Mail shot copy sent to us by a friend highlights how some within the Labour Party are already showing their true colours and it is not LABOUR RED:
"We intend to contribute constructively to the debate about how we build on Thursday’s results and return Labour to government, and to continue to ensure that the voices of moderate party members are heard, that the rulebook is upheld and enforced, and that important policy positions that were maintained in the manifesto, such as Trident renewal, are stuck to.
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell writes in the Labour Briefing:
WE HAVE TO ALERT PARTY MEMBERS and supporters that the soft coup is underway. It’s planned, co-ordinated and fully resourced. It is being perpetrated by an alliance between elements in the Labour Party and the Murdoch media empire, both intent on destroying Jeremy Corbyn and all that he stands for.
The coup is not being waged up front in public but strictly behind the scenes.
Having learned the lesson of the last coup attempt - that a direct attack on Jeremy and his policies will provoke a backlash from many party members - the coup perpetrators are this time round pursuing a covert strategy.
The aim of these covert coup plotters is to undermine the support Jeremy has secured among Labour Party members, and also importantly to undermine support from Labour voters. Undermining support for Jeremy from Labour voters is important to the plotters because their objective is to ensure Jeremy trails in the polls and can’t win elections.
In this way they can destroy morale among party members and their confidence in him.
The tactics include daily and constant behind-the-scenes non-attributable briefings against Jeremy and his Shadow Cabinet every time he or his shadow ministers make a statement, intervene in Parliament or launch a policy.
The plotters use every opportunity to chip away at Jeremy’s standing to seek to demean him and undermine support for him in the Labour Party and among Labour supporters.
This constant barrage of negative briefings also crowds out any positive initiatives or narrative from Jeremy and his team. It also feeds and confirms in the public’s mind that the Labour Party is split.
The plotters are effective in distorting the media coverage because they have extensive contacts and allies in the media, many inherited from Mandelson’s days.
The professional planning of interventions in which attacks to undermine Jeremy are framed evidences an exceptionally well resourced ‘dark arts’ operation of the old spin school. The coup plotters are willing to sacrifice the Party at elections just to topple Jeremy and prevent a socialist leading the Party. It is more important to them that they regain control of the Party than it is to win elections.
The irony is that they are willing to go so far in denigrating Jeremy that they endanger their own parliamentary seats and endanger the very existence of the party they want to use to get into power. We saw the methods they use with the leaking of the Party’s internal polling. This was a carefully planned and executed operation.
Let’s use it as a case example.
Both quantitative and qualitative polling is undertaken by the Party regularly under the direction of Jon Trickett, the Party’s National Campaign Co-ordinator. Jon arranged for one focus group to be carried out by the Party’s polling agency in Manchester to assess how our frontbench members appearing on television programmes at the time were being perceived in the north west.
This polling took place back in November and its results were only accessible to a small number of party officials, Jon Trickett and the polling agency.
To this day I have still not seen the results.
The polling was leaked by someone to James Lyons, a Times journalist who has regularly received leaks from within the Labour Party - usually used to attack Jeremy and his team.
The Murdoch media had already run earlier in the week fake news stories in The Times and Sun alleging that Jeremy was planning to stand down as leader of the Party.
No matter how many times it was explained that this story was completely untrue and absolute fiction, the The Times and Sun continued to run it - and the BBC and other broadcast media took it up and reported it extensively. The media then invented the story that the polling on the perception of Shadow Cabinet members in the north west was the Party testing the perceptions of potential successors to Jeremy.
This was a classic negative story framing and transmission exercise. It is just one example of what we confront on a weekly and at times almost daily basis. It is vitally important that our supporters understand and appreciate what we are facing. What we are experiencing is completely predictable and expected. Spreading that understanding of what we are up against enables us all to organise how we can fight back and overcome the soft coup strategy.
We all have an important role to play in explaining what we are facing and how, by standing together, we can defeat the plotters again.
This is the testing time for the Corbyn transformation.
The challenges are great and the times are tough - but we all know that this is the socialist opportunity of a lifetime.
We previously shared the story of one man still suspended from the Labour Party who is fighting his suspension every step of the way.
Monday he received the following email from the person appointed to assess and investigate his alleged "abuse" or other reason for suspension from the party.
Dear Mr *******
I have received your letter.
As you will be aware, the Labour Party implemented a robust validation process for all votes in this year’s leadership contest to ensure every vote cast is eligible according to the Party’s rules and agreed procedures. The validation process is fully compliant with all areas of UK law including the Data Protection Act. All decisions are made by the majority decision of a panel of 3 NEC members - these particular NEC members have been chosen to sit on this panel by the NEC. Once a decision is made to take further action in any particular case, a member of the compliance team reviews the specific circumstances of the applicant and takes the most appropriate action, as laid out in the Rule Book.
I am sorry to hear that you are unwilling to participate in an interview.
A report of will be made to the National Executive Committee’s Disputes Panel at the earliest practicable opportunity on the investigation on the basis of the information we have. That report will be written using all of the information that we have available to us. This is your opportunity to contribute to that investigation and it’s important to make you aware that the NEC Disputes Panel will consider that report whether you participate in this investigation or not.
I will provide you with the evidence we are using in this case prior to any interview with sufficient time for you to read it over.
I would appreciate your cooperation in reconsidering your refusal to participate in an interview.
Governance and Legal Unit
The Labour Party
My friend and comrade has replied and shared that reply below:
Thank you for your reply and boiler plate letter of which I know has been sent to many others who feel the same way as myself. There must be so many if a boiler plate letter is required.
With respect, I feel I have made it very clear that I have no intention of taking part in a inquisitorial style telephone interview; particularly one with none of the protections that one would expect from any organisation claiming to respect people's right to natural justice and due process.
This telephone inquisition is designed to bypass, and expedite normal procedures due to a complete farce of Mr McNichols and the NEC's own making. Moreover to try to attempt to pacify the massive dissent due to the disgraceful treatment of decent long standing members who have been victimised by this process.
I will not discuss my position over the telephone to someone I do not know or indeed have never met.
Further, to try to bypass normal procedures for expediency, says more about Labour Party power brokers disregard of membership rights than I ever could.
I think my emails over the past 6 months for all the requested evidence and appeal requests thus far which are still being ignored, makes my position very clear.
I note also that my direct debit has been taken over a week early and as a consequence of that I insist that my membership is restored to full voting rights and I expect an apology for the disgraceful treatment of myself for doing nothing more than affirming my lawful right to freely associate and express satirical comment.
If I am good enough to pay my membership, as has been the case for decades, I am good enough to have full membership rights.
I consider that the Labour Party may be in breach of contract at this point by claiming a direct debit with the intention of still denying me voting rights and membership services I am due and entitled to.
I will be issuing another SAR in due course to ensure all my emails are on file, as some of my previous emails are not shown on my last SAR or have failed to be disclosed as requested
I do have copies of all corespondence that the Labour Party has received.
Thank you for your time.
The following has been sent to Labour Party Secretary Iain McNicol and others. It is fairly self-explanatory:
Dear Mr. McNicol,
I was pleased to finally hear from you, lifting my suspension from the Labour Party, but I have deep concerns about how my case was “investigated” and find it unacceptable that a warning will remain on my file indefinitely.
This whole process of suspending, expelling and disenfranchising members due to “alleged comment on social media” flies against all laws of natural justice.
1) Your suspension letter did not inform me of the right to appeal or the appeal process.
2) I was suspended on comments I allegedly made on social media. No details were given so I was unable to submit an appeal. I therefore submitted a notice of appeal and a request for further information about the allegations so that I could properly defend them. I heard nothing more until your letter of 31st October, lifting the suspension.
3) My alleged use of the word “traitor” in connection with MPs Hillary Benn and Jessie Phillips (I cannot find the original tweets) were said to have been made in June 2016, whereas I believe it was not decided by the NEC that this was a prohibited word until July 2016, therefore it is wholly wrong to apply this rule retrospectively. As far as categorising the use of this word as offensive goes, in the case of these two MPs their actions last summer – briefing negatively to the media about the elected leader (and in Phillips’ case also swearing publicly at colleagues) – appear to fit the dictionary description of the word “traitor.
4) Some high profile Labour members and MPs have been allowed to use offensive language on social media and in public, seemingly without incurring any sanctions (I have already given you details about this), therefore the rules appear to have been applied unequally.
5) To issue a formal NEC warning, which will be kept on my file indefinitely, is unjust and disturbs me greatly. This needs to be reviewed.
6) It was not explained what form the investigation took, which led to my being “unsuspended” and if there was an investigation, why was I not allowed to defend myself?
Your letter expresses the hope that this matter is now behind me.
Well, no, it is not.
There remain many unresolved issues and unanswered questions surrounding “this matter”. I was suspended from the Party, not allowed to participate in meetings, unable to become a GC delegate for my local ward, my vote was not counted and I still stand unjustly accused of alleged offenses, under the category of “racist, abusive or foul language or behaviour”.
I was extremely upset by being accused of behaviour which I find abhorrent and will not be able to put this matter behind me until I, and the thousands of others in this situation, receive some form of justice.
I would like:
· A full, independent inquiry into the actions of the NEC in suspending, expelling and disenfranchising thousands of members during the leadership election.
· An apology to all those members who were unjustly “purged” for flimsy reasons and on flimsy or false evidence and that the warning be removed from their files.
[ Thanks for sharing ]
Email received November 15, 2016
Thank you for your continued support for the Stop the Labour Purge Campaign
Publicity has gone out and we are expecting a good turnout for our National Conference on Saturday, November 26th in Nottingham. Tickets are still available from this link
Speakers will include ASLEF President Tosh McDonald, Labour NEC rep Christine Shawcroft, Momentum Steering Committee member Jill Mountford and the elected chair of Brighton & Hove Labour Party, Mark Sandell.
We will have a series of workshops that will allow and encourage all attendees to participate, share their stories and plan the practical action we need to campaign for reinstatement of expelled comrades and for a democratic and pluralist labour party where debate and discussion not bureaucratic wrangling are how differences are resolved.
The last Labour NEC meeting started lifting some of the suspensions - which is good news, BUT for many the alleged offences leading to suspension remain on file without any hearing and could be activated at any time in the future.
The NEC also continued the suspension of both Wallasey CLP and Brighton DLP – and in Brighton suspended or expelled 14 other members – including the elected chair Mark Sandell. As with all the other suspensions and expulsions there has been no opportunity for members to make their voices heard.
Wallasey CLP officers have prepared an extensive and full rebuttal of the un-evidenced allegations against them. Although that will not be officially released until a few days after our conference. We are pleased to say that they will be able to address some of the issues regarding their suspension at our conference.
Democracy and an end to abuses of power of the Party still needs to be won. We hope to plan a campaign over the coming months and years to achieve that, so will you join us?
The conference is at the Queens Walk Community Centre, Nottingham. Registration starting at 11am. We hope to see you there. (click this link to buy tickets)
Pp Labour Stop The Purge"
Event brite info:
So I haven’t blogged for a long time, and the two main reasons for this are laziness and Twitter (which of course reinforce each other).
Further to receipt of data relating to my recent subject access request, however, it seems appropriate to make the effort to document the anatomy of my suspension (or purge) from the Labour Party.
There are several facets to this and I’m not going to deal with every conceivable possibility or interpretation – I’m just going to give a basic overview, along with what I consider to be a plausible narrative. People are of course at liberty to read and make up their own minds. I also make no apologies for any lack of coherence – blogging amid childcare and the Lego Movie is *hard*.
Anyways, just before running through things, I should just say that I’ve deliberated carefully about disclosing the identity of the individual who reported me to Labour’s Validation team. After all, as will be seen, this person made clear in her email that she feared her identity becoming known to me. Ultimately, however, I’ve decided that the public interest value of disclosure outweighs this person’s right to privacy – a specious right in any case, in view of what is assuredly a reprehensible and defamatory email.
So here’s the complete chronology, which – for completeness – begins at the beginning.
1. 9th September – I receive a letter signed by Iain McPurgester, sorry I mean Iain *McNicol*, explaining that I have been suspended from the Labour Party due to “Comments… posted on social media”, comments that purportedly breach a rule brought in specially for the Leadership election relating to “abusive” behaviour.
2. 12th September – I write to Iain McNicol to appeal my suspension, asking for further details about the alleged breach (specifically, the comments concerned). At the same time, I submit a subject access request for all data held by the party concerning me and/or my suspension.
3. Around 26th September (I can’t be sure of the date as I’ve temporarily misplaced the document) – I receive a letter from Mike Creighton, Labour’s Director of Audit and Risk Management, explaining that my subject access request is to be processed, but that it may take longer than the statutory 40 days.
4. 24th October – I receive an email from Phil Gaskin, Labour South West Regional Director, stating that he has been instructed by the General Secretary to investigate my case, and informing me that he will be in touch soon to arrange an interview. The same day, I write back to Phil to advise that, while I have no objections to a meeting, this can only reasonably happen once I have received the information requested in my appeal letter.
5. 26th October – I receive all data from the Labour Party relating to my subject access request, but no response to my substantive appeal. The data provided, however, allows me to piece together a chronology of my suspension. This chronology, along with the relevant evidence, is as follows:
a) 22nd July – an email is sent to Validation by a Labour official expressing “concern” that I have “tweeted abusive language to Owen Smith MP”. It isn’t clear who sent this email, or indeed how the person came upon my “abusive” tweets, but from their citing of my membership number, it was evidently someone with access to the membership database. Alongside this email are copies of three tweets – two concerning Owen Smith, and a third concerning Gaby Hinsliff…
What to say about these tweets? Well, to be sure, they’re not complementary. But are they any more “abusive” than Owen Smith’s conduct during the Leadership campaign? I’m thinking specifically, though not exclusively, about his constant insinuations that Corbyn had fostered anti-Semitism within the party, which were an absolute disgrace and will forever stain his record as an MP.
b) 25th July – Emma Clifford, a Labour member, emails the Validation team off the back of this Twitter exchange, claiming I “push the boundaries regularly”, that I hold “strong views about Israel”, and pointing to the fact I stood for TUSC in 2014. Clifford attaches multiple screengrabs and files, including one tweet of mine that obliquely references Luke Akehurst’s role as Chief Exec of the lobby group “We Believe in Israel”.
The general “McCarthyism” of this email aside, what I find particularly distasteful (yet at the same time revealing) is the citing of a blog post with the clear intention of casting me as anti-Semitic. That’s an allegation I not only refute, but consider defamatory. For Clifford’s benefit, I can confirm that the person who runs the blog concerned is a right-wing Israeli named Ora, whose raison d’etre is seemingly to smear anti-zionists and BDS activists, and with whom I’d had a run in on Twitter just prior to her libellous blog post.
Regards the TUSC thing, yes, it’s true, I ran for local council as a TUSC candidate in 2014. I’ve never made any secret of this, and indeed discussed it up-front with my CLP on first joining Labour. My CLP Exec was happy with my reasons (namely that I’d stood as a trade unionist disillusioned with Labour, not as a member of any of TUSC’s constituent parties) and duly permitted me not only to take on an Exec role, but also to stand as a Labour candidate in the 2016 local elections.
One final thing here. It seems that the Owen Smith-supporting Emma Clifford isn’t averse to Twitter “abuse”, provided it’s of the “right” kind. Here she is, for example, retweeting the foul-mouthed Tom Atkinson:
And, just for the avoidance of doubt, here’s Clifford confirming (very early on) her support for Owen Smith:
d) 3rd September – an email is sent from a member of Labour’s Compliance/Validation team to an unidentified person I presume to be Clifford, confirming that I am to be reported to the NEC. The email references an earlier conversation between the two persons concerned and also refers to an “October meeting”, implying – to me – a degree of familiarity that is concerning. The email also advises that the decision to report me to the NEC is based on what they have turned up googling, rather than what the person concerned (presumably Clifford) has told them, which seems wholly implausible, while also suggesting a degree of conspiracy.
e) 7th September – an email from an unidentified Labour official to a second unidentified official, titled “Please reinstate”, advises that my “AE” has been changed to “Suspended”, and that I’m not to receive a ballot for the Leadership election. The same day, a note is added to the membership database stating that my AE has been “rescinded and changed to suspension”. A corresponding note added to another part of the database confirms that my suspension is for “Abusive Conduct”.
So where does all this leave me? Well, as far as I can make out, in quite a favourable position, insofar as my candidacy for TUSC has clearly been scrutinised and judged, rightly, not to be an issue (I presume my more recent candidacy for Labour was decisive in this regard), while my suspension is seemingly based merely on three tweets: two to Owen Smith that, in my opinion, were far less egregious than the way Owen Smith conducted himself during the Leadership election (is Owen going to be suspended? I don’t think so), and a third, ridiculously innocuous one to Gaby Hinsliff.
If a regional rep really wishes to travel to Cheltenham to interview me about these three tweets, they are welcome to do so, though I’m thinking that’s a pretty colossal waste of time and money. If, on the other hand, a regional rep would like to travel to see me to (a) apologise profusely for suspending me on wholly spurious grounds; and (b) discuss the apparent collusion between Owen Smith-supporting Labour members and Labour Party officials, then I’ll happily clear my schedule.
Anyways, that’s enough. I’m bushed, and my kids, in the absence of parental supervision for the past two hours, have started a bloody riot.
[Thanks to Joe Sucksmith for sharing his blog which can be found at the BlogoBot here]
[On our main site we have two new posts pertaining to the so-called #LabourPurge2 and the farce it has become or maybe it always was? "Labour Party adopts ASDA practices re member suspensions" and "Since when was the word traitor so abusive? The following is from Di Coffey suspended from the party and follows her receipt of the requested SARS paperwork]
"Today I received my Subject Access Request (SAR) details and it appears my Facebook posts did not, as previously stated by [Iain] McNicol, bring about my suspension. It was my tweets and re-tweets that brought about my downfall.
I attach pics and apologise for none of my comments except that had I noticed the words, "angela eagle rat", I would not have re-tweeted it. All my tweets and re-tweets were made in response to the despicable conduct of those Labour MPs who have venomously attacked Jeremy Corbyn from the moment he was first elected as leader in September 2015.
If my tweets and retweets have been considered so abusive as to warrant my suspension, I am very glad I recently made the decision to quit the party and spare myself the ordeal of defending my online comments at a regional tribunal.
I still cannot believe the party I have supported for decades has been responsible for closing down freedom of speech for its members while giving full rein to Corbyn's PLP detractors to bad mouth him on TV and in the Tory press.
The 'old guard' NEC and Iain McNicol have a lot to answer for.
UPDATE: Someone kindly pointed out something I had missed. The words 'Angela Eagle rat' were words the snooper software translated from the words, 'Angela Eagle' and 'rationale'. So I hadn't missed the word "rat" after all. Gawd - it's beyond a farce now.
Note from the Editor:
We are Di Coffey and stand with her and others treat so shamefully. SOLIDARITY
There are so many tales of Labour Party suspension out there.
Some people have managed to get that suspension lifted allowing them to vote in the ongoing leadership election and attend conference if they planned to.
Others are not so lucky.
"Jim was a Labour Councillor for 34 years on the County, Borough and Parish; he was also a Labour Parliamentary Candidate in Milton Keynes in 1983; a Member of the National Policy Forum for 10 years; a Party Conference Delegate on five occasions; a member of his local CLP, EC and GMC and a Political Education and Black and Minority Officer."
But there is more.
"He is also an ex full-time GMB London Regional Officer of 8 years standing and involved as National Executive of the University and College Union for nine years."
Jim is 73-years-old and registered disabled.
I came across Jim Thakoordin on Facebook when he angrily shared news of his suspension from the Labour Party.
Jim had planned on going to conference and had already booked his accomodation meaning that you can add financial pain to his anger and hurt.
Jim wrote "Suspended from the Party after 53 years as an activist, including PPC in 1983 and Councillor 34 years. The suspension took place forthwith from last Friday, just over 2 weeks since I had a heart operation, and with no proof and no right of appeal before 24 September, as well as declaring my vote for Corbyn 3 weeks ago, null and void. Also banned fron being a CLP delegate at Conference and holding any office within the Party. The hotel has refused to refund our £504 in booking."
Jim has received support from friends and some comrades and has replied:
THANK YOU COMRADES. I AM TOUCHED BY YOUR KIND SUPPORT. LET US SHOW THE PARTY BUREAUCRATS WHAT WE ARE MADE OF.
"Thank you comrades for your encouragement and support. It is on such occasions we know who our real comrades are. Together we are stronger. The fight has been started by the Party bureaucrats and those opposed to Corbyn and the majority of Party members who are behind Corbyn. It is our duty to fight back. Those who are opposed to Corbyn within the PLP are seeking to force changes and so called unity, on their own terms, which would result in neutering Corbyn and his socialist dreams. We cannot turn back now, we must push forward. No compromise on Party democracy. Party members are the life blood of this Party and so say ALL OF US. In solidarity always."
If that is contentious I am the Queen of England.
Most online friends suspended from the party are fighting back but at least one has simply resigned and that is not because she is guilty as charged.
It is because aged 70 plus, with a range of problems including poor health she is unable to take any more.
I hope the Labour Party and its General Secretary Mr Iain McNicol are proud of themselves.
Jennie Formby: Labour's new general secretary