Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Rotherham and Croydon: Earthquake for Respect?

with 11 comments

Respect: Plans Gang aft agley.

On the eve of the election this appeared on the Respect Site.

We are on the edge of a political earthquake in British politics. In polling conducted at the weekend, the Respect candidate in the Rotherham by-election, Yvonne Ridley, has the lead over Labour. Labour has panicked and launched a vicious and negative campaign of dirty tricks against Respect but this has been sidelined by our magnificent positive campaign with the Respect battle bus, advertizing truck and campaign groups in every ward.

Polling conducted in the Croydon North by-election suggests that Lee Jasper, the Respect candidate, is now neck and neck with the Labour Party to win the constituency.

This is what happened (including the Middlesbrough by-election),

“Labour has won three by-elections, holding Croydon North, Middlesbrough and Rotherham parliamentary seats.

It increased its share of the vote in all three seats, but its majority was down in Rotherham, where the previous MP had quit over expenses claims.

The UK Independence Party came second in Middlesbrough and Rotherham, and finished third in Croydon North.”

How did Respect fare?

Rotherham by-election, 29 November 2012
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Sarah Champion 9,866 46.25 +1.62
UKIP Jane Collins 4,648 21.79 +15.87
BNP Marlene Guest 1,804 8.46 -1.96
Respect Yvonne Ridley 1,778 8.34
Conservative Simon Wilson 1,157 5.42 -11.32
English Democrats David Wildgoose 703 3.30
Independent Simon Copley 582 2.73 -3.58
Liberal Democrat Michael Beckett 451 2.11 -13.87
Trade Unionist & Socialist Ralph Dyson 261 1.22
Independent Paul Dickson 51 0.24
no description Clint Bristow 29 0.14
Majority 10,462 27.89
Turnout 21,330 33.89
Croydon North by-election, 2012
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Steve Reed 15,892 64.7 +8.7
Conservative Andrew Stranack 4,137 16.8 -7.3
UKIP Winston McKenzie 1,400 5.7 +4.0
Liberal Democrat Marisha Ray 860 3.5 -10.5
Green Shasha Khan 855 3.5 +1.5
Respect Lee Jasper 707 2.9 +2.4
Christian Peoples Stephen Hammond 192 0.8 N/A
National Front Richard Edmonds 161 0.7 N/A
Communist Ben Stevenson 119 0.5 +0.2
Monster Raving Loony John Cartwright 110 0.4 N/A
Nine Eleven Was An Inside Job Simon Lane 66 0.3 N/A
Young People’s Party Robin Smith 63 0.3 N/A
Rejected ballots
Turnout 26

Labour won.

This is a good thing.

That is despite (as Toby says) the fact that the Labour winners in Rotherham and Croydon are part of the hidebound right-wing of the party.

It is still an anti-Coalition result.

The sensation of these elections is of course the UKIP vote.

These ‘fascists in blazers’ are the weevils of the British politics.

What for the left?

TUSC (261,  1,22 % in Rotherham and 277, 1,6% in Middlesbrough) and the Communist Party (119 votes)  did not do well at all.

Ridley’s votes (1,778, 8, 3,4%)  are  far too many for any socialist to rejoice about.

Somebody who says this, ““[Respect] is a Zionist-free party… if there was any Zionism in the Respect Party they would be hunted down and kicked out. We have no time for Zionists.” She explained that government support “goes towards that disgusting little watchdog of America that is festering in the Middle East”. She went on to attack the Tories and Lib Dems, saying that all the mainstream parties are “riddled with Zionists”” represents forces that have no part in the labour movement.

Still one cannot but smile as ‘Rapper Jasper’s’ result: 707, 2,9%, that is, a lost deposit.

And at the pitiful attempts to draw comfort from their result by Respect supporters (wonder how long this link will last before these ‘democrats’ take it down).

The obvious fact is that Respect have drawn from the old (and now unused) Liberal Democrats’ by-election strategy: publish boosting made-up door-step reports and ‘polls’ just before an election.

And the truly magnificent score of the Rotherham Liberal Democrats (2,11% below an Independent, 2,73%) brings a spring to the step.


11 Responses

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  1. Muslim pop of Croydon N = 11%
    Muslim pop of Rotherham = 5%

    So Jasper somewhat underperformed and Ridley somewhat overperformed in getting the Muslim vote out.

    Having said this we only have 2001 census data at constituency level so it is possible that Croydon N has become less and Rotherham more Muslim since then.

    Not sure what other comment is required.

    Roger McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy)

    November 30, 2012 at 2:36 pm

  2. I am wondering, if Galloway & Co. have ever thought about the fact, that many people have negative experiences with earthquakes


    November 30, 2012 at 3:16 pm

  3. The sooner Respect is expunged from the fringes of UK politics, as it presently occupies, the better. Respect represents a somewhat shady brand of the fake left. Progressives should have Labour and possibly the Green Party to support; but Respect adds nothing to socialism in Britain.

    The Political Idealist

    November 30, 2012 at 3:40 pm

  4. Interesting interpretation of a hijab that Ridley is wearing. I’ve not seen one like that before. BE PROUD YOU ARE A MUSLIM, GIRL! DON’T TRY TO HIDE IT!!!!

    Sue R

    November 30, 2012 at 6:28 pm

  5. This is worth looking about UKIP: http://ukip-vs-eukip.com/

    A Summary of UKIP’s Plight & Failure as a Party


    Clean EUkip up NOW & make UKIP electable!


    The corruption of some of EUkip’s leadership, their anti UKIP claque & the NEC is what gives the remaining 10% a bad name!

    Andrew Coates

    December 1, 2012 at 11:31 am

  6. Re Ridley her politics are mad and evil (I once met Francis Wheen who’d bumped into earlier that day and been given her card which featured the al-Aqsa Mosque and a quote in English and Arabic from founder of the Muslim Brotherhood Sayid Qutb about the sacred duty of Jihad) but one can’t fault her obsessive sincerity and that hijab is probably why she got most of whatever Muslim votes were available.

    As for Jasper….

  7. Fashion Notes: Yes, it does meet the basic requirements of a hijab viz it overs her head, neck, ears and temples, but it is an individualist design ie non-traditional and in fact, draws attention to her which is the exact oppostite purpose of a hijab (it is to minimise the woman’s sexuality and prescence). Is that the style that fashion conscious Muslim women wear in the Middle East? I have never seen it before. It’s not up to me to lecture Yvonne Ridley or anyone else on a garment that I don’t wear and NEVER will wear, but I just find it hypocritical. No doubt she is obssesive and sincere about her religion, heavens, she has married enough Muslim men to show that, but I still find it odd that she wants to display a streak of individualism and, dare I say it, even innovation which is strictly forbidden in Islam.

    Sue R

    December 1, 2012 at 3:37 pm

  8. If Francis Wheen is right she’s madder and more evil than I thought.

    The founder of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) was Hassan al-Banna, Tairq Ramdan’s grandfather.

    Their objective was, an no doubt is that,” the Quran and Sunnah constitute a perfect way of life and social and political organization that God has set out for man. Islamic governments must be based on this system and eventually unified in a Caliphate. The Muslim Brotherhood’s goal, as stated by Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna was to reclaim Islam’s manifest destiny, an empire, stretching from Spain to Indonesia.”

    Today Tariq Ramadan argues that there was a democratic strain in his foreftaher’s ideas, though looking at Morsi’s actions many will have doubts about this.

    Sayid Qutb regarded even the most hard-line MB statements as too moderate.

    His views include this judgement on jazz,

    “The American is primitive in his artistic taste, both in what he enjoys as art and in his own artistic works. “Jazz” music is his music of choice. This is that music that the Negroes invented to satisfy their primitive inclinations, as well as their desire to be noisy on the one hand and to excite bestial tendencies on the other. The American’s intoxication in “jazz” music does not reach its full completion until the music is accompanied by singing that is just as coarse and obnoxious as the music itself. ”

    anything non-Islamic was evil and corrupt, while following Sharia as a complete system extending into all aspects of life, would bring every kind of benefit to humanity, from personal and social peace, to the “treasures” of the universe.”

    He is generally regarded as the inspiration for the most extreme jihaists,

    “The way to bring about this freedom was for a revolutionary vanguard, to fight jahiliyyah with a twofold approach: preaching, and abolishing the organizations and authorities of the Jahili system by “physical power and Jihad.”

    “The vanguard movement would grow with preaching and jihad until it formed a truly Islamic community, then spread throughout the Islamic homeland and finally throughout the entire world, attaining leadership of humanity. While those who had been “defeated by the attacks of the treacherous Orientalists!” might define jihad “narrowly” as defensive, Islamically correct Jihad (according to Qutb) was in fact offensive, not defensive.”

    All from Wikipedia, though you can google stuff the same stuff elsewhere.

    Andrew Coates

    December 1, 2012 at 4:55 pm

  9. You are of course correct about the founder of The Muslim Brotherhood although Qutb is a very well known member who was hanged by the Nasser regime in, 1966 I think.

    Of course Respect were lying all the way through the campaign. Their polling responses would have been the same as all of the others and they would have known that they had little or no support and simply made up the figures. It is interesting that Jasper makes no mention of the result on his blog as doesn’t his cheerleader Simon Woolley on his.

    It makes you wonder what sort of a world these people live in where they make the most outrageous statements of impending victories or at least earthquakes and then when humiliated simply ignore what has happened. Respect is now basically a brand label that can be rented out by Galloway to any crank who wants to use it.

    I remember the euphoria when Islamic Forum Europe and a bunch of corrupt East London Bangladeshi businessmen rented the make and got twelve councillors elected in Tower Hamlets. For the left the revolution was just around the corner and when the wheels started to come off a little over two years later with a whole range of staggering defections, one councillor and SWP member went straight over to the Tories, the left stood there gobsmacked and they haven’t recovered since.

    Socialist Unity are still deluding themselves that Respect is something other than Galloway and whichever circus he wants to hire the label out to because it’s his personal property. All good for a laugh I suppose and it was certainly a pleasure to see Jasper lose his deposit although I suppose he must have plenty left over from his days at the GLA on a salary of over a hundred grand a year a year plus his share of the millions that were embezzled by black groups under his control.

    What was interesting with Croydon North is that it has a very large African Caribbean population. The fact that they rejected Jasper despite the fact that he was endorsed by the black newspaper The Voice is clear evidence that even they regard him as a charlatan and con man.


    December 4, 2012 at 7:33 am

  10. “A real bone of contention was Respect’s description of itself as ‘the party of Muslims’. In their dash for electoral gain the party had compromised with the Islamicist bullies described by Ed Husain in The Islamicist (2007). De facto alliances, now admitted by the SWP, had been forged with right-wing Islamicists, such as supporters of the reactionary Jamaat-i-Islami party present in the East London Mosque. Secular Bangladeshis were not slow to point to the bloody role the Jamaat played in opposing independence and suppressing the left in their country. Communalist appeals led to a growing electoral rival amongst Afro-Caribbean voters in the East End, the Christian People’s Alliance. Salma Yacoob associated with Birmingham mosques that played host to ultra-conservative preachers. Any attempt to oppose this approach was met with cries of ‘Islamophobia’. In municipal politics Respect increasingly relied on ‘community leaders’ (including wealthy businessmen) of a Muslim background (Bangladeshi in East London, Pakistani in Birmingham) rather than socialists or trade unionists. Nor was this the only difficulty. Their councillors often operated as councillors frequently do: vying for position, and standing up for ‘their people’ first, squabbling, switching sides, and puffing themselves up, regardless of their party’s instructions.”

    Andrew Coates. Chartist Magazine 2007. http://www.chartist.org.uk/articles/britpol/mar08_coates.htm

    A major difficulty for the ‘left’ that swarmed around Respect – initially – is that the core of this ‘alliance’, the SWP and its mates, have no serious exprience of mass politics in general, and local government politics (see above) in particular.

    That, added to a lack of common sense and inability to deal with people outside their own bubble, counted for more than anything else in the fiasco that is Respect.

    Andrew Coates

    December 4, 2012 at 1:29 pm

  11. It will be interesting to see when the histories of Respect start to appear. I can’t see the far left ever being able to deal with the fiasco and they will just probably let it go along with all of the other failed projects. I think it’s time that possibly Gilligan or Cohen started to do something or maybe they are.


    December 6, 2012 at 6:30 am

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