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Labour Party Shadow NEC

Demand for Natural Justice and Due Process

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Equal Treatment – Why isn`t Blair Expelled?

Ben Sellers:

I think the Labour Party now has a choice:

either discipline Blair for his comments encouraging Labour voters to consider backing Conservative or Liberal Democrat candidates, or drop actions against left wing members who may have said similar things in the past, including sharing statuses on social media.

I favour the latter, because I think most political disagreements should be settled politically, not bureaucratically.

I think Blair is wrong in almost everything he says these days, but I would rather he himself realised that he no longer has a place in a democratic socialist party, than being booted out. But what you absolutely can’t have, in a *democratic* socialist party, is one rule for a former leader, and another for ordinary members.

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Tony Blair: vote Tory or Lib Dem where they are open-minded on Brexit

Former Labour PM says party allegiances should be set aside

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Tony Blair has advised voters to consider backing Conservative or Liberal Democrat candidates in June’s general election, if they promise to have an open mind on the terms of the final Brexit deal.

The former Labour prime minister said the public should set party allegiance aside in a effort to prevent the 8 June poll becoming what he called a “steamroller election”, and maximise the number of MPs willing to vote against hard Brexit when Theresa May brings the deal back to the House of Commons.

He added that he would support the efforts of Best for Britain, the tactical voting initiative created by Gina Miller, who won the supreme court case that forced the government to hold a parliamentary vote before triggering article 50.

Guardian article


I personally consider that what Tony Blair has done here is far worse than what has resulted in many members being expelled – for example re-tweeting a Green Party tweet.  This position by Blair is firstly to do specifically with the general election, and meant to affect the result, and secondly is crazily not merely agreeing with another party`s stance on an issue but actually arguing for people to VOTE other than labour.

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Individual NEC members must act and demand answers!

Despite reassurances that things have changed and acknowledgments from the party that huge mistakes were made in administering the disciplinary process and the interpretation of the rules, the disregard of natural justice and due process continues.

have been at the receiving end of the appalling administration used by the party concerning discipline.

Members have been personally affect ted by the dismissive and callous attitude and it is ongoing. This has given me a worrying insight into the dismissive and incompetent structure of the disciplinary system used. I understand that through Ann Black there are signs that improvement on the process are being discussed to ensure that such a debacle cannot happen again.

I personally, along with others, consider that such a promise is without much strength when:

a) there are no actual rule changes suggested that would make it impossible for it to happen again

b) that even though it is acknowledged that it was wrong and shouldn`t happen again the lack of communication, the lack of consideration and the lack of due process and natural justice CONTINUES NOW.

People who have had their suspension lifted are still being bullied by the party.

Even though suspensions have been lifted the saga continues.

It is clear from the rule book that warning letters are an OPTION to be used when an admin suspension is not necessary.  An admin suspension is made in order to prevent the member participating in the party for fear of bringing it into disrepute. Once there is an admin suspension then an investigation is expected. Once there is an investigation then each person should be exonerated or found guilty and disciplined.

Instead the party is itself being brought into disrepute by the very people tasked with administrating the disciplinary system. Following investigation after an admin suspension either a person should be found guilty or not. If found guilty then natural justice demands they would have the right of appeal. However even though I not found guilty a warning letter is sent and without any explanation or evidence of what should not be done in future  – just a generic fudging template letter – AND CRUCIALLY no right of appeal!

Any attempts to get natural justice and replies to queries asking on what basis the warning letter is issued, and a demand that unless the accusation is substantiated that the warning letter is removed from the file is ignored.

It is incumbent upon every single NEC member to ensure fairness in all dealings between the party and any one else either within or without the party.  Each NEC member needs to demand that these warning letters are withdrawn, or each person is given the right to appeal and natural justice is respected.

Here are just 2 examples (of dozens) of the complete disregard shown by the party for members:

Carl John Freeman:  My story is pretty well known. I could not remain in the party with an unfair warning on file. They refused to lift it so I resigned. But if they were to write to me and reassure me that they would lift it – I will rejoin.

Nigel Chapman:  I had the warning kept on file letter. I sent a reply refusing the decision and demanding they produce the evidence against me so I could test it. This was back in September last year and as yet I’ve not received any response and my suspension remains lifted. Makes me think that they are hoping I’ll forget and let it go. When Iain McNicol apologises I’ll let it go.

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And then we have this – a situation where they provide no evidence and yet the crime lol was of such magnitude that it deserved an auto admin suspension wow:

Kevin Safford “Following investigation after my admin suspension I was not found guilty.” – Hmm, I don’t believe they actually held an investigation in my case. The letter that lifted my suspension certainly did not mention any investigation; the actual crime I was meant to have committed was never made clear; and I was never asked to give my side of the story. One minute I’m suspended, the next I’m not, but I have a written warning. I think McNicol and his cohorts have been reading Kafka, and got the wrong end of the stick.

Treacherous Actions of MPs against Corbyn resulting in members being suspended for ABUSE

Never mind the way so many MPs behaved toward members and to Corbyn by treacherous behaviour.  They didn`t simply deal with their dislike of the new members and disagreements with Corbyn by debate and in-house discussion. NO THEY WENT SCREAMING TO THE MEDIA!  They still are do that.

Members who were, are still are, incensed by their schoolchild playground behaviour (sickening example to children – and the general electorate – on how to deal with disagreements within an organisation). They were called on it, and rightly so. They DID behave in a treacherous manner and if a friend or family member of mine behaved in such a manner then they would no longer have contact with me. BUT the MPs behaviour continues to be uncensored but members are suspended and labelled abusive if they express their anger about it. One example is a member `allegedly` saying that they should say `sold souls to the devil` – this member was suspended for abuse!  Yet again an example that has me welling up with both anger and laughter at the same time.

Pat Stone:

This came in an email on Tuesday – I missed it until just now. I’d like to respond with a quote from Stephen Fry. I still have not been told which rule I am alleged to have broken.
I am not best pleased with the slick transition from ‘uncomradely’ to ‘Abuse’ in the next paragraph.

What has also happened is that I was told by phone in Feb that my suspension was lifted. I phoned them because my branch secretary told me the suspension was not marked against my name. In early March I stood for an outstanding branch responsibility that was waiting to be filled by a woman under the 50% rule. I was elected unopposed. Next day I was told that the CLP secretary still considered me suspended and the election was void. There is a CLP meeting tonight to elect delegates to conference. I will not be able to attend as I am not elected. So my ward will be one representative short, one woman short.

I’d like to know what sort of warning has been issued to John McTernan for calling for JC’s head on a plate, on Twitter

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It is the NEC that needs a Warning Letter for their uncomradely, nay abusive, behaviour toward the membership.

This is the (non existent) `process` that Pat was put through, and is uncomradely behaviour, and it continues.

Typical Timeline of Suspension – THIS is abuse

Pat Stone:

All this makes me cry. It makes me angry. It makes me shake. It makes me feel like some sort of powerless victim who has been tied down with tape over my mouth, to await some vile abuse by some nasty revolting sadist. There are thousands of members being treated like this …

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Typical Timeline of Suspension – THIS is abuse

   Pat Stone:

All this makes me cry. It makes me angry. It makes me shake. It makes me feel like some sort of powerless victim who has been tied down with tape over my mouth, to await some vile abuse by some nasty revolting sadist. There are thousands of members being treated like this …

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Pat Stone (retired teacher) Timeline of my Suspension:

Summer 2015 joined the party and encouraged Roy to join. Never been political before, really, too busy with kids and work. Tried the £3 online thing but it didn’t work so both of us paid the full whack. We had no idea of any jiggery pokery re: Corbyn. We thought everyone wanted him, as we do, because we think this country needs Socialism, at least for a couple of terms.

Sept 2015 Corbyn was elected leader. Hooray! For once I backed a winner. On TV, somebody stormed out of the announcement meeting, shouting. I was confused. Who was that? Shocked that MPs including many women announce they will not serve, before they’ve even been asked.

March? April? May? June? 2016 Gobsmacked that MPs are resigning one by one and that there is another leadership election mooted. Saw comments on social media and joined in some irony and sarcasm about the challenge to Corbyn’s leadership by Angela Eagle.

July 2016 Checked rechecked and double checked by phone that my membership was up to date and paid up to date. I am told yes, my membership is up to date.

August 2016 We are on holiday when ballots for leadership election are sent out. We check online every day. Roy’s ballot is sent out on day 1. Mine is not.

August, September 2016 I call repeatedly and ask repeatedly about my ballot. I am told repeatedly that yes yes my membership is up to date and my ballot will be sent out soon in ‘a batch’. I am confused about why I am not in the same batch as Roy, at the same address. I am given several dates by which my ballot will be sent out.

September 12 2016 I am sent an email and then a letter to tell me that there has been an “…allegation that I may have been involved in a breach of a party rule” and my membership is suspended. I was told an investigation by my Regional Director would be carried out and I was exhorted to cooperate. This email and letter are addressed to ‘Supporter Applications… regarding your application to the Labour Party.’ At this time I had been a paid up member for more than a year, I was not applying to be a supporter, so I thought a mistake had been made. I waited. I WAS NOT TOLD AND HAVE NOT YET BEEN TOLD AS OF 6.3.17 WHICH PARTY RULE I AM ALLEGED TO HAVE BROKEN, NOR WHO MADE THE ALLEGATION(S)

September – December 2016 I called and emailed over and over again to try and find out what was going on. There was never anything proffered to me except the email and letter of 12 September. I was given the email address of ‘legal’ and sent them a message.

They told me they had asked ‘compliance’? to send me evidence of what I am supposed to have done within 5 days. I did get this ‘evidence’ 5 days later. It consists of screenshots of the ironic, sarcastic tweets about Angela Eagle’s treacherous behaviour and one in which I expressed my frustration that H Harman was emailing us, asking us to vote for Owen Smith, hoping she would not be selected as our constituency candidate next time.

I now know that ‘traitor’ and ‘deselect’ were trigger words for finding people to suspend or expel. I won’t go on here about the names new members were being called by Tom Watson, nor the piss-taking Tweets sent out almost daily by people such as John McTernan.
December 2016 I got an email from Ali Craft to tell me I should come to an investigatory interview in the week of Jan 9 2017. I reply asking for detail.

I express my shock and concern that things are being done to me that I have not been informed about – that I have had no information about timelines or procedures or my rights. He sends back some guideline info which refers to a person who is being dealt with as ‘Donald Duck’. Much of the other language and vocabulary is the language of police stations and courts of law. It is frightening and shocking. I hear of other members who are ill, depressed, suicidal in the face of this language and these treatments.

January 10, 2017 I attended the interview with Ali Craft. I asked why I was not interviewed by my regional director as originally stated. No response.

Throughout this whole affair I am expected to just comply with whatever the party sees fit to impose on me with no explanation or forwarding as if I am the party’s property. I state my ‘case’. He states nothing except that he will write a report and send it to…? I have still not been told which party rule I am alleged to maybe have broken, nor who has made the allegations. Ali Craft promises me that I will be sent verbatim notes of the meeting, “In a couple of days.”

March 2017 I have had no verbatim notes although I have requested them twice more. I have heard from Ali Craft, because I asked and he got back to me 2 weeks later (a 2 week or perpetual delay seems to be the Labour party norm, I have heard and experienced) that he has sent his report to panel – what is that? I can’t remember which section of the party – and that they will meet in March – he could not give a date – and decide whether to proceed further. I asked twice for a copy of his report about me but these requests were ignored completely.

February 2017 Early Feb? I went to my ward meeting and was informed that my suspension was no longer recorded against my name on the members list. I called Labour and was told that, yes, my suspension was lifted and a letter was being prepared to be sent out that day.

Early March 2017 I have waited every day and run to the door like a child when the post comes, to look for the letter to tell me my suspension is lifted. It hasn’t come. I have waited a month. I go to my ward meeting and stand, unopposed, for a position as second auditor.

A few days later my branch secretary has the unenviable job of calling me to tell me the PLP secretary says I am still suspended.

I have heard nothing from HQ. I will have to spend money and time again, calling them to find out.

I have still never been informed which rule I am supposed to have broken, nor who accused me. If I get a bit too mouthy in future, someone, anyone, can just allege against me and get me suspended again. And on into eternity. Meanwhile, famous names are publicly abusing members and Jeremy Corbyn on a daily basis, with impunity.

All this makes me cry. It makes me angry. It makes me shake. It makes me feel like some sort of powerless victim who has been tied down with tape over my mouth, to await some vile abuse by some nasty revolting sadist.

There are thousands of members being treated like this just because we want Socialism brought back into our party and our country. Thousands. Is this what the Labour Party is supposed to be for?

Pat Stone

Callous disregard of Iain McNicol and the NEC toward members

Chris Billings:

With disappointment, but not surprise, I sent the following by post and email to Mr McNicol this morning:

Mr Iain McNicol, General Secretary,

Sir,

I am writing to ask you why I have received no substantive reply to my letter to you dated 14th November last year. The letter was sent by post and email simultaneously. You acknowledged receipt by email the following day, stating “The letter and email have been received and will be responded to in due course”.

More than three months have now elapsed since that communication. Given the very serious nature of the allegations that you made against me, this is stretching the limits of “in due course” beyond what is reasonable, and into the realms of unprofessional discourtesy.

Following a submission of an SAR request soon after my suspension, the Party was obliged to provide me with all the data it held concerning me. When it arrived, I noted that it did not contain any evidence to support any of the allegations that you had made. My letter of 14th November gave you another opportunity to comply with the request. The fact that you have still not provided any evidence relating to any alleged offence, or any details of the investigation that you stated would follow my suspension, leads me to believe that no such evidence exists, and that there was no investigation.

In view of the above, I am inclined to suspect that you made serious allegations against me without checking their validity, and despite your clear and unequivocal statement regarding an investigation, you have made no subsequent attempt to determine the facts. What motivated you to make allegations which impugned my character, and to ignore your own stated intent to investigate them?

Without any contrary explanation having been offered by you, I have no option but to conclude that the allegations were made either erroneously or maliciously. If it is the former, why are you showing such reticence in communicating with me? If you or others have acted in error, I would welcome an explanation, and retraction of the formal warning, and be pleased to consider the matter closed.
In addition, I would appreciate an apology.

Unfortunately, my experience, and those of others I know in very similar (sometimes eerily identical) circumstances, lead me to conclude that my suspension was not the result of an honest mistake. Although I would be delighted to learn of an alternative explanation, your words and deeds in relation to my suspension and reinstatement, and your silence since, makes it impossible for me to conclude that the actions of the Party in suspending me were anything other than a malicious and undemocratic move to prevent me voting in the recent leadership election.

What’s done is done. I am anxious to move on, and do all I can to help ensure that Labour form the next government. I am sure that we share that goal. However, despite what you and/or others in the Party might hope, I refuse to rest while the sanction of a formal warning remains hanging over me – particularly when no one in the Party has provided, or made any attempt to provide, any reason why that sanction might be justified.

Again, I must insist that you retract the formal warning against me without any further delay.

It might be desirable for some in the Party to hope that I will either give up and meekly submit to an injustice, or resign my membership of the Party. I hope that you are not relying on me taking either course of action. I will do neither. I am not going to go away. With that in mind, please do not ignore me, or inform me again that I will receive a reasonable response to a reasonable request “in due course”.

I believe that I deserve an answer to my questions. I am certain that I deserve to be treated with basic courtesy – which has been conspicuously absent in my dealings with the Party in recent months.

Good day Sir,

Mr C Billing

The disciplinary process and the rule book has always been perfectly well administered in the past. That was before the Election Procedures Committee thought, in their arrogance, that they could adapt the disciplinary procedure and the rule book to suit themselves.

As a result all and any semblance of fairness, justice, due process and natural justice was thrown out the window.  The resulting `purge` of thousands and thousands of members on spurious grounds is sickening. It disgusts me on all levels: for the individuals subjected to the abuse by the procedures committee, the lack of responsibility of the NEC (who allowed this in the first place by handing over the reins of the disputes panel to the procedures committee) who, in my opinion, demonstrated a dereliction of duty, and continue to do so, by not highlighting how the disciplinary process put in place by the procedures committee breaks all the rules of the rule book and simply has, and continues to have no regard for common decency.

Arrogant Procedures Committee V. Disputes Panel

 

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Arrogant Procedures Committee V. Disputes Panel

The disciplinary process and the rule book has always been perfectly well administered in the past. That was before the Election Procedures Committee thought, in their arrogance, that they could adapt the disciplinary procedure and the rule book to suit themselves.

As a result all and any semblance of fairness, justice, due process and natural justice was thrown out the window.  The resulting `purge` of thousands and thousands of members on spurious grounds is sickening. It disgusts me on all levels: for the individuals subjected to the abuse by the procedures committee, the lack of responsibility of the NEC (who allowed this in the first place by handing over the reins of the disputes panel to the procedures committee) who, in my opinion, demonstrated a dereliction of duty, and continue to do so, by not highlighting how the disciplinary process put in place by the procedures committee breaks all the rules of the rule book and simply has, and continues to have no regard for common decency.

Up until this fiasco the disputes panel looked at any possible disciplinary infringements and spoke with the member, decided whether there was any evidence to support the need for an investigation, and then arranged for an investigation to clarify the issues. Only if there was a real threat of abuse, and or a real threat to the reputation of the Party, did the disputes panel suspend a member during the investigation stage.

The Procedures Committee, however, thought in their arrogance they will just suspend all and everybody that anyone reported or that the bot they used threw up as ABUSE  such as blairite or rat.  The pathetic check that the bot was not being unreasonable resulted in the panels confirming the suspension because it was a real abusive threat to an individual or the Party`s reputation.

WOW. The result was, and the abuse by the Party to individuals continues on unchecked, is that members were suspended and their votes taken away from them, and their right to attend conference taken away from them, when, if it had followed the established manner of the disciplinary process simply would not have happened.

Suspending members in this way is unprecedented and is not what the Disputes Panel would have done, and neither therefore, would the Disputes Panel have deprived people of their votes and lost them hundreds of pounds in hotel and booking fees for conference.

THEN having dug this hole the procedures committee went on to lift the suspensions and merely issue a warning letter.NO. this is not the process that should be used.  The disputes panel instigate an investigation, and only if there is any evidence that they consider warrants a punishment do they act – and what they do is PASS IT TO THE NCC to make a decision on.

SHAME on the procedures committee for behaving in such an abusive manner. The procedures members: 

PROCEDURE COMMITTEE: There shall be a Procedures Committee to oversee the election process. The Procedures Committee will comprise of: • General Secretary (Returning Officer) • NEC Officers (Ann Black, Keith Birch, Diana Holland, Jim Kennedy, Paddy Lillis, Ellie Reeves, Mary Turner, Tom Watson) • Margaret Beckett MP • Glenis Willmott MEP

Now the sickening fallout is manifesting, still they care more about covering their butts than addressing the abuse they have visited on members treated in this manner.  The NEC are now looking to fudge it, sweep it all under the carpet by saying it wont happen again`.  BUT the point is it did happen, and unless the rules on the rights of the NEC to hand over the duties of the NCC to some any committee of their choosing is stopped then it will happen again. If not on the disciplinary process (and there is nothing to stop it happening it seems) then it will be on something else. First they came for …

This is the correct process, and the one that the disputes panel follows, but that the NEC allowed the procedures committee to throw out the window:

1. The alleged instances of that are investigated. All and any alleged evidence is compiled and sent to the member asap.

2. At the investigative stage of the process, it is not our practice to disclose the identities of anyone who has brought complaints to our attention. If the NEC Disputes Panel finds that further action is to be taken, the case would be referred to the National Constitutional Committee (NCC), a quasi-judiciary body. At this point, all such information is made available to respondents.

3. Informal interviews take part during the investigative stage of the disciplinary process. These are an opportunity for the member in question to respond to and rebut allegations that they have contravened Labour Party rules (example: 2.I.8 of the Party Rule Book: “No member of the Party shall engage in conduct which in the opinion of the NEC is prejudicial, or in any act which in the opinion of the NEC is grossly detrimental to the Party”).

The format for the interview is laid out for Party Staff by the NEC.

The “outcome”, as it were, of the interview, is that the investigating officer presents a report on the content and findings of the interview to the NEC Disputes Panel, along with a summary of the evidence brought against that member.

The Disputes Panel then comes to a decision on whether action is to be taken. If no action is to be taken, the member is informed and there is no change to their membership status whatsoever. If, however, the Disputes Panel decides that further action is to be taken, they refer the case to the NCC, who conduct a full hearing with all relevant parties and reach a decision, with a range of sanctions available to them.

If no action is to be taken, the member is informed and there is no change to their membership status whatsoever. If, however, the Disputes Panel decides that further action is to be taken, they refer the case to the NCC, who conduct a full hearing with all relevant parties and reach a decision, with a range of sanctions available to them.

If, however, the Disputes Panel decides that further action is to be taken, they refer the case to the NCC, who conduct a full hearing with all relevant parties and reach a decision, with a range of sanctions available to them.

BUT IN 2016 THE NEC HANDED OVER THE WHOLE PROCESS TO THE PROCEDURES COMMITTEE WHO SIMPLY THREW THIS OUT OF THE WINDOW.

The Procedures Committee not only showed no respect for the rule book, they showed no respect for the established process (and how the disputes panel interpreted the rule book re discipline as per conference), but surprise surprise, showed no respect for the tried and tested manner that unions hold employers too:

Employee suspensions Unison

`Your employer should give you a clear reason for the suspension and explain what other options have been explored instead of suspension. If you are suspended because of allegations against you, you are entitled to know what the allegations are.

Length of suspension: Your employer needs to do what they can to resolve the issue swiftly and keep the suspension to a minimum. Your employer should keep the suspension decision under review.`  

The Procedures committee immediately suspended members, took away their vote, did not consider other avenues, did not check context. Timely manner? Hahahaha  MONTHS AND MONTHS AND MONTHS and many still suspended.  Under review – nope FAIL months and months of members trying to gain the alleged evidenced, palmed off, ignored on and on and on.

It is the Procedures committee that needs investigating, and its powers curtailed so that such an appalling abuse of thousands of members by the Party cannot happen again.

aone

Are YOU prepared to tolerate the abuse ther Party metes out to members?

 

Ben Sellers: Duty of Care

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I don’t think it’s an outrageous suggestion that the Labour Party and other institutions of the Labour movement have some kind of a ‘duty of care’ for it’s members. I’m also going to suggest that, as a movement, we have a moral duty to protect, defend and support those who are picked off, bullied and witch-hunted, irrespective of the finer details of any disagreements we might have with them. Recently, one of the members of our Red Labour group has had their suspension rescinded, without an apology or explanation. We’ve seen the Labour members in Wallasey exonerated and countless examples of members who have had no information on their exclusions and suspensions, who have spent months in limbo. Some have even become notorious by their suspensions. I’m thinking of friends who have been abused in the street, shouted and spat at, have had lies told about them in the local and national press. But if they are ‘pardoned’, if things are swept under the carpet, is that all ok? Is it ‘natural justice’ to be defamed, to have been caused mental and even physical distress? Is that a situation we can tolerate and a party we can be proud of? I think not.

Recently, one of the members of our Red Labour group has had their suspension rescinded, without an apology or explanation. We’ve seen the Labour members in Wallasey exonerated and countless examples of members who have had no information on their exclusions and suspensions, who have spent months in limbo. Some have even become notorious by their suspensions. I’m thinking of friends who have been abused in the street, shouted and spat at, have had lies told about them in the local and national press. But if they are ‘pardoned’, if things are swept under the carpet, is that all ok? Is it ‘natural justice’ to be defamed, to have been caused mental and even physical distress? Is that a situation we can tolerate and a party we can be proud of? I think not.

I’m also going to suggest that, as a movement, we have a moral duty to protect, defend and support those who are picked off, bullied and witch-hunted, irrespective of the finer details of any disagreements we might have with them. Recently, one of the members of our Red Labour group has had their suspension rescinded, without an apology or explanation. We’ve seen the Labour members in Wallasey exonerated and countless examples of members who have had no information on their exclusions and suspensions, who have spent months in limbo. Some have even become notorious by their suspensions. I’m thinking of friends who have been abused in the street, shouted and spat at, have had lies told about them in the local and national press. But if they are ‘pardoned’, if things are swept under the carpet, is that all ok? Is it ‘natural justice’ to be defamed, to have been caused mental and even physical distress? Is that a situation we can tolerate and a party we can be proud of? I think not.

You see, much of this vile treatment has a political root: huge parts of it are caused by nasty, vindictive and bitter people within the party machine and local officials and “representatives” with a sense of entitlement which means that they think it’s ok to screw anyone over to preserve their power.

All this is done with impunity in “our” Labour Party, yet it has done untold damage to people’s reputation and people’s mental health. And while the blame lies firmly with these bitterites, whose goal it is to punish those responsible for taking their ball away, there’s something else going on: for what has “our side” of the party done about it? Mostly kept quiet, with some going even further – actively helping the people who are doing this to our comrades. Is this, in turn, acceptable? No, of course it isn’t – but some people, supposedly socialists, have made a Faustian pact to rid them of a temporary problem. Sod the long-term damage, there’s a scrap to win. I can’t think of a more disastrous strategy. That ‘duty of care’ extends to everyone who has taken part in this ‘revolution’. It’s not “owned by one, privileged group. It’s all of ours – and it’s not anyone’s to throw away.

Ben Sellers

 

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The disaster that is the Compliance Unit and the disciplinary (non) process carries on unabated. We have unnecessary suspensions (even where there was evidence of unsavoury words to simply suspend someone is ludicrous – at most all that was and is needed is a letter asking that the member desists – if they don`t then a warning letter).

But what is especially appalling is that the NEC knowingly allow the trust given them to use immediate suspension for an individual in extreme circumstances: of real threat to an individual or the reputation of the Party – for this mechanism to be used for thousands and thousands of members.  And this is an abuse of power, and the irony that it abuses members is not lost on us. Not to mention the irony that by this (non) process the reputation of the Party has been, and continues to be damaged. It is unbelievable that the Party for justice and fairness is guilty of meting out such treatment, and even when known, continues and cannot be stopped.

Then when the catalogue of errors comes to light the Party tries to cover its butt by LIFTING suspensions BUT issuing a Warning letter -EVEN THOUGH NO INVESTIGATION OCCURRED AND THE INDIVIDUAL DISPUTES THE ALLEGATION.  So we advised people to not accept the warning. Not only did the Party drag on the (non) investigations for month after month after month, failing to send alleged evidence to those they suspend, then not allowing a participatory investigation, then sending warning letters, then refusing to acknowledge a letter refusing the warning letter, then also refusing any appeal, they do all this to cover their own butt disregarding  the effect on members and with absolutely no respect for due process or natural justice. AND IT STILL CONTINUES.

We have laughed and cried at the same time at the manner and attitude of the NEC regarding this (non) process. The damage it has caused many individuals mentally and emotional is shocking.

Now they have stopped sending out Warning letters and have started blackmailing individuals. Same situation but not a warning letter but telling them we are lifting your suspension  but only if you sign a Pledge. The Pledge is:

Member’s Pledge:

I pledge to act within the spirit and rules of the Labour Party in my conduct both on and offline, with members and non-members and I stand against all forms of abuse. I understand that if found to be in breach of the Labour Party policy on online and offline abuse, I will be subject to the rules and procedures of the Labour Party
This is so Wooley and allows the NEC to interpret abuse how it wants. And if it does that in the manner it has to date then more damage will be done to the Party by them.  BUT what is worse is that they are sending this out as a blackmail condition, so changing the contract between some members and an unincorporated org (the party) but not for ALL members. And if anyone signs this on that basis when they are ALREADY a member (and so already in contract as per the rules like any other member) then they will be in effect allowing the Party to get away with branding them guilty – otherwise why else would the party demand they sign it? NO. Yet again Iain McNicol shows no regard for due process or natural justice. Members WILL NOT SIGN THIS!!

As for the interpretation and definition of abuse – clearly that must now be looked at – and most definitely a written definition of abuse, and it must be equitable. As it stands if a member calls an MP who took part in the attempted coup (something they did in such a disgusting manner by back room conspiring and linking with MSM rather than legitimately in an acceptable manner openly within the party) a BLAIRITE traitor then they are deemed such a threat that they are instantly suspended, BUT if you say how you could easily beat a party member physically, so long as , to the best of your knowledge you do it privately, even if it then becomes public, you are not guilty of abuse.

If the party wants to find you guilty they will manipulate and distort so called evidence to point that way, BUT if they want to find you innocent, likewise they will manipulate and distort, using different criteria, to find you innocent. WOW.  When they want to find you innocent they say `the context of how those comments were made, both her emotional state at the point the offending comments were made and who she was making the comments to, must be taken into account.` and we find ` we do not believe that Ms X is in clear breach of rule 2.I.8. As such, the Labour Party considers this matter closed. BUT if you call someone a blairite traitor then you ARE in breach of it.  How extraordinary that you can posture your physical ability to beat someone and not be in breach, BUT you can call someone a blairite traitor (after they have plotted and schemed outside of the accepted method of challenging a leader) and you ARE guilty.

ANY MEMBER WHO DOES NOT CONDEMN WHAT IS HAPPENING IS COMPLICIT. Evil flourishes when good men do nothing. The NEC cannot be entrusted with policing themselves on the disciplinary procedure. They have demonstrated that the rules are not sufficiently structured to ensure JUSTICE.

We demand that every member that is suspended or even just being subject to  investigation is notified and IMMEDIATELY sent the so called evidence to support the suspension. AND each such member must also be given the right to name an Advocate to look after their interest and to ensure that the Party uses due process, carries out any investigation in a reasonable time frame,  demonstrates respect for duty of care by responding to emails and letters and phone calls concerning the issue in a reasonable time frame. The full process must not be allowed to take months and months and months and months. If there is any situation that requires months that that should be obvious, and not  like the thousands of situations of months in this `purge` months for each person. and many STILL WAITING. WOW.

 

ajustice

STOP DIGGING – now the NEC and McNicol are effectively blackmailing members

That feeling when you have dug a hole for yourself but instead of stopping you continue digging.  Labour Party disciplinary (non) process: Australia, here we come!

New attempt to get out of the mess they created is to demand members who were unjustly suspended to sign the social media pledge before being unsuspended – even though the original accusation is not being upheld.

Most members will have heard about the appalling abusive (non) process adopted by the NEC against members.  We have laughed and cried at the irony of them accusing members of abuse, providing no evidence after months of demanding evidence, suspending people leaving them hanging unable to participate in meetings, ostracised by the Party with the accusation hanging over their heads. Yes the Labour Party abusing its own members with complete disregard for due process and natural justice – not to mention sheer common decency.

After many months people were having their suspensions lifted (and this still continues) having had no right of input, no participatory investigation, and still no evidence BUT unbelievable a paragraph in the letter unsuspending them saying the accusation will be left on file – a WARNING letter! So there we have the Party disciplinary system assuming GUILT and crazily offering no right of appeal. NO no and no. These Warning letters issued under these circumstances are not being accepted. It is mind boggling to know that Iain McNicol and the NEC actually thought that it was OK to assume guilt in this way.

Now we have a new development.  Initially they dug a hole for themselves by suspending people when that option was never used other than for real threats of physical violence or profound damage to the Party. It was an option that was given in trust to be used with a responsible attitude. Iain McNicol and the NEC failed and continue to fail in both – they have broken trust and failed in responsibility. They suspended THOUSANDS of members at the drop of a hat. One crazy example  resulting from trawling social media with auto search apps was suspending someone for using the word `RAT` which they decided without it going through proper process was and is now a proscribed word lol BUT what is even crazier is that a member made a tweet using the word `democrat` and got suspended for it. Now even if you consider the disciplinary dept has the right to discipline someone for using the word `rat`, to use the option to SUSPEND pending an investigation is appalling. And then it gets worse, they don`t actually bother with a participatory investigation.

So they sent out Warning letters based on assumed guilt, and members said No we are not accepting the Warning letter – take it off or, having suspended me, give me the right to defend myself against the accusation.

It now seems they have stopped sending out Warning letters in such circumstances (wonder whether they actually saw how unjust that is huh?) and are trying the tac of sending out letters saying the person is unsuspended BUT before that can be fully processed they have to sign and return a letter stating that they agree to respect the new social media pledge thus:

Dear,

.
I am pleased to inform you that your administrative suspension from the Labour Party will be lifted and that you will be free to resume active membership conditional upon receipt of a signed copy of the Members Pledge (attached).

.
I would like to draw your attention specifically to Chapter 2 of the Labour Party Rule Book which states:

.
“No member of the Party shall engage in conduct which in the opinion of the NEC is prejudicial, or in any way in the opinion of the NEC is grossly detrimental to the Party”.

.
We look forward to receiving a signed copy of the Members Pledge attached to your email (please send either by post to the London address above or a scanned copy by return email). We hope that this matter is now behind you and we welcome you back to full membership of the Party.

.

Yours sincerely,
Iain McNicol
General Secretary of the Labour Party Labour Party

.
Member’s Pledge
I pledge to act within the spirit and rules of the Labour Party in my conduct both on and offline, with members and non-members and I stand against all forms of abuse. I understand that if found to be in breach of the Labour Party policy on online and offline abuse, I will be subject to the rules and procedures of the Labour Party

Firstly this pledge has never been discussed and adopted and agreed by conference BUT even more chilling is that they are sending this out to members who were suspended and demanding they sign it even though they have not had a proper investigation – so again assumed guilt.

NO, not acceptable. Our advice to anyone being blackmailed in this manner is to write back and say that you do not understand why you are specifically being asked to sign this pledge. Firstly the suspension is lifted and so there is no case to answer so why the pledge. 

Secondly, my membership is continuous and unless you tell me that all current members are being send the same pledge to be signed in order for their membership to be continued then I shall not be signing it. 

 

holememe

Hearing today. We will update as news comes in.

`It is scandalous that Wadsworth was suspended by the general secretary, Iain McNicol, because he dared to challenge a Labour MP who was a high-profile opponent of the democratically elected Labour leader, and raise the issue of black political under-representation at the launch of the Shami Chakrabarti report into antisemitism and racism. Fortunately, the moment when Wadsworth spoke out was captured on a video that has been widely publicised by the media. It clearly demonstrates he is not guilty of antisemitism.

We note that Wadsworth has a long record of fighting against racism and antisemitism, inside and outside the Labour party and trade union movement, and demand that he is reinstated immediately.`
Herman Ouseley Chair, Kick it Out, Linda Bellos, Peter Tatchell, Prof Paul Gilroy, Prof Gus John, Prof Pat Thane, Suresh Grover The Monitoring Group, Stafford Scott Tottenham Rights, Dr Iqbal Scram, Peter Herbert Society of Black Lawyers, Simon Woolley Operation Black Vote, Jackie Walker, Orson Nava, Gary Younge

 

We call on Labour’s general secretary to lift the unjust suspension from Labour membership of veteran anti-racist campaigner Marc Wadsworth. Guardian letter

 

amarc

 

At the launch of the Shami Chakrabarti report into anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, black activist Marc Wadsworth said:

“I saw that the Telegraph handed a copy of a press release to Ruth Smeeth MP so you can see who is working hand in hand. If you look around this room, how many African Caribbean and Asian people are there? We need to get our house in order.”

You can see the video of him saying it on the Independent website here.

Sky News has been reporting this, I think gleefully is the word, in its headlines all afternoon as an “anti-Semitic attack” on Ms Smeeth. Sky have not however shown what he actually said, although they had cameras at the event, and their journalist who was present described the comments without qualification as anti-Semitic without saying what the comment actually was.

Mr Wadsworth denies knowing Ms Smeeth is Jewish. I have no idea if that is true; I didn’t know myself, nor care. But neither what Wadsworth actually said, not his denial that he knew she is Jewish, is being reported by the broadcast media. What is being reported very widely is Ms Smeeth’s subsequent statement:

“I was verbally attacked by a Momentum activist and Jeremy Corbyn supporter who used traditional anti-Semitic slurs to attack me for being part of a “media conspiracy”. It is beyond belief that someone could come to the launch of a report about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party and espouse such vile conspiracy theories against Jewish people.”

Ms Smeeth’s statement contains one stark dishonesty. She puts “media conspiracy” in inverted commas, when Mr Wadsworth did not use the phrase, or even either of those two words separately. Ms Smeeth appears to have deliberately misrepresented what Mr Wadsworth said, which I presume she checked.

Sky News has been reporting this, I think gleefully is the word, in its headlines all afternoon as an “anti-Semitic attack” on Ms Smeeth.

 

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