ADVOCATE for accused individual to ensure due process and Natural Justice in the L.P. disciplinary process.
A good few LP members are aware of the `purge` and some of the effect it had on members. They are aware of the ridiculous 6 month freeze date and the court case that followed that.
They are aware they even tried to `purge` Jeremy Corbyn himself from the ballot box and the court case that followed that. Many are aware that there were grave errors where people were expelled for the most ridiculous of reasons, for example retweeting a Green Party tweet, or `Liking` a Green Party Facebook post.
Many people were suspended for not just spurious but for completely unfounded reasons and have subsequently had their suspension lifted. All these people had their money taken, but their rights removed and that included their voting rights. The whole machinery behaved in a clumsy callous and indifferent manner.
Regardless of whether you can find the occasional `legitimate` justification for issuing a Warning letter, out of 400 members (of a support group of 950 of which a third were not themselves expelled or suspended but are incensed by the appalling attitude of the NEC regarding the disciplinary procedures of the LP) I have not heard of even ONE that justified anything other than a Warning letter at most. I would even argue that even of those were that could be argued the justifiable proportionate response would have been simply to send a letter of Advice.
A good few members were suspended because the Party machinery decided they had made abusive comments on Twitter or Facebook. Here`s the thing: virtually all of those were made during the sickening and patronising coup attempt by the PLP, during which time the M.P.`s responsible went direct to the Press, even arranged timings of release of their notice of resignation through the Press rather than to the Party machinery. A number of these MPs referred to the influx of new members of the Party as trots rabble dogs – a sickening dismissive and patronsing assault by them on a new membership so energised by the hope that politics could be accessible to them by a team that didn`t posture and didn`t play the game of spin that politics in this country has become and that has left the public losing hope that we can have a Party that works for the many and not the few – where at best the L.P. maneuvered the neoliberal system to give us a few extra crumbs. The influx were moved by the integrity that seemed to be emerging. And what they got was a slap in the face. I am one such person, and I am shocked by what I experienced and what I have found from how the LP establishment have dealt with this.
In fact the establishment LP did nothing to stop the destructive actions of the M.P.s, and in a number of ways they exacerbated it – not least of all by imposing such a ridiculous freeze date, increasing the supporters fee from £3 to £25, and then across the board suspensions, THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS, when the members complained vehemently against it. Against the injustice of the LP establishment and against the duplicity and the treacherous actions of the coup MPs. Yes, many members were vocal, yes many members sent insulting tweets – BUT they were NOT abusive, and furthermore, for example, using the word `traitor` to describe the actions of some of the 172 was a legitimate and genuine expression of what they saw happening.
Now we have the NEC saying they are determined that this abuse of members, the manipulating of the disciplinary rules in this way will not happen again and they themselves are deciding what will and won`t happen the next time. WOW, so we have the equivalent of the police policing themselves. The very people who caused the problem, which is ongoing, are deciding they will merely make a declaration that they won`t do it again.
NOPE soz – that ain`t good enuff! We demand that all and every aspect of the disciplinary procedure is overseen by a peership – members outside of the inner circle and the NEC who have destroyed so much of the trust given them. Anything less allows them the ability to do the same again and again and again. They were entrusted to take exceptional action where necessary. Guess what? It was assumed that should such an occasion arise they would do so with respect for due process and natural justice. They rode, and continue to ride, roughshod over it all. Members are still left suffering from the effect of this callousness. The Party still refusing to answer questions of the general process they adopted, and still refusing to supply details of accusations.
THIS HAS TO STOP AND IT HAS TO STOP NOW.
At this point in time we demand that a crucial element is incuded NOW as an intrinsic part of the disciplinary process from the very moment that an issue arises. That is that the member concerned is advised immediately that they are under investigation and that they have the right to appoint an ADVOCATE. That Advocate is there to ensure that the whole mechanics of the process, and every last person involved on every level and from every aspects behaves in a manner that defers to due process and natural justice.