A respectable beginning


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.


  1. andy newman said,

    December 13, 2007 at 1:37 pm

    I too was pleased to see the picture of Thomas Sankara.

    This is presumably what the SWP mean when they talk about the pull of electoralism


  2. Garibaldy said,

    December 13, 2007 at 2:44 pm

    well put together. Effectively appeals to a broad audience. But the book reviews and the article on Marx as environmentalist seemed a little forced. Something more topical for review (Klein perhaps), and an article on socialism and the environment might have looked less out of place.

  3. Doug said,

    December 13, 2007 at 2:46 pm

    I’m not complaining – I like it – but why Top Cat? !

  4. splinteredsunrise said,

    December 13, 2007 at 3:15 pm

    If you listen to Radio Galloway, George has Top Cat as his intro theme.

  5. Steve McClaren said,

    December 13, 2007 at 3:37 pm

    I was most disappointed to turn to the back pages and find no sport section.

  6. johng said,

    December 13, 2007 at 8:01 pm

    not enough sectarian gibberish or personalised backbiting. I was hoping for something a little more internal and irrelevent.

  7. Doug said,

    December 14, 2007 at 10:46 am

    I hope the gang show solidarity when Officer Dibble’s on strike.

  8. Liam said,

    December 14, 2007 at 8:30 pm

    Steve there will NEVER be a sports section in any paper that I’m involved in.

  9. johng said,

    December 15, 2007 at 2:27 pm

    i suspect liam that any differences over political strategy in the mayoral elections will fade into insignificance compared to THAT question over at Andystown’s anti-social blog (with apologies to splintered). A question of sport. That will be the next showdown.

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