Analysis Breaking comment

Muslim Labour member denied entry to CLP meeting, despite not being suspended

Breach of democracy as Mizan the Poet and another member blocked from entering meeting after making complaint to party

Mizan the Poet – a guest on Socialist Telly’s Labour Black Socialists programme – has been denied access to his local Labour party meeting, despite not being suspended.

He reported the incident on his social media this evening:

Mizan had put in a complaint to the party about the conduct at his CLP and told Socialist Telly about his treatment by the party (watch from around 15m30s) and his determination not to be forced out without a fight:

Another Asian member has submitted a formal complaint to the party about the meeting:

Formal complaint re conduct of Harrow East CLP AMM 26th October

This meeting was announced as a physical meeting (notice sent on Thursday 21st October, only 5 days ago), then changed to a hybrid meeting, and this morning at 10:41 it was changed to not be a physical meeting at all “due to unforeseen circumstances”. All these communications are listed as coming from [redacted], who is the Chair, and not the Secretary. I believe there is a risk of disenfranchisement if people had made plans to attend the physical meeting and did not receive today’s cancellation message in time.

The meeting consisted of 16 people, 2 of whom were definitely not members of Harrow East (being AM Krupesh Hirani and Harrow West chair Navin Shah). The Quorum for the CLP is 20. Per the Standing Orders: “Business meetings shall not be held if a quorum is not present within 30 minutes of the appointed time; always provided that in special circumstances members present may agree to transact pressing business subject to the ratification of the proceedings by the next quorate meeting.“ There was no acknowledgement of this.

I was also contacted by Mizan Rahman and Richie McLouglin who were still waiting to be let into the meeting. Despite repeated requests, they were not admitted.

During the Officer Reports, I raised my “virtual hand” to raise questions to the Officers. Despite this, I was not called before the Deputy Council Leader Natasha Proctor was asked to speak. After she spoke, I was called, and my first question, to the Chair, was that, given I’d been looking forward to the first physical meeting in almost 2 years, why it had been cancelled. I was again told it was “due to unforeseen circumstances”. When I asked what those circumstances were, I was told “well, it might be personal”. I asked if that was the case, and was told she would not answer, and that I could not ask the questions of the Officer reports,  as she wanted to give time for people to ask questions to Cllr Proctor, and that 10 minutes had been allotted to me to present a Conference Delegate report. I agreed, but there were no questions to Cllr Proctor, nevertheless I was not permitted to raise my questions.

No finance report was presented, despite the Treasurer being present. I had previously been informed by the current IT Coordinator and former Treasurer [redacted] that such a report is mandatory at every meeting. I contacted him via zoom chat, asking him to remind the Chair of this (as he had done with the previous Chair). I did not receive any response.

When I was finally given the opportunity to speak, I asked the chair what the proper time was for questions to Officers. I was told that I could not ask any questions, and that I would have to decide whether I wanted to present the Delegate Report or not. Since I felt this was an unreasonable answer, I declined to do so, and was promptly muted. She then proceeded to say that she had discussed the matter with me prior to the meeting – this was not true, and when I shook my head to indicate disagreement, she disconnected me from the zoom call.

All this is a breach of my rights as a member, a violation of the standing orders, of the Citrine rules on the conduct of Labour meetings, and of custom and practice. I have complained regarding this autocratic behaviour before to Amy Fode, but I have not even had the courtesy of an acknowledgment.

I expect this complaint to be treated seriously. This behaviour is bringing Labour into disrepute.

The Labour right is rotten with Islamophobia, as highlighted by the Labour Muslim Network report on the topic. Keir Starmer and David Evans promised to implement its recommendations in full, but appear to have done nothing and are taking no action against most right-wing Islamophobes in the party.

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33 comments

  1. Theres not so subliminal message embedded in these Meetings.Why members expect to be treated any different surprises me.He should know what to do ..Withdraw all funding you are not welcome in this version of the Labour party…This leader of the Labour party knows exactly what hes doing and has the elected authority knows how to use it.The message of the Labour party is do what you are told or sling your hook.Personally I really wouldn’t want to be a member with so many right wing lunatics across the whole network.

    1. I find his surprise surprising. Why do people bother with this racist, bigoted shower? What do they expect? Have BAME members not noticed how Diane has been treated? Well everyone knows what is going on in the BNP lite cult, why are they shocked?

      The Labour Party doesn’t recognise the class war and regard sectional interests as an irrelevance to their project, a deeply sinister ambition. We need a party that will confront them head on and expose their vicious, malevolent anti working class ideology, extremism of the centre. It could not be more obvious! Islamaphobia, tick. Misogyny, tick. Racism, ditto. Emasculated the unions, working hard at it. War, yes. Arms sales. Union Jack’s, not enough. Grovelling to r/w media. Mass expulsions especially members of the JVL.
      Keep funding them and they will just push the iron heel harder. Someone explain this to me, please.

  2. Eminent health professional, Professor John Ashton, was offered the position of Public Health Consultant, by St Helens Council(Merseyside), on Friday of last week.

    On Saturday morning, the offer was withdrawn by the Chief Executive, of the Council.

    Professor Ashton is unsure if the Councillors were consulted on the withdrawal decision.

  3. Withdraw your funding, your membership and support. Bankrupt the Party as soon as possible. Why are people still persisting with this charade?

    1. I discovered recently that my local Labour CLP was selling off the offices that it owned as well as all of its contents – so it would seem that they are not simpy relocating.

      I wondered whether the decision to sell Party assets like this was as a consequence of Labs acute shortage of funds and if similar sales of assets were taking place in other CLPs. It might just be an issue that’s local to me but it would be interesting to find out.

    2. It goes without saying – but, I’ll say it anyway – withdraw your funding, in tandem with withdrawing your vote. That’ll make their eyes water, baz2001.

      No idea who to give my vote to, at the moment. I’m waiting for someone to pop their head above the parapet.

      I may take guidance from JVL.

      1. They have no Money Left George Peel ! Starmer has ‘lost’ a £13 million surplus at the bank. Donations have all but evaporated, down £13 million last yr from 2019. And they’re now in deficit to the tune of just over £1 million. Each year from now on they’ll be slipping deeper into the merde. That’s why they’re trying to sell off the family silver, which they apparently misappropriated from the CLP’s under Miliband’s rule.

        Starmer’s achieved his goal in record time.

    3. Perhaps it’s what they actually want?

      You stay and fight on, you lose your energy, you give up, they win. You sue them, the party loses money, becomes unelectable, they win. You leave, the party melts and evaporate into oblivion, they win…

      I don’t know what to do. I never had the health nor the strength nor the time to fight, so I left. It just gets worse and worse. The PLP is just as rotten and most of them, bar perhaps 30-40 MPs couldn’t care less.

      I’m very pessimistic.

      1. Ben, I know you might think the future is grim. But eventually something will turn up, a new Party maybe. Who knows. But keep the faith and your care for fellow people. Remember how Labour was born all those years ago, we are facing similar times. All the best.

      2. The last time I looked at the Labour party joke book (rule book), all CLP assets, including the CLP balance to run the local party are considered the property of the Labour party. So, the leadership can grab CLP assets at will.

        However, unless there has been a rule change that I’m not aware of, private donations to MPs are not considered party assets and the party has no call on them. MPs are free to use donations for any purpose they think fit with impunity. Even to undermine their democratically elected leader.

        Democratic socialism eh? who’d have thought?

      3. Yes Ben, my thoughts too. I allowed my membership to lapse last year on the day of the payoff to the so called ‘whistleblowers’. I really was conflicted but never in my wildest imagination did I believe things would get as bad as they have and now have no regrets. In my 70’s and a member since the late 60’s – with a gap in the Blair years – like you I am so sad and pessimistic, but like ‘baz2001’ we must try and keep faith for the younger generations.

      4. Nemetona – “rule book…all CLP assets, including the CLP balance to run the local party are considered the property of the Labour party.”

        So true. What’s happening here is the ‘new management’ of the party is preparing to revalue the party’s assets. This is an activity most badly run, essentially insolvent, commercial entities undertake to disguise their ever-increasing financial failure.

        The key question is, will electoral weaknesses or financial insolvency be cited on the party’s death certificate as its cause of death?

  4. The Labour party stands for NO free speech when the General Secretary Say’s he can arbitrarily decide what can and cannot be discussed.
    The NEC and therefore the GS has no authority in the rules to dictate what is ‘competent business’ for a CLP to discuss. The only authority is in Chap 1, VIII, 3.E-“The NEC shall from time to time, issue guidance and instructions on the conduct of meetings…” CONDUCT not CONTENT Conduct is a noun meaning ‘the manner in which an activity is managed or directed.’ That is not the same as the content or subject the meeting deals with.
    If Mizan the Poet thinks he and his friend have been discriminated against because of some racial or other characteristic then it is wrong for him to complain to the party, he must establish beyond doubt that this was racially motivated and not just some procedural misunderstanding, then make a complaint to the people who can and will do something about it,

  5. Unless you are one of Starmer’s Zionist chums for whom he is now running the Party, complaining about unfair treatment will get you nowhere.

    I was told that Luciana Berger is now back in the LP can anyone confirm this?

  6. The Labour right <b) cannot NOT be rotten with Islamophobia. Like all good atlanticists, it accepts the 9/11 ‘war on terrorism’ untruth.

  7. I don’t know Jack T but they welcomed Louise Ellman back so it wouldn’t surprise me.

  8. Such a nasty, repressive bunch.

    The sad thing is how they believe this obnoxious behaviour represents a winning strategy. Labour to Win? They almost certainly won’t based on current polling evidence. But supposing by some miracle they did, to do what exactly? To behave like this in power? No thanks.

    They won’t even defend free speech and civil liberties. The RW are like the antithesis of everything the Labour party should be. Labour shadow spokespeople pop up on TV & radio and basically do a commentary, like glorified political pundits; they never provide solutions or clear yes/no answers, they just smirk and change the subject. And the worst of it is how they’re never pressed by their conniving mates in the London media. It’s a far cry from the aggressive, “but how would you pay for it!?” rhetorical questioning Corbyn and John McDonnell faced daily.

    It’s as though our democracy in the UK is a mere illusion, pure pantomime, and Labour has been promised power as long as they say nothing, play by the secret club’s rules, and stick to the domestic neoliberal agenda, neocon foreign policy script when in power.

    1. Andy, you are correct about the ‘secret club’.It is why the loathesome Ian Austin in 2016 had the gaul in Parliament to shout out to Jeremy Corbyn ‘sit down and shut up’ during the Chilcot debate. He knew he had the backing of those who were plotting to overthrow Corbyn.

  9. I see keef’s missed the budget because of covid. 😗🎵

    Like the key brexit debate and subsequent PMQ’s he missed last year.😗🎵

    Still, at least he’s not on holiday, eh? 😕

    1. Indeed. My partner calls me cynical but glad I’m not alone in my first thought being ‘how many times has this happened before and how bloody convenient’….

    2. The Toffee(597)

      Indeed. Maybe he hasn’t got any arguments to make? Thus being absent is the easier option?

      Might be cynical, but this political shapeshifter has given everyone reason to be cynical. Like to see him do a lateral flow test, live, and prove he’s positive.

      For it seems all too convenient, this is the fifth occasion he’s self-isolated, and it always seems to happen right before important debates in the HoC eg., on Brexit (internal market) or on fiscal matters where he’d be struggling to make socialist or left-wing arguments, and basically criticising the Tories from the right.

      More generally, it’s as though he’s trying to bluff his way to the election without saying anything, it’s scandalous that the media are aiding him in this. The Shadow cabinet are equally policy-lite and threadbare.

      1. Worth pointing out also, the statement they issued said he’s got no symptoms, which if anything adds to the doubt.

        Why even test in that case?

        If this were Corbyn, missing key debates, the press, PLP and BBC wouldn’t be holding back in questioning his honesty.

    3. Toffee

      Still, at least he’s not on holiday, eh? 😕

      …as far as we know. Covid has provided excellent cover for frauds of all stripes!

  10. WHY couldn’t he take part via zoo/skype? 😗🎵

    Has his internet god covid, too? 🤔

  11. It is now time for every REAL LABOUR MEMBER THE REAL LABOUR MPs and Staffers to Resign en Masse, The Party you all belong to is not LABOUR it is a Useless incompetent Bullying Dictatorship based on The Leader from Orwell’s 1984 it is a Dystopian Nightmare New Labour Newspeak Thought Police Big Brother if you do not agree with their Policy You are Disappeared a NON PERSON you’re Never allowed to say NO to any Demand The Leader and Number Two present if You Real Labour People of England don’t Wake up and Smell the SHIT you are up to You’re Armpits in then I a Scot with a Wonderful Child Grandchildren and a Lovely English Son in Law living in Pontefract Yorkshire, I have a Terrific Nephew and his Lovely English Wife Living in London, I also have many friends in England I Fear and Despair for your well-being Please make your Move Resign en Masse Re-Instate the only MP who can Save THE REAL LABOUR PARTY The Right Honourable Jeremy Corbyn Do It NOW OR PERISH.

    1. peej1952

      Sadly, they won’t.

      Labour members and left-wing MPs lack that ruthlessness. Many buy into the idea the leader(even one as bad as Starmer) deserves their shot at power. Starmer may even remain leader after the next election too, if they make progress in terms of seats won. Much as Kinnock stuck around, after adding +20 seats in 1987’s GE.

      The only hope is that Labour voters send a powerful message next year in May’s Locals + London elections; one that sends the PLP into a state of high anxiety over whether they’ll hang on to their seats come an early (2023) general election, Thus triggering a panic-induced Labour leadership contest. Anyone planning to endorse the party in May needs to understand what’s at stake. There’s an opportunity to force Starmer & Evans out, maybe the last one as gaining 20 seats in a GE seems possible, even for Starmer with the way the Tories are performing.

  12. Labour must be a safe place for Zionists, but not JVL Jews, the wrong kind of Jews, a fine example of anti-Semitism; but as for Muslims? Zionism is a colonial doctrine which backs a colonial practice. That’s why Zionists are welcome in Labour and Jews who think Palestinians are human aren’t. Labour identifies categorically with wealth and power and they have been accumulated through conquest, based on racism in pursuit of lucre. You can’t stand for democracy and not challenge power and wealth. You can’t stand universal equal rights and not be opposed to colonialism. Labour stands for neither democracy nor equal rights. It stands for wealth and power. But don’t despair, fight back. Do it locally. Got a printer? Do 500 flyers and shove them through letter boxes, give them out on Saturday morning when the streets are busy, hand them out at your local football stadium. We can wind up opposition to Starmer’s fascism at the grassroots. Don’t ask, “Who can I vote for?” Ask, “What can I do to scupper these authoritarian anti-democrats?” There are millions of us. If we all do what we can it will make a huge difference. But don’t wait for “leaders” to do something. We need subversion from the streets.

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