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 05/06/2017

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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 been an odd weekend. Our final #SuperSaturday in Northfield was a huge success with something like 80 people turning up for the campaigning and was followed up by some more excellent opinion polls but the horrific terrorist attack in London on Saturday night brought things back down to earth with a bump. A lot of the campaigning was suspended yesterday as a mark of respect but has re-commenced today – it all means that the next few days are going to be really intense.

Clearly the big push will be on Thursday, polling day. Getting people to remember to vote is harder than you think! In line with the rest of the election campaign Momentum Birmingham’s focus will be on helping Northfield get Richard Burden re-elected, so if you are available, even if it’s only for a couple of hours, to get across and help and you have no pressing duties in your own CLP please do. More details below.

There is also a big GOTV rally planned in Birmingham city centre tomorrow at 7pm (but aim to get there for 6) with Jeremy Corbyn speaking – to RSVP click here – and bring a rain jacket!   

Also included are the campaigning dates for Wolverhampton South West again. It’s a bit out of the way for us in South Birmingham but they have a Labour majority of merely 801 plus the Labour candidate – Eleanor Smith – a nurse for 30 years who is being supported by Unison – is new due to the retirement of Rob Marris. The CLP campaign team are reporting a significant move towards Labour due to Tory policy on social care so it’s not a ‘lost cause’ although UKIP had 4310 votes last time. It is definitely worth getting over if you can. Session and contact details are below our usual four CLP schedules.

Polling day: Thursday 8th June

The focus of Birmingham Momentum’s efforts on Thursday will be in helping to get Richard Burden re-elected in Northfield. While the CLP has run an absolutely brilliant campaign the result is still on a knife-edge. They will have four separate “campaign centres” – one in each of the constituency’s wards, running a Get Out the Vote operation: door-knocking, phone-banking and arranging lifts to the polling station. We are already dividing our activists around the four and if you are available please drop northfieldlabour@gmail.com or drop us a line and we can direct you where you will be of most assistance. The 4 locations are:

  • Kings Norton (and main HQ) – The Old Grammar School (near St Nicolas Place), B38 8RU.
  • Longbridge – 10 Rednal Mill Drive, B45 8XX.
  • Northfield – 8 Innage Road, B31 2DX.
  • Weoley – 5 Ramsden Close, B29 4JX.

All four will be open from 9am to 9pm. Any help, even if it’s for just an hour or so, could be crucial.

 

KONP Birmingham meeting, 7th June

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 7th, 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.

 

General election, June 8th.

MSB are under no illusions, this is going to be the fight of our lives and we have a few weeks to change a lot of minds. Many of the sitting Labour MPs are not particularly to our liking, to put it mildly, and we should have been given a chance to vote for our candidates, but we are where we are.

There will be plenty of information about campaigning on our social media and also, hopefully, on the Birmingham Labour Party website. We’ll try and keep everything as up-to-date as we can and this newsletter will serve as a snapshot of everything coming up that we know of. The individual CLP sections are below and we’ll be keeping a spreadsheet with everything we know about here.

The officers of MSB have produced a statement that can be read here and if you want to get involved in campaigning please drop us a line at momentumbhamsouth@hotmail.com.

Momentum nationally have also produced lots of information that can be read here.

Birmingham Labour will also be running a semi-permanent phonebank at one of their offices at the city centre – for more details and to book a session please click here to find them. You can pick the constituency you wish to focus on when you go.

June 9th – Post-election drink

After what has been an absolutely exhausting few weeks MSB will be relaxing to digest and hopefully celebrate the results at 19:30 at the Prince of Wales in Moseley. It’ll be a great opportunity to take stock and hopefully switch our brains off for a bit, and for our inveterate plotters senior members to have a night off plotting campaigning.

 

‘Turning activists into organisers’ course,

weekend of June 10th/11th

Our friends in Hope not Hate are hosting a free Campaign Course for activists in Birmingham who are interested in taking their campaigns to the next level. This course is designed to turn activists into effective community organisers. The contents for this free course are wide ranging, covering topics such as “how to avoid burn-out”, “understanding and mapping power” and “how to plan your campaign”, plus many others! These practical tools are being offered by community organisers from HOPE not hate, Friends of the Earth, Birmingham City University and Psychologists Against Austerity. The course is taking place on the weekend of June 10-11 so if you aren’t absolutely knackered after the general election please book a place! For more information, please click here and to apply for this course, please submit an application here.

Hope picnic, 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.

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

Contact northfieldlabour@gmail.com for more information

  • Tue 6th Jun, 10.30am – door-knocking in Longbridge, meeting on the Bristol Road by Longbridge Methodist Church (B45 9TY).
  • Tue 6th Jun, 3pm – school gate at Holly Hill Infant & Nursery School (B45 0EU).
  • Tue 6th Jun, 6pm – door-knocking in Frankley, meeting at the junction of Holly Hill Road & Savernake Close (B45 0DD).
  • Wed 7th Jun, 10.30am – door-knocking in Kings Norton, meeting on the Redditch Road by Campion House (B38 8QA).
  • Wed 7th Jun, 3pm – school gate at Wychall Primary School (B31 3EH).
  • Wed 7th Jun, 3pm – school gate at Bellfield Infant & Junior Schools (B31 1PG). Con
  • Wed 7th Jun, 6pm – door-knocking in Kings Norton, meeting at the junction of Wychall Road & Staple Lodge Road (B31 1AX).
  • They have also got some ‘week of poll‘ deliveries to go out before Thursday. If you can help with these please drop them a line.
  • On Polling Day they will be running Campaign Centres in Kings Norton, Longbridge, Northfield and Weoley from 9am to 9pm with the last door-knocking session going out at 8pm. Any time that people are able to give towards their Get Out The Vote operation on the day will be greatly appreciated – full details of locations are at the top of the newsletter!

 

Edgbaston constituency dates for your diary

Tuesday 6th June

  • 10am – 8pm – Phonebank at 4 Greenfield Crescent
  • 30am – 12.30pm – Street Stall and Doorknocking in Harborne – Meet on Harborne High Street (B17 9NT)
  • 11am – 1pm – Doorknocking in Quinton – Meet at the Quinborne Centre (B32 2TW)
  • 11am – 1pm – Doorknocking in Edgbaston – Meet on the corner of Rotton Park Road and Hagley Road (B16 8LA)
  • 2pm – 4pm – Doorknocking in Quinton – Meet at the Quinborne Centre (B32 2TW)
  • 30pm – 4.30pm – Street Stall and Doorknocking in Harborne – Meet on Harborne High Street (B17 9NT)
  • 3pm – 5pm – Doorknocking in Bartley Green – Meet on the corner of Woodside Way and Pinewood Drive (B32 4LP)
  • 3pm – 5pm – Doorknocking in Edgbaston – Meet on the corner of Wellington Road and Sir Harry’s Road (B15 2ET)
  • 6pm – 8pm – Doorknocking in Quinton – Meet at The Haven on Rilstone Road (B32 2NT)
  • 6pm – 8pm – Doorknocking in Edgbaston – Meet at the corner of Woodview Drive and Springbank Road (B15 2HF)
  • 30pm – 8pm – Doorknocking in Harborne – Meet at the corner of Ravenhurst Road and Moorpool Avenue (B17 9HN)
  • 30pm – 8pm – Doorknocking in Bartley Green – Meet at the corner of Caynham Road and Hasbury Road (B32 4EU)

Wednesday 7th June

  • 10am – 4pm – Phonebanking at 4 Greenfield Crescent (B15 3BE)
  • 11am – 1pm – Doorknocking in Quinton – Meet at the Quinborne Centre (B32 2TW)
  • 11am – 1pm – Doorknocking in Harborne – Meet at the corner of Sandon Road and Poplar Avenue (B17 8EG)
  • 11am – 1pm – Doorknocking in Edgbaston – Meet at the corner of Richmond Hill and Farqahar Road (B15 3RA)
  • 30pm – 3.30pm – Doorknocking in Harborne – Meet at the corner of Selsey Road and Fountain Road (B17 8NJ)
  • 2pm – 4pm – Doorknocking in Quinton – Meet at the Quinborne Centre (B32 2TW)
  • 2pm – 4pm – Doorknocking in Edgbaston – Meet at the corner of Bristol Road and Barsham Close (B5 7XQ)
  • 3pm – 5pm – Doorknocking in Bartley Green – Meet at the corner of Glen Side and Stevens Avenue (B32 3EU)
  • 30pm – 9.00pm – Campaigning Training at the Quinborne Centre (B32 2TW) – For those who are taking part in polling day (on the phones or doors), there will be a short training session on what to expect from polling day and the jobs they need to do.

Saturday 17th June

  • Harborne ward Labour Party meeting, 11am, Moor Pool Lower Hall, 37 The Circle, Birmingham B17 9DY

 

Hall Green constituency dates for your diary 

School gates leafletting
 
Tues 6 June, 3pm- Ladypool Primary School, Beechfield Road entrance (SPARKBROOK)
Weds 7 June, 3pm- Arden Primary School, St John’s Road entrance (SPRINGFIELD)
 
Phonebanking

Wed 7 June – 6-8pm Phonebanking (local and elsewhere) at 66 St Agnes Road, Moseley

Polling Day 8th June

The campaign centre will run all day from 10am-9pm at 41 Clarence Road, Moseley, B13 9SZ. If you can, please drop in and offer your services at any point during the day, even if only for an hour, all help will be hugely appreciated. Refreshments will be provided.

They will be canvassing locally (Moseley and Kings Heath and parts of Selly Oak that border on our ward e.g. south of Howard Road, if you don’t want to go far) and in Northfield and Longbridge (transport available throughout the day). If you would rather stay at the campaign centre, we will need help there with admin. After 6pm our main focus will be in Moseley and Kings Heath.

Please book the day off if you can, and let them know if you can offer lifts to other volunteers or voters. (They will need your registration number for insurance purposes)

Selly Oak constituency dates for your diary

  • Nothing in the diary this week, they seem to be organising general election activity on a day by day basis (and it appears to be working to be fair…..)

Wolverhampton South West dates for your diary:

Monday 5th June to Wednesday 7th June

  • From 10:30am: Get Out The Vote (GOTV) Leafleting – Campaign HQ – The Elms Resource Centre, Manby Close (off Evans Street), Wolverhampton, WV6 0QR
  • 6:30pm: GOTV Leafleting – Campaign HQ – The Elms Resource Centre, Manby Close (off Evans Street), Wolverhampton, WV6 0QR

Thursday 8th June – Election Day

  • A large number of volunteers will be needed all day but especially in the afternoon & early evening. Again if you have any spare time at all this is a day on which your efforts will make a huge impact to the success of the campaign.
  • As soon as election day plans are finalised (probably tomorrow) they will be circulated by the CLP but you can as always simply turn up at the Campaign HQ: The Elms Resource Centre, Manby Close (off Evans Street), Wolverhampton, WV6 0QR whenever you are able from 10am onwards.

Election Night Gathering:

Annie & Ray have very kindly agreed to host a night of “Films, Food, Solidarity, Friendship” (and possibly a beer or two we expect…) including a screening of Ken Loach’s “Spirit of ’45” from 10:30pm at:

St. Chad’s Vicarage

Manlove Street

Pennfields

WV3 0HG

Bring some food & drink to share if you can.

Transport:

By car: the best way is M5/J2 then straight up to Wolverhampton on A4123 (no matter what your sat nav says!)

Public transport: train to Wolverhampton Station or tram to city centre. A car isn’t essential but is helpful for travel to the various locations around the city where you may be working.

For all queries contact ian.s.mcnee@googlemail.com

 

Burton Unite members in dispute with Argos –

let’s support them!

While of course the eyes of Momentum South Birmingham are mostly fixed on the general election and ensuring our city’s constituencies return 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

MSB Newsletter 15/05/2017

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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.

General election campaigning is in full swing and many activists were out in Edgbaston on Saturday. This weekend the focus switches back to Northfield for what will hopefully a big #SuperSaturday on the 20th.

In preparation, we have organised a training event on Wednesday with a speaker from the Bernie Sanders campaign (more details below) which should be very interesting and excellent preparation for Saturday – and to top it off Jeremy Corbyn is in the city that day too (again more details below)!

Time is running out to register to vote – if you have friends and relatives who aren’t registered yet then please nag them! More details about the work we are doing on it…..you guessed it….below.

 

**Voter registration drive**

  • Don’t lose your vote: If you’re not already registered to vote, register now. It takes just 2 minutes, and all you need is your national insurance number. Remember, if you’re a UK resident from the Republic of Ireland or a Commonwealth countryyou’re eligible to vote. If you’re not sure where you’ll be on 8th June, make sure you register for a postal vote. Just fill out this form and post or email it to your Electoral Registration Office. It must reach them by 5pm on 23rd May, so make sure to send it a week before.
  • Get everyone you know to register: If every single one of us gets five people to register, we’ll win this election. Do your bit, make sure your friends and family are all registered to vote by 22nd May.
  • Momentum activists in Birmingham are helping with voter registration initiatives – if you want to help please drop us a line at MomentumbhamSouth@hotmail.com and we’ll pass on your details to the people co-ordinating it. We’ll be targeting young people in particular and potentially leafleting outside colleges.

 

Training event with Bernie Sanders Campaign – 17th May, 7pm

Local Labour Parties and dedicated activists across the country are going to be working night and day to organise locally and be the back bone of the election campaign.

Momentum’s role in this general election is to support these local organisers, mobilise our activists to go out and support Labour Party activities and ensure our activists are as confident and effective on the door as possible.

We want to do this as strategically as possible focusing on key marginals across the country and working to protect key candidates.

One of the ways we intend to do this is through training. We do not want to detract in any way from people door knocking and other campaign activities but lots of people want support in feeling more confident and prepared for the doorstep. We also have lots of people joining door-knocking sessions who have never campaigned with the Labour Party before. Momentum can ensure that these people stay motivated and are as confident and effective as possible.

With that in mind we are going to be joined by a guest speaker from the Bernie Sanders campaign on Wednesday the 17th May, from 7pm in the rear function room of the Highbury Pub, Dads Lane, Stirchley, B13 8PQ (apologies for the venue not being in the city centre but it is free and big!) This will be a useful event for people both new to or experienced in campaigning so please join us – and it will be a great springboard to what promises to be a big #SuperSaturday in Northfield on the 20th! You can RSVP here. It’s the usual rules with our meetings, Momentum members and supporters only.

 

Homelessness charity gig, 19th May

Attached to this newsletter email is a flyer advertising a gig on the 19th in support of Project Birmingham. The Project, also known as South Birmingham Young Homeless Project, is a quality assured advice centre specialising in Homeless Prevention, Welfare Benefits and Debt, our aim is to prevent homelessness and improve the lives of vulnerable people, they do this by offering free impartial advice and support. It’s at the Royal British Legion in Kings Heath and kicks off at 8pm. Cost is £5.

 

#SuperSaturday in Northfield: 20th April

Following a swift name change that yours truly isn’t entirely happy with, our next #SuperSaturday will be in Northfield this weekend.

Continuing to move the focus around the constituency, most of the activity will be based in Kings Norton – with a proposed street stall on the village green and a couple of door-knocking sessions at 10.30am and 2pm. St Nicolas Place, 81 The Green, Kings Norton, B38 8RU as the meeting point for all of these. The CLP will ensure that somebody is about from 10am to 3pm.

The main focus for the day will be on deliveries – this week they are taking receipt of a constituency-wide newsletter as well as sorting out a direct mail to all postal voters, and they would like to get as much of this out as possible over the weekend. The address above will be the base for this.

This is something that people can do as and when they are available throughout the day – so if you are going along to the Corbyn/McDonnell rally in the morning, then you can come over to collect a delivery in the afternoon. They will make sure that these come complete with a clear map and instructions for those not familiar with the area.

If you have any more questions feel free to drop the secretary of Northfield CLP, Joe Green, a line: northfieldlabour@gmail.com. See you Saturday!

 

Jeremy Corbyn in Birmingham – 20th May.

Jeremy will be speaking at a big pre-election rally on Saturday the 20th (typical how everything falls the same day!) at the ICC. If you want to register click here – we’ve heard that it’s full up so it’s entirely up to you whether you try your luck and come on the day……

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!

Momentum women’s evening of action: 23rd May

Our women’s group are organising an evening of action on the 23rd May. More details will follow on our social media and in the next edition of the newsletter (the 22nd) but if you need more information now drop nicky151289@gmail.com a line.

Birmingham Barks For Labour -29th May

Do you have a photogenic pooch? Know a Labour labrador, a Jeremy Corbyn-loving Jack Russell, a socialist spaniel, a democratic dachshund or just like campaigning with canines? They’ll be a video/photoshoot for social media at 12 noon on Bank Holiday Monday 29 at Highbury Park with professional videographer Tim Mobbs. Do let us know at momentumbhamsouth@hotmail.com if you want to be put in touch with the organisers!

General election, June 8th.

We are all rather electioned-out I suspect but sadly we are going to have to go again as this one is very, very important. We have 5 weeks to close a 20 point gap in the polls (recent developments show a positive trend, pleasingly), defend what we have already in Birmingham (9 of the 10 seats) and we’ll also be campaigning alongside a new candidate in Edgbaston, Councillor Preet Gill of Sandwell, following Gisela Stuart’s decision not to stand again. There are some pictures of Preet at the first constituency stall since her selection here and there are plenty on our Twitter feed too (@MomentumSBham).

MSB are under no illusions, this is going to be the fight of our lives and we have a few weeks to change a lot of minds. Many of the sitting Labour MPs are not particularly to our liking, to put it mildly, and we should have been given a chance to vote for our candidates, but we are where we are.

There will be plenty of information about campaigning on our social media and also, hopefully, on the Birmingham Labour Party website. We’ll try and keep everything as up-to-date as we can and this newsletter will serve as a snapshot of everything coming up that we know of. The individual CLP sections are below and we’ll be keeping a spreadsheet with everything we know about here.

The officers of MSB have produced a statement that can be read here and if you want to get involved in campaigning please drop us a line at momentumbhamsouth@hotmail.com.

Momentum nationally have also produced lots of information that can be read here.

Birmingham Labour will also be running a semi-permanent phonebank at one of their offices at the city centre – for more details and to book a session please click here to find them. You can pick the constituency you wish to focus on when you go.

 

 

 

Hall Green constituency dates for your diary

  • Keep an eye out for delivery dates from the CLP very soon!
  • Voter ID and phonebanking session: 17th May 18:30-20:00, 66 St Agnes Road, Moseley, and every Wednesday before the election.
  • Many Hall Green CLP activists will be helping out in Northfield on Saturday the 20th.

Selly Oak constituency dates for your diary

  • Tuesday 16th May Doorknocking :
  • 00 Brandwood: Meet at the junction of Brockworth Road and Northleach Avenue, B14
  • 00 Selly Oak: Meet at the junction of Warwards Lane and St Stephens Road, B29
  • Tuesday 16th May Phone Bank: 18.00 to 20.00 At 204 Alcester Road South, B14 6DE

Northfield constituency dates for your diary

Contact northfieldlabour@gmail.com for more information

  • Tue 16th May, 6pm – door-knocking in Kings Norton, meeting at the corner of Walkers Heath Road & Lazy Hill (B38 0AW).
  • Wed 17th May, 6pm – door-knocking in Weoley Castle, meeting at the corner of Weoley Castle Road & Jervoise Road (B29 5QT).
  • Thu 18th May, 6pm – door-knocking in Frankley, meeting at the corner of Ormond Road & Shapinsay Drive (B45 0HN).
  • Fri 19th May, 6pm – door-knocking in Rubery, meeting at the corner of Cock Hill Lane & Sandstone Avenue (B45 9YF).
  • Saturday the 20th: #SuperSaturday – more details above!

 

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.

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 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.

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

The stakes at this election

The membership of the Labour Party is now huge. But sadly, in my experience in Birmingham, many of those new members haven’t really got involved beyond clicking a button for Jeremy Corbyn a couple of times. Some of those very people may be reading this now, knowing in their heart of hearts that it is them I am talking about.

There are some good reasons for that of course. The Birmingham Labour Party is hugely resistant to change, or even rudimentary democratic practise, at all levels. It’s a microcosm of the situation that Corbyn has faced as leader since September 2015(which feels like a very long time ago). The decision to deny members even a rudimentary say in the selection of their local government candidates is a symptom of this malaise.

But I’m afraid those things won’t do as an excuse. Not now. This is the moment when people need to get involved. If we want a radical Labour government then the members need to campaign for it.

We are 20 points behind in the polls. Let’s not pretend that isn’t the case. And let’s not pretend that if the election was held the day it was called that Labour wouldn’t have been trounced.

The right-wing machine of the party have to take a lot of the blame for that, of course. Some of things they have done have been unforgivable frankly.

But the left of the party have to take some responsibility too. We’ve left the field clear for them too often in the last 18 months. We haven’t got involved and turned up for stuff. We haven’t persevered enough. We could have done more to transform the party into the mass movement it needs to be if it wants to take power and implement socialist policies. But that would have involved more of us turning up to some frankly tedious meetings for a while and forcing through change, and the left isn’t known for its patience.

We can’t do anything about any of that now. If we are serious about it we can go back and make a start on June 9th, whatever the result.

Now, the priority has to be campaigning for Labour candidates – even the ones that Momentum doesn’t like very much.

We have 6 weeks to start and win an argument with the British people that the Tory Party is not the answer and we need a socialist government. One that rejects austerity, privatization and Hard Brexit. One that starts a fundamental redistribution of wealth and power in society from the few to the many. We have a leader who means what he says. Who actually resonates with people when they meet him.

But winning that argument means campaigning – and campaigning is on the streets, not on Twitter or Facebook (much as we wish it was). It means stalls. Knocking doors. Delivering leaflets. Going to the working class areas that the politicians have given up on. Giving up the odd weekend and day of annual leave to get out there and do stuff.

You’ll get abuse. You’ll come across people who just won’t listen to reason. You’ll have crazy dogs slamming themselves at the door when you knock or stick a leaflet through.

It won’t be fun, unless you’re a masochist.

But believe me, it’s the only way.

I have no time for Owen Jones whatsoever. I think he’s in the process of reinventing himself as a left commentator who talks the talk but stopped walking the walk a long time ago. A spoilt brat who has thrown his toys out of the pram because Jeremy Corbyn wouldn’t make him part of his inner circle. Too often these days the socialist rhetoric feels like an act with him. But the call he made recently for every member to do a couple of nights of canvassing really resonated with me. If our half-million members all did that it could make a massive difference. It could really turn the tide against the deluge of lying, dog-whistle, poisonous shit that we can expect from the Lynton Crosby-steered Conservative Party over the next few weeks.

So please, get out there and do something. It doesn’t have to take over your life.

And while I am at it with the moralising I have a message for a couple of other groups of people.

  • The Greens, TUSC etc: please don’t stand any candidates in Birmingham. It is pointless. If you genuinely want social change you know that it is Corbyn or bust now. Many Momentum activists campaign with you on opposing cuts and austerity; we work together in trade unions and in our communities. I know you are all sincere and the arguments you make come from a place of wanting to make the world a fairer and more just one. But please, put aside your pride and think about what matters. The Corbyn surge could and should have taught you a lesson about how things work in British politics.
  • Independent lefties: we all know them. Socialists, sympathetic to Corbyn, good sorts, but won’t take the plunge and join or campaign for the Labour Party or get involved in organised politics. Again, I’m sure it starts from an honest and decent place. But seriously, if you want to change the world, you will have to get your hands dirty. And that means Labour I’m afraid. If you have a better plan do let Momentum South Birmingham know. But I won’t hold my breath.

We may not get a better, or another chance in our lifetimes. Let’s at least be able to look back after and say we gave it our best shot.

 

JC

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

MSB newsletter 13/03/17

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Welcome to the latest South Birmingham Momentum newsletter, full of exciting events for you to attend and ways to support the group fight the good fight. If you’re reading this newsletter and haven’t joined the Labour Party, then please do so. And if you have and haven’t got involved yet, please do!

Of particular note this week are the Birmingham Board, Hall Green ward by-election and the upcoming Momentum national conference which is being held in Birmingham and is now less than two weeks away! More details below.

Open letter to the Birmingham Board

There is an open letter to the Birmingham Board of the Labour Party in circulation protesting the 20 months and counting “freeze date” July 2015 in place for the selection of local council candidates. This is a crazy and increasingly undemocratic decision, disenfranchising vast numbers of hard working party members. You can add your name to it here (please include your CLP).

We have also produced a short video which can be viewed here – please share amongst your friends and contacts.

Please also start contacting your local CLP reps to the board (usually the chair and secretary) asking them to challenge this decision, demand it is discussed again at the Birmingham Board and when that happens to vote for the usual 6 month freeze date. There are also a number of South Birmingham MPs and councillors on the board who you can contact. If you need any more information by all means get in touch with us but a full (although maybe not entirely up-to-date) list of the Board members can be found here. If you are going to lobby your reps please make it snappy as the Birmingham Board will be meeting this Friday!

9 wards and 3 of the 4 South Birmingham CLP executive committees have passed resolutions opposing the current freeze date so opposition to this decision is growing all the time. With all the elections we have to fight locally we need to mobilise our members. The best way to do that is to give them a say in who is fighting those elections on our behalf!

Hall Green ward by-election

Following the decision of Hall Green councillor Sam Burden (Labour) to step down, there will be a by-election in the ward held the same day as the mayoral election, May 4th. The Tories have already begun campaigning so Labour’s efforts commenced yesterday. The candidate is being selected tonight. Momentum South Birmingham activists will be working hard to ensure a Labour victory. For more details of upcoming activities please keep an eye on our social media, future newsletters and there will be regular updates on activity on the Birmingham Labour Party website (hopefully……)

Compass event: “Uniting for a progressive UK”, 14th March

Momentum supporters locally will be attending this event, featuring Zoe Williams and Neal Lawson, tomorrow, Tues 14th in Digbeth. While views are mixed within our ranks about the desirability and viability of a ‘progressive alliance’ or similar arrangement, the people involved are worth engaging with and it should be an interesting event with some well-regarded and influential voices present. More information here – tickets have to be ordered online in advance but it is free.

‘Feminism and the Foodbank’, 15th Mar

Although this isn’t an official Momentum event our supporters are involved and we would encourage everyone to go along to P Café 1464 Pershore Road, B30 2NT on the 15th at 7pm. To coincide with International Women’s Day there will be a discussion on the theme of ‘Feminism and the Foodbank’. It’s free to get in but please bring a donation of female hygiene products to be donated to B30 Food bank. More details here.

Jeremy Corbyn on Labour’s vision for Race Equality, 18th March

Jeremy Corbyn, Labour leader, will be delivering a speech on race equality and multiculturalism on Saturday 18th March, from 2.30pm in the Council Chamber, Birmingham Council House, near Birmingham New Street station. He is expected to outline Labour’s vision for race equality and how it can be achieved. This will be followed by Q&A discussion. The event is hosted by the Runnymede Trust and Race on the Agenda. It’s free to get in but essential that you book tickets in advance. There will be some friendly Momentum faces to chat to as well!

Momentum National Conference: 25th March

Inspired by the work of local groups over the last year and the hugely successful ‘The World Transformed’ fringe festival that took place alongside Labour Party Conference in Liverpool in September, Momentum’s first conference ‘Building to Win’ will take place on Saturday 25th March in Birmingham at 119 Floodgate Street, Digbeth. The conference will be open to all Momentum members and feature activist training, political education workshops and discussion focused on four key themes:

Transforming Labour – helping people navigate Labour Party structures and discussing how Momentum can continue to support the transformation of Labour into a grassroots, member-led party that offers a real alternative to the status quo.

Helping Labour Win – supporting Labour to mobilise its mass membership and win elections as well as helping equip people with arguments and effective communication techniques to persuade people of our vision.

Building the movement- discussing how we can further root our movement in communities, developing links with people and other grassroots groups to organise throughout the UK and build support for Labour’s policies.

Building Momentum – building capacity within Momentum networks and groups through skills sharing and training. Building Momentum will help us achieve our first three objectives.

We will be joined by activists from across the country and special guest speakers. John McDonnell has already emailed all members to let them know that he will be there!

You can book your tickets here. There will also be loads of stalls there from local groups and campaigning organisations – if you are involved in or know a group who might be interested please get in touch with us at momentumbhamsouth@hotmail.com. We want to use this event to build on our good work locally too and give a platform to the many issues of concern to us. Please also get in touch with us if you are willing to volunteer on the day.

Billy Elliot Film Night, 31st March

MSB are putting on a showing of Billy Elliot at the Highbury Pub, Dads Lane, B13 8PQ on the 31st March. Film to start at 7:30 followed by a discussion on some of the topical issues in the film. £5/£3 includes popcorn! More details here.

Edgbaston constituency dates for your diary

  • Edgbaston CLP members discussion forum on an ethical foreign policy, Fri 17th March, Quinborne Centre, Quinton at 7pm.
  • Edgbaston CLP stall on Harborne High Street: Saturday 18th March 10-12. Sion Simon and the budget. Meeting outside WHSmith.
  • 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

  • As above, the campaigning for the Hall Green ward by-election is already in full swing!

Selly Oak constituency dates for your diary

  • Wednesday 15 March at 11.00, there will be a team delivery session, meet at the junction of Corisande Road and Lepid Grove.
  • Bournville ward Labour Party meeting: Thursday 16th March: 7:30pm, St. Andrews Church, Cartland Road, Stirchley, Birmingham B30 2RD.
  • Brandwood ward Labour Party meeting: Thursday 16th March, 8pm, Bells Farm Community Centre, Bells Farm Close, Druids Heath, B14 5QP.
  • Selly Oak CLP meeting, 23rd March, 7:30pm St. Andrews Church, Cartland Road, Stirchley, Birmingham B30 2RD: Steve McCabe MP will report on his activities in the Constituency and Westminster and Liam Byrne MP (a Brandwood member) will discuss his recent book ‘Black Flag Down: Counter Extremism, Defeating ISIS and Winning the Battle of Ideas’.
  • 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

  • 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
  • Tuesday 14 March; Momentum Northfield sub-group meeting,30pm, upstairs conference room, Black Horse, Bristol Road South. Discussion; ‘What are the most effective ways that Momentum members can support Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and the 10 point policy plan both within constituency parties and when presenting them to potential voters?’ Please come along and join in the discussion.
  • Thursday 16 March; North Worcestershire Golf Course discussion, 1pm, Hollymoor Centre (by water tower), Manor Park Grove, B31 5ER. Proposals have been submitted by Bloor Homes to build hundreds of new homes on the site of the North Worcestershire Golf Club off Frankley Beeches Road. Please come along and support Longbridge ward Labour party and  Andy Cartwright in voicing local residents’ concerns over these plans. All are welcome.
  • Monday 20 March; Northfield Ward meeting, 7pm, West Heath Community Centre,  Hampstead House, Condover Road, B31 3QY. Open to all residents of Northfield Ward.

South Birmingham Momentum T-Shirts

Not before time in my view, wear it with pride: MSB t-shirts are going to be ordered: £10 red with South Birmingham Momentum on it. If people 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 B’ham – 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, is interested in running some 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

#SaveTheNHS Campaign Day

South Birmingham Momentum braved the cold and rainy weather to go out in force campaigning to save the NHS. The level of cuts the Tories are trying to enforce on the NHS will have a devastating effect on this city and its many residents. South Birmingham is home to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital one of the largest in the UK serving over half a million people each year

momentum

We were encouraging members of the public to sign our petition aimed at local councillors, Jeremy Hunt and Theresa May herself, demanding the reversal of Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) which ultimately aim to see the NHS privatised. More detailed information can be found here:  http://www.peoplesmomentum.com/momentum-nhs

jean

The response from the public was fantastic and clearly shows that the majority of people value our NHS and oppose the Tories’ plans. Jeremy Hunt and Theresa May are completely out of touch with the electorate. In the words of Jeremy Corbyn “Theresa May would rather listen to spin doctors than real doctors.”

Britain Doctors Strike