Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Respect councillor defects to Labour
Today’s announcement that Councillor Waiseul Islam has resigned from respect in Tower hamlets to join the Labour Party is a serious blow to Respect, especially as Cllr Islam gives as his reason for resigning: “Respect is not a party that can deliver, especially when its elected MP is hardly visible in his constituency, leaving those who voted for him neglected. He has time to attend television shows and present radio shows but not to turn up to his surgery and meet his constituents. I believe this is wrong”
George Galloway’s behaviour has been simply disgraceful in neglecting his constituency duties, but having ample time for media engagements. He has clearly use Respect as a stepping stone for his own career as a minor celebrity, rather than seeing Respect as a serious long term contribution towards realigning and regenerating the left.
What is most alarming is that Councillor Islam’s full resignation statement seems to be mainly a calculated career move itself, suggesting that he sees labour as more likely to achieve his re-election. He writes: “With government and council support I believe that local residents can benefit from the socio-economic regeneration of the area. This can only be achieved by working with a progressive party that can carry the citizens of the borough into the future and not take it backward. Labour is also the only party that can truly challenge uninvited Tories creeping into Tower Hamlets and attempting to destroy it with their discredited policies”
As there is zero prospect of the Tories gaining control of Tower hamlets, this is just hot air, but suggests that Respect's electoral base has diminished.