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Door Knocking Is Fantastic

There is a misconception among some people in politics that ‘door knocking’ is a chore.

This is mostly because the ‘conversation’ techniques that have commonly been used in the Labour Party have involved not having a conversation at all but simply asking people about their voting preference (voter identification (id)).

Voter id is certainly a useful tool in the last few weeks of an election campaign when we need to find out where are voters are, but it does nothing to increase our vote.

If we are simply interested in identifying our vote (and remember we last the last two general elections), then we will inevitably lose election after election. So, to coin the phrase of Danielle Grufferty’s ‘satirical’ CorbynSuperfan, voter id is ‘Horseshit’.

However, having a real conversation with people and asking people about their opinions is a great way to show we are listening and not just there for electioneering. 

In the new year, I was out doorknocking in my ward and I found that just asking people what their concerns were and actually listening to them was not only good for them (as they felt someone was interested), but it also gave me an insight into what issues are of interest and how Labour locally could frame policies.

I was invited into two houses for a cup of tea just for having this kind of conversation. I was also asked for information about how to get involved in local politics.

Having genuine conversations can be a great way of recruiting more supporters into the party and, they in turn, can inspire more people to do so.

My suggestion to all Labour supporters is to participate in door knocking when they can and to make sure that they don’t just get drawn into the ‘voter id’ conversation. If we actually engage with people a bit deeper and listen to them then door knocking is fantastic.


What have we got to fear?

This may go against most people’s idea of a light read, but over the last few days I have been absorbed in Seumas Milne’s account of the miners’ strike, ‘The Enemy Within’. It not only exposes the deliberate plot to destroy the coal industry, but also shows how MI5 was involved in making false allegations against the National Union of Mineworkers. A similar plot was made against George Galloway after the Iraq War but was exposed by him in a court case in which he won substantial damages from the Telegraph.

On both occasions, the mainstream media regurgitated all the false allegations fed to them by the UK intelligence service. The idea was to discredit the NUM as being corrupt, just as it was to discredit George Galloway by accusing him of taking £375,000 in payments from Saddam Hussein.

‘The Enemy Within’ shows that the political establishment in this country will resort to any methods to undermine any challenge to its interests.

This is particularly appropriate when we consider Jeremy Corbyn’s position as a truly socialist Labour Party leader.

It’s obvious that Jeremy Corbyn being Labour Party leader doesn’t sit well with the establishment in this country – the super rich, the media, even some people in his own party.

These people have already put up resistance to his leadership by repeatedly running negative stories, publishing false allegations and, in the case of some Labour MPs, organising a series of resignations to give the impression he was losing support.

So what should we do about this opposition that seeks to undermine Labour’s leader through false propaganda?

Should we look for a compromise whereby we water down policies to curry favour with the establishment?

This isn’t really an option.

The thing that has led hundreds of thousands of people to join the Labour Party is Jeremy Corbyn’s integrity. His opinions have been consistent. He doesn’t change them according to what is fashionable in media circles.

Apart from the fact that he wouldn’t compromise anyway, back-tracking would lose Jeremy Corbyn support just as fast as it lost the Lib Dems support when they joined the coalition in 2010.

So, with a radical set of policies put forward by a principled leader, it is certain that the establishment will use every plot and trick in the book to undermine the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn.

Should we give up our hopes because we have the whole establishment against us?

The pressure on Jeremy Corbyn – and those around him – has been relentless. And it is unlikely to ease up. Is it possible for Labour to win an election under such attack?

This is the fear. And, as with all fear, it begets fear and negativity. We need to stop worrying about the media and whether we can win an election or not. That kind of self-obsession gets us nowhere and also makes us unattractive.

We can get our ideas out on social media and through grassroots campaigns that do not rely on the mainstream media. And we need the Labour Party to do more to encourage these to happen. We cannot allow the MPs or the bureaucrats who are opposed to Jeremy Corbyn to hold this back.

We need to get back to where this campaign started. We need to rekindle that excitement about a new politics where we can open up discussion and be imaginative about how we do things.

Events are key

This means more events – big and small – that will give people things to talk about. I have seen from Stand up for Labour, the #JC4PM tour, Curry for Corbyn, public meetings I’ve organised and the Corbyn Christmas single that having an event to look forward to and be part of gives people a sense of belonging that social media ‘likes’ do not. We also need to work harder on making connections with people that are not just ‘on the doorstep’.

But, above all, when we have the whole political establishment doing all it can to undermine us, we need to encourage each other and keep faith in the new politics.


We must always look to inspire

There is no scientific, material reason why people get involved in politics. If it were this simple then surely we would not have the kind of unequal society we have. For many people the idea that we can change things seems like a dream or something that is too much work. It’s easier to deny it is possible and accept life as it is.

People need to be inspired to get involved in politics.

If we are to engage more people in politics and set up a mass membership Labour Party that will defeat the Tories, we must do our best to make sure we encourage people to get involved and don’t demoralise them.

I always prefer to talk from my own experience than hypothetically, so I will describe how important my spirit has been to my own political life and how this has shaped my activism in the Labour Party.

A personal journey

I first became interested in politics after long conversations with my dad about Margaret Thatcher and after hearing Tony Benn speaking about how it was possible to create a more just and decent society. This fired me up and I became a member of the Labour Party when I was 16.

However, when I went to a few party meetings, my spirit was dimmed by my experience of seeing bare-faced factionalism. I became aware that politics was being hijacked by egomaniacs who were less interested in changing anything than in keeping their positions in a clique. This turned me off getting active.

It wasn’t long before I was not involved in any political party. Instead I spent my time partying, listening to reggae music, supporting Fulham and, like all people who have lost hope, trying to become a stand-up comic. My time away from politics lasted sixteen years – except for demonstrating against the invasion of Iraq.

What inspired me to get back into politics was the death of Michael Foot in March 2010.

I was on the treadmill in the gym during my lunch hour at work when I saw tributes and clips of Michael Foot on the telly. I saw the pictures of him with his stick on Hampstead Heath and of the ‘donkey jacket’ at the Remembrance Sunday ceremony. It made me think what a principled man he was – devoid of ego – and how he was not given a chance by the biased media. I thought about how a good man had been taken away from us and there was no-one like him in politics. This made me think of rejoining Labour and trying to promote the same type of politics.

Yet again I was not inspired to get involved in politics for any material reason. It was more like a spiritual decision.

When I started to attend local Labour Party meetings I found that there was often a tendency for some people to dominate (as I’d seen in the 1980s) and that ideas about encouraging other people to get involved were not popular with many office holders.

I was frustrated at the lack of opportunity I had to do anything locally. My plans to design and distribute regular newsletters to constituents were vetoed by a committee, my plan to increase party membership was also scuppered (I was actually told to ‘f*** off and leave the party’) and soon I was voted out as vice-chair membership – there was even an organised campaign to stop me doing anything.

However, these events did not break my spirit. I realised that there were other ways I could make a difference. If some people in my constituency were going to block me, then I would have to work outside that.

I set up Stand up for Labour and it has been a perfect vehicle for me to try to encourage more people to get involved in politics and to keep people inspired who are already active. The problem that I had for many years was that I felt isolated and that no-one else felt the same way as me. I’m sure that is the same for many other people. Now I have provided an affordable and entertaining way for Labour supporters and members to come out and feel connected. It didn’t exist before I started it.

The #JC4PM tour that was started this year took this to another level. We had over a thousand people in Kentish Town for the first event in February and it was magical when Jeremy Corbyn made a surprise appearance. Anyone who was in the room that night will have felt inspired by the music, the poetry, the comedy and the speeches. And we toured England, Scotland and Wales and the response from the audience was fantastic. These are the kind of events that make us stronger.

I combined politics with curry by putting on a few ‘Curry for Corbyn’ events in my local area. These were designed to give everyone a chance to talk about what is happening politically, get things off their chest and then eat heartily. The discussion was not set up in such a formal way as political meetings and everyone was given an opportunity to put their points across. I am sure these made people feel more connected with each other too.

At the end of this year I helped to produce a Christmas single once more aimed at raising morale. ‘JC4PM for me’ was a lot of fun. The cheesiness of the music and the video were an attempt to show humour and carry a message about Jeremy Corbyn that the media couldn’t sensor. We had plans to get it into the charts (well you have to aim high), but we didn’t really get the backing we needed to make this happen.

Fear and cynicism is our enemy

When Jeremy Corbyn stood to become leader of the Labour Party in 2015 he inspired hundreds of thousands of people to get active in politics again. The spirit of hope was clear for all to see at rallies across the country and on social media. People felt energised about a new form of straightforward, honest politics.

We always knew that the political establishment – and the establishment generally – would do all they could to undermine this spirit. We’ve seen daily attacks in the mainstream media on Jeremy Corbyn and his allies and we had the attempted coup in the summer plus the leadership challenge. These were all aimed at knocking us off course.

The main thing that the establishment wish to do is to produce fear and division in us.

They want us to be wary of what we do, to worry about what the media will say and to end up by bickering amongst ourselves. And it’s happening. I have no idea how to stop it but I would like to suggest that – instead of getting drawn into personality clashes – we all look at organising events that bring us together and raise our spirits.


Events I helped organise in 2016

Stand up for Labour gigs

  • Eastbourne
  • Paddington
  • Coventry
  • Banbury
  • Camberley
  • Letchworth
  • Catford
  • Loughborough
  • Twickenham
  • Swadlincote
  • Camden
  • Nottingham
  • Hertford
  • Liverpool
  • Westminster
  • Chiswick
  • Bolton
  • Chesham
  • Hemel Hempstead
  • Ealing
  • Keele

#JC4PM gigs

  • Kentish Town
  • Bristol
  • Croydon
  • Newcastle
  • Edinburgh
  • Bournemouth
  • Sheffield
  • Cambridge
  • Manchester
  • Swansea (picured above)
  • Kentish Town
  • Cardiff
  • Manchester
  • Brighton
  • Newcastle
  • Doncaster
  • Liverpool (2)
  • Birmingham
  • Wakefield
  • Conway Hall

Three Curry for Corbyn events in Hounslow

The Top 5 download that didn’t make the charts

Before 4pm on Friday, I was optimistic that the Corbyn Christmas single, ‘JC4PM for me’ would make it into the top 40 of the pre-Christmas official charts (the Christmas chart is announced this coming Friday).

My positivity was based on the fact that it was in the top 5 downloads on Amazon for over four days and had even reached number two on that chart. This was fantastic not just for the fact it was high up the Amazon chart, but was also raising money for foodbanks via the Trussell Trust.

I had spoken to someone who had a Top 20 hit earlier in the week and they were confident it would get a good position in the charts.

However, having listened to the chart countdown from 4pm, it gradually dawned on me that we were not likely to appear.

As it turned out, ‘JC4PM for me’ didn’t make the top 40. In fact, it didn’t even reach the top 100.

The reason for this is streaming – mostly from Spotify and Deezer.

Since July 2014, 100 streams has counted as equivalent to one single (download or physical single) in the chart compilation process. I had imagined that this would make little difference, however, on reflection, it is clear that shops, hairdressers, cafes all over the country continually replaying a set playlist of Christmas singles and the top 40 chart hits has led to a dearth of any alternative singles reaching the charts.

It is highly unlikely that a single such as ‘Killing in the name of’ would ever make number one with these new rules for singles – how many cafes that play background music would play thrash metal. And, similarly, how many of hairdressers would play a song supporting the Labour leader? It might upset the customers!

As a result of this rather painful lesson, Robb Johnson and the Corbynistas are asking people if people can not only download from Amazon here, iTunes here and Google Play here, but that those with Spotify or Deezer accounts stream our song continually (they can even have the sound down). Perhaps, we could make it to the top 100? That would be an achievement bearing in mind the situation!

If you are on Spotify, you can find the song here.

If you are on Deezer, it is here.

We would also suggest adding Joe Solo and the Hatfield Brigade and the Jo Cox single to a looped playlist.




Will ‘JC4pM for me’ get airplay if it hits the charts?

I’m writing this blog in a greasy spoon cafe in Brentford where the plasma TV is tuned into a music channel. The channel is churning out Christmas songs from the past, mixed with singles in the charts. I’ve just seen Slade, Band Aid, the X-Factor winner and Chris Rea’s ‘Driving Home for Christmas’.

No one is watching the telly other than me and I’m only watching with a sense of incredulity: the Christmas single I put together with Robb Johnson and the Corbynistas could soon be above some of these songs in the charts.

This will not only show how strong the support is for Jeremy Corbyn, but will be a considerable help to foodbanks (via the Trussell Trust).

At the moment it is number four on the Amazon Best Sellers chart and is the number two ‘hot new release’. Calculating the chart involves totalling digital downloads, streaming data and sales of CDs and vinyl. I could have totally misjudged this but ‘JC4pM for me’ is highly likely to be in the top 40 if the Amazon download figure is high enough. (I’d like to add that I’m not keen to support Amazon in any way but many more people have an account with them than the other providers.)

But what is the chance that the radio or TV music channels will actually play ‘JC4PM for me’ if it makes the charts? Would the powers that be try to stop a song that includes the line ‘I’m voting Jeremy Corbyn’ and talks about political issues like austerity from being broadcast?

Most importantly, would the BBC include it on the radio show that announces the chart at 4pm on Friday? When ‘Ding Dong The Witch is Dead’ reached the charts they refused to play it and put a short excerpt on a news broadcast instead!

If you are interested in finding out what the BBC will do – and want to make it happen – you can download the single by clicking on the links below.

You can also download from more than one provider at a time to increase the chart position and each costs between 69p and £1:




Google Play

You can also stream it on Spotify.



‘He that hath no stomach for this fight, let him depart’

It was a special day for me yesterday as it was St Crispin’s Day. I was named after the speech in Shakespeare’s Henry the Fifth, in which the eponymous hero rallies the troops before the Battle of Agincourt and asks them to forget the odds that are against them and look at the strength of their solidarity.

This idea that if the spirit is within us then nothing can get in our way is something that resonates for political movements. And this spirit of solidarity is something that has come to the fore in the past year with the politics of hope that Jeremy Corbyn has encouraged.

The spirit of Jeremy Corbyn’s support is strong enough to overcome the odds.

Overcoming media bias

Theresa May and the Tories may well be ahead in the polls, but policies to build one million houses (including half a million council houses), invest heavily in the NHS and education (excluding Grammar Schools) and create a fairer economy are all election-winning ideas. The only thing we need to do is to get the word out.

The obstacle we face is the media. The billionaire owners of media empires are not prepared to give a socialist Labour Party a fair hearing. However much Jeremy Corbyn’s team may wine and dine journalists, the final say on editorial policy sits with the mogul.

It’s clear that the only way the Labour Party can win the battle is to do so on the ground. We need to raise the proportion of activists campaigning in every constituency and we need to continue to increase our membership. We also need to work on community campaigns of the sort that Hammersmith & Fulham Labour Party did in the run up to their historic council victory in 2014. However, this has to be led from the top as we can’t rely on all constituencies to organise themselves. We need a dedicated unit within the Labour Party that can bring this about.

Membership Engagement Unit

The Labour Party currently has a Compliance Unit (that is mostly used to exclude people from joining) and a Thousand Club team (who look after people who have donated over £1,000 to the party and are given access to leading party figures in return). These two party units do not hold the right spirit for an outreaching, inclusive party that can win on the ground.

If we are to create a campaigning movement, we need the party to restructure and transfer resources from these two groups to a Membership Engagement Unit. This would also make financial sense if the pay-off is that the party picks up more subscriptions through a recruitment drive.

It would not be difficult to set up a recruitment team within the Membership Engagement Unit that would be tasked with increasing membership on a commission basis. With the support of affiliated trade unions, it would be easy to target trade union members who could be offered a special deal to join the Labour Party. Affiliated unions hold millions of potential members and this would be a good way to start a recruitment drive.

It is frequently said that there are many more members in the Labour Party but that they are not to be seen canvassing, delivering leaflets or taking part in other campaigns. Changing this would be another task of the Membership Engagement Unit.

A separate team working on turning members to activists would support CLPs with exciting regional events with inspiring speakers or entertainment (like Stand up for Labour – I would say that!) in which members would feel encouraged to participate more. From my experience, it is through events that people feel part of their local party and community. An email from a stranger inviting them to attend canvassing is not the best introduction. The feeling of belonging to the group that comes through events gives members the drive to take part in campaigning.

With regular events that are affordable, inclusive and entertaining, members are also more likely to renew their subscriptions. Many CLPs do not have the resources to put on these events themselves so they would need the support of experts at either national or regional level.

What’s stopping this happening?

Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign to be re-elected Labour Party leader included a commitment to increase the membership to over one million and to call on the skills of those members. It’s clear that the leader of the party is keen to engage more people and to get things moving.

Were Labour to fail to change itself into a mass membership, campaigning party it would certainly not be the fault of Jeremy Corbyn. It would be the fault of people who have a vested interest in making sure the party is not inclusive. These people could destroy the spirit we could harness into winning a historic victory at the next general election.

As Henry the Fifth says in the Crispin’s Day speech:

‘He that hath no stomach for this fight, let him depart.’

Tests, streaming and Grammar schools

I never had to take any tests at my primary school or at Holland Park Comprehensive (I was there in the 1980s, pictured above). There was no streaming either. Children in my class who couldn’t read or write properly would often take lessons outside the class to support them. Some children could sometimes be disruptive but the teachers usually found a way to keep the class in order (and I don’t mean with corporal punishment).
At the end of my time at Holland Park school (with no streaming), I obtained three A grade ‘A’ levels. I only took three ‘A’ Level exams. So 100% success. I’m sure that having an intellectual mum and dad helped as well as having an older brother who gave me lots of old notes, but the experience of being at a Comprehensive without streaming did not stop me achieving the highest grades possible. I applied for Oxford but I didn’t get in mostly because I am terrible at interviews (and I had the wrong kind of trousers on – but that’s a long story). 


About 10 years ago I considered taking up teaching and went back to my Comprehensive school to get classroom experience.
I found that a lot had changed. Streaming had been introduced.
It was depresssing to sit at the back of an English class for 13-14 year olds in the lowest stream. Most of the children were bored and felt like there was no point in learning. To make matters worse, the teacher was obliged to teach a curriculum topic and could not inspire them like something out of ‘The Dead Poets Society’.
The class were given the kind of exercise you get when you learn a foreign language. But these were native English speakers!
They were asked to read a paragraph and then answer questions about it.
The paragraph would read something like: ‘Ben’s alarm did not go off and he was late for school. He ran to school in his trainers and then got in trouble for not having the right shoes on.’
The questions were like:
1) Why was Ben late for school?
2) Why did Ben get in trouble at school?
If anyone were in the position of those children, they would not have any interest in the exercise. Many of the class talked amongst themselves and the teacher ignored this as he knew he was fighting a losing battle.
I decided against going into teaching.

Tests for Primary School children

Two years ago my daughter was tested at her local state primary school. She was only six. For most of the term the teacher tried to drum into the class acronyms that would see them through. Every so often, my daughter would recite acronyms to me about elephants. I got the feeling this was a great waste of time when they could be firing her imagination.
Now she is eight, she is well versed in being tested and has managed to make it to the top or second top steam in her class. She has acronyms with monkeys now.
She tells me which stream everyone is in and I can’t help feeling that those in the lowest stream have already developed an inferiority complex before they are even 10 years old.

Grammar schools

The new Prime Minister wants to reintroduce Grammar schools and has argued that as we already have streaming in schools and test children much younger than 11 there should be no objection to it.

This seems like a logical argument but I think it also signals a need for change in our state schools.

Rather than just opposing Grammars, I would now like to see moves to stop tests and streaming in our primary schools and Comprehensives. My experience has shown me that it is not necessary to have streaming to achieve good grades – and tests do not inspire or fire imagination, but demoralise children.



Jeremy Corbyn is Prime Minister, 8 May 2020

Below is a report of how Jeremy Corbyn’s grassroots campaign paid off and how the Labour Party established itself as the party of government

‘The people I have to thank most of all for this are those who have worked so tirelessly to campaign to promote a new type of politics in all our communities. This is our victory.’ – Jeremy Corbyn, outside 10 Downing Street, 8 May 2020.

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party has won a landslide victory at the General Election and the first thing he did was pay tribute to the hundreds of thousands of activists who played such a crucial role in campaigning.

Since the Labour leader cemented his place in the party following the leadership election of 2016, the party increased its membership by one million to over 1.5 million. The party had formerly merely mouthed the idea of recruitment as this had not sat comfortably with many MPs elected during the Tony Blair era. While Blair had relied on the support of media moguls like Rupert Murdoch to get elected, Corbyn steered a different course.

In many ways it all started with the trade unions rallying behind Corbyn in 2016. Unions played a significant role in promoting Corbyn’s values with hundreds of thousands of members joining Labour and also taking an active part in local politics.

Rooted in communities

After the party was reorganised so that it was less top-down, local Labour Party branches were encouraged to recruit more people and engage them in campaigning as well as social activity. Labour became part of the community again just as it had been decades before through working men’s clubs. Regular Labour newsletters were delivered to each household, not just asking for votes but keeping local people up to date with the political issues in their community. And people were encouraged to speak about the issues that affected them – public meetings were a regular occurrence.

Labour councils were also part of a shift towards a campaigning party. Councils made sure that the message of what austerity was doing was brought to the public’s attention. The local government rally against austerity in 2017 was a breakthrough with over two million people demonstrating against austerity across the country. Labour councils also made their accounts transparent and easy to read so that all residents could see exactly how little money there was to maintain essential services.

Social media and media platforms were also a vital part of Corbyn’s success. It was now much easier for people to receive information without needing to hear it through the prism of anti-Labour sources. And people were offered a cultural alternative to X Factor and reality TV with exciting shows written and produced by Corbyn supporters from across the arts.

500 activists per seat

What this all meant was that for the past year there have been over 500 activists in each constituency engaging with their community and showing that Corbyn’s straightforward, honest politics was not just a catchphrase, but a new way of doing politics and winning elections.

A phone call from Jeremy Corbyn

On Monday the #JC4PM tour hit Swansea. The date had been planned months ago and tickets had been selling well before the attempted coup on Jeremy Corbyn. But in the week between the coup and the event, sales went through the roof – and the Brangwyn Hall has a very high ceiling!

People wanted to show support for Corbyn. That was clear from the impromptu rally of a few hundred people that assembled outside the venue just before the show. The was already a buzz about the night before it had started.


Mark Serwotka was a fantastic compere. He not only managed to set the political events of the last two weeks in context, but he was skilled at introducing performers and encouraging audience participation. He was also funny. From the perspective of the audience, it was slick (there is a youtube clip here).

However, backstage, I was in a bit of a pickle. At the weekend I had been informed that John McDonnell couldn’t attend as he now had an important speech to make in London. The way out of all this was to skype John and put it on the projector screen. Easy? We rehearsed it a few hours before the event started and it all seemed straightforward, but at 7pm the wifi signal disappeared.

While I was trying to find new wifi codes for it, I got a phone call. I was tempted not to answer as I was so busy, but I’m pleased I did as it was Jeremy Corbyn. He asked if he could do anything for the night. I was a bit taken aback and said we could try skypeing. He said he would see if this was possible and would call me back.

Then I realised that I was already struggling to get John to skype so I could be wasting a great opportunity if skype fell flat. I texted a message to say that we could do a phone call instead. I then tried to work out how this would work while I was I was also hunting for wifi codes.

The only way possible would be for me to put my phone on speaker and hold it next to the microphone on stage.


Jeremy phoned me back. While Grace Petrie was on stage engaging 800 people in a singalong, I explained that I would be going on stage with the phone. Mark was going to introduce him as I came on.

What happened was incredible. Jeremy was introduced. All that people saw was a phone in my hand, but the idea of the Labour Leader being on the other end generated more noise in the Brangwyn Hall than decades of amped-up Heavy Metal bands. When I actually put the phone to the microphone I realised it wasn’t in speaker mode so I switched it over and then it only took three words from Jeremy to prompt another roar. And then when he finished a few sentences there was more commotion. People started stamping their feet by this time. On a few occasions people didn’t hear what Jeremy was saying as they were making so much noise. It was incredible.

I thought the night was already made but then I had a message saying John had to be skyped within five minutes as soon he had to go and vote in Parliament.


At this point, people were going to get drinks for the interval. I asked the theatre management to get everyone to come back as John was speaking. I then tapped in the wifi code and hooked up my laptop to the projector screen – and John was there! It worked well. People were excited that there was a live transmission and that John was there to explain what was happening in the Labour Party. At one point the picture disappeared, but John’s office called back and the first thing John said was: ‘When we get into power we will make sure we improve Broadband connections’. This got one of the best laughs of the night!

  • At short notice a special #Keep Corbyn night has been arranged for the O2 Forum Kentish Town on Tuesday (12 July). The night is compered by Mark Serwotka and features Jeremy Hardy, Francesca Martinez, Michael Rosen, Rufus Hound, Dane Baptiste, Grace Petrie, She Drew The Gun and guest speakers including Jeremy Corbyn. Tickets cost £5/£10/£10 and can be bought online here.



Stand up for Labour values


The past few days have been upsetting. And I don’t mean that I have ‘a heavy heart’. I mean that my spirit has been tested to its limit by a sinister, co-ordinated attempt to topple the democratically elected leader of the Labour Party. There is no doubt that this was planned for weeks: we’ve had rumours of it since before the local elections and way before the EU referendum.

Some MPs who resigned may have been misled by the situation (ie not aware this was co-ordinated weeks ago) and may think there this is a genuine sudden idea that Jeremy Corbyn must go, but most of these resignations were done according to a plan. There was one every hour or so, just to keep the story running. I’ve also been told by a source close to one of the MPs who resigned that the architect of all this is a well-known bully in the party.

Many of the MPs who resigned were holding responsible positions: on things like the economy (during a financial crisis) and on Northern Ireland and Scotland (during a constitutional crisis). It is inexcusable that they have taken part in this coup at such an important time.

The right spirit

In the past four years I have organised over 180 Stand up for Labour events all over the country in order to support many of these MPs in their campaigns. I’ve travelled thousands of miles and returned in the early hours (and then done my day job) and hardly covered my costs. I’ve worked flat out and I’ve done this out of love for the Labour Party. What I’ve seen at Stand up for Labour has lifted my spirits: people getting together socially and enjoying a night out together in support of the Labour Party. They have all been about unity and a sense of community – nothing like what has been shown in the behaviour of these MPs.

We can’t win an election unless we are united and we are in good spirits. Tony Blair won in 1997 because people were hopeful and united. Getting rid of Jeremy Corbyn through a coup will destroy our spirit and will divide us.

There are still some tickets left for Stand up for Labour in Chiswick tomorrow night (Wednesday 29 June). Speaking on the night will be John McDonnell and Ruth Cadbury (MP for Brentford & Isleworth), with comedy from John Moloney, magic from Ian Saville, poetry from Attila the Stockbroker and music from Grace Petrie. To buy a ticket, click here.