Photo / russcoff
George Galloway's vanity project was founded in 2004 to fight the Bow & Bethnal Green constituency on a single-issue ticket, namely, the Iraq war. After scoring a huge upset in 2005 by unseating the Blairite MP Oona King, Respect descended into internecine squabbles, with Galloway more often found dancing in the Big Brother house, raging at the US Senate, bloviating on the radio, or being deported from the MIddle East, than at Westminster or getting involved in constituency business. At last week's election, Respect were blown out of the water, losing heavily to a resurgent Labour candidate in Bow & Bethnal Green, and rolling into third place in Limehouse & Poplar, where Galloway stood; the garrulous Scot didn't even bother showing up to the count, so bad was his performance. The party also lost all but one councillor in Tower Hamlets.
Party activists claim that the party will limp on, and a press conference organised for this afternoon should shed more light on Respect's future. As for Galloway, it seems unlikely he'll be involved: he's already jetted off to Los Angeles to pitch some documentary ideas at Hollywood execs, as he attempts to position himself as Scotland's answer to Michael Moore.