Abjol Miah: “Let’s renew our efforts for peace, justice and equality”
Last Thursday’s result was obviously disappointing for us in Respect and for myself personally in Bethnal Green and Bow. I would like to thank my friends, family and my many thousands of supporters who placed their trust in me to make the case for jobs, homes and peace in Bethnal Green and Bow. Volunteers worked tirelessly for myself and for George Galloway for weeks and months and every single contribution is hugely appreciated. My thanks are also due to the hundreds of you who have contacted me since last Thursday to offer your sympathies and your support.
New Labour may have won the battle in East London this time, but they have lost the war. Even in opposition, Labour will be unwilling to defend the most vulnerable and impoverished in society. That role will fall to Respect and others like us, in the labour movement and in our broader communities. Despite the results we remain the most successful left-of-Labour party in generations. United, our work goes on. I have been heartened by the determination of our supporters to plot a course ahead.
In the East End of London, we owe George Galloway far more than he knows. He showed us in 2005 that as a community, together, we could stand on our own two feet and no longer had to rely on deceitful, corrupt and warmongering parties that took us for granted. Try as they might our opponents cannot ever erase that contribution.
I said throughout my campaign that I have always been a community activist for everyone in Tower Hamlets, and if elected I would be an MP and a community activist. I will soon be back on the streets of the East End as a community activist again. My first and foremost consideration has always been and will continue to be the people who live here.
The bitter frustration I felt on Thursday has not lasted. If we believe we are correct to stand up to inequality, racism, cuts and war, in a Britain where the banks are bailed out and the people are hung out to dry, and say ‘there is an alternative to this, it does not have to be this way’, then nothing should frustrate us.
Let us be patient with ourselves and impatient with injustice, and let’s renew our efforts for peace, justice and equality.