We are beginning to see some lifting of Expulsions coming through that cite `admin error`. Here is an extract:
`Please accept our apology for the error that ended your membership and for any concern and inconvenience to yourself.
When you call to re-join, you will be given the option to either start your membership anew, from the date you are re-instated, or to pay the fees not collected and backdate your membership to the date of your exclusion and so have continuity of membership.`
All pretty bland and robotic isn`t it. The reality on the ground is that these letters are going out to real people, people who have been profoundly hurt and affected by their experience, including the complete lack of care and lack of communication concerning their expulsion. And now this paltry and dismissive letter showing no remorse and no recompense. Extraordinarily the letter tells them they have to call to re-join, and also fails to state that if they do not back date their payments to when they were first expelled that their right to vote in any further leadership election (as well as other issues) could be affected (remember the six month freeze date!).
It seems to me that any sincere sense of remorse, apology, would have at the very least stated that someone from the Party would contact them shortly to complete the formalities and by way of apology we will be covering the cost of membership from when we expelled you. Please also advise us of any other financial loses you suffered due to our error. We will also be writing to your CLP secretary to inform them of our error and suggesting an announcement is made to welcome you back and further pointing out that you should not be referred to in future as `the expelled one`. Please let us know if you encounter any local difficulties.
What would you think and feel if you were the following case of Vic Jenkins and the `inconvenience` referred to by the Party? :
`Lost my vote in the leadership election
Lost my place at conference
Booked and paid for 4 nights in Liverpool
Had to tell my mum and many others to disapproval I have been expelled from the Party
Get referred to as the expelled member from now on at branch and CLP meetings in my absence
Lost chance to stand for 6 positions at CLP or branch
Lost chance to run the event and fundraiser I had conceived and was working on and attended as ‘the expelled member’
Had 2 and a half months not knowing what the process or my position was. Was spoken to like an annoyance to get rid of by L.P. staff.
Heard the `no smoke without fire` jibe from another party member. Who knows what other people are thinking?
Felt, and continue to feel, stressed and down about it.
No, that’s not been an `inconvenience` …
In addition to the above the amount of emotional energy it took and actual time out of my life. Also the inability to attend meetings and have my say effect the process. Also stemming from that the lack of contact with people I had developed friendships, working relationships with and not knowing if I would ever be getting back in to work alongside them. I am pleased but also angry.` Vic Jenkins
Errors Every Step of the Way