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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

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

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Lawyers defeat Tories' unjust legal aid cuts

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Them & Us


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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


 

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