there's some news about the current state of the Respect Coalition. A Respect member reports.
The results of all this are most clearly expressed in the moribund state of a number of Respect branches and declining membership figures, which now stand at 2160 according to the annual report – down from 3040 last year. True some of this membership decline may be down to poor administration, and the right figure might be a bit higher– but the overall picture is clear enough.
The fact is 2160 members is a fraction of the potential membership available to an organisation which emerged as the political expression of a mass anti-war movement at a time when new Labour was loosing it traditional supporters hand over fist and which quickly won a high degree of name recognition. It is substantially less than the membership of the SWP itself.
Wow, less members in Respect than in the actual SWP. I was always under the assumption that if you were in the SWP, you were also in Respect.
Also in that report is an unusual event - an admission by a Respect member that Celebrity Big Brother was a disaster for the party.
Then came Celebrity Big Brother, by far the biggest crisis Respect had faced in its short existence. It was not just the humiliation of Respect by the antics of George Galloway, it was the fact that Galloway was shown to be completely unaccountable when push came to shove. The refusal of the majority on the NC to make a statement clearly separating itself from the CBB fiasco made the matter worse.
Thus, Respect finds itself in the unusual position of being even more fucked, membership-wise, than New Labour.