Carl John Freeman:
So after some serious reflection I have made my decision. My battle with Iain McNicol and the Labour Party NEC is over. I was at serious risk of further damaging my already flaky emotional wellbeing. I took the whole purging thing too personally. I love the local Party and I wish them well in the sterling work they are doing fighting for a fairer society. But whilst Iain McNicol remains as General Secretary and I have an unjustified official warning hanging over my head for which I allegedly have no right of appeal, I cannot remain a member of the Labour Party.
One thing I will credit Iain McNicol with though is that he is an absolute master of irony. He accuses Jeremy Corbyn supporters of being Marxists while ruling over a Compliance Unit that would have made the Stasi blush. Plus he has the audacity to suggest that I and countless others are bringing the Party into disrepute!
My fight is not with the Labour Party itself and certainly not with local Party members. I will still urge friends and colleagues to vote Labour for a fairer society. But while that awful man remains in post as General Secretary then I feel I have no choice but to leave. Of course in posting this comment and this photo, I admit that it would constitute grounds for my suspension or expulsion from the Party. But having today written my letter of resignation, that is academic.
Sarah, the young heroine of the film Labyrinth, escaped from the emotional maze in which she had been imprisoned by the odious Goblin King when she realised that she no longer had to tolerate his mind games. She had an epiphany and declared, “You have no power over me”. And so it is with me. 2016 was an awful year for all sorts of reasons and I refuse to take crap with me into 2017.
Here is Carl`s letter to the L.P. establishment, and specifically to Iain McNicol:
My Membership of the Labour Party
I received your latest correspondence just before the Christmas break. It merely reinforced conclusions that I had already reached:
• Under your stewardship, the Labour Party has become devoid of natural justice
• Last year’s purge of members was entirely politically motivated solely targeting people who are supporters of Jeremy Corbyn as part of a futile attempt at rigging the Leadership election
You have both consistently failed to respond to my requests for detail of allegations against me or provide concrete “evidence” of wrong-doing. You have also failed to acknowledge the hurt I felt as the result of your false and unproven accusations. I am sure you are well aware that there are numerous closed and secret social media groups of purged members who are all comparing notes. You have annoyed a great many decent people who do not take such shoddy treatment lightly. If you think your template letters unsuspending people with warnings on file are going to enable you to brush all this under the carpet, then I have news for you. It is merely the latest in a line of miscalculations you have made over the past year or so.
As I have indicated in previous correspondence, last year was particularly stressful for me. I lost both of my parents within the space of three months which magnified the negative impact your false allegations had on me. My instinct is to always fight injustice. Ordinarily in the face of an unwarranted suspension based on zero evidence and the placement of a formal warning on my file with no right of appeal I would keep fighting. But I realise that the distress this has caused me and which it continues to cause me is having a detrimental effect on my emotional wellbeing.
You and I know full well why I and countless others have been given an official warning of indeterminate length with no right of appeal. Your statement that you reserve the right to “return to the matter in the future” makes it abundantly clear that next time there is an internal election you can simply invoke these warnings and once again, disenfranchise people who have publicly declared their support for Jeremy Corbyn. I am aware of hundreds of people who continue to fight this unfair and undemocratic policy. But I personally don’t have the emotional resilience to continue the fight. Last year I lost two of the dearest, kindest, most caring and compassionate people I have ever known. I still grieve for them and I do not need this additional emotional stress.
My Dad was a great observer of life. He recognised that sometimes you have to throw in the towel, no matter how much you might want to struggle on. He would say to me that “graveyards are full of dead heroes”. I knew exactly what he meant. It is clear to me that you have a strategy of battening down the hatches and ignoring reasoned argument and so I have no chance of securing justice on your watch. As you have made it perfectly clear that I have no right of appeal against my warning and your replies to letters that I have written and into which I have ploughed time and emotional energy are impersonal off-the-shelf and dismissive. I have given up any hope that you actually care anymore and the fact that hundreds if not thousands of members are all getting standard replies is indicative of the industrial scale of the clean-up operation after the mess you have created.
Of course, you have not actually read this letter and as with all my previous correspondence, whoever has been given responsibility for dealing with it will have only given it the most cursory review. But for what it is worth, I hereby formally give notice that I am no longer a member of the Labour Party. I am deeply saddened by the actions of the NEC, the PLP and of the General Secretary in particular. The country is crying out for change. People aspire to a new kind of politics and at a time when the Party could have been building on waves of enthusiasm generated by Jeremy Corbyn’s election, sections of the Party have chosen instead to fight him and the membership rather than the Tories. I find that and the way I and countless other members have been treated to be utterly disgraceful. Hence my decision to move on with my life.
Cc: West Midlands Regional Labour Party
Officers of Worcester CLP
We demand an ADVOCATE system is put in place for every single member accused of breaking Party discipline rules.