Following our Open Letter, to Iain McNicol, Tom Watson, the NEC and Jeremy Corbyn as party leader, and petition, we received the following Tuesday November 22, from Tom Watson or someone in his team.
I have replied but first Tom's email reply:
"Thank you for your email Eileen.
As I said in my speech to conference earlier this year, the 11 years of Labour government between 1997 and 2008 were a completely unbroken period of economic growth.
We made the economy work like never before or since; and we lifted half a million children out of poverty; and lifted a million pensioners out of poverty; and gave millions of low paid workers the decency of a national minimum wage; and introduced a radically redistributive system of tax credits; and winter fuel payments, free TV licences, free bus travel for older people.
More than 100 new hospitals, more than 200,000 new doctors, nurses, teachers, police officers, firefighters – bringing waiting lists down, school standards up, crime down. More than doubling our overseas aid budget.
I know we didn't get everything right, and I know that some people have strong objections to some of Tony Blair's policies. I respect that. But to use the word Blairite as a term of abuse is something I cannot support.
I agree with you that any talk of splitting is reckless and short sighted and serves only to rob the working people we seek to represent of a voice in Parliament. Equally reckless is launching ourselves into a war with our past, to try and discredit our own record in government. That's doing the Tory's job for them.
The work of the compliance team is tough and sometimes controversial. It's right that they work to tackle abusive behaviour and behaviour not appropriate in our party. With that said it's also right that the NEC, elected by members oversees that process and has the final say on suspensions. Ultimately it's not party staff that decide to suspend people it's the NEC. Our staff work tirelessly and diligently and deserve our respect and gratitude.
I know we may not agree, but I appreciate your candour and I hope you'll stay in touch.
Like me you may note that Mr Watson has not really addressed the issue of fair play when it comes to allegations of abuse.
So my quick reply back:
"Thank you for your response which is appreciated.
The way I and many others see it is some people have been suspended for silly spats online. That undermines justice when there is real abuse.
No decent person thinks it is right to be abusive online but social media does get heated. People are often baited into saying something they would not say face to face and are then reported to the NEC.
But all the Labour purge has done is remove those reported. It has done nothing to address real abuse.
Some members were simply prevented from voting in the leadership race and have now had their suspension overturned.
That has led to people concluding it was more about removing voting rights than abuse. The timing of the purge was telling.
As for calling a person a traitor if you think someone has let you down or betrayed you that is the word you use.
Sharing a report in the Independent late last night "independent.co.uk/news/uk/politi…" I wondered if at some future date I could be purged because of that word Blairite.
I joined the party April 2015 but have voted Labour all of my voting life as did my parents before me. As I told a local Labour councillor in many ways I wish I had not joined. Ignorance as they say can be bliss.
But I did and I believe in fair play.
If Tony Blair is allowed to call Corbyn a "nutter" and other MPs and Labour veterans able to be abusive online the party obviously has no concept of fair play.
Last week you visited Israel along with Luke Akehurst a man who has been abusive online many times.
That joint venture is a bad look.
Having worked in housing benefits and then for the NHS in administrative roles pre retirement yes I know first hand that the Labour Party made some positive changes for us all.
In my opinion it is nothing to do with bad mouthing Blair's Labour years but is more about getting the party back to its roots.
Jeremy Corbyn is a breath of fresh air and could already be well on his way toward election success if the Labour Party had not spent a year infighting, trying to remove him and more.
Having attended a Jeremy Corbyn rally and an Owen Smith gathering on separate occasions in Hull for me it had to be Corbyn all the way.
If it matters I voted for Andy Burnham and yourself in 2015 but unlike many in the PLP I respected the election result.
I am not alone in believing some in the PLP acted disgracefully this year and as yet they have to be held to account.
Until there becomes one rule for all I cannot accept your comments about the word Blairite.
Our initial petition at 38 degrees was pulled so please sign and share "Apply fairness in the Labour Party treating senior members and ordinary members equitably" if you are in agreement with the petition's aims.
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