Something stinks in Birmingham. Local Momentum members are reporting that Birmingham Labour’s board has voted to bar any members who joined after July 2015 from voting in the selection of candidates to stand for Midland Metro Mayor next year and for council seats in the 2018 local elections.
In other words, any members who joined after Jeremy Corbyn’s candidacy for Labour leader was announced will have no say in who represents Labour in their area until the following council elections – which are not until 2022 – six years from now.
This means around two-thirds of members, overwhelmingly Corbyn supporters, will be disenfranchised, maximising the selection chances of right-wing candidates committed to undermining Labour’s return to its real roots.
The West Midlands are a hotbed – or, if you prefer, a cesspit – of odious, right-wing MPs, including of course Tom ‘Anaconda’ Watson. It appears that the blight is not only at the MP level and that local officers are prepared to lose elections if it means preventing pro-Corbyn candidates being selected.
Because, of course, if local functionaries cynically disenfranchise two-thirds of members in order to shoehorn in candidates the two-thirds have no faith in, they can hardly expect those members to spend time and money campaigning for those candidates, with potentially disastrous results.
A local Momentum group has written an open letter to the board which gives further detail.
In the opinion of this writer, the right-wingers in Birmingham have shown that, for all the Progress/Labour First faction’s bleating about ‘electability’ and Corbyn’s Labour being ‘a party of protest’, it is in fact they who don’t give a fig for winning and who are perfectly ready to sacrifice electoral success and the well-being of those who need Labour in power, for the sake of their own small-minded and self-centred interests.
It is also this author’s opinion that each and every Birmingham Labour representative who has participated in or backed this move, up to and including local MPs, has brought the party into disrepute and worked against its interests.
And should therefore be immediately suspended and then expelled after due process – which is a lot more than the ‘party within a party’ proffered to Corbyn supporters in the run-up to the last leadership election.
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