Matt Hale from Sheffield Central CLP (pc) spoke to Red Flag about the local Corbyn4Leader campaign RED FLAG: HOW DID JEREMY’S CAMPAIGN GO IN SHEFFIELD?
MATT HALE: We initially started with an open organising meeting, inviting both Labour Party members and trade unionists, where we planned a series of events.
We ran numerous phone banks and put in place several workplace visits, not just with the message of Jeremy Corbyn standing but also about revitalising the labour movement.
RF: WHAT HAVE YOU DONE SINCE?
MH: Since then, Sheffield4Corbyn has evolved into Sheffield Momentum, which has a steering group with representatives from each of the different CLPs in the city. The basis for doing this is so that in each of the CLPs and the branches we can put forward a united challenge.
The second thing we did was to take up the national campaign to register new voters before the cut-off date at the end of November before the electoral boundaries are changed.
At a branch level, we want to focus on making them more outward-facing and less dominated by internal Labour Party business. We are planning to do this by holding political meetings on different topics in an attempt to engage with the wider public.
RF: SO WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
MH: The first thing to say is that more needs to be done at a city-wide level. One ward meeting has put out a call for a city-wide labour movement conference. This proposal is now going to be discussed at the Sheffield District Party level.
Momentum also needs to engage with the trade union movement. It also needs to put forward ideas about how we are going to democratise the Labour Party, particularly at constituency level. For example, we should call for CLPs to actively support all and any form of industrial action.
While the new membership of the Labour Party is not allowed to participate in the selection process of council candidates, it’s important for wards and CLPs to put forward motions committing the Labour group not to implement any of the Tory cuts.
And if that means breaking the law, then so be it. This should be coupled with demands that a future Labour government compensates any losses incurred by Labour councils by refusing to implement cuts. They can do this by taxing the rich.