Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/917/23589
#KeepCorbyn campaign reports
Around 1,500 people attended the Jeremy Corbyn event in Birmingham on 19 September. The Labour leadership candidate addressed the crowd, along with a few supportive Birmingham Labour councillors, and touched on topics such as mental health and the shocking cuts being carried out on the city.
22 Socialist Party members took part to show support for Corbyn and put forward the need for a party for the 99%. There was lots of support for our ideas. We experienced no hostility, despite the recent smear campaign attempt by the Labour right.
Jenn Reid, an activist from Coventry, said: "As my first big socialist event, I was so impressed by the solidarity from across the region. Everyone pitched in and it was great to feel part of something.
"I spoke to many like-minded people disenamoured by a Tory government that continues to ignore the needs of the many in favour of the profits of the few.
"I had a conversation with one chap that epitomised this - just one of thousands of people who have fallen through the cracks in a corrupt system; made redundant, unable to claim for housing or support and facing homelessness.
"I told him about the Socialist Party, what we do, who we are and what we represent. He went away knowing people are out there fighting for him and he took our information so he could become part of the battle too."
We sold 161 copies of the Socialist, handed out 2,000 leaflets and nine people left their details to find out about joining the Socialist Party. As cuts continue to be implemented by the local council controlled by anti-Corbyn right wingers, the arguments put forward by the Socialist Party will be even more important. We must help people work inside and outside Labour to build a democratic party which actually represents the majority.
Corinthia Ward Birmingham Central Socialist Party
Owen Smith was one of the speakers at this year's annual Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) conference, using the event to promote himself in the Labour leadership bid.
He mentioned his policy of an £8.25 living wage, to be £10 by 2020. I had to ask: since the $15 minimum wage was successfully fought for in Seattle, why didn't he advocate a wage of £10 now? Also, since he had spoken about the various problems with Universal Credit - the major theme of the conference - I had to ask him why he and other Labour Party MPs had abstained on the Welfare Bill vote!
Neither answer was good. He based his wage policy on information from 'policy experts', but it was better than the Tories' proposal, and he 'regretted' the abstention. He claimes that being made shadow work and pensions secretary previously under Jeremy Corbyn was the 'proudest moment' in his political career.
Coventry Socialist Party member
The 8 May byelection in Sheffield mentioned in last week's Socialist ('Labour loses in Sheffield byelection but Corbyn isn't the problem' at socialistparty.org.uk) coincided with another byelection. This was in Mansfield Woodhouse, Nottinghamshire, held because of the death of the Labour councillor. The Labour candidate won, and the turnout was around 23%.
What the two elections also have in common is that there was more support for a Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour Party on the doorstep than local right-wing Labour councillors wanted to admit. This was certainly true in the more working class areas of Mansfield Woodhouse.
The Socialist Party believes that Jeremy Corbyn should build on the goodwill of the many thousands of people who voted for him by campaigning on a clear, bold, anti-austerity, pro-nationalisation programme.
There must be no compromises with the pro-austerity, capitalist right wing, and he should clear them out ASAP. A smaller Labour Party made up of anti-austerity MPs would be much stronger and more united than a party consisting of MPs who would be likely to vote for cuts, and to be more interested in their own careers than their constituents.
Ordinary people are desperate for the socialist change that Jeremy Corbyn is offering. He is the man to lead the Labour Party and to put Blairism in the dustbin of history.
Karen Seymour Mansfield Socialist Party
We held our first ever Socialist Party meeting in Malvern on 19 September, with the title "Keep Corbyn, Fight for Socialism." Worcestershire Socialist Party members leafleted estates, a school and held a campaign stall as well as putting up posters in shop windows and doing some press releases.
A couple of dozen people came, mostly at their first meeting. Jane Nellist introduced, followed by a very good and wide-ranging discussion. A collection at the meeting raised £63.78.
Ruthie McNally Malvern
In The Socialist 21 September 2016:
What we think
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party feature
Workplace news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist readers' comments and reviews
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