Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A Message to Respect members from George Galloway MP

The first thing that I want to say is how grateful I am to all those members and supporters of Respect who defended me personally and the party as a whole in recent difficult weeks.

I regret not being able to prepare you for it but I hope that all Respect members will understand that I entered the Big Brother House with the best of intentions: to reach a wider audience with our message and to raise money for Interpal.

One of these aims has certainly been achieved, Palestinians and their children served by Interpal will eat or will be clothed because of it. The exact sum raised is not yet known but it is well into five figures.

The aim of getting the message across has been more difficult. Endemol, the producers of Celebrity Big Brother, gave me assurances that I would be able to do just that. I feel that they have acted in bad faith, especially in actually censoring me, although the press coverage since I came out has allowed me to make a variety of political points to a much wider audience with greater success.

The press onslaught was greater than any of us could have predicted but I am now back at work in Tower Hamlets and assisting Respect groups around the country prepare for the May elections.

As New Labour threatens Iran, faces a renewed crisis in Palestine and forces through its privatisation agenda we all have plenty of work to do. And then there is what brought most of us together, Iraq, with another melancholy milestone passed, the death of the 100th British soldier.

I know that everyone in Respect realises that these issues weigh far greater in the balance than the outcome of a celebrity TV show. So do I. And I look forward to campaigning alongside you in the coming year.



George Galloway MP

3 comments:

AN said...

The Message George Galloway MP should have sent to Respect members
The first thing that I want to say is how sorry I am to all those members and supporters of Respect whose work to build the party over the last two has been jeopardized by my mistaken decision to enter celebrity Big Brother.

I regret that I decided to take this decision unilaterally, and therefore did not prepare you for it but I hope that all Respect members will understand that I entered the Big Brother House with the best of intentions: to reach a wider audience with our message and to raise money for Interpal.

One of these aims has certainly been achieved, Palestinians and their children served by Interpal will eat or will be clothed because of it. The exact sum raised is not yet known but it is well into five figures.

The aim of getting the message across has been more difficult. Endemol, the producers of Celebrity Big Brother, gave me assurances that I would be able to do just that. I feel that I was naïve to trust them, and it would have been better for me to have consulted with the leadership of Respect, who could have warned me that this censorship was highly probable given the track record of previous Big Brothers. Fortunately, the press coverage since I came out has allowed me to make a variety of political points to a much wider audience with greater success.

The press onslaught was greater than I personally predicted, and this was another serious error of judgment on my part. I am now back at work in Tower Hamlets and assisting Respect groups around the country prepare for the May elections. The lesson I have learned is that if Respect is to succeed then we need to develop democratic accountable mechanisms, so that mistakes like Big Brother cannot happen again. It is simply too much responsibility for me as a lone MP to make important strategic decisions on my own, and I need the support and guidance of the elected Respect national committee.
As New Labour threatens Iran, faces a renewed crisis in Palestine and forces through its privatisation agenda we all have plenty of work to do. And then there is what brought most of us together, Iraq, with another melancholy milestone passed, the death of the 100th British soldier.

I know that everyone in Respect realises that these issues weigh far greater in the balance than the outcome of a celebrity TV show. So do I. I have learned from my mistake, and I look forward to campaigning alongside you in the coming year.

Jim Jay said...

I noticed this on Liam Macuaid's (very good) blog

http://macuaid.blogspot.com/2006/02/why-we-stay-in-respect.html

Well worth checking out

AN said...

Can the comments be configued so that links work?
I had to copy the URL of Liam's blog to my browser.

Liam seems to be saying that the Respect party Forum is a raft to rescue some survivors from the wreckage?