Fireworks in Walthamstow as members discuss SKWAWKBOX article on FB

Earlier this week, the SKWAWKBOX published an account of an ongoing dispute between Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy and her local members over allegations of undemocratic behaviour that were flatly denied by the Chair of the CLP (constituency Labour party). Ms Creasy herself opted not to comment.

Labour members in the ‘Walthamstow Residents News’ Facebook group started a discussion of the article – and it quickly became… lively. The group is closed, so you have to join it to be able to read the comments, but below are screenshots of some excerpts.

The initial reaction to the comments was mixed, but a former treasurer of the group made a comment broadly confirming the member allegations reported in the article:

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Other members soon joined in:

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The CLP Chair responded with a lengthier denial than the one made to this blog:

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Mr Dixon’s reference to the Labour Party’s social media code of conduct at the end of this rebuttal is of interest. It was described to the SKWAWKBOX by local Labour members as a threat and while that is a subjective assessment of a comment that can as easily be read in other ways, the social media document linked, which the SKWAWKBOX covered just the day before, does contain a threat of disciplinary action for members who breach it.

The document also contains a description of the behaviour Dixon it is designed to prevent:

Harassment, intimidation, hateful language and bullying are never acceptable, nor is any form of discrimination on the basis of gender, race, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.

However, while some of the messages are impassioned, at first glance there is no sign of such behaviour in the discussion.

Following the Chair’s contribution, more members join in the discussion – including the CLP’s former TULO (trade union liaison officer) and fundraiser, with some hard-hitting comments that support critics of the way the local party is run:

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Finally (of the information the SKWAWKBOX has compiled – the discussion is ongoing), the former treasurer responds in evident anger to the Chair’s contribution:

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Whatever the source(s) of the trouble, it seems evident that all is not well in Walthamstow CLP. It is to be hoped that if Labour’s NEC sees fit to intervene it does more fairly and with better regard for all sides and views than has been the case in some other high-profile CLP disputes.

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  1. Andrew Dixon’s response may well be lengthier but it is most definitely not a denial. He merely states, probably correctly, that the vast majority of local members have no experience of the alleged misconduct or attendant discussion. In this regard, his response is interesting for what it does not say; it does not address the substance of the allegations, not even tangentially.

    The rest of his response might well be an example of desperation-tactic No. 7: Hide all past and ongoing sins behind whatever good works come to mind (as though good governance was a synonym for horse-trading) and distract with references to Jeremy’s stunning revitalisation of the party (remind me again how much of a hand the likes of Creasy had in that).

    Dixon’s response leaves little doubt that he, and those in his circle, intend to carry on exactly as they are.

    Replacement is the only solution.

  2. I have a problem with screenshots of people’s Comments being used in the media and for other purposes. Without making any judgement these comments are taken from a closed group, names are not redacted.
    Many of us as members have condemned the use of screenshots by individuals in the party without permission that have subsequently been used for both political and disciplinary purposes. Just recently you published an article on the DPA implications of such actions.
    I would welcome hearing others views on this.

    1. Couple of points ,
      1. Is this not a case of conflicts of interests with the Chair being the MPs father , this IMHO should be ringing alarm bells simply from a fair and just position of imposing , if necessary , any discipline or holding the MP to account for the CLP members , it also leaves the Chair terribly exposed to potential spurious criticism ( this in no way detracts from what may or may not have happened here it is meant as an observation). . There are many other worthy posts to fill in a CLP but not one that so potentially conflicts with CLP business and family loyalties.

      2.Re the screen shots I wonder if those names consented to the use ?
      In the case of the chairs response then as Chair it is a position that should be open to scrutiny.

      I am sure this is a very good CLP with all concerned deserving fair play. I very much agree with the sentiments regarding focusing on the next GE but not at the expense of full proper and fair diligence .

      1. It is the CLP Secretary, the key role in a CLP, who is father to the MP. He is also branch Secretary to East Branch. He was nominated by the Co-op party to be CLP Secretary – He didn’t get nominations from any of the Walthamstow CLP branches as far as I am aware. This is not a criticism of your post; it is intended as a friendly clarification

    2. There is nothing specific in the rules of this group (WRs) that i am aware of which prevents screen shots being used. If there was a problem from a data protection aspect then I think it would be for the Admins to up the security – as arguably they are the data controllers?
      Squawkbox are not using the information to undermine Labour Party members in the way that, as I understand it, the Labour Party did. (I think the L.P. were found to be in breach of the DPA recently for using people’s personal FB posts.)
      Arguably Squawkbox have made the posts much more public; however Walthamstow Residents has at least 18000 members and I would be surprised if anyone expects that nothing they post will go into the public domain; in addition it seems to me that Sqawkbox has a legitimate purpose in wanting to defend itself from the accusation it is peddling silly falsehoods?
      Just some random thoughts…

  3. His response is a non-answer. Maybe a little more transparency wouldn’t hurt Walthamstow Labour Party.

  4. “The group is closed, so you have to join it to be able to read the comments, but below are screenshots of some excerpts.”

    I don’t think Skwawkbox should be publishing screenshots of comments from a closed aka private group. Surely this is a blatant infringement of privacy?


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