Labour MPs are openly challenging Party democracy by publicly undermining Jeremy Corbyn as Labour’s elected Leader, despite Jeremy having been elected with the biggest mandate of any Party leader in British history just 9 months ago. Jeremy has doubled Labour party membership, led Labour to four successive by-election victories, won every Mayoral seat Labour contested and taken Labour from 8-12% down in the polls last September to neck and neck with the Tories or even just ahead in some polls immediately before the MPs mounted their coup. Jeremy has also reconnected the Labour Party with its base in the trade unions and excited young people about politics for the first time in a generation. Jeremy Corbyn reaches the parts other Labour Leaders can’t as West Sussex Labour activist Dan Sartin sums up when talking about the Corbyn effect in Worthing.
MPs have sought to use the EU Referendum as their excuse but analysis showed 63% of Labour voters voted to Remain, compared to 64% of SNP voters but just 42% of Tories. If anyone is to blame for the Leave vote it is Cameron, who called the Referendum and failed to win Tory supporters to Remain. Jeremy deserves as much praise for the Labour vote as SNP MPs have given to Nicola Sturgeon for the SNP vote.
Smearing the abilities or character of the Party’s elected leader may or may not be bringing the Party into disrepute (we know our thoughts but we’ll leave that one for Labour’s Compliance Unit) but, without question, 172 MPs putting themselves above 251,000 Party members is a clear attempt to subvert the principle of one member one vote and give MPs a veto over Labour Party democracy. If you want to email your views to Labour MPs, like Hove’s Peter Kyle, you may want to ask them whose Party is this anyway? Check the list of MPs backing Jeremy and let us know if your MP should be added.
Young Labour has full confidence in Jeremy Corbyn and YL member Lucy Whitehouse speaks for many when she questions why Labour MPs have turned against Jeremy and the Party. Amongst all the recent tumult Jeremy Corbyn has remained ‘constant’ because he represents the solid, traditional Labour values on which the party was founded. His opponents within have been too quick to betray those values; their beliefs are built on shifting sands. Their unreliability and readiness to turn and turn about means they’re not able to form a strong opposition to the Tories.
If you want to defend the progressive, socialist agenda of Jeremy Corbyn and his Labour leadership team, including John McDonnell, Diane Abbott and many others, the most effective way to do that is as a Labour Party member or registered/affiliated supporter. Then you will have a vote in any leadership election. If you aren’t already a Labour member or supporter, join the Labour Party today .
But don’t just leave it at that, get active in your local Labour Party and join those on the Left who support the Labour leadership – join the LRC – and join Momentum. Importantly for Labour members in Brighton & Hove, make sure you and all Corbyn supporters you know prioritise coming to Brighton, Hove & District Labour Party AGM at 4pm on Saturday 9 July, in the main hall at City College, Pelham Street. There you will have the chance to vote for a new Executive, auditors and Council Group observers. Supporters of Jeremy Corbyn are standing for all posts and need your support to get elected.
With the Tories divided and facing a leadership contest at the same time the Brexit negotiations will be starting, the country needs a united Labour Party keeping up the fight to defend protections for workers, ensure that the poorest aren’t made to pay the price of any economic fall out, and fight the growth of racism and xenophobia. The last thing we need is a period of self-indulgent navel gazing, or destructive infighting courtesy of the Parliamentary Labour Party. Please sign the 38 Degrees petition to show your confidence in Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Leader and sign Momentum’s letter for a united Labour Party.
7pm, Wednesday 22 June 2016
Hear from UNISON members, community campaigners and the Labour Left who support public services and stand with public sector workers facing against Tory cuts. All welcome to discuss the fightback against the latest Tory attempts to fragment and destroy our public services and NHS. Refreshments available from 6.30pm. Use the South Wing door to gain entrance.
7.15pm Wednesday 1 June 2016
Friends’ Meeting House, Ship Street, Brighton BN1 1AF
Jackie Walker is a long-standing anti-racism campaigner who helped organise the defeat of UKIP leader Nigel Farage in Thanet at the 2015 election. She is the national vice-Chair of Momentum and an Executive member of the Labour Representation Committee (LRC). As a woman of Jewish as well as Afro-Caribbean heritage, who lives with her Jewish partner in an area targeted by UKIP and the far right, Jackie has to deal with racists and xenophobes face-to-face on a daily basis. Did Labour Party officials take this into account when publicly announcing Jackie’s suspension before informing her? Hear from Jackie about her experience and support the campaign to reform Labour’s suspension process at this meeting on 1 June.
The Jewish Socialists’ Group (JSG) is a campaigning organisation which fights for freedom and equality, focussing on issues that affect the Jewish community, other minorities and oppressed groups, and the wider labour movement, including opposition to racism and fascism, and support for refugees. JSG has described “fearmongering” about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party as “a conscious and concerted effort by right-wing political forces to undermine the growing support among Jews and non-Jews alike for the Labour Party leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, and a measure of the desperation of his opponents” saying “we stand for free speech and open debate on Israel, Palestine and Zionism”.
Everyone attending this meeting will be encouraged to support the counter-protest to Stop the Fascist March in Brighton on Saturday 4 June.
Tuesday 24 May 2016 – PCS conference fringe
6.30pm – 8.15pm special briefing for PCS delegates
Friends’ Meeting House, Ship Street, Brighton BN1 1AF
The Divide cuts the stories of 7 people seeking a better life in Britain and America, with news footage from 1979 to today, and highlights how the economic divide – where the top 0.1% owns as much wealth as the bottom 90% – creates social division. It reveals how virtually every aspect of our lives is controlled by one factor: the size of the gap between rich and poor. Watch the trailer.
The Divide isn’t based on real life. This is real life. It serves as both a call to arms, and a powerful warning. The film is inspired by the critically-acclaimed, best-selling book The Spirit Level by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett.
Refreshments will be available in the Cafe from 6pm. Momentum PCS are holding a briefing for PCS conference delegates from 6.30pm – 8.15pm in the Meeting Room. The film screening will follow at 8.30pm and be introduced by PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka. The Divide runs for 77 minutes and there will be time to discuss the issues raised afterwards.
Tickets: £4 waged, £2 unwaged available in advance from Sussex LRC and Momentum Brighton & Hove, or on the door. This event is a fundraiser for Momentum Brighton & Hove.
7pm, Monday 25 April 2016
Hear from NHS campaigners and support NHS staff facing Tory attacks. All welcome to discuss the fightback against the latest Tory plan to fragment and destroy our NHS. We must stop this. Hope to see you there!
Saturday 30 January 2016
March & demonstrate
On Saturday 30 January there will be two important protests against cuts to local public services across East Sussex. Go along and make your voice heard in Brighton and Eastbourne. These are your councils, so have your say!
East Sussex residents are urged to meet 11am at Bankers Corner, Terminus Road, Eastbourne to demonstrate until 1pm against cuts by Tory-controlled East Sussex County Council. Please download and display the demonstration poster on your workplace or community noticeboard.
Brighton & Hove residents are asked to assemble at The Level, opposite the Open Market in central Brighton, to march-off at 12pm to hear speakers at a demonstration outside Brighton Town Hall in Bartholomew Square. Brighton’s protest has been organised by Brighton, Hove and District Trades Council, and has the support of local unions, anti-cuts campaigners and service users. Contact us if you can help carry the Sussex LRC banner on this march.
The Tory Government’s harsh cuts to the funding of local councils is forcing Labour councils to implement cuts to services. This is a Tory political choice, not an economic necessity. Unlike the 1980s, councils no longer have the option of setting an illegal budget, but Labour councillors do not have to merely accept what they are told by council officers.
In December Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn wrote to Labour Council leaders asking them to mobilise campaigns against Tory cuts. The LRC encourages Labour councillors to implement that strategy and bring Corbyn’s new politics into local democracy. We urge Labour councillors to work with council unions, service users and communities to develop innovative solutions, including the use of Councils’ reserves before any closures or cuts of jobs and services.
Labour councillors must make clear that these are Tory cuts – by joining local campaigns against Tory cuts, not shying away from them. Labour councillors should remember that they are elected to represent their communities – to represent people to power – not to manage cuts efficiently on behalf of the powerful. There is no such thing as a “better” or “kinder” cut. Please support the local demonstrations on Saturday 30 January. Together we are strong!