Analysis Guest article

Labour treasurer candidate writes: The conflicted role of local officers facing Labour’s ban on EHRC discussion

Esther Giles is standing for the position of Labour Party treasurer on a platform of democracy, good governance and transparency. She has written about the role of elected officers in local Labour parties (CLPs), the conflict into which the party’s conduct has forced them and the reasons she feels officers’ duty is to members, not to the party hierarchy.

What’s it’s like to be an elected CLP officer – the Conflicted Role

If the Chair insists on bringing this motion forward despite this clear instruction, we will not hesitate to investigate any consequent rule breach under the Rule Book. We trust this won’t be necessary and would encourage the Chair to reflect accordingly on the clear instructions issued by the General Secretary in this regard.

Extract of email sent to the Chair one hour before the CLP’s scheduled meeting to discuss a motion calling for the reinstatement of Jeremy Corby in the interest of party unity (the meeting was subsequently postponed due to a technical glitch)

Introduction: The EHRC Report

The EHRC Report states that Article 10 protections of the Human Rights Act (HRA) apply even if comments are offensive and provocative, and that this protection is “enhanced” in the case of elected politicians – and particularly when the issue forms part of an ongoing debate of public interest. The EHRC Report also allows people to “express their opinions on internal Party matters- such as the scale of antisemitism in the Party”

So it appears that Jeremy Corbyn’s statement was entirely consistent with the EHRC’s own narrative and that his suspension was contrary to the HRA and the EHRC report.

Esther Giles

The Conflicted Role of the Elected Officers

As Officers of the CLP,  we are required to manage and encourage member engagement and debate in a supportive and respectful setting. We are required to comply  with the Party Rulebook – and the law. We facilitate debate and engagement with members via General Meetings within the rules; we do not dictate. We do not believe that the Rule book is or should be in conflict with the Law. Therefore, it is our view that people should be allowed to express their opinions on what is happening in the Party.

A ‘deluge’ of instructions against free speech

And yet now we are being instructed that freedom of speech is forbidden in the instance of the suspension of Jeremy Corbyn. In our CLP, we  have had a deluge of instructions from the General Secretary, followed up by reinforcing emails from the Regional Office. Some Officers in other CLPs  have had warning telephone calls from Regional offices. At least one CLP has had direct intervention from a Regional Office to stop voting taking place on a motion. Others have had their access to “Organise” (the Party email system) stopped.

We note the irony that the General Secretary suggests the need to “change the Party’s culture” and “start work on this straight away”. We particularly note the irony of this in the context of what appears to be systematic bullying, sexism and racism within the Labour Party bureaucracy as set out in the buried “Leaked Report” and the silent Forde Enquiry. We have received no reply to our question as to who signed off the c. £0.6m payout relating to the BBC Panorama programme, or on whose authority– the sort of information that should be transparent to members.

Some of us believe that the General Secretary may have:

a.) acted beyond his powers (in suspending Jeremy Corbyn); and/or 

b.) even if he did have delegated powers to suspend, that the suspension was unlawful in the light of Article 10.

Keir Starmer could not have discussed it more publicly than he did.”

And so we feel conflicted at handing down a message from National and Regional HQ that we cannot discuss the suspension- even if discussing the principle rather than the content of the matter. Furthermore, the public announcements about Corbyn’s suspension were contrary to the guidance that details of individuals’ suspensions should not be discussed. Keir Starmer could not have discussed it more publicly than he did. And, indeed, prejudiced the investigation by being judge and jury in his media kangaroo court. 

As socialists, we believe in equality. We don’t believe there is one rule for the bosses and another for the people.

“Unpaid and pressed from every side.”

We know that Chairs and Secretaries across the land are forbidding – or trying to forbid – discussion about Jeremy Corbyn’s suspension in the light of the orders from the General Secretary and the Regions. However,  if members want to move a motion for debate, and the Chair rules it out of order, that ruling may be overturned by a vote in favour of hearing it by two thirds of the members present. We wonder how, in this instance, the Chair can be held responsible for debate where they have been overruled. We are unpaid elected officers, and we are pressed from every side.

It seems to some that the General Secretary is promoting a culture of silencing and absolute power in order to avoid any criticism of his own actions (and those of the Party Leader) – even if or when he acts outside of his delegated powers and the law. Is this, then, the culture change he refers to in his letter? We read the deluge of letters as threatening and patronising.  It is not for the General Secretary to tell us what we can and cannot discuss; we operate always for our members and according to the democratically agreed rulebook and the law. 

CLP Secretary

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  1. It would appear that the role of the GS needs to be clarified. Is it to run the Party on behalf of the members or to run it as a dictator on behalf of a management clique?

    1. ANY ROLE – no matter how tight the roles and responsibilites, the terms and conditions – *will* be misperformed and abused by a bad, antidemocratic GS, – especially if the ‘new management’ regime s/he is part of is committed to reducing membership powers and Labour’s progressive power dynamic.

  2. So anyway, my “No Confidence vote in Keir Starmer” at the Branch meeting will largely consist of me saying “I cannot tell you why I am moving this motion – because Keir Starmer won’t let me tell you. But hey, you all know anyway”.

    Also we have been warned we are not permitted to swear because apparently we have all signed a pledge we never knew about.

    1. Brilliant Mark Francis! ps re the swearing ban: Neil Coyle swears an awful lot‼️ He has admitted as much in the Southwark Press.

  3. The knight and Digger Evans need to be taught a lesson,Chairperson and Secretary need good cover for allowing discussions.No more thrown under the bus martyrs to the cause.A countrywide revolt of the membership can’t be beaten by the knight and he knows it.Solidarity is crucial to topple the dictator and his misfits….otherwise its a new socialist working class party..iTs down to you now comrades.

  4. Hear, Hear!
    If only one CLP official is standing up to the Hitler Twins and standing up for free speech – that’s a problem.
    None of my business as an ex-member though.

    Email from GoFundMe just now tells me they’ve refunded my donations to Jeremy’s Legal Fund.
    If the conditions of disbursement are opened up to other than just the so far apparently non-existent Ware/Panorama/Quislingbitches lawsuit, or if that moves forward, I’ll re-donate and more.

  5. Comes to something when the Leader and General Secretary are breaking UK law by illegally trying to restrict members legal right to Freedom of Speech and intimidating others to do the same.
    I wonder if a complaint to the police would help. I

    1. Iain Crawford, the Right Wing break every law. They always have. They are rarely challenged in any persistent meaningful way. Motions etc yes, but they are never pursued to the end.

      Worse still, even developing motions, a few who hog the making of strategy or lack of, insist on the weakest dampest possible wording, to get the “approval” of “Centrists”…and because “They” will never agree with X, Y or Z” so, ask for the LEAST demanding / the least worthwhile outcome.

      The OPPOSITE of wise negotiating / bargaining. It is instead AH White Flagger’s dictum : Oh please please don’t upset the Right / the MSM /, OR “they” will never give that. OR no point. Then lets use and abuse Julian Assange’s plight to distract from his failure to ever present a POSITIVE suggestion for ACTION.

      We need CAN DOs not CAN’Ts like 🚫🚷📵🚳🚱🔞⛔️ Allan Howard the tool wipe can’t merchant and shilly hunt.

      1. Oh, how interesting…. six people (at the time of writing) have given the lying paid shill ‘signpost’ who fabricates stuff a Like. Needless to say, if the Likes ARE genuine, which I very much doubt, they were given by either the other shills who infest skwawkbox and/or right-wingers who keep an eye on skwawkbox. Anyway, here’s just ONE example of ‘signpost’ concocting something so that he could then go on to discredit Jeremy:

      2. Piss off Allan Howard u weirdo lying fraud. Why don’t u suggest something constructive. U nasty piece of discouraging used tool.

      3. Allan – “Needless to say, if the Likes ARE genuine, which I very much doubt, “,
        Don’t be pathetic, you sound like Trump you big baby.

      4. p.s. no means NO‼️ U pathetic immature sick stalker‼️ A White Flag Damp and Dim Witted Coward like u Allan Howard is just the type powerful forces use to discourage all attempts at changing the status quo. That is why you have failed to make a single positive suggestion. U r a nasty sinister infiltrating fraud. Go toss around with Starmer and celebrate your successes at getting us to appease instead of crushing the verminous filth encrusted creatures of Thatcher.

    2. Ian, I don’t think it would help unless 100s of members have used the Party formal complaints procedure and we can proof that our complaints are been ignored.
      Beside, I don’t see the Police accepting the complaint, but rather asking the complainer/s to take the matter to a Court of Law for a judge to determine.

  6. Public perception of Labour party unity since Corbyn was suspended. 57% see the party as divided. Before the suspension it was 36%.
    YouGov poll.

    1. Good point, lundiel.
      It’ll be fucking hilarious when Starmer complains about being “undermined by the left” of the party and blaming them for “keeping him out of Number Ten.”
      Karma, Starma.

      1. Actually I think I might be wrong and that it won’t be Karma exactly.
        To be truly Karma wouldn’t we have to be lying about him, as Jeremy was lied about?

        OT – Teacher-assessed grades for Welsh kids next year just announced.
        They’ll be the best-behaved kids those teachers have ever known if they know what’s good for them.
        30 apples a day for what – 150 plus days? Nice little profit.

      2. Just read a tweet by Richard Seymour who says the right will never hesitate to divide the party because such division is fundamental to their belief and not legitimate disagreement in a ‘broad church’.

      1. Lundiel …stevies busy at the moment offering is mother to big pharma Pfizer for vaccine experiments.Regarding the missing link hes just offered himself for some ready cash as the missing link between Piltdown man and other lower life forms…..iTs a jungle out there…!and money to tight to mention.

      2. Come on, don’t be shy. What do you think of the centrist/eight’s putting dogma over party?

      3. lundiel – The left are just as bad. Division doesn’t win elections.

      4. Lundiel asked: ‘And?’

        And……It would appear that little steven’s buggered off again when things have got – shall we say – “inconvenient”?

        Paradoxically showing his true colours by not showing his true colours. 🧐

      5. So you won’t criticise Starmer but wish to transfer liability to the left or share it while failing to censure Starmer.

      6. Yeah…a minute after I posted (6:51pm), you answered**.(6:52pm).

        Unlucky, plums.

        **But only you could call it an answer, really.

      7. Toffee – Don’t be a numpty all your life, surely even you must appreciate that I hadn’t seen your nonsense when I posted my reply. Whether you believe me or not is of little consequence to anyone.

      8. SteveH10/11/2020 AT 6:52 PM
        lundiel – The left are just as bad. Division doesn’t win elections.

        Oh, so you’ve realised that division doesn’t win elections have you, brains?

        Tell us something we DON’T know, why dontcha?

        So now thst you’ve supposedly adopted that approach, why did you and your precious 70% shit on democracy, then? Why aren’t you – in any way – critical of stammer over his recurrent shithousery and persecution of (socialist) dissenters?, Mister ‘division doesn’t win elections’

        Away and shite, hypocrite.

      9. Toffee – Self evidently it was the <30% minority who were supporting a RW Tory agenda that were the cuckoos causing division

      10. As expected, and as lundiel’s already explained for the unfamiliar to your abject shithousery…. You’ll blame the left, but NO mention of stammer’s current purge…Nor his co-shithousery with Watson and the Zionists…the same Zionists that stammer’s now the most focussed on – when, pre April 4th 2020 it was Brexit.(and right up until THAT moment you said Brexit wasn’t gonna happen – wrong yet again, knobby)

        I wonder why?

        Don’t bother, little stevie – EVERYBODY KNOWS WHY.

      11. Toffee – Oh dear what a surprise. You are wrong again!

        This is what Keir said 05/01/2020
        Speaking on BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show, he said: “We are going to leave the EU in the next few weeks and it’s important for all of us, including myself, to realise that the argument for Leave and Remain goes with it. We are leaving. We will have left the EU.
        “This election blew away the argument for a second referendum, rightly or wrongly, and we have to adjust to that situation.”


      12. Oh, obviously it was the 30% alienated the (now ‘ex’) labour voters who voted leave.

        Was THEM bulldozed through a policy to renege on a promise to respect their wishes and respect the referendum – as was the then policy.

        It was the 30% ignored and ridiculed the constant warnings that inevitably came to be.

        And it’s the 30% having the IHRA definition forced upon them, isn’t it?


      13. The 30% supported a Tory right wing agenda, did they?

        Ok dickhead… WHAT Tory right wing policy has stammer and your precious 70% OPPOSED since stammer usurped the leadership…

        You’re not gonna answer. You haven’t anything to answer with nor the stones to attempt to answer.

        To think you whore yourself out to stammer and he neither gives a fuck about you nor shows you any gratitude.

        Sad, besotted weirdo.

      14. Toffee – Oh dearie, dearie me, I see you’ve got round to the shouty stage again. I’m sure somebody from your intended audience will be suitably impressed,

      15. Toffee – You were the one insisting that that Keir Starmer was obsessing about Brexit right up until 04/04/2020. I simply proved you wrong by quoting him from 3 months earlier. FFS grow up and get over yourself.

      16. Told you before little stevie boy… Treat people as though they’re as thick as you and you’ll be spoken to like the imbecile you are.

        Stop distracting from your idol’s cowardice and outright hyoocrisy. Stop acting in the exact same way he does – you are not him. And as shite as he is – you will always be worse….only possible by virtue of it being the both of you.

        Get off your high horse, accept you’re wearing your arse for a hat again; admit that stammer’s behind the division within the party and is STILL to provide anything resembling opposition to toerag policy

        … And then get back in the bin, you piss poor excuse for a sub human .


        ‘Grow up’ he squeals.

        You really haven’t seen the gaping chasm in your argument, have you, plums?

        Want it spelling out?

        Here it is…what YOU linked to…

        This election blew away the argument for a second referendum, rightly or wrongly, and we have to adjust to that situation.

        Blew away the argument for a 2nd ref…. As you were repeatedly told it would, but you and your 70% went ahead and bulldozed it through all the same, in the knowledge it would hand the rags the keys to government.

        So don’t you fucking attempt to rewrite history OR twist my thread because you’re not anywheres near capable OR competent enough to do so.

        stammer would STI bebanging the Brexit drum if there was something in it to advance him further. But as he’s reached his zenith he now has to rely on his controllers’ (zionist lobby) bidding.

        And they’re telling him to divide and conquer.

        Telling socialists and leavers they’re divisive…calling them right wing toerag enablers… Hypocritical belkend

        Oh and we’re STILL waiting to hear what you and stammer have OPPOSED the toerags on?

        Now.. answer THAT or shut your fucking cave.

      18. Toffee – Is that really the best you could come up with, I hope you’re blushing because I’m embarrassed for you.

      19. Again, a piss poor attempt to evade the obvious.

        What has stammer opposed since he usurped the leadership?

        We haven’t got all day, so answer the question… It’s not a difficult one, even for someone as dense and cowardly as you to answer.

      20. Toffee – Your right it is not difficult, so if you want to know, look it up yourself. I can’t be bothered with spoon feeding you tonight. It is high time you took some personal responsibility for keeping yourself informed about current affairs.

      21. Took me a while but – it’s a Badly-Drawn Weasel – right?
        Ok, so that’s official then.

  7. Esther Giles
    Will be a quantum leap forward for the party and another reason to join and vote
    This time next year Rodney

    1. I voted for Esther Giles yesterday. Grateful for thus Skwawk article.🌹🌹🌹

  8. There can be no better candidate than Esther Giles. She has my vote. No way ‘Karma’ Starmer will allow her to get in. Watch out for her to be suspended shortly for ‘activities that may be detrimental to the good of the party’ (as defined by Sir K Starmer).

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