MSB newsletter 10/07/17

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Welcome to the latest Momentum South Birmingham newsletter – your unmissable weekly digest of all the interesting things going on politically in our area and beyond.

Many of you may have seen the various articles and rumours floating around on social media about the “freeze date” for shortlisting and selection in the 2018 Birmingham City Council elections. This article in particular has been widely circulated.

MSB will not be commenting officially until we know exactly what has been agreed – we have heard so many different dates and versions of events that it would be unwise to do anything that would add to the confusion. There is a Birmingham Board meeting this Friday, the 14th, and we hope that they attempt nothing that in any way subverts any decisions of the NEC, our party’s sovereign decision-making body. The Birmingham Board is there to represent and act on behalf of the members of Birmingham’s ten CLPs – not do as it pleases.    

 

Hall Green CLP out of “special measures”!

Labour Party democracy watchers will know that four of Birmingham’s ten CLPs (Hall Green, Hodge Hill, Ladywood and Perry Barr) have been in ‘special measures’ for 20+ years. This means in practise that joining the party in any of these four is incredibly difficult and those CLPs have not been able to function properly and in some cases have withered badly. In one of a series of positive developments concerning local party democracy recently (more in future newsletters……..) Hall Green has finally been removed from SM – members of the CLP deserve enormous credit for their tenacious campaign to get them lifted and hopefully the other three will follow suit shortly. Below is an excerpt from a Hall Green Constituency Labour Party statement on the issue. Many congratulations to the CLP, which we hope will now go from strength to strength now the SM straitjacket has been remove.

“After 24 years, what is known today as ‘Special membership measures’ has been lifted on Hall Green CLP. We are now the only CLP out of 4 in Birmingham to have Special membership measures lifted. This has been through years hard work of our officers and members. We had finally made a case where we are able to show our CLP has progressed and is able to self-govern.

What does this mean?

New members will be able to join without the months of waiting and extra documentation. We will govern with the rules set in the rule book, without extra measures upon us. Our CLP will be treated the same as most CLPs in the country with members at the heart of decision making.”

There’s also an item about the issue in the latest Hall Green CLP newsletter that you can read here.

 

Abbey Branch Labour Party presents

Attila the Stockbroker, 13th July

Just over the Birmingham border in Bearwood, Abbey Ward Labour Party have organised a social with Attila the Stockbroker performing this Thursday, the 13th July – doors open at 7:30pm. More details here. 

Coffee for Corbyn, 22nd July

We are hosting a coffee morning on Saturday 10:30 at Cosy Coffee Northfield High Street. All welcome apart from people who live in Edgbaston constituency – it’s your CLP AGM that morning and you need to be there! Full details here.

Sisters Uncut Birmingham meeting: 22nd July

Sisters Uncut are having their first open meeting on Saturday 22nd July at 14:00 on the ground floor at Rhubarb, 25 Heath Mill Lane, Digbeth, Birmingham, B9 4AE. You’ve probably heard of them but for the uninitiated they are an intersectional feminist group taking direct action for domestic violence services – they have been involved in some pretty inspiring initiatives in London. Attached to the newsletter is a flyer.

MSB Book Club:

George Orwell’s ‘Road to Wigan Pier’, August 1st

Our inaugural book club meeting is on the 1st August! It’ll be at 7pm at Loco Lounge on Kings Heath High Street. Members will be discussing Orwell’s ‘Road to Wigan Pier’. If you want to join in or need any information email chezhedges@hotmail.com.

Save the date – MSB Summer Party on the 4th August!

Just a date for your diaries – our Summer Party will be on Friday the 4th August -the downstairs room at the Hare and Hounds in Kings Heath from 7pm. It’s a free event. With a raffle! More publicity to follow!

Birmingham Momentum Women’s Group –

Future meetings (next one 14th August)

Women Momentum members across Birmingham are now meeting regularly to discuss women’s position in the Labour Party and how to gain gender equality. It’s a safe space for Momentum and Labour women to come together to support each other, explore issues and plan campaigns.

The next meetings are:

  • Monday 14th August, at Loco Lounge (32/34 High Street Kings Heath, B14 7JT) at 7:30pm.
  • Monday 11th September – City centre location, TBC

 

Save the date – MSB Quiz Night 1st September!

We’ll be having another quiz night on 1st September- Details to be confirmed!
Northfield constituency dates for your diary

  • Northfield CLP Momentum sub-group meeting: Wednesday, 12th July, 7:30pm, Black Horse Pub on the Bristol Road – upstairs conference room.
  • Longbridge Labour branch meeting – Wed 12th July, 7pm at the Hollymoor Centre, Manor Park Grove, B31 5ER
  • Weoley Labour branch meeting – Wed 12th July, 7pm at Weoley Hill United Reformed Church, Green Meadow Road, B29 4DE
  • Northfield Labour branch meeting – Mon 17th July, 7pm at Hampstead House, Condover Road, B31 3QY.

 

Edgbaston constituency dates for your diary

  • Quinton ward AGM, Wednesday 19th July, 7pm, Quinborne Centre, Ridgacre Road: Quinton ward officers to be elected and possibly councillor selection meenting.
  • Edgbaston CLP AGM Saturday 22nd July – 10am, St Faith and St Lawrence Church Hall, 115 Balden Road, Birmingham B32 2EL. CLP-wide officers and officers for Bartley Green, Edgbaston and Harborne will be elected and very likely the 2018 councillor selection will be conducted too.

 

Hall Green constituency dates for your diary

  • July 13th Moseley and Kings Heath ward meeting: With the election campaign over, normal meetings resume and they will be having their regular meeting on Thursday 13th July at the Moseley Exchange.
  • Hall Green CLP are having an all members meeting on Friday 14th July, 6-8pm at Community Room B, Sparkbrook Community & Health Centre, 34 Grantham Road, Sparkbrook, Birmingham, B11 1LU.

 

Selly Oak constituency dates for your diary

  • Billesley ward door-knocking, every Monday. The newly-constituted ward is seen as one of the toughest for Labour in Selly Oak and therefore every Monday members will be out talking to local residents. 6pm – the carpark on the junction of School Road and Highters Heath Lane – opposite McDonald’s.

 

Birmingham needs more women councillors!

Women in Momentum’s three Birmingham branches are now meeting regularly and the dates of their next two meetings are further down this newsletter. They have also produced an excellent article on improving the gender balance on Birmingham City Council. There have been some worrying rumours about attempts being made to water it down in some of the new wards – the way that we can challenge this is oppose any dilution in our Labour Parties but also for women to stand as councillors. The piece can be read here – please share far and wide.

 

New to the Labour Party?

Many of us are fairly new to the Labour Party and it can be quite an intimidating environment with labyrinthine rules and procedures that are at times baffling – with all the different abbreviations and structures it can be like learning a new language! Momentum Sheffield (who look almost as amazing as MSB…..) have produced a very helpful guide for newcomers that explains the structures, rules, terms and puts things in day-to-day language. It’s worth a read even if you are an experienced old hand! A link to the document is here.

  

Defend our children’s centres!

26 children’s centres are at risk of closure across the city. While Birmingham City Council is an almost impossible position due to the cuts it is being forced to make by the Tory government, these centres provide early education and day care for children from 6 months to 5 years and are a vital service for families. Numerous consultation meetings are taking place across the city (list is here, a copy also attached with this newsletter), there is an online consultation form to complete and there is more useful information here.

 

KONP Birmingham

KONPB do a huge amount of brilliant work but are always in need of more help. For those who are interested in supporting and/or joining KONP and contributing to campaigns their contact details are btuchcc@hotmail.com.

Meetings are 1st Wednesday of every month (except August), so people can drop in any time at The Wellington, 37 Bennetts Hill, Birmingham, B2 5SN.

Currently KONPB have campaigns on the STPs in Brum/Solihull and Black Country. the Midland Metropolitan Hospital (PFI/2) and they are looking to do some more work on the mental health arrangements for young people 0-25 years in Birmingham – currently ‘red risk’.

Please get involved in, and support, KONPB in any way you can.

 

South Birmingham Momentum T-Shirts

Not before time in our view, wear it with pride: MSB t-shirts are going to be ordered: £10 for members and £12 for none-members (another compelling reason to join Momentum!) red with Birmingham Momentum on it and a big picture of Jeremy! If you would like one email nicky151289@gmail.com, they are available in medium, large or extra-large.

 

Burton Unite members in dispute with Argos –

let’s support them!

While of course the eyes of Momentum South Birmingham were mostly fixed on the general election and ensuring our city’s constituencies returned Labour MPs, we should not forget that there are industrial disputes going on that can and should be supported. One of those is just down the road in Burton where Argos workers organised by the Unite union are on strike.

There is much more information here: please offer any help you can at this very busy time for all of us.  We are also aiming to bring you more information about the refuse workers strike in Birmingham in future editions and on social media – keep your eyes peeled.

 

Fundraising survey

Our fundraising co-ordinator, Nicky, has drawn up a quick survey for members and supporters to fill in to canvass our views on what we want. If you have a spare couple of minutes please fill it in here.

 

‘Regional’ Momentum co-ordination

Cecile Wright, one of our elected NGC reps for the large ‘region’ that Birmingham and the West Midlands sits in, would like to keep in touch about how she can best open communication with us to better represent us on the Momentum Council. She wants people to feel free to get in touch with her and her email is c.wright230@ntlworld.com. As things develop further post-conference we’ll keep you informed.

 

School cuts

The NUT have set up a school cuts website providing information on what is going on and the likely effects. You can email your MP through the website, it only takes a minute. Please click here. Since the New Year a number of parents groups have sprung up across the country to fight for more funding for our schools. It is an important development that parents have started to organise because Governments cross parents at their peril. Please visit their website.

 

MSB social media classes and blog pitches

Nicky Brennan, one of our social media managers, has started running classes if you are uninitiated in Facebook and Twitter etc. and want to learn more about how to make best use of them – they are crucial part of modern political campaigning and you are never too old to learn something new! If you’re interested get in touch with Nicky: nicky151289@gmail.com

We are also looking to get more original content on our blog – it is a somewhat underused resource for discussing ideas and giving our members a platform to write about the issues of concern to them. Drop Nicky a line if you have any ideas – particularly if they are about local issues and our campaigning – or things you think we should be doing more on and want to draw attention to.

 

Ward and CLP meetings

If you want the group to publicise upcoming local Labour Party activities and branch and CLP meetings to encourage attendance, please let us know either by emailing me direct or the group account below; our wonderful social media managers Kate, Lucy, Nicky and Sam will do the rest!

https://www.facebook.com/momentumbirminghamsouth/ 

https://momentumsbham.wordpress.com/ 

https://twitter.com/@MomentumSBham/ 

MomentumbhamSouth@hotmail.com 

http://www.leftwardtendency.co.uk/momentum-south-birmingham 

http://www.leftwardtendency.co.uk/wall-of-fame 

To join Momentum: https://join.peoplesmomentum.com/

 

Birmingham needs more women councillors!

Birmingham Momentum women’s group has launched a campaign to get more Labour women onto Birmingham City Council.

Only 40% of Labour councillors in Birmingham are women – 32 out of the 80 seats Labour currently holds. That’s way below Labour’s national target of a minimum of 50% female representation amongst Labour councillors in every local authority in the country.

The ward boundary changes and all-out local government elections in 2018 are unlikely to see any improvement. Based on the 2016 council election results, the number of Labour-held seats is likely to drop from 80 to approximately 68. So hitting the 50% target would require 34 women to become Labour councillors.

At the moment there are 30 women councillors on the Local Government Panel (the list of people whose nominations have been approved). But of the 35 non councillors on the panel only four are women! So to achieve the target of 50% in 2018, 34 women would need to be shortlisted, selected and elected i.e. all of the 30 women councillors currently nominating and all four of the new nominees. That’s rather unrealistic given some wards are becoming two-seat wards, and that not all panel members want to represent any area in the city.

We’re encouraging women to apply for the Local Government Panel for 2018. To be shortlisted as a candidate you need to be on the panel – it’s as simple as that.
At the time of writing we are unsure when councillor selections will start – probably from early July. Panel applications will still be considered and may be approved even after the selection process has begun.

We know it’s a big step so Birmingham Women’s Momentum will be supporting women who apply, by sharing information and our experience as we go through the process.
We are also looking at what training is available for applicants, and other platforms that provide development opportunities. Watch this space in late summer/early Autumn.

Finally, being on the panel doesn’t mean you have to accept a nomination to stand for selection in any particular ward – just that by being on the panel you would be considered.

Application forms are available by logging in at: http://www.birmingham-labour.com/splash?splash=1 and clicking on ‘City Council Election 2018’.

If you have any queries or just want to chat contact momentumbhamsouth@hotmail.com and we’ll point you in the direction of your local Momentum contact on the issue!

MSB Newsletter 26/06/2017

cropped-cropped-momentum-cover-photo-61.jpgWelcome to the latest Momentum South Birmingham newsletter – your unmissable weekly digest of all the interesting things going on politically in our area and beyond.

I’ll keep the preamble fairly to a minimum this week as there is a lot of stuff to read through. There are a couple of useful articles about the situation with Birmingham councillors (always another election to think about!) and a very interesting all-Birmingham Momentum gathering planned next Sunday with the fantastic Chris Williamson MP as our guest speaker! It promises to be a really interesting discussion and we are focussing on giving our members and supporters time to debate the big issues and listen to the views of one of the best MPs Labour has.  

For all of you Birmingham Labour Party democracy watchers this statement from the officers of MSB may be of interest regarding recent shenanigans on the Birmingham Board. Clearly some people have learnt nothing from the general election, sadly…… Feel free to circulate to anyone who you think might be interested.

Anyway, enjoy this week’s edition – there is plenty going on so you won’t be bored…….

James

 

Chris Williamson in Birmingham next Sunday!

On Sunday 2nd July Momentum activists in Birmingham are coming together to discuss the positive election results and what we need to do to ensure that a Corbyn-led Labour Party is elected next time out, which could be very soon!

We’ll be meeting at the The Lamp Tavern 157 Barford St, Birmingham B5 6AH at 2:30pm and will be joined by the fantastic Chris Williamson, newly re-elected MP for Derby North, who will be leading off a discussion of how we continue the great work we’ve started.

Please join us if you’re a member of Momentum or a Labour member or supporter who supports our leader. The usual rule applies, if you’re a member of another political party you won’t be able to attend – sorry!

Birmingham needs more women councillors!

Women in Momentum’s three Birmingham branches are now meeting regularly and the dates of their next two meetings are further down this newsletter. They have also produced an excellent article on improving the gender balance on Birmingham City Council. There have been some worrying rumours about attempts being made to water it down in some of the new wards – the way that we can challenge this is oppose any dilution in our Labour Parties but also for women to stand as councillors. The piece can be read here – please share far and wide.

Birmingham Humanists Meeting, Tuesday 27th June

Birmingham Humanists have organised a discussion meeting on Tuesday, 27 June – Jeremy Rodell speaking: ‘The changing landscape of religion and belief in the UK: a Humanist response’, 7.30–9.30pm @ Moseley Exchange, 149–153 Alcester Road, Moseley, Birmingham B13 8JP. Here is a flyer and their upcoming programme of events:Birmingham Humanists DiaryJun2017

Birmingham Against The Cuts meeting, Wednesday 28th June: ‘Come Together To Campaign Against The Cuts in Birmingham’

BATC are bringing together 4 campaigns opposing austerity and privatization on the 28th for an evening of speakers and debate. 7pm at the Council House. Speakers include John Lister from Health Campaigns Together. Here is (another) flyer – just think of all the paper we are saving! BATC flyer-page-001

Moseley Festival: 1st July

This weekend is going to be a busy one. There is supposed to be a national Labour day of action around the theme of austerity – if we hear of any activities we will let you know on social media. If not please join us at the Moseley Festival – there’ll be loads to do including coming along to our stall; where you will be able to buy one of our fantastic new bespoke Momentum Birmingham T-Shirts! Also, if you fancy volunteering to staff our table please let us know – any help would be much appreciated!

The Great Get Together – until the 2nd July

Here is a programme of events promoted by our friends at Hope not Hate as part of the “The Great Get Together” – a collaborative project involving organisations in Birmingham, the Black Country and Dudley. GGT-2017-06-03-EVENTS

MSB stalls committee meeting: 3rd July, 10am

Our stalls co-ordinator Chris has organised the next meeting of the stalls committee on Monday the 3rd July, 10am, at Loco Lounge, Kings Heath High Street. Chris is always on the lookout for people to join the committee. Stalls and campaigning have been crucial to the development of the group. You might even get your picture taken with John McDonnell! Email Chriskuriata@live.co.uk for more info.

KONP Birmingham meeting, 5th July

KONPB do a huge amount of brilliant work but are always in need of more help. For those who are interested in supporting and/or joining KONP and contributing to campaigns their contact details are btuchcc@hotmail.com.

Meetings are 1st Wednesday of every month (except August), so people can drop in any time at The Wellington, 37 Bennetts Hill, Birmingham, B2 5SN. The next meeting is this Wednesday, the 5th July, at 19:30pm. Currently KONPB have campaigns on the STPs in Brum/Solihull and Black Country. the Midland Metropolitan Hospital (PFI/2) and they are looking to do some more work on the mental health arrangements for young people 0-25 years in Birmingham – currently ‘red risk’.

Please get involved in and support KONPB in any way you can.

Save the date – MSB Summer Party on the 4th August!

Just a date for your diaries – our Summer Party will be on Friday the 4th August. You’ll have all weekend to recover if it’s a large one 😊. More details to follow soon!

Birmingham Momentum Women’s Group –

Future meetings (next one 14th August)

Women Momentum members across Birmingham are now meeting regularly to discuss women’s position in the Labour Party and how to gain gender equality. It’s a safe space for Momentum and Labour women to come together to support each other, explore issues and plan campaigns.

The next meetings are:

  • Monday 14th August, at Loco Lounge (32/34 High Street Kings Heath, B14 7JT) at 7:30pm.
  • Monday 11th September – City centre location, TBC

Northfield constituency dates for your diary

  • King’s Norton ward meeting will take place on Weds 28th June at 7.30pm at the Queen’s Room, St Nicholas Place, The Green, King’s Norton
  • Northfield CLP election celebration party will take place on Friday 30 June at 7.00pm at the Shenley Lane Community and Sports Centre, 472 Shenley Lane, Birmingham B29 4JD. There is a bar in the centre. All Momentum supporters who helped out in Richard Burden’s re-election campaign are invited to attend.

Edgbaston constituency dates for your diary

  • Edgbaston CLP AGM 22nd July – more details to follow!

Hall Green constituency dates for your diary

  • Moseley Festival: Saturday 1st July, details above.
  • July 13th Moseley and Kings Heath ward meeting: With the election campaign over, normal meetings resume and they will be having their regular meeting on Thursday 13th July at the Moseley Exchange.

Selly Oak constituency dates for your diary

  • Nothing this week unfortunately but we’ll let you know if we hear anything for future editions.

New to the Labour Party?

Many of us are fairly new to the Labour Party and it can be quite an intimidating environment with labyrinthine rules and procedures that are at times baffling – with all the different abbreviations and structures it can be like learning a new language! Momentum Sheffield (who look almost as amazing as MSB…..) have produced a very helpful guide for newcomers that explains the structures, rules, terms and puts things in day-to-day language. It’s worth a read even if you are an experienced old hand! A link to the document is here.

 

Burton Unite members in dispute with Argos –

let’s support them!

While of course the eyes of Momentum South Birmingham were mostly fixed on the general election and ensuring our city’s constituencies returned Labour MPs, we should not forget that there are industrial disputes going on that can and should be supported. One of those is just down the road in Burton where Argos workers organised by the Unite union are on strike.

There is much more information here: please offer any help you can at this very busy time for all of us.  We are also aiming to bring you more information about the refuse workers strike in Birmingham in future editions and on social media – keep your eyes peeled.

 

Fundraising survey

Our fundraising co-ordinator, Nicky, has drawn up a quick survey for members and supporters to fill in to canvass our views on what we want. If you have a spare couple of minutes please fill it in here.

MSB statement on the July 2015 ‘freeze date’ decision

The Birmingham Board of the Labour Party, in their infinite wisdom, decided to retain the July 2015 freeze date for members to participate in the selection of candidates for the 2018 local election elections. We have published a statement that you can read here and rest assured it will not be the end of the matter. Momentum seeks to get Labour members elected to public office. Labour will only succeed in doing that if it engages with its new members and gives them a say. The decision is a monumental act of folly.

‘Regional’ Momentum co-ordination

Cecile Wright, one of our elected NGC reps for the large ‘region’ that Birmingham and the West Midlands sits in, would like to keep in touch about how she can best open communication with us to better represent us on the Momentum Council. She wants people to feel free to get in touch with her and her email is c.wright230@ntlworld.com. As things develop further post-conference we’ll keep you informed.

School cuts

The NUT have set up a school cuts website providing information on what is going on and the likely effects. You can email your MP through the website, it only takes a minute. Please click here. Since the New Year a number of parents groups have sprung up across the country to fight for more funding for our schools. It is an important development that parents have started to organise because Governments cross parents at their peril. Please visit their website.

South Birmingham Momentum T-Shirts

Not before time in our view, wear it with pride: MSB t-shirts are going to be ordered: £10 red with South Birmingham Momentum on it. If you would like one email

nicky151289@gmail.com

 

MSB social media classes and blog pitches

Nicky Brennan, one of our social media managers, has started running classes if you are uninitiated in Facebook and Twitter etc. and want to learn more about how to make best use of them – they are crucial part of modern political campaigning and you are never too old to learn something new! If you’re interested get in touch with Nicky: nicky151289@gmail.com

We are also looking to get more original content on our blog – it is a somewhat underused resource for discussing ideas and giving our members a platform to write about the issues of concern to them. Drop Nicky a line if you have any ideas – particularly if they are about local issues and our campaigning – or things you think we should be doing more on and want to draw attention to.

Ward and CLP meetings

If you want the group to publicise upcoming local Labour Party activities and branch and CLP meetings to encourage attendance, please let us know either by emailing me direct or the group account below; our wonderful social media managers Kate, Lucy, Nicky and Sam will do the rest!

https://www.facebook.com/momentumbirminghamsouth/

https://momentumsbham.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/@MomentumSBham/

MomentumbhamSouth@hotmail.com

http://www.leftwardtendency.co.uk/momentum-south-birmingham

http://www.leftwardtendency.co.uk/wall-of-fame

Statement of the officers of Momentum South Birmingham on the General Election results


The officers of Momentum South Birmingham note and welcome the positive general election results for Labour.

This election has seen the return of two crucial things: the masses, and hope.

Nationally, a positive campaign combined with a superb, socialist manifesto have led to a quite incredible surge in support for our party and offered a route map to take us back into power. Huge numbers of Labour activists all over the country have played their part in turning around what looked, just a few weeks ago, like an impossible task. CLPs have reported levels of activism at this general election simply never seen before.

Huge numbers of young people registered and then voted, many enthused by Labour’s socialist programme. We have offered hope in the post-Brexit referendum doom and gloom. We have shown that boldness, radicalism and unapologetic socialism are the way forward for the party and Jeremy Corbyn has been completely and totally vindicated as our leader.

Despite the positivity today it remains galling to think that we could have been in an even stronger position had the PLP and party bureaucracy got behind their democratically elected leader from the outset. Those issues are for resolution on another day but be in no doubt that they have not been forgotten.

Turning our attention to Birmingham, it is heartening to see that all 9 of Labour’s seats in the city stayed red. It is also noteworthy that turnout across the city was significantly up and Labour’s share of the vote increased dramatically; our leader, and manifesto, offered something for the people of Birmingham to believe in, alongside many excellent local campaigns.

In particular, we offer warm congratulations to Preet Gill and Richard Burden who have held the seats of Edgbaston and Northfield respectively despite the two being the Tories top targets in the city – and who both received less than enthusiastic support from Labour’s West Midlands Regional Office, which appeared to have determined early on that both seats were already lost.

The result in Edgbaston was absolutely stunning, with Preet tripling Labour’s majority to seven thousand. An extremely impressive and equally unexpected performance.

The Northfield result was similarly excellent, with a huge, friendly and superbly well-organised campaign leading to Richard doubling his majority and ensuring the large numbers of UKIP voters in 2015 did not get added to the Tories 2017 total in sufficient numbers to take the seat. We would like to place on record our thanks to Northfield CLP for the warm welcome our activists received when we came over to help – and also thank Momentum activists from the other branches across the city and region who did so much as well.

The election demonstrates once and for all that the path that the Labour Party has taken since the election of Jeremy Corbyn in 2015 is the right one. It also demonstrates that the party has an incredibly powerful resource that can lead us back to power – our hundreds of thousands of members. It’s the work of those members, volunteering their spare time to work flat out for the party in the last few weeks, that have brought about this revival.

The members will determine the future of the party. Which means that the members in Birmingham need to start being treated with more respect and afforded their democratic rights. The general election has postponed once again the selection of candidates for the local elections next year. It is simply unconscionable that members who only joined before July 2015 (i.e. probably a minority of the current city membership) will be able to participate. We call on the Birmingham Board to rectify this immediately and to rebuild the local party structures that have withered so badly in recent years (the continuation of ‘special measures’ for several decades in four of our ten CLPs being but one example).  

Whilst the results in Birmingham have been excellent, across the wider West Midlands region they have not been, and the dismal performance of the party at the West Midlands Mayoral election just a few weeks ago (which the Regional Office has to take full responsibility for) has shown that there is a problem that is not going away. The current lack of even rudimentary local party democracy is untenable.  

 

In solidarity

 

MSB        

MSB Newsletter 17/04/2017

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Welcome to the latest Momentum South Birmingham newsletter – your unmissable weekly digest of all the interesting things going on politically in our area and beyond. It’s another bumper issue (they all seem to be now……….) and there is plenty to get involved in with the Hall Green and Perry Barr ward by-elections and WM mayoral election just a couple of weeks away. There are also the Unite union elections and the ballots for those are closing this week.

Unite union General Secretary and Executive Council elections: voting closes on the 19th April

Members of UNITE are probably aware that there are some rather important elections going at the moment in their union. Momentum is supporting Len McCluskey for General Secretary and the United Left slate for the Executive Council election. You can find out more here but most importantly the ballot closes this week, on the 19th, so make sure you have voted! See below for a flyer detailing the complete United Left slate.

Vote-UL-Region+equalities+Len-page-001

Hall Green and Perry Barr ward by-elections

Many of you may know that there are by-elections in Hall Green and Perry Barr wards on the 4th May (the same day as the mayoral vote). It’s fair to say that the Hall Green campaign in particular has been eventful so far, and not for good reasons, but clearly the priority now is to get the Labour candidate elected. Liz Clements is standing for our party – she’s been out a lot in recent days and has been joined by many members and local councillors – but still needs more help. In Perry Barr Mohammed Hanif is the candidate and he has to try and overturn a previous Lib Dem majority of 1200 votes, so it is going to be tough. If you go on the Birmingham Labour Party website and search for forthcoming events there is stuff going on all the time, be it door-knocking or leaflet drops. Momentum activists will be out in force too.

Share your views with Jeremy Corbyn on the role of carers and their experiences, Tuesday the 18th April.

Jeremy Corbyn MP will be in Digbeth, Birmingham this Tuesday afternoon, 18 April, to meet with carers from across the city. Jeremy will be joined by Barbara Keeley MP, Shadow Minister for Mental Health and Social Care; and would like to talk to carers about their caring role and experiences. Although it’s short notice, we think it’s an opportunity not to be missed. Staff from the Birmingham Carers Hub team will also be on hand to answer any general questions and queries from carers: 2.45pm – 4.00pm at the BVSC in Digbeth, more details and to register click here.

MSB Women’s meeting, 20th April

Our women members are now meeting regularly to discuss women’s position in the Labour Party and how to gain gender equality. It’s a safe space for Momentum and Labour women to come together and the next meeting is this Thursday, the 20th April, at Loco Lounge (32/34 High Street Kings Heath, B14 7JT) at 7:30pm.

BME employment in the West Midlands,

Friday 21st April, 2-4pm

From the blurb: “We know that Black people in Birmingham are approximately three times more likely to be unemployed than White British people. And the economic recovery has not been shared equally with Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities still saddled with unequal employment prospects. With Local Authorities under increased strain – how can we work together to secure a fair deal for Birmingham’s BME communities?” Speakers include Jess Phillips MP. Find out more and register online. Tickets are free but essential.

Hope Not Hate workshop: Wednesday 26th of April

HnH are running a “having difficult conversations” workshop in support of their friends at Bearwood Action for Refugees. This will be of particular interest to people who missed an opportunity to take part in this excellent training session when last run in Birmingham (several MSB members were present and we really enjoyed it!) The session is being run in the lead up to Bearwood Action for Refugees ‘RefuTea Party’ (and AGM). This workshop introduces some practical tools for activists wanting to engage with people who are not sympathetic to our views. More details and registration for this event can be found here.

West Midlands Mayoral ‘cultural’ hustings, 28th April

On Friday 28 April 2017 WGGB, BECTU, Equity and the Musicians’ Union are giving you the opportunity to question the mayoral candidates and hear their vision for the cultural and creative sectors. It kicks off at 7:45pm, is being held at the Birmingham Rep and you can book tickets and get more information here.

Stirchley Library meeting: 29th April

The next Friends of Stirchley Library (FOSL) meeting is scheduled for Saturday 29th April, 11am – 1pm, Stirchley Community Church. After the collection of money at the last meeting, with which some bookmarks were printed, they’ll be asking for donations to fund printing some posters.

BTUC “May Day” Rally in Birmingham City Centre, 29th April

Birmingham Trades Council are having a rally at the Council House on Saturday the 29th at 12:30pm with speakers from a variety of local unions and campaigning organisations, including our friends at Keep Our NHS Public Birmingham. It should be an interesting event. More details here. There is also a rumour of refreshments being available…………

Next MSB branch meeting: 7th May

We are still finalising details of location but it will be in Northfield: our next MSB branch meeting will be Sunday the 7th May. We’ll be discussing upcoming campaigning work and developments in the Labour Party. All Momentum members and Jeremy Corbyn supporters in South Birmingham welcome but the usual exclusion applies and you probably don’t need us to tell you again: if you’re a member or supporter of a party standing against Labour you won’t be able to come.

A Moral Economy – a talk by Ann Pettifor,

Wednesday 10th May

Ann Pettifor, an advisor to Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, was a founder and leading spirit of the Jubilee 2000 debt campaign which in 1998 brought 70,000 people out in a human chain onto the streets of Birmingham. After 2000 she joined the New Economics Foundation where she headed their research unit. She set up Advocacy International, a UK-based consultancy that advises governments and international organisations and has helped secure debt relief for the governments of Guyana, Nigeria and Ethiopia. The talk starts at 18:30 and is going to be at Carrs Lane Church Centre, Birmingham B4 7SX. To register click here.

Moseley and Kings Heath Labour Party conference: “What is Conservative Party education policy?”, Thursday 11th May

M+KH branch have decided to put every single other Labour ward in Birmingham to shame by hosting their own conference but it looks absolutely brilliant. What is Conservative Party education policy doing to our schools? What is the alternative vision? There will be loads of speakers and discussion, it is on Thursday the 11th May and will be held at Moseley School & Sixth Form Centre, Wake Green Road, B13 9UU. It’s free to attend but you’ll need to register.

MSB stalls committee meeting: 15th May, 10am

Our stalls co-ordinator Chris has organised the next meeting of the stalls committee on Monday the 15th May, 10am, at Loco Lounge, Kings Heath High Street. Chris is always on the lookout for people to join the committee. Stalls and campaigning have been crucial to the development of the group. You might even get your picture taken with John McDonnell! Email Chriskuriata@live.co.uk for more info.

Sat 20th May: Unite STP Campaign Conference

Unite union are organising an STP Campaign Conference to be held at Carrs Lane Church Centre, Birmingham city centre, runs from 10:30 until 13:30 and you can register for it here. Speakers will include John Lister (Health Campaigns Together), Gill George, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Defend Our NHS and Sarah Carpenter (Unite national officer for health), speakers from Solihull KONP and Birmingham KONP. STPs are going to have a massive effect on what happens to the NHS over the next few years and activists campaigning against them or for radical changes need to be armed with the full story – this will be a great opportunity to get that.

(JN7858) A5 STP Birmingham Conference Leaflet-page-001

National State Of The Economy Conference –

Birmingham, 20th May

Labour’s annual national ‘State of the Economy’ conference is in central Birmingham on Saturday 20 May. Jeremy Corbyn put the need for an economy that works for all at the heart of his successful leadership campaign. Over the next year Labour will be helping to build on this vision by discussing more detailed proposals for the next General Election. As part of that conversation, John McDonnell has asked a number of experts from the world of economics and beyond to join him in a series of regional one-day conferences to lay out the policies our country needs to build a future where prosperity is shared, and where no one and no community is left behind. This includes discussions of how a Labour government can make a real difference to your area. Book your place at the ‘State of the Economy’ conference here (if you’re a party member obviously!)

Women’s March against Trumpism: 20th May

On Saturday May 20th the anti-choice fraternity is organising its own UK version of ‘March For Life’ in Birmingham with the slogan ‘life from conception – no exception’. Abortion Rights is joining up with women’s groups as part of the Women’s March Against Trumpism to call its own demonstration against the misogyny and sexism that Trump galvanised in his election campaign that is creeping over here. More details here – the 20th is going to be a very busy day politically in Birmingham!

Labour’s National Policy Forum:

8 policy documents and deadline for submissions – 31st May

Last year Jeremy Corbyn said that he wanted Labour to reconnect with our values and our people, so we can rebuild and transform Britain, for the many, not just the few. To do this the party needs to hear from you, the members, to harness your views, passions and expertise. At conference Jeremy set out ten pledges outlining his priorities. He asked Labour’s National Policy Forum to build on this work, to develop Labour’s thinking in these and other key areas. Eight new consultation documents on key issues have been launched and opinions sought. The consultation period runs until Wednesday, 31 May 2017. Hopefully members and local parties will take the opportunity to read the documents and send in comments and ideas. The more people that get involved, the stronger and better the party’s policy making process is.

The best and easiest way to send in your ideas and join the discussion is via Labour’s online home of policy making: www.policyforum.labour.org.uk. (You’ll need to register an account or use your Labour Login).

Edgbaston constituency dates for your diary

  • Edgbaston CLP street stall for the mayoral election: 29th April, 10am-12, Harborne High Street, outside WHSmith.

Hall Green constituency dates for your diary

  • Hall Green by-election: details above.
  • Moseley and Kings Heath ward door knocking session: Saturday 22nd April, 10 am – 12 noon, junction of Blenheim Road and Billesley Lane in Moseley. Contact mp_banahan@hotmail.co.uk for more information.
  • Door-Knocking Session with Sion Simon: Tuesday 25th April, 5:30pm to 6:45pm, in Kings Heath. Meeting point outside the Baptist Church, Kings Heath High Street. This session concludes just before the West Midlands Mayoral Election Campaign hustings.
  • Moseley Forum, together with Kings Heath Residents Forum, Stirchley Neighbourhood Forum and Brandwood Forum have organised a hustings event on the 25th April for the inaugural West Midlands Mayoral Election. All six candidates have confirmed their attendance. Kings Heath Baptist Church, 80, High Street, Kings Heath, B14 7JZ: 7:30pm start but get there early to guarantee a seat! More details here.
  • Door-Knocking Session combined with Street Stall, Saturday 29th April, 10:00am to 12pm, combined with the Street Stall and Door knocking in support of Sion Simon’s campaign. Meeting point outside Asda on Kings Heath High Street.

Selly Oak constituency dates for your diary

  • Provisional date for your diaries: 23rd May, Momentum Selly-Oak sub-group meeting on the NHS. More details to follow in future editions!

Northfield constituency dates for your diary

  • Monday evenings until the conclusion of the mayoral election, 6pm to 7.30pm – phone banking (for Kings Norton ward and Mayoral campaign) – meeting at St Nicolas Place, The Green, Kings Norton, B38 8RU.
  • Thursday evenings until the conclusion of the mayoral election, 6pm to 7.30pm – phone banking (for Northfield ward and Mayoral campaign) – meeting at St Nicolas Place, The Green, Kings Norton, B38 8RU.

Fundraising survey

Our fundraising co-ordinator, Nicky, has drawn up a quick survey for members and supporters to fill in to canvass our views on what we want. If you have a spare couple of minutes please fill it in here.

MSB statement on the July 2015 ‘freeze date’ decision

The Birmingham Board of the Labour Party, in their infinite wisdom, decided to retain the July 2015 freeze date for members to participate in the selection of candidates for the 2018 local election elections. We have published a statement that you can read here and rest assured it will not be the end of the matter. Momentum seeks to get Labour members elected to public office. Labour will only succeed in doing that if it engages with its new members and gives them a say. The decision is a monumental act of folly.

‘Regional’ Momentum co-ordination

Cecile Wright, one of our elected NGC reps for the large ‘region’ that Birmingham and the West Midlands sits in, would like to keep in touch about how she can best open communication with us to better represent us on the Momentum Council. She wants people to feel free to get in touch with her and her email is c.wright230@ntlworld.com. As things develop further post-conference we’ll keep you informed.

Keep Our NHS Public Birmingham

KONPB do a huge amount of brilliant work but are always in need of more help. For those who are interested in supporting and/or joining KONP and contributing to campaigns their contact details are btuchcc@hotmail.com.

Meetings are 1st Wednesday of every month (except August), so people can drop in any time. Currently they have campaigns on the STPs in Brum/Solihull and Black Country. the Midland Metropolitan Hospital (PFI/2) and they are looking to do some more work on the mental health arrangements for young people 0-25 years in Birmingham – currently ‘red risk’.

Please get involved in and support KONPB in any way you can.

School cuts

The NUT have set up a school cuts website providing information on what is going on and the likely effects. You can email your MP through the website, it only takes a minute. Please click here. Since the New Year a number of parents groups have sprung up across the country to fight for more funding for our schools. It is an important development that parents have started to organise because Governments cross parents at their peril. Please visit their website.

South Birmingham Momentum T-Shirts

Not before time in our view, wear it with pride: MSB t-shirts are going to be ordered: £10 red with South Birmingham Momentum on it. If you would like one email nicky151289@gmail.com

MSB social media classes

Nicky Brennan, one of our social media managers, has started running classes if you are uninitiated in Facebook and Twitter etc. and want to learn more about how to make best use of them – they are crucial part of modern political campaigning and you are never too old to learn something new! If you’re interested get in touch with Nicky: nicky151289@gmail.com

Ward and CLP meetings

If you want the group to publicise upcoming local Labour Party activities and branch and CLP meetings to encourage attendance, please let us know either by emailing me direct or the group account below; our wonderful social media managers Kate, Lucy, Nicky and Sam will do the rest!

https://www.facebook.com/momentumbirminghamsouth/

https://momentumsbham.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/@MomentumSBham/

MomentumbhamSouth@hotmail.com

http://www.leftwardtendency.co.uk/momentum-south-birmingham

 

http://www.leftwardtendency.co.uk/wall-of-fame

MSB Newsletter 27/03/2017

cropped-cropped-cropped-momentum-cover-photo-61.jpg

Welcome to the latest Momentum South Birmingham newsletter – your unmissable weekly digest of all the interesting things going on politically in our area and beyond. Of particular note is our next MSB branch meeting, this Sunday, in Bartley Green. Full details below. 

Many of you will also have attended the inaugural Momentum conference in Digbeth on Saturday – it was an excellent day but rather stressful for many people in the local Momentum branches who were volunteering to help make sure things ran as smoothly as possible! A huge thank you to everyone who helped out and there are loads of pictures of the day (and evening) on our Facebook page.

On a slightly less positive note the Birmingham Board of the Labour Party, in their infinite wisdom, decided to retain the July 2015 freeze date for members to participate in the selection of candidates for the 2018 local election elections. We have published a statement that you can read here and rest assured it will not be the end of the matter. Momentum seeks to get Labour members elected to public office. Labour will only succeed in doing that if it engages with its new members and gives them a say. The decision is a monumental act of folly.  

New members meeting: 1st April

Worried about taking the first plunge into Momentum? We are (obviously) a lovely lot but getting politically active for the first time or after a long time out of the loop can be very intimidating. Join momentum members for a coffee and a cake at Cozy Coffee in Northfield on the 1st April at 11am. All welcome (child friendly) and lovely cakes!

Next South Birmingham Momentum branch meeting: 2nd April

Momentum South Birmingham will be having its next branch meeting on Sunday the 2nd April, 4pm, at Long Nuke Hall, Long Nuke Road, Bartley Green, B31 1DP. There’ll be loads to discuss and get involved in, including a few recent developments in the Birmingham Labour Party (………) and ongoing campaigning work. We will also hopefully have a speaker from the ASIRT (Asylum Support and Immigration Resource Team) to talk about their work and how we can support it.

It’s the usual rule for attendance: as long as you aren’t a member or supporter of a party that isn’t Labour please join us.

Love Brum Schools Multi-Academy Trust Information meeting: 5th April

Seven schools in Moseley and Kings Heath are proposing to form a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) Love Brum Schools will be running a repeat of their very successful public information evening with the same speakers as last time, on the 5th April, 7:30pm, at the Moseley Muslim Community Association, 496 Moseley Road, Balsall Heath, B12 9AH.  This time the venue is in Balsall Heath, in order to share information with the wider community. A huge number of parents, particularly of secondary school pupils, are either unaware of the schools’ plans or do not understand the implications.

If you were unable to attend the meeting in January, this is a second chance to find out more about what the issues are with the schools’ proposals and to ask any questions you may have.  If you were unaware of the issues at the time, please come along to find out more.

Please spread the word to anyone you know who will be effected by these proposals. For more information please click here.

WM mayor Natural Environment debate, 7th April

From the blurb: “What do each of the candidates think about the role of the natural environment? Do they see nature as an asset or a liability? Where does a healthy natural environment sit with their list of priorities? Will they pledge to recognise the natural environment as an asset and to developing a 25 year plan to protect and restore nature?”

Doors open at 6pm for a 6.30pm start. Event ends at 8.30pm and it’s at the Curzon Building,

Birmingham City University, Birmingham, B4 7BD. You’ll need to register and if you want to ask a question the email address can be found in the link.

All-Birmingham Momentum members-only meeting: 9th April

Although the venue hasn’t been confirmed yet we thought we should give you advance notice: the three Momentum branches in Birmingham are coming together in the city centre on Sunday the 9th April, in the afternoon, to discuss Labour Party democracy. This is a members-only event – if you’re a Momentum member and haven’t attended a meeting before you are more than welcome to come but please bring some proof of your membership with you. We’ll notify people of the time and venue as soon as we have it confirmed.

Stirchley Library meeting: 29th April

The next Friends of Stirchley Library (FOSL) meeting is scheduled for Saturday 29th April, 11am – 1pm, Stirchley Community Church. After the collection of money at the last meeting, with which some bookmarks were printed, they’ll be asking for donations to fund printing some posters.

Moseley and Kings Heath Labour Party conference: “What is Conservative Party education policy?”, Thursday 11th May

M+KH branch have decided to put every single other Labour ward in Birmingham to shame by hosting their own conference but it looks absolutely brilliant. What is Conservative Party education policy doing to our schools? What is the alternative vision? There will be loads of speakers and discussion, it is on Thursday the 11th May and will be held at Moseley School & Sixth Form Centre, Wake Green Road, B13 9UU. It’s free to attend but you’ll need to register.

Sat 20th May Unite STP Campaign Conference

We don’t have all the details yet but a date for your diary: Saturday 20th May: Unite union are organising an STP Campaign Conference to be held at Carrs Lane Church Centre, Birmingham city centre. Speakers will include John Lister (Health Campaigns Together), Gill George, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Defend Our NHS and Sarah Carpenter (Unite national officer for health), speakers from Solihull KONP and Birmingham KONP.

Edgbaston constituency dates for your diary

  • Quinton ward Labour Party meeting: Thursday the 30th March 7.15 pm, The Quinborne Centre, Ridgacre Road. Also open to Bartley Green members.
  • Harborne ward Labour Party meeting: 1st April, 10:30 am, Moor Pool Hall, 37 The Circle, Birmingham B17 9DY.

Hall Green constituency dates for your diary

  • Nothing we know of this week, but we’ll keep you posted when we do!

Selly Oak constituency dates for your diary

  • Thursday 30 March at 7pm: An evening with Paul Routledge, at the E57 Club, 699 Alcester Road South, B14 5EY. Tickets are £10 and can be booked here.

Northfield constituency dates for your diary

  • Longbridge ward Labour Party meeting: Friday 31st March, 7pm, 8 Hollymoor Community Centre, Manor Park Grove, Northfield, Birmingham, B31 5ER
  • Monday evenings until the conclusion of the mayoral election, 6pm to 7.30pm – phone banking (for Kings Norton ward and Mayoral campaign) – meeting at St Nicolas Place, The Green, Kings Norton, B38 8RU.
  • Thursday evenings until the conclusion of the mayoral election, 6pm to 7.30pm – phone banking (for Northfield ward and Mayoral campaign) – meeting at St Nicolas Place, The Green, Kings Norton, B38 8RU.

‘Regional’ Momentum co-ordination

Cecile Wright, one of our elected NGC reps for the large ‘region’ that Birmingham and the West Midlands sits under, would like to keep in touch about how she can best open communication with us to better represent us on the Momentum Council. She wants people to feel free to get in touch with her and her email is c.wright230@ntlworld.com. As things develop post-conference we’ll keep you informed.

School cuts

The NUT have set up a school cuts website providing information on what is going on and the likely effects. You can email your MP through the website, it only takes a minute. Please click here. Since the New Year a number of parents groups have sprung up across the country to fight for more funding for our schools. It is an important development that parents have started to organise because Governments cross parents at their peril. Please visit their website.

South Birmingham Momentum T-Shirts

Not before time in our view, wear it with pride: MSB t-shirts are going to be ordered: £10 red with South Birmingham Momentum on it. If you would like one email nicky151289@gmail.com

Keep Our NHS Public Birmingham

KONPB do a huge amount of brilliant work but are always in need of more help. For those who are interested in supporting and/or joining KONP and contributing to campaigns their contact details are btuchcc@hotmail.com.

Meetings are 1st Wednesday of every month (except August), so people can drop in any time. Currently they have campaigns on the STPs in Brum/Solihull and Black Country. the Midland Metropolitan Hospital (PFI/2) and they are looking to do some more work on the mental health arrangements for young people 0-25 years in Birmingham – currently ‘red risk’.

Please get involved in and support KONPB in any way you can.

MSB stalls committee – volunteers needed

Our stalls co-ordinator, Chris Kuriata, is on the lookout for people to join the group’s stalls committee. Stalls have been a crucial way that we have got our ideas across. You might even get your picture taken with John McDonnell! Email Chris: Chriskuriata@live.co.uk

MSB social media classes

Nicky Brennan, one of our social media managers, has started running classes if you are uninitiated in Facebook and Twitter etc. and want to learn more about how to make best use of them – they are crucial part of modern political campaigning and you are never too old to learn something new! If you’re interested get in touch with Nicky: nicky151289@gmail.com

Ward and CLP meetings

If you want the group to publicise upcoming local Labour Party activities and branch and CLP meetings to encourage attendance, please let us know either by emailing me direct or the group account below; our wonderful social media managers Kate, Lucy, Nicky and Sam will do the rest!

https://www.facebook.com/momentumbirminghamsouth/

https://momentumsbham.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/@MomentumSBham/

MomentumbhamSouth@hotmail.com

http://www.leftwardtendency.co.uk/momentum-south-birmingham

http://www.leftwardtendency.co.uk/wall-of-fame

Momentum South Birmingham statement on the Birmingham Board of the Labour Party meeting, 17th March 2017.

It was with great disappointment that we learnt that the Birmingham Board of the Labour Party had voted at its meeting on Friday 17th March 2017 to retain the freeze date of July 2015 for the selection of local government candidates in the 2018 council elections.

As selection meetings have yet to take place it means that members will have needed to join nearly two years ago to participate. Large numbers of committed and hard-working local members, the very people the party will depend on to campaign in the mayoral and local elections coming up in the next 18 months, have been disenfranchised.

As we have pointed out repeatedly, this is wrong and misguided, and in the context of a national rule of 6 months, utterly ludicrous. No justification has ever been provided for the original decision and it is now self-evident that it was made to exclude the new members, most of whom of course support our leader Jeremy Corbyn and the vision he has for the party and the country.

It is also noteworthy that the decision to retain the freeze date was made by secret ballot, removing any possibility of CLP reps being held accountable by their members. This is cynical, cowardly and utterly against the principle of openness that should govern our party’s decision-making. We are not the Conservative Party and these things should not be decided in secret by a small cabal of ‘grandees’.

Even a compromise position of a 12 month reset from the 17th March was rejected.

9 wards and 3 CLPs have passed resolutions opposing the freeze date and protests were made across the city. It is clear that the vast majority of Birmingham Labour members oppose this decision when they hear of it.

And yet this has all been flatly ignored, which calls into question the very legitimacy of the Board as our party’s local governing body.

With this decision, winning the upcoming local by-elections, the West Midlands mayoral election in May and the “all-up” council elections in 2018 is self-evidently much harder. A disenfranchised membership is not one likely to be out in huge numbers campaigning for candidates they are not even trusted to help select.

MSB

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