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From The Socialist newspaper, 16 February 2022

Left Labour MPs under pressure over Erdington

Zarah Sultana. Photo: Roger Harris/CC

Zarah Sultana. Photo: Roger Harris/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Zarah Sultana, the Labour MP for Coventry South, is under threat of deselection for being one of the small number of Labour MPs who has publicly called for Jeremy Corbyn to be reinstated as a Labour MP.

Unlike Birmingham Labour MP Steve McCabe, who outrageously compared Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham's support for the Coventry refuse strikers to the way Putin-supporting Russian oligarchs behave in the Tory Party, Zarah Sultana has at least put the emphasis on the Labour council retreating rather than the workers. She said the council should put forward "a new offer" to the strikers, which would meet "their concerns".

Therefore, when she tweeted that there was nothing she'd "rather do on Valentine's Day than door knock in Erdington in the rain" for Paulette Hamilton, she received over 200 angry and disappointed responses. As one message said, "I live here. Ex-Labour member. Voted and campaigned for Labour in 2017 and 2019. I have the utmost respect for you but how can you knock doors asking people to vote for a party that hates and expels socialists and welcomes Tories. There is an alternative. Vote TUSC. Vote Nellist. I will."

Hamilton, as a Birmingham City Council cabinet member, was responsible for attacking the Birmingham refuse and home-care workers' pay and conditions. Yet Zarah Sultana is taking to the streets to argue for a vote for her instead of Dave Nellist, standing for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition.

With Labour councillors and candidates from across Birmingham instructed to canvass in the Erdington by-election, left Labour MPs are making a mistake if they think that following orders to campaign for right-wing candidates like Paulette Hamilton will prevent Starmer's Labour trying to get rid of them.

Following the disaffiliation of the bakers' union from Labour, and Unite's withholding of funding in support of the Coventry refuse strike, discussion is beginning in the trade unions on how to create a political voice for the working class.

Therefore, this won't be the last time Labour MPs will face similar choices. Will, for example, Zarah be campaigning for a Starmer-imposed candidate in Islington North against Jeremy Corbyn, should he take the positive step of deciding to stand outside the constraints of Labour?

Come to that, would she be prepared to take the same positive step herself if she is undemocratically deselected by the right-wing Labour machine?

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In The Socialist 16 February 2022:


What we think

Britain's economic growth figures mask fragile false recovery


News

'Labour by name - Tory by policy'

Covid: Fight for full sick pay

Met police boss ousted

Tory stealth taxes burden 'packhorse generation'

Left Labour MPs under pressure over Erdington

'Stand together and fight'

Neither Washington, London nor Moscow

Australian nurses strike against understaffing and low pay


Erdington by-election

Birmingham Erdington by-election

Campaigning in Birmingham Erdington by-election


Saltley Gate

From our history: 1972 miners' strike


PCS elections

PCS Elections 2022: Time for new union leadership


Workplace news

Barts NHS strike

NEU strike at girls' school chain over pensions

University workers striking back

"If we don't fight, we won't win!"

Just Eat strike spreads and forces concessions

Join the scaffs mass picket at Scunthorpe steelworks

Worksop Wincanton workers win pay rise after strike


Campaigns

West Sussex care campaigners' victory

Why I'm going to Socialist Students conference

Campaigning to make 2 March student walkout happen

Stop eviction of Camden homeless collective

East Sussex: Poverty and cuts bring people to Socialist Party

Save St Mary's Leisure Centre

Fund us to fight for socialism


Readers' opinion

TV: 'Death of Two Black Men: Police in the Spotlight'

TV: 'A Killing in Tiger Bay'

How Cardiff Bay's redevelopment led to 'social cleansing'


 

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Related links:

Labour:

triangleThe Erdington byelection and the fight for a new mass workers' party

triangleBrighton Green and Labour cuts - workers and communities fight back

trianglePrivatisation and crisis in the NHS

triangleTrade union support for standing anti-cuts election candidates

triangleCoventry bin strikers lobby strike-breaking Labour council

MPs:

triangleLeft Labour MPs under pressure over Erdington

triangleTories' 'partygate' crisis continues - kick them out

triangleIt's my party, and I'll lie if I want to

triangleTory sleaze scandal continues, an ex-workers' MP responds

Birmingham:

triangleVote Nellist for a workers' MP in Erdington

triangleFrom our history: 1972 miners' strike

triangleCampaigning in Birmingham Erdington by-election

Council:

triangleNewham City Farm - closed with no consultation

triangleRestore Cardiff's slashed services

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23/2/22

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The Erdington byelection and the fight for a new mass workers' party

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Vote Nellist for a workers' MP in Erdington

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Tory stealth taxes burden 'packhorse generation'

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Labour

Left Labour MPs under pressure over Erdington

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