#McNicol letter brings Labour into disrepute; #Wallasey vice-Chair refutes

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Ten days ago, The SKWAWKBOX reported that Wallasey CLP (Constituency Labour Party) vice-Chair Paul Davies was under threat of expulsion (not merely suspension) from the party for refuting false allegations against his CLP.

This blog has obtained correspondence – startling correspondence, in this writer’s opinion – between Labour General Secretary Iain McNicol and Mr Davies.

As regular readers will know, this blog has an extremely low opinion of Mr McNicol’s fitness for his post, yet his letter to Mr Davies still left this writer stunned by its crassness and hubris. Mr Davies’ reply stands in stark contrast as a reasoned and restrained response.

The letter from McNicol to Davies, which he appears to have signed in person for a change, is below. Comments on the highlighted sections follows immediately after:

from-iian-mcnicol-p1-001

from-iain-mcnicol-p2-001

  • As Paul Davies’ response below indicates, no insinuation was made that the CLP’s response to the allegations of homophobia, abuse and intimidation was an official party document
  • McNicol’s statement that the party should simply ‘move on’ and ‘heal divisions’ is unbelievably crass. At least one concocted accusation against Davies has been proven beyond question to have been false, while others simply do not make sense or stand up to scrutiny – and the official investigation report continues to insinuate that threats made were by Wallasey members when no evidence suggests this is true and, in one case, the one person who is known to have made a threat was not a Labour member and lived in Scotland; moreover, Wallasey’s Labour MP and her staff continue to insist that they received abuse and that a brick thrown through the MP’s office window was not through her office window, was not even a brick and no link has been made to any Labour member.

    In these circumstances, to imply that ‘healing divisions’ is possible when people making false allegations continue in post is ridiculous – let alone that it is Davies’ responsibility to heal them or ‘make unity possible’. It is not possible – until the NEC investigates the right people and brings them to book

  • To allege that Davies wants ‘an opportunity to further aggravate the ongoing situation’ is not just insulting but libellous. Seeking to clear your name when falsely accused is laudable, not being difficult or aggravating – and nobody should be expected to lie down and accept defamation just to keep unworthy people happy

Now we’ll let Mr Davies respond in his own words – a response which he sent to Mr McNicol at the beginning of this week. His reply is moderately long, but it’s worth reading all the way through to understand his perspective and get a feel for his justifiable outrage at the way the situation has been created and exploited. Emphases in bold italics are added by the SKWAWKBOX:

Dear Mr McNicol

Re: Wallasey CLP  your ref A414096

I did not respond sooner to your letter of 29th November 2016 as you have still not responded to my letter to you of 24th October (attached for your convenience)  nor to the 102 page document submitted to you jointly by the officers of the CLP. I nevertheless thought I should to you write prior to the Disputes Committee meeting so that this response is at least on record.

From the contents of your letter it would appear that, once again, you have been misinformed.

The 102 page document was not released to the press. Several reporters contacted me asking for an update. I told them that we were submitting a response  but that it was confidential. Most were not interested in running a story unless they could have a copy.

You state that the NEC report did not single out any person. This is not true as reference was made to the alleged actions of the CLP Secretary and despite [redacted] knowing prior to presenting the NEC report  what actually happened  the actions  of the Secretary  were misrepresented. I refer to this on page 2 of my letter 24/1016.

Like you I regret that I had to resort to speaking to the press or attending Public Meetings at any stage during this whole sorry process but unfortunately nobody from the Labour Party has ever come to the defence of Wallasey CLP or its members.

Indeed you have not even written to our members telling them they are suspended or why. We were told that they could learn about it from the Press!  No one bothered to meet officers of the CLP regarding the suspension until last week.

I would remind you of the penultimate paragraph in my letter of the 24th October when I refer to the Report presented to the NEC re Wallasey CLP;

“Rather than us all individually countering the mistakes and clarifying the Report it would be preferable if the Labour Party did this for us. I believe that you owe a duty of care to all your members including both those who allege homophobia and those  whose conduct has been misrepresented by the contents of your Report and the accompanying press coverage”

You have done nothing to publicly clarify that the majority of members present at the AGM did not witness the alleged Homophobia. You have done nothing to publicly clarify that the death threat referred to in the NEC Report had nothing to do with Wallasey members. You have done nothing to publicly clarify how many Wallasey members out of the total 1300 are alleged to have been involved in intimidating behaviour. 

I felt I had two choices. I could either allow the misleading reports in the media to go unchallenged and allow my name, and that of other members, be associated with homophobia, threatening behaviour and intimidation or I could speak out and defend our reputation as best I could.

Edmund Burke famously said

“ The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”.

You and the Disputes Committee will eventually draw your conclusion of whether I am a good man (I think I already have a feel for your opinion on that) but you will never be able to reach the conclusion that I am prepared to do nothing or stay silent when I see the good people in Wallasey CLP being subjected to unjustified slurs.

You state that the document insinuated that it was an official document. Not so. It went to you as a presentation by the newly elected officers. The News Programme that covered the story stated that it was from the CLP officers to the Labour Party General Secretary.

You state you are troubled that I took this course of action. I am troubled at your inaction in defending us or in bringing this matter to a conclusion and lifting the suspension of Wallasey CLP.

You state that my action, in defending our reputation and refuting the false accusations, has exacerbated the problem of disunity in Wallasey.  There is no disunity. There are just a few individuals, who cannot accept the result of the AGM or that their preferred candidate did not become Labour Leader, who will do and say just about anything to prevent us from holding meetings. The vast majority of members get along quite nicely and can engage in civilised debate with differing viewpoints.

You seem to suggest that my defending our reputation against false accusations is akin to  intimidation of those making the false accusations. [!!!!] I presume if I am attacked in the street and defend myself you would also consider that to constitute me intimidating my attacker!

There was a very serious accusation of Homophobic behaviour at the CLP. There were very serious allegations of threatening and abusive phone calls to the office of Angela  Eagle. I never witnessed any such behaviour but both constitute criminal acts and I am at a loss as to why these allegations have not been referred to the Police. Had I witnessed such behaviour I would have both challenged it and reported it to the Police.

You are correct that a further Public Meeting was held in Wallasey.

At this meeting there was general consensus that once the suspension is lifted there is nothing to be gained by raking over the coals of what happened subsequent to the AGM. We have better things to do.

I think it was Barack Obama who advised Hilary Clinton to go high when Donald Trump went low. Advice she failed to follow in my opinion.

The vast majority of Wallasey members know the truth and will go high, leaving those who want to go low and make false accusations to their own devices, and we will avoid infighting in order to  get on with the much more important task of working to expose the policies of the Tories, fighting for a properly funded NHS, fighting against inequality of wealth and opportunity and campaigning for the election of a Labour Government.

The vast majority of members in Wallasey will remain united in purpose and remain comrades despite having occasional disagreements over policy issues and tactics.

The vast majority of members in Wallasey will also continue to support Jeremy Corbyn as Leader of the Labour Party which of course is what this was really all about from the very beginning.

Yours Sincerely

Paul Davies
16.1.17

A frank, hard-hitting but statesmanlike response from Paul Davies that sheds an unflattering light on the behaviour and integrity of Labour’s General Secretary. It is to be hoped that his long-overdue removal from the position takes place soon – along with the deselection of an MP equally ill-suited to her office and who has lost the confidence of the vast majority of her members by participating in this long-running smear campaign against them.

Members of the NEC, should you chance to be reading this, get on with it – lift Wallasey CLP’s suspension, laugh the ridiculous disciplinary action against Mr Davies out of the room as it merits and rip off the festering sticking-plaster that is keeping unfit people in positions they can abuse.

Both in Wallasey and nationally.

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14 responses to “#McNicol letter brings Labour into disrepute; #Wallasey vice-Chair refutes

  1. This reply is a true and fair analysis of the behaviour of the incompetent general secretary. Some members of the NEC at the time should be investigated along with members of the PLP. The party needs a complete clearout and a rebuild on our real principles that are just the same today as always have been. We can still modernise the party and policies to match modern day needs. Perhaps we need to go public with the behaviour of the ruling body of the party as the public are not stupid and have seen the bullying of Jeremy Corbyn for what it is. These so called Labour MPs are nothing more than power hungry gravy train riders.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What the Gen Sec and others hope to achieve by continuing this charade is unfathomable. The simplest recourse even now would be for those maligned by the NEC report and the Gen sec & Co to meet up in person in a private meeting share their frank views, agree that nothing more will be said by either party publicly and return to business, as we have seen in the USA elections can be a dirty business things are said and done at that time to win votes. It’s sad this is the way of things but it’s how it is. If anyone from the NEC or Gen Sec does read this, enough is enough there are thousand upon thousand of people who need the Labour party to defend & look after them, people are dying going hungry homeless!! Our lives and futures are under attack like never before. Please halt the internal war that is still going on. Throw all your energy & time into defeating this vile government.
    Apologies for the outburst

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t know why anyone bothers. The depth and width of the corruption in the LP has been laid bare over the last year. It is not redeemable. The likes of Corbyn and Lansman are utterly complicit.

    Like

    • How can you possibly blame Corbyn?? have a good look at Benn, Kinnock, Dugher, Nandy, Philips, and the rest of the right wing coupe. The party will survive but the bloodletting has to happen to clear out the vote rigging losers.

      Like

      • Just wait until the case comes to court. How can you suspend thousands of member just before a leadership election for no reason and come to any other conclusion that an attempt at vote rigging was being done. to enforce the theory all the suspended members were suddenly reinstated by wayof a threatening letter from Iain McNicholl. If i could afford it, I would have had him and the NEC in Court by now. They are the scum that needs booting out of the party.

        Liked by 1 person

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