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

MSB Newsletter 12/06/17

cropped-cropped-blog-momentum-cover-photo2.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.

I feel like I’ve said this quite a few times in these newsletters in the time I have been sending them out but it has been an extraordinary few days. The general election results were absolutely stunning and we are now in a position to start genuinely talking about the Labour Party, headed by Jeremy Corbyn, taking power at the next election, which will surely be far earlier than in five years’ time. A pact with the loathsome DUP probably won’t last very long. There is so, so much to do but there is also so much to be hopeful about now and there are some serious lessons for the West Midlands Labour Party to learn from developments over the last few months. Let’s hope they are taken on board.

The officers of MSB have produced a statement that can be read here. We’ve also been publicising activities in Wolverhampton South West and I am happy to report that Eleanor Smith held the seat for Labour and increased the majority to over two thousand. Many congratulations to Eleanor!  

It was an incredible collective effort – an enormous thank you to everyone who came out to support their local Labour candidate and in many cases travelled all over the city and region to help others in marginal constituencies. In Birmingham both Edgbaston and Northfield were held with significantly increased majorities, a huge well done to both campaign teams.

It’s a shorter newsletter this week but full of interesting stuff nonetheless – enjoy! I’d like to say that we can relax now but I think we all know that would be foolish prediction……..

James

 

The Great Get Together – 14th June to 2nd July

Attached to this newsletter 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. In particular there is a picnic at Cannon Hill Park on the 18th June:

“South Birmingham Hope not Hate would also like to invite you to a Hope Picnic on the 18th June in Cannon Hill Park (by the swans) from 12.00-3pm. This is part of the Great Get Together weekend, celebrating that we have more in common. More information about the weekend here. We’re asking everyone to bring their friends, family, favourite food and as many games as you can carry! The picnic will be an opportunity to share food with old and new friends and family. The event will be child friendly so do bring your kids along for some sharing of food and games. You can sign up to the event yourself on Facebook here.”

 

Anti-DUP protest, 17th June

‘Love Activists’ – a radical direct action group, have organised a protest against Theresa May and the Tories forming a coalition with the DUP – who it’s fair to say are a fairly unsavoury organisation and who have views that appal even many Tories. More details here.

 

Screening of ‘Dispossession’ and Q+A, 22nd June

For some people, a housing crisis means not getting planning permission for a loft conversion. For others it means, quite simply, losing their home. Dispossession: The Great Social Housing Swindle is a feature documentary directed by Paul Sng (Sleaford Mods – Invisible Britain) and narrated by Maxine Peake, exploring the catastrophic failures that have led to a chronic shortage of social housing in Britain.

The film focuses on the neglect, demolition and regeneration of council estates across the UK and investigates how the state works with the private sector to demolish council estates to build on the land they stand on, making properties that are unaffordable to the majority of people.

Dispossession is the story of people fighting for their communities, of people who know the difference between a house and a home, and who believe that housing is a human right, not an expensive luxury.

Following the screening there will be a Q&A discussion featuring Paul Sng (Director), Dr Lisa McKenzie (London School of Economics), Robert Clayton (author and photographer of Estate), Tim Morton (housing consultant) and host Tom Murtha (Social Housing Under Threat). It starts promptly at 8pm and there are more details here.

 

Northfield constituency dates for your diary

  • Nothing in the diary this week – everyone is very tired after an absolutely herculean effort in the last few weeks!

Edgbaston constituency dates for your diary

Saturday 17th June

  • Harborne ward Labour Party meeting, 11am, Moor Pool Lower Hall, 37 The Circle, Birmingham B17 9DY. Preet Gill will be speaking and the meeting is also open to members of Edgbaston ward.

Monday 19th June

  • Harborne ward meeting (please note this is a public meeting for all residents of Harborne not a Labour Party event and therefore officially apolitical), 7pm the Community Room, Harborne Pool and Fitness Centre Lordswood Road B17 9QS.

Hall Green constituency dates for your diary

  • Moseley and Kings Heath/Hall Green post-election social/campaign thank you: back room of the Hare and Hounds Pub on Kings Heath High Street, Friday 16th June, from 6:30pm onwards.

Selly Oak constituency dates for your diary

  • Brandwood Forum meeting (this is a public meeting, apolitical, and not a Labour Party event but it obviously focuses on the effects of government and council policies on the area): Wednesday 21st June at Monyhull Church 7- 8.30pm.

 

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. 

 

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 from the officers of Momentum South Birmingham on the general election

The officers of Momentum South Birmingham note the decision by Prime Minister Theresa May to call a general election on the 8th June.

It is transparently opportunistic, and while it would be fruitless speculating on the exact reasons why, it is clearly being done for party political reasons. After all, it was not so long ago that she was insisting that there would be no early election.

The Labour Party faces a huge challenge if it is to overcome the huge gap in the polls and be in a position to form a government on June 9th.

It will require a monumental effort by our members (i.e. the people who the Birmingham Labour Party has made a recent habit of treating appallingly), the hammering home of the excellent policies outlined by Jeremy and his team in recent weeks, and crucially, party unity. All members, regardless of what ‘wing’ of the party they are on, need to get behind our leadership and their programme for government.

With that in mind we call on all officers, officials and elected representatives both locally and nationally to cease, immediately, the attacks on our party’s elected leadership and focus on the job in hand.

Too often we have seen a total lack of respect being shown to Jeremy and the left of the party by our elected officers in Birmingham. They have behaved in a way that the left would never be allowed to.

They seem happy to disregard the views of the majority of members, who have twice voted for Jeremy Corbyn to be leader in 12 months. It is doubly frustrating when none of these people have a better strategy to bring to the table in any case.

This situation, which has not changed at all since the second leadership election, despite the claims to the contrary, has done our party huge damage and made the Tory government’s job far easier than it should have been.

Our enemy is the Conservative Party and their hateful agenda. They should be the primary focus of our efforts. We can expect Lynton Crosby et al to plumb new depths in the climate created by Brexit and we need to be fighting that (not each other) tooth and nail and outlining a socialist alternative to austerity and ‘Hard Brexit’.

There will an opportunity after the election to debate where we go from here, regardless of the result. In the meantime we all need to get behind our leader.

In addition, in the light of the seriousness of this election, we call on the local Green Party and any non-Labour left organisations to withdraw any candidates they are planning on standing in Birmingham. They have no chance of winning and the only possible effect of their efforts would be to decrease the chances of Labour candidates being elected.

In solidarity

MSB

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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Open letter to Birmingham Board of the Labour Party:

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

Great News: Hall Green CLP agree to nominate Corbyn. An announcement from Hall Green Momentum sub-group.

Hall Green CLP is in ‘special measures’ so had to make a request to the Midlands Regional Labour Party office to hold a CLP nominations meeting.
The regional office would not give permission for a meeting, stating they did not have the ‘capacity’ to undertake the validation checks of membership and identity that are required under ‘special measures’. 
However, the CLP executive were allowed to meet to discuss and put forward a nomination.  Members were invited to email their branch executives with their views prior to the CLP executive meeting on 2 August.
We encouraged members of the Hall Green CLP to write to their branch executives giving their reasons why the CLP  should support Corbyn and expressing concerns about the lack of democracy within the CLP due to ‘Special Measures’.
“We are delighted to announce that the Hall Green CLP Executive voted to nominate Corbyn for Labour Leader.”

Momentum South Birmingham statement on the leadership election and NEC rulings.

Momentum South Birmingham unconditionally condemns the appalling “administrative suspension” of Brighton, Hove and District Labour Party, the suspension of Angela Eagle’s CLP, Wallasey, the NEC’s decision to effectively close down party democracy for the duration of the leadership campaign, whilst simultaneously preventing many of our members from voting in that contest.

In Brighton recently a new pro-Corbyn leadership structure took office in a free and fair election after winning a huge majority and a tripling of local party membership in the last year. This is democracy in action, a principle that the Labour Party should, inherently, hold dear.

The accusation that the result was somehow the work of “entryists” from other leftwing parties, as alleged by some critics within and outside our party, is patently ludicrous. If these groups, most of whom have a stated project of standing candidates against Labour, had the sort of numbers required to take over local branches, constituencies and entire districts, it is difficult to comprehend why they would they need to even bother “infiltrating”.

On the contrary, in Brighton we have seen a perfect example of the enthusiasm that Jeremy Corbyn’s project has generated amongst ordinary activists and former party members; they have joined and re-joined the party in their droves since he became leader.

And in Wallasey whilst the CLP has been suspended due to accusations of “intimidation”, the real motive is crystal clear: the membership there had the temerity to make clear their support for Jeremy Corbyn and oppose the contemptible attempts by their MP Angela Eagle to undermine him. Eagle seems more motivated by personal ambition than principle and a desire to oppose the Tories. But then again maybe the nuances of modern political life are lost on the members of Wallasey Labour Party and South Birmingham Momentum.

We demand that these outrageous decisions are reversed immediately and that those responsible reflect on the damage caused to the party they claim to serve. It is not acceptable for the party bureaucracy to simply annul a democratic result because they don’t like it. Complaints about bullying and threats are spurious as both the meeting in Brighton and the vote of support for Corbyn in Wallasey were conducted in a perfectly democratic manner; there is no proof of intimidation and infiltration, merely rumour, innuendo and anonymous briefing. The stated grounds for these decisions mask the true agenda being relentlessly pursued by the right wing of our party.

This agenda amounts to little more than a war of attrition on the part of some in the Labour Party to prevent the growth of a mass socialist movement. This policy has been aggressively and persistently pursued since the day that Corbyn was elected.

And, as ever, this is presented as the democratic and moderate voice of the party. Labour’s bureaucracy shuts down opposition and support for Corbyn and his socialist policies using authoritarian means as they cannot win democratically.

The decision by the National Executive Committee to suspend most meetings of local parties for the duration of the leadership campaign and, retrospectively, impose a list of restrictions to prevent an overwhelming Corbyn victory is Kafkaesque in the extreme. Whilst we hope that the 183,000 newly registered supporters will go some way to circumvent that, it shouldn’t have come to this. Retrospectively preventing people from voting and making the cost prohibitively high to many who wish to register as supporters, and doing so simply because they are going to support our current leader, is quite frankly obscene.

The only conclusion to be drawn is that the right of the NEC prefer to suffocate the grassroots movement in our attempt to breathe life into CLPs and wards, and allow the latter, in many areas, to continue to rot.

We need to be clear that the civil war currently raging in the party is the result of one thing, the inability of 172 MPs and a large number of party officials and “grandees” to reconcile themselves to the democratic choice of their members and get over their loathing of Corbyn’s policies and agenda.

We know that this isn’t about “electability”, Corbyn’s leadership style, oratory, dress sense or performance at PMQs. They object to him and his ideas per se and do not want a left-wing, socialist Labour government at the head of a mass movement for political change. Some of them claim that they were ‘willing to give Corbyn time’ but now they have ‘run out of patience’. This is a lie. They never accepted the leadership result. And they are clearly not concerned about electability when they choose the most destructive moment possible to launch their coup against our leadership.

Our party belongs to the hundreds of thousands of ordinary members, a majority of whom have either joined or re-joined since Corbyn was elected leader in a landslide last year.

The Parliamentary Party Labour Party and the individuals on the NEC who voted for and instigated these disgraceful and undemocratic attacks would do very well to remember that.