Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Tale of Two Citadels

What started out as great expectations has now irreversibly fallen on hard times. Andy N over at Socialist Unity blog has the latest sketches on blogz regarding the old curiosity shop that was Respect (Mark I).

Despite public protestations to the contrary, it turns out that meetings did take place in late October behind closed doors between the two opposing factions in these adventures of political twists and turns. Up for discussion was the small matter of arranging as bloodless a separation as possible between the two opposing camps. It all came to nought, as both sides sought to steal a march on the other.

As someone who has nailed his colours to 'Respect Renewal's' mast, Andy probably doesn't see it this way but I think it would take a magician of the skill and deftness of a David Copperfield to explain how two opposing factions - who were each in turn claiming to be the democratising pluralist voice and/or defending the democratic inclusive voice within Respect - could conduct their divorce negotiations behind closed doors and behind the backs of those rank and file members that they were supposed to be representing on each side. I guess it's one for the polemical papers to pick over.

Big question for me, though, is: who's 'Our Mutual Friend' who gets such a prominent mention in this post? S/he is . . ." an independent and respected friend of both sides . . . [who] had offered to mediate in any discussions. It was agreed that this ‘mutual friend’ should be asked to chair the negotiation." [Negotiating what was supposed to be the amicable divorce between Respect (Galloway) and 'Socialist Respect'.]

Little Porrit, maybe? Nah, even when he was active in the Green Party, he was never a member of its eco-socialist wing. Negotiate suggests a legal mindset. Maybe Malcolm Mansfield parked himself at the centre of the dispute. No, can't be him; you can't mix your Dickens with your Austen. There's only so far that this blog will go in its frivolity.

Andy N is insisting that any comments to his post that speculate on the possible identity of OMF will be immediately deleted. With a response like that, watch that thread get derailed quicker than you can say 'What's Tommy Sheridan* up to these days?'

*Of course, it ain't him. Just adding fuel to the fire.


AN said...

It may seem a bit humourless, but unless I deleted all the speculative gueesses, it gave a clue to which guesses were more credible.

the request for anonymit came from the third party conrade himself, so i take it very serioulsy

Darren said...

No worries Andy,

I don't envy your role as the moderator of the comments. It's a 24/7 occupation at the moment!

Anonymous said...

Liked your running Dickensian references here. 'Barnaby Grudge' seems to be the leitmotif overall...

Darren said...


you topped me!!!

I salute you. ;-)