Socialist Worker

On 10 June we have a chance to make history

Issue No. 1905

Leading Respect candidates George Galloway and Lindsey German urge supporters to keep up the campaign until the ballot closes

George Galloway is leading Respect's list in London for the European elections

'OUR MESSAGE is getting through. With days to go before the election on Thursday campaigners from all parts of the country were reporting a surge of interest in what we have to say. Many people are only just beginning to find out about us, and large numbers like what they see.

The challenge now is to seize every opportunity to get our vote out on Thursday. We have what the other parties do not-thousands of activists who are getting an enthusiastic reception. Not only are people saying they will vote for us, many are prepared to work with us to persuade others to cast their vote for Respect on Thursday. No deed is too small. Every window poster, final election card handed out, discussion with a friend or neighbour, or leaflet delivered will make a difference.

The importance of our visible presence in major centres grows as polling day approaches. We have momentum and a clear message. Respect is standing up for people long since abandoned by New Labour. We are speaking out against the madness of privatisation. We are with the trade unionists struggling to improve their workmates' lives.

As Muslim communities are slandered and demonised, we are proud to stand with them against the tide of bigotry. Above all, we are sworn to ensure that Blair does not escape punishment on Thursday for the criminal war on Iraq.

Blair has inflicted such damage on those who were so hopeful in 1997 that large numbers were expected to abstain in this election. That, however, is the least effective form of protest. A vote for the Liberal Democrats can only reward their grotesque opportunism-opposing an illegal war before it starts, then backing the criminal enterprise once it's under way, and finally fishing for the anti-war vote.

A breakthrough for Respect will strengthen all those who have fought against the war and this government's assault on working people at home. We have a chance to do that on Thursday. Let's put in every effort we can up to the moment when the ballot closes.'


We can have a huge impact

Lindsey German is Respect's candidate in the London mayoral and assembly elections

'IF RESPECT wins seats in the London Assembly or European Parliament that will mark a first for a new left party. It will show that while many people reject Tony Blair they also reject the right wing racist alternatives. Respect has made a tremendous impact in the few short weeks we have been campaigning. Many pensioners who are breaking with Labour are calling in. We are making real inroads into the Muslim communities and into other ethnic minority communities as well.

Trade unionists are supporting us in large numbers. We can see the impact that we are having by the diatribes pouring forth from columnists who have earned good salaries by promoting the Iraq war. All our supporters need to do everything they can in the last few days. We want as many houses leafleted with our final cards. We want posters in windows of houses and shops. We want placards on every lamp post and railings. Banners can be dropped on main roads in the rush hour.

Most importantly though, on the day itself we want every supporter to work flat out. Get up early and get down to the polling stations, tube and rail stations. Spend the day driving round, getting our vote out, campaigning and reminding people to vote Respect.

It's going to be a frenetic last few days before the ballot boxes close on Thursday night. But just think of the impact a breakthrough for Respect would have. It would certainly wipe the smile off Blair's face. And that's priceless.'


If you enjoy Socialist Worker, please consider giving to our annual appeal to make sure we can maintain and develop our online and print versions of Socialist Worker. Go here for details and to donate.

Article information

Features
Thu 10 Jun 2004, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1905
Share this article


Related


Tags



Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.