Well, the SWP are portraying the dispute as a Left versus Right dispute. Apparently Respect doesn't have enough socialism in it and it is communalist in terms of its appeals to the Muslim community.My view is that forming a coalition with the SWP you have to expect to be fucked over by their sectarian/opportunitistic maneouvring at every opportunity, and working with MAB and Galloway you have to expect your activists to involve themselves in corrupt practices and communalist propogandising, so they both got what they paid for.
George Galloway, Salma Yaqoob and Nick Wrack (expelled from the SWP) - say it is about SWP control freakery and their failure to engage in reasonable criticisms of their input into Respect. One of the major complaints would appear to be that Respect is "on and off" for the SWP - off in between elections and on again at election times.
As I see it the SWP liquidated the Socialist Alliance in favour of a coalition with "progressive" forces such as the Muslim Association of Britain and GG. They used their size in the Socialist Alliance to smash it up despite the opposition of nearly everyone else - who saw it as an abandonment of a commitment to building an explicitly socialist organisation.
I don't support the politics of these "progressive" forces, and GG and his allies hardly insisted on proper internal democracy in the first place. However - you could argue these people signed up to Respect in good faith and it ain't their fault that the SWP have decided they don't want to play any more. I suppose those who got the same treatment in the Socialist Alliance can say "told you so".
As for the SWP, what can you say? Yesterday they were condemning critics of Respect's non-socialist and classless appeals to the Muslim community for being Islamophobic - today they accuse Respect of being communalist. Yesterday, when they smashed up the Socialist Alliance, they argued that Respect wasn't an abandonment of socialism, today they say it is.
I really have nothing but contempt for the SWP. I feel sympathy for any non-SWP activists who joined Respect in good faith.
Blog comment: The Sewage Swamp Spilts (Shiraz), The politics of the Respect split (Dave's Part); "You want Respect? Fucking Have it!" (Harry's Place), The Swiss Toni school of international relations & Left-right in the split(Splintered Sunrise), What would a new party look like? (A Very Public Sociologist), Respect implodes shock (Labour Left Forum), The Democratic Deficit which Stunts the Growth of the Left must be Replaced by a Democratic Culture (Organized Rage) - plus loads from AWL and, of course, especially Socialist Unity.
Meanwhile, the Stop the War Coalition could do with some melting down. TWP gives an excellent account of its degeneration here and HakMao on their silence on the real issues facing Iraq here.