Open Letter to the Birmingham Board of the Labour Party

January 10, 2017 at 6:40 pm (labour party, democracy, reformism, posted by JD, campaigning)

labour-party-logo

From Momentum South Birmingham to the Birmingham Board of the Labour Party

Dear Comrades

Regardless of your views on the leadership election and the movement around Jeremy Corbyn, it is clear that the Labour Party faces a huge task locally and nationally. The polls are unlikely to be that out of kilter with reality and if there was a general election tomorrow in all likelihood the Labour Party would lose, and badly.

More specifically, here in Birmingham we also face big challenges. With the Midland Metro Mayor election next year and “all-up” council elections in 2018, we will need a large, motivated and dynamic ground operation to achieve the results we want. In particular with the Metro Mayor, the Conservative candidate, Andy Street, is clearly no fool and the contest will be a very tough one. Without a significant Labour presence on the streets and in our communities, we won’t win.

The Tories have vast amounts of money and plenty of friends in the media to help put their case. The Labour Party has the overwhelming case that exists for a democratic socialist society, obviously, but more prosaically, it’s huge membership, which has more than trebled nationally in just over a year.

That membership will need to be mobilised. And in order for it to be mobilised it will need to have a say in how the party is run.

It was therefore with huge disappointment that we learned that the Birmingham Board of the Labour Party voted to exclude all members who had joined in or after July 2015 from selecting our candidates for the 2018 local elections.

Two thirds of Labour Party members have been disenfranchised at a stroke. It is also worth bearing in mind that the next local elections after 2018 will be in 2022, so selection will take place in 2021. Therefore if you joined the party in July 2015 you will face a six year wait to select a council candidate. The national Labour rule is 6 months.

This cannot be right. There needs to be a freeze date, but the one imposed by the Birmingham Board is ludicrously excessive and smacks of cynical gerrymandering.

It is also self-defeating.

How do we expect to have a motivated membership knocking doors, delivering leaflets and taking the case for Labour candidates into our communities if we won’t even let that membership select those candidates? How will we build the big, lively, well-resourced campaigns that we will need to get Sion Simon elected in 2017?

Momentum South Birmingham calls on the Birmingham Board of the Labour Party to overturn the decision and instead have the usual six month freeze date. It is in our party’s interests to do so.

In solidarity

MSB

7 Comments

  1. Stephen Bellamy said,

    You are suddenly very quiet on the antisemitic conspiracy theory front Jim o:)

    • Glasgow Working Class said,

      You seem to have an obcession with such things.

  2. Glasgow Working Class said,

    Labour should expel momentum members and it should take effect yesterday. Only one party, Labour.

  3. @pplswar said,

    This is from October 2016. Nothing happened since then?

  4. Rilke said,

    I am a Momentum spokesperson and organiser, I reserve the right to badger those in the Labour party and hold forth on policy, direction and tactics. Any who disagree are Blairtites and Tory infiltrators. I have not been elected by any vote and I am not subject to any internal Labour Party discipline as this is ‘authoritarian’ and bourgeois. I am a special person. I have read one chapter of Victor Serge and my grandmother once spoke to a coal miner. There are others that are similar to me in terms of their Trotskyist orientaion, but they cannot and should not be permitted to ‘lead’ in any way, that is my ‘role’. If these others attempt to interfere with my revolutionary leadership role, I and my confederates, will simply wreck the whole organisation and movement to such a point that we eventually have a ‘party’ each. You have been warned.

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