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From The Socialist newspaper, 7 September 2016

#KeepCorbyn: reports from the campaign

Stoke support for Corbyn

photo Stoke Socialist Party

photo Stoke Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

Andy Bentley, Stoke Socialist Party

We have recently witnessed in Stoke-on-Trent the fundamental chasm that exists between the Blairite Labour right wing representing the big business establishment and the anti-austerity and socialist movement that's developing behind Jeremy Corbyn in the battle for Labour leader.

On 27 August supporter of big business, turned 'socialist' within 24-hours, Owen Smith, sneaked into Stoke virtually unannounced. He was given the opportunity by the bosses of Middleport Pottery to speak in their factory to about 25 people, who may or may not have been their employees.

The vast majority of people who live in Stoke-on-Trent remain completely unaware that this attempt to portray Smith as a friend of the worker had actually taken place. However, he was able to muster some support. Local anti-Corbyn Labour MP's Ruth Smeeth, Stoke North, and Rob Flello, Stoke South, were there to lend their support although Stoke Central MP Tristram Hunt for some reason couldn't make it. Maybe he was busy plotting the next stage in trying to stab Corbyn in the back or looking for a picket line to cross.

Then on 1 September Jeremy Corbyn arrived in the city centre at midday to speak from the top of a fire engine provided by the fire fighters of the FBU to over 1,000 ordinary working class people who had come from all over the city to support Jeremy Corbyn and his anti-austerity message. If the rally had been in the evening it would have been at least double that figure!

Among the crowd there were trade union flags from Unison, CWU, Unite and others. Some nearby workers came in their dinner break. Parents brought their teenage sons and daughters.

There was loud applause for every measure Corbyn outlined - from the scrapping of zero-hour contracts to renationalisation of the railways.


Jeremy referred to 'the movement' more than once to describe what is taking place across the country. This growing movement is against austerity and for real socialist change. It includes Labour Party members, trade unionists, anti-cuts campaigners and socialists from other parties like the Socialist Party.

Local Socialist Party members had three campaign stalls at the rally calling for the de-selection of the Blairites and got a very good response. A large proportion of those who we spoke to recognised that if Corbyn remains as leader then the Labour right wing will not stop trying to "stab him in the back."

One man said: "Do we need de-selection? Too right we do, starting with the MP for where we are standing now, Tristram Hunt."

After Jeremy Corbyn had finished speaking, queues formed to sign our "de-select Blairites now!" petition.

In total 250 signed up and 135 people bought a copy of the Socialist, which every week has extensive reports and analysis of the movement behind Jeremy Corbyn and the fight for socialism.

John Mcdonnell pledges to help Butterfields tenants win

photo Butterfields Won't Budge

photo Butterfields Won't Budge   (Click to enlarge)

Socialist Party members accompanied Butterfields tenants to a lively Labour leadership rally in Walthamstow, addressed by John McDonnell. In the packed hall we all chanted together and held up 'Butterfields Won't Budge' signs, to help ensure tenants' voices were heard. The Butterfields campaign is one of the most significant campaigns in the borough in a long time, so it is unfortunate that the Momentum organisers had not invited a tenant to speak on their diverse platform. John McDonnell himself, however, gave a real boost to the campaign when he offered his support (see below). John's policies were extremely popular in the room. On our campaign stalls, we discussed with people about what is necessary to achieve a government that will be able to implement them. We talked about the need to kick out the Blairites, using a petition calling for reselection.

Butterfields tenants joined a packed Momentum rally on 3 September in Walthamstow, east London, in support of Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour leadership election.

The star speaker, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, was met with rapturous applause, particularly when he proclaimed: "A Labour government would build a million council homes and introduce rent controls."

However, the tenants of Butterfields cannot wait until 2020. They need help now. Families are under threat of eviction by their greedy asset-stripping landlords Butterfields E17 Ltd. Several court summons have been issued in the last two weeks - the situation is urgent.

John acknowledged the lively Butterfields Won't Budge campaign, and met with tenants at the end of the meeting. Nicole Holgate said: "He listened and promised to do all he could to help us. We think that's great." He also commented that he might be able to pursue RBS, the bank bailed out by taxpayers not so long ago, that is now behind the landlords in their attempts to boot out taxpayers! Also he offered to re-tweet our financial appeal when we go to court. Linda Taaffe of Waltham Forest Trades Council said: "This is a real boost for the campaign to stay, and will encourage tenants to stay strong."

Waltham Forest Trades Council

Burston strike school

The annual Burston strike commemoration rally was held on 4 September to commemorate the Burston school strike, the longest strike in British history, which took place between the first and second world wars.

Jeremy Corbyn addressed the main rally focusing on the lack of social housing and the Tories attacks on education to rapturous applause from hundreds of trade unionists and his supporters.

Socialist Party members sold over 70 copies of the Socialist and our campaign stall sold 100 worth of socialist books and material.


photo Delia Hazrati

photo Delia Hazrati   (Click to enlarge)

3,000 spectators in Ramsgate were in high spirits on 3 September as they waited to hear a new kind of politics and what the establishment see as the most dangerous man today to the political status quo - Jeremy Corbyn. He strolled into the crowd and made all the formal hellos to supporters who helped set up the event and made his way to the stage to make his speech - a fire engine donated for service by the Fire Brigades Union.

We gave out leaflets and sold 15 copies of the Socialist to people looking for a way to organise and fight back.

Corbyn's speech was good, flagging up some important ideas on investing in renewable energy, saving public services and a 10 an hour minimum wage now. If Corbyn sticks to socialist policies and stands up to the war mongers in and around the Labour Party, then his anti-austerity message will attract working class support which will win him the next general election.

Lee Crick, South East Kent Socialist Party

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In The Socialist 7 September 2016:


#KeepCorbyn: build the movement against austerity

Break with Blairites essential to defeat split Tories

Should socialists give electoral support to Labour right?

#KeepCorbyn: reports from the campaign

Socialist Party news and analysis

Apple told to pay 11bn: nationalise all the tax dodgers!

Refugee crisis: for homes, jobs and services for all

Women lose out in the workplace

London bailiff use soars by half

Them & Us

What We Saw

TUC congress 2016

Organise mass working class resistance to austerity

International socialist news and analysis

Brazil: impeachment farce only serves big business

International news in brief

Workplace news and analysis

Junior doctors plan to continue contract struggle

Rail workers fighting back!

Premium pay cuts are not just any cuts, they are M&S cuts

Royal Mail wildcat strike against bullying bosses

Workplace news in brief

Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Letter: back the docs!

Socialism, black liberation and cricket - the life of CLR James

The Socialist inbox

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Huge turnout in support of Huddersfield NHS campaign

Grantham on the march against 'life and death' cuts to health service

London fighting fund BBQ success


Home   |   The Socialist 7 September 2016   |   Join the Socialist Party

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Related links:

Jeremy Corbyn:

triangleTories' Brexit bust-up - general election now

triangle'Corbyn-council' faces a choice: Implement or fight the cuts

triangleLabour conference shows: Blairites must be ousted

triangleLabour civil war rages in Enfield

triangleFight for a democratic, socialist Labour Party


triangleThree thousand attend Burston strike commemoration rally

triangleRally for history's longest strike

triangleBurston strike school celebrated

triangleBurston Strike School Rally 2013

John McDonnell:

triangleCorbyn must lead in fight against the Blairites

triangleThe case for socialist nationalisation

triangleDesperate divisions in Tories - Corbyn and unions must act


triangleButterfields tenants join TUSC campaign

triangleOne in three borrow for rent, Corbyn pledges housing revolution


triangleSelling the Socialist in Stoke


triangleManchester Socialist Party: Germany - government divisions and workers' struggles


triangleNSSN rally: militant trade unionists share ideas to win for workers

Waltham Forest:

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Brexit - the socialist viewpoint


triangleWalthamstow Socialist Party: Build a movement against racism


triangleNo more fire deaths - ensure safety now!


triangleMomentum's 'The World Transformed' blocks discussion on Liverpool council struggle

Labour leadership:

trianglePCS: the real issues at stake

Labour leadership election:

triangleLivingstone, Labour and anti-Semitism

East London:

triangleNewham finance staff fight pay and grading insult


triangleGentrification scourge hits Kent

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