Excl: ‘democracy review 2’ near-certain on compliance unit and other issues

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Labour’s ‘compliance unit’ has been one of the least satisfactory elements of the party for a long time. Its opacity and apparent lack of accountability don’t help, but its part in the ‘purges’ of left-wing members and the arbitrary nature of its judgments are major concerns to those looking forward to the democratisation of Labour’s internal processes.

Members have been suspended for reasons as silly as a retweet of a tweet by a Green MP or swearing about a rock band, while:

  • one former leadership candidate attended a LibDem conference as a speaker
  • so-called ‘moderate’ MPs and members routinely use abusive language about the left
  • undermining the leadership in right-wing rags clearly brings the party into disrepute in the eyes of most members – yet appears to be absolutely fine in the eyes of those who kick out members for a tweet
  • former front-bencher Peter Mandelson can say with impunity that he works daily to undermine the party’s leader

The sheer murkiness of disciplinary procedures contributes to the dissatisfaction: some matters are dealt with by compliance, but the NEC’s fluidly-composed ‘disputes panel‘ plays a role, some matters are dealt with by Labour’s regional offices and some even by the ‘exec’ of local CLPs.

So it will be a matter of considerable disappointment for many members that the issue of compliance does not form part of Jeremy Corbyn’s widely-hailed ‘democracy review’.

Senior Labour insiders have told the SKWAWKBOX that the twelve months of the democracy review will prioritise policy and member engagement, while it was felt that the issues around compliance involve staffing issues and will require NEC decisions.

However, the word is that once the initial review is completed, there will almost certainly be a ‘democracy review part 2’ – taking as long as a year, if required, to address the remaining issues.

However, the matter is not simply being left to ferment in the interim. Labour sources say that the leader’s office now has two staff members dealing with member issues and holding compliance to account.

This will be a relief – if a muted one – to Labour members who see moves already underway that they consider to be preparations for a future purge when right-wingers consider it expedient, such as the reorganisation of data protection procedures by the party’s right-leaning Southside HQ that it thinks will allow it to continue to use social media comments to suspend or expel members. The SKWAWKBOX has already exposed Labour’s HQ’s highly questionable ‘data scraping‘ – a standard feature of the Nationbuilder platform used by Labour to manage member information – to gather information on members’ social media comments, even via anonymous accounts not linked to their membership.

The two LOTO staff are likely to be busy until the ‘compliance unit’ and related issues are properly sorted out in phase two of the democracy review.

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6 responses to “Excl: ‘democracy review 2’ near-certain on compliance unit and other issues

  1. The illegal activities, specifically the complete disregard for Data Protection legislation by Labour staff at the party’s HQ, directly informs Compliance Unit decisions and is therefore central to the issue of member engagement.

    Who would wish to join and remain a member of a party which spies upon its members and which uses that data to punish members on spurious grounds?

    The Compliance Unit’s partisan and destructive behaviour is actively supressing membership levels.

    It is not acceptable to allow this corrupt unit to continue to undermine the membership and the objectives of the Labour Party unchallenged.

  2. Even if it isn’t in the first round of the review, I think members should squeeze comments about it in wherever they feasibly can. Waiting another year for a year+ long review of it is too long.

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  4. Well, ok, but these are matters best dealt with by an *immediate* investigation, suitably empowered to suspend, expell or dismiss those it deems culpable.

    Who’s securing relevent evidence like internal memos and email exchanges?

    We all know the process is flawed and should be reviewed but what about uncovering the existing miscreants and having them face the music?

    The longer this is left uninvestigated, the harder it’ll be to hold Southside’s abusive proceduralists to proper account.

    Jeremy’s supporters deserve to see justice served, not watch from the sidelines as the guilty slink off.

  5. THERE IS NO ESCAPE FOR THOSE WHO SUSPENDED MEMBERS BECAUSE OF THEIR POLITICAL LEANINGS!
    WHAT THEY DID AND KEEP TRYING TO GET AROUND IS TANTAMOUNT TO A WITCH HUNT!
    MY BELIEF IS THEY WILL BE BROUGHT TO BOOK AND BE MADE TO PAY FOR THEIR WRONGFUL AND THE UNLAWFUL WAYS THEY CONDUCTED THEMSELVES!

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