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From The Socialist newspaper, 10 February 2016
Birmingham: socialists kicked out of Momentum
A Jeremy Corbyn supporter during his leadership campaign, photo Paul Mattsson (Click to enlarge)
Ted Woodley, Birmingham Central Socialist Party
In January I received an email from 'Team Momentum' inviting me to its new North Birmingham group's inaugural meeting on 1 February.
I was invited to help to "grow our movement for a more equal, democratic and decent society." As a previous Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) parliamentary candidate for the area I duly attended, looking forward to positively engaging with supporters of Jeremy Corbyn and other socialists.
However 20 minutes later I was walking back to my car. Why? I'd been told to leave because I was a member of the Socialist Party.
The chair announced that Momentum HQ had issued a set of rules for local groups, one of which was to bar members of other political parties, specifically mentioning the Socialist Party, from Momentum meetings.
The first casualty was 72-year-old Zarina Bhatia, an ex-Labour Party member who'd resigned in 2003 over the war in Iraq, now a member of Left Unity. She raised her hand to ask if she should leave the meeting on account of this ruling. The chair said that he thought that would be "for the best". She protested, gathered her things, and left. I couldn't believe what I was seeing.
The chair asked if anyone else was in any other parties, I identified myself and was then told that I must leave the meeting. I protested but the chair said they must comply with the national rules and that if I wanted to stay I should join Labour.
I said that that I wouldn't be allowed to join Labour even if I wanted to but that I, and the Socialist Party, support Jeremy Corbyn. I said that it was crazy for Momentum to exclude fellow socialists from a meeting of anti-austerity campaigners and that we should collaborate and fight to make Jeremy's policies a reality.
If Momentum is to be a success it needs to throw its doors open to all those who want to fight austerity, not just Labour Party members. It should be putting its energy into kicking out the careerists and the Blairites, not the socialists.
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In The Socialist 10 February 2016:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Fight council cuts!
Tories bankrupting NHS
Defiant mood as junior doctors demonstrate
Lawyers defeat Tories' unjust legal aid cuts
Cushy government job for Amazon boss
'Pro-rape' anti-feminist Roosh V humiliated
Liverpool fans walk out against ticket price hikes
Them & Us
Socialist Party feature
Mental health: system in crisis
Mental health: My battle for the help I needed
What we think
Cameron's EU renegotiation charade
Don't give money to Ukip and Tory EU campaigners!
Momentum, Labour and the Socialist Party
Lack of strategy and exclusions threaten Momentum
Birmingham: socialists kicked out of Momentum
Labour right wing blocks call to debate budget cuts
Socialist Party workplace news
No-cuts strategy needed to save 25,000 council jobs
Local government union backs no-cuts council budgets
Big victory at Small Heath School against academy attack
Cuts to premiums mean no 'rise' in store for Tesco workers
Leicester taxi dispute: Labour's rank hypocrisy
South London: Library workers strike to save services
Continued action in crane drivers' pay dispute
Workplace news in brief
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Portsmouth: support for anti-austerity stand
Leeds meeting expresses Corbyn and McDonnell's contradictions
Socialist Party members inspired by conference
Torbay: "A tale of two towns"
Anger against plans to close Bradford libraries
NHS campaign gains support
International socialist news and analysis
Sanders' socialist message rattling the establishment
US elections: Clinton coins it
International news in brief
The Socialist 10 February 2016 |
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