Socialist Worker

‘Unity forged by Respect was the key’

Abdul Khaliq Mian stood for Respect in East Ham, in the east London borough of Newham, winning 21 percent of the vote. He spoke to Socialist Worker.

Issue No. 1951

Abdul Khaliq Mian

Abdul Khaliq Mian

The unity we forged between communities in Newham was crucial. Different people had to join hands and work together. I could feel the discrimination breaking down during the campaign.

We have to continue building on that unity. People might have different views on certain issues—but we can put these aside in order to campaign together. Respect achieved second place in East Ham and in West Ham where Lindsey German stood. I think that’s fantastic.

We reduced East Ham Labour MP Stephen Timms’ majority by about 6,000. The swings away from Labour in Newham were the seventh and eighth highest in the country. We’re very proud of that.

After the election Blair said he would listen in his third term. But he will carry on with all the same policies.

Labour talked during its campaign about the strength of the economy. But I think the coming period will see economic problems.

Interest rates are likely to rise and that will hit people with homes in areas like East Ham. People will not be able to make their mortgage payments. More rich people will come in and buy property in the area.

All Labour’s talk of reducing the gap between rich and poor is just rubbish. The gap is growing.

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Sat 14 May 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1951
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