Reports are reaching the SKWAWKBOX about undemocratic – and indeed anti-democratic – measures being taken against pro-Corbyn members that are deeply worrying. A disclosure made, out of desperation, on Facebook by a CLP (constituency Labour party) officer, backed by the vice-Chair of the group, is far from the only such information, but it portrays the clearest and most damning currently available.
The Facebook disclosure concerns North-West Durham CLP and it was posted to the CLP’s Facebook page by a member who had been unable to get any meaningful response from her Chair or CLP Secretary. Here it is in full (from a copy posted by another Facebook user), with commentary. Highlighting is by this blog:
The Secretary of the CLP sent information to the wrong ‘Fiona’ that was supposed to go to Fiona Stanton at Labour North regional HQ. The email was additional to information that had already been gathered and forwarded, but what the earlier information consists of is currently unknown.
Once that slip had been notified to the Secretary, he then tried to email an ‘oops’ warning to Ms Stanton – but slipped again and sent it to the CLP member – the CLP Secretary clearly considered the slip a serious matter and stated that he may have to resign because of it.
The officer then requested an emergency meeting in accordance with Labour rules to discuss this and what information is being gathered on the affected member and others.
Some on certain Labour Facebook groups have already attempted to dismiss this slip by claiming it’s simply part of normal disciplinary procedures. However, this is patently an attempted diversion, as Labour rules are clear on the matter.
Chapter six of the 2017 Labour rulebook deals with CLP procedures in the event of a complaint about a member:
No reports are to be made to regional HQ until the complaint has been discussed by the ‘exec’ and with the ‘General Meeting’ (GM, the main CLP meeting of branch delegates if the CLP is organised in branches, the all-member CLP meeting if not). Only then, if the GM decides it’s warranted, is the complaint forwarded with a request for investigation.
The Secretary of Durham NW bypassed all these normal procedures and was passing ‘packages’ of information directly to the regional director – clearly with at least the knowledge of the director and presumably under her permission or instruction.
The Chair and Secretary then stonewalled requests for an emergency meeting to discuss this breach of protocol and, potentially, the Data Protection Act – probably stalling for time until ‘region’ could provide advice or take action.
This is clearly an extremely serious matter for the CLP concerned. But is it a symptom of a wider move – a ‘Labour purge 3’ to remove pro-Corbyn members as part of/preparation for a leadership challenge or to facilitate the rigging of Conference delegate selections that both left and right know are absolutely vital to the future direction of the party?
As a one-off this incident would be worrying enough, but the SKWAWKBOX has received information from various parts of the country about similar instances involving action taken against other Corbyn-supporting members in a range of locations, including even photographs of ‘troublesome’ members being taken by CLP officers.
Not only that, but within a brief time of the disclosure, a member had already reported a similar incident involving three members:
Add to that the nationwide phenomenon of rigged selection of candidates for council elections, about which this blog has received many reports, and it’s clear that the right of the party – knowing it has no hope of democratic success – is using any and all means to retain control of party structures and hierarchy. This video by Ealing Labour for Corbyn reveals a case in point:
— EL4C (@EL4JC) April 8, 2017
It is starting to look like ‘Labour Purge 3’ is well underway and may be accelerating. If you have further information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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