resistance once the Nazis invaded Russia, but none beforehand.

    Who was it that supplied the Russian fight against the Nazis? It wasn’t hammer and sickle countries.

  80. Mike B: ,

    Where in Europe did the hammer & sickle resist Hitler?

    A rather bizarre question, given that a primary raison d’être of Nazism was to crush communism.

    And to answer it would involve rather a long list, which would include Germany, Spain, Britain…

  81. Mike B: Who was it that supplied the Russian fight against the Nazis? It wasn’t hammer and sickle countries.

    Sometimes I wonder at the shockingly low quality of the right wing trolls who turn up here, presumably from ‘Harry’s Place’.

    But anyway. At the time of “the Russian fight against the Nazis”- actually the USSR’s fight against the Nazis, involving people from all the nationalities of the Soviet Union- would you care to enlighten us on what “hammer and sickle countries” existed, apart from the USSR?

    And for your information, the vast majority of the munitions used by the USSR during the war against the Nazi invaders were manufactured within the Soviet Union.

    BTW, of the arms imported from Britain by the USSR, many of the workers who made them were apparently quite keen on the Hammer and Sickle.

  82. #103 In substantial numbers of countries the majority resisting fascist occupation were communists or led by communists. Where they were not the majority by and large they were a substantial section of the resistance.

    And yes, the USSR was provided with supplies that were vital by way of the heroic arctic convoys, (the British survivors of which are still struggling to be permitted by the British government to be awarded for their sacrifice).

    But what does that prove? The USSR was allied to Britain and the USA? Other people than Communists fought fascism? I didn’t suggest otherwise.

    Furthermore, you don’t have to be a communist (I’m not) or fail to recognise the many bad things done in the name of communism under the flag of the hammer and sickle (I don’t)to recognise the truth of my comment.

  83. Mike B: Where in Europe did the hammer & sickle resist Hitler? Bit of history being re-written I think. Certainly there was resistance once the Nazis invaded Russia, but none beforehand.

    This is factually incorrect. The Soviet Union resisted the Nazis in Spain during the Spanish Civil War in the mid 1930s.

  84. Apparently the Labour party has confirmed the selection of the progress candidate, a communist vote seems the best way for anyone wanting to send out a socialist message.

  85. Marxist Lenonist on said:

    #108 A RESPECT vote, for an electable candidate in a winnable seat, seems like a better way to me! Two Bradford style upsets in one year, can’t gurantee it of course but might as well work for it, no?! If Lee Jasper loses by a margin smaller than the combined Communist/Green votes, I’ll be pretty angry with these irrelevant, frankly sectarian paper candidacies I must say…

  86. South Londoner on said:

    #108 Yes, Steve Reed of Progress, the GMB’s favourite organisation, narrowly won the Labour Party’s selection contest yesterday by 3 votes over Val Shawcross with the other candidates as alsorans.

    He ran the most ‘professional campaign’ with a lot of contacting of members and a well prepared speech at the selection contest. Obviously the question is where the finance came for him to have people ringing up members. Looks like Progress sees itself as en route to another influential MP.

    This was the best result possible for Respect, as Reed is not only from outside Croydon, he is most determinedly a New Labour careerist.

    Respect are apparently dubbing him the ‘bruschetta candidate’, after a bizarre Youtube video of him preparing the said dish for a dinner party, posted by a fellow Labour councillor some years ago http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1MCL9xin9Q.

    Ken Livingstone has wished Reed well and offered to canvass for him against his one time ally in City Hall. I’m sure Paul Kenny and Andy Newman will similarly support the Labour Party members’ choice ;).

    It doesn’t like the project for a left revival among Labour Party members is making much headway. I wonder who they’ll come up with in Rotherham where the BNP might well be a threat given the money-grubbing context?

  87. Rob base on said:

    I live on North Croydon and will be voting Lee Jasper. Labour has taken me and my parents for granted. If Labour, under the appalling Steve Reed, win this election then
    nothing changes. If Jasper wins the status quo will be disturbed. I am black, young, under-employed, living in a deprived area with a confrontational police force. Who do you think the police would be happy to have as their local MP?