I’ve acquired the new Respect paper – if you haven’t seen it you can do so online, courtesy of Liam.
My own immediate thoughts are these. There’s some obvious continuity with the old Socialist Resistance, but some notable differences as well. Many of the articles are by the usual suspects, but there’s a fair representation of new people as well. That’s good.
In some ways it’s a bit of an improvement on the old SR. My big problem with SR was that, while there were plenty of good articles in it, the paper as a whole was a bit scattergun and did tend to lean towards good-cause-of-the-month articles. So, when I heard the Respect paper was going to be even broader, I got that sinking feeling. As it turns out, though, the Respect paper has much more focus about it, and leans a lot more towards coverage of strikes and grassroots campaigns.
In fact, most of the articles wouldn’t be out of place in Socialist Worker. The main difference being that SW’s didactic “what socialists say” bits aren’t there. The significance of that is arguable.
Galloway of course features, but not in a Kim Jong-Il sense. The split is kept down to a two-page spread at the end, which is sensible if you want a paper you can actually sell to punters. A strong reviews section to lighten things. And a big picture of Thomas Sankara!
Not bad at all for a paper produced at very short notice, and I’ll look out for future issues with interest. The promised letters page should be important for developing a real public forum. I also stick to my position that it would be worth considering a Bengali-language section, or possibly pullout – maybe that’s something to think about longer term. Quite a reasonable start then, all things considered.
If any readers have their own thoughts, I’d be glad to hear them.