They’re calling it ‘Labour Purge’ 2: Corbyn-supporting members are expelled or barred from voting in leader poll

John Dunn (pictured here confronting Owen Smith) has been banned from voting in the Labour leadership election because he stood up for the Orgreave miners.

John Dunn (pictured here confronting Owen Smith) has been banned from voting in the Labour leadership election because he stood up for the Orgreave miners.

A wave of expulsion, suspensions and voting bans is sweeping across the Labour Party as the Owen Smith-supporting party machine tries to shore up his support.

Members across the UK are receiving notifications that they will not be allowed to vote for Jeremy Corbyn because of perceived breaches of recently-imposed, highly-partisan rule changes that offer advantage to supporters of Mr Smith.

For example, members who have used the word “Blairite” on the social media – even if they used it accurately and not in a pejorative sense – will not be allowed to vote, even though no official announcement was made to members by the party’s leadership.

It is right that the leadership election should be conducted in an orderly manner and that disruptive elements should be banned.

So why has the Labour leadership not also purged members who refer to Corbyn supporters as “Trots” (short for Trotskyists or Trotskyites), “rabble”, “dogs”, “Nazis” or “Nazi Stormtroopers” (or German words for the same – “Sturm Abteilung”, anybody?), “racists”, “homophobes”, “misogynists”, “anti-Semites” or, indeed, “lunatics”.

Why are Smith supporters who threaten violence on others – like John McTernan – still able to vote?

And what, exactly, is the process in which people are divested of their democratic right? Has anybody – at all – been invited to provide their side of the story or is it a witch-hunt, and any Corbyn supporter may be banned simply for being accused?

How many have been deprived of their voice in this manner?

This is an abuse of process.

So – for example – John Dunn, the former miner and Labour Party member of 45 years’ standing, has been blocked from voting for Jeremy Corbyn because he challenged Owen Smith for exploiting the legacy of Orgreave for electoral purposes. On his Facebook page, Mr Dunn wrote that Mr Smith’s “actions in the PLP coup were no different to the UDM scabs who undermined our strike”.

It’s probably the word “scabs” – even though not directly applied to Mr Smith – that triggered the ban.

Then there’s Jonny Will Chambers, who tweeted, “I’ve been expelled from Labour,” this morning.

I know what you’re thinking: “Who?”

He’s a friend and colleague of John Prescott, for crying out loud! Prezza himself tweeted: “I find this remarkable. Jon helped me on my PCC campaign. Happy to support your appeal.”

[Apparently he’s also a Smith supporter, which shows, I guess, that the purge is a ‘scattershot’ approach that is catching some of his people as well as Corbyn supporters. The ‘Chicken Coup’ is turning out to be inept event now.]

The letters being sent out are extremely vague about the reasons for the bans/suspensions/expulsions. Here’s an example, courtesy of Chris Devismes, who has also been purged:

160825 Labour purge letter

“You shared inappropriate content on Twitter on 27 July”.

“Inappropriate content?” Under what definition? Note that the “inappropriate content” is not quoted, making it that much harder to appeal against it – but there should be no ban at all, at this stage, because none of the members have been able to present their own case. They may have had perfectly good reasons for using such words, and it is unreasonable for them to be blocked without a chance to put their own side of the matter.

This Blog uses those words all the time – and entirely reasonably – in reporting the latest developments. That doesn’t mean This Writer should be deprived of his vote. I provide a valuable (I hope!) service.

Also grounds for a ban are any words of support for other parties, like the Greens – in whatever context.

There is already a backlash on Twitter (and, presumably, elsewhere in the social media). We have already heard from John Prescott. Here’s Rhea Wolfson, newly-elected to Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee, despite the best efforts of right-winger and Blairite (yes, I said it, because it’s what he is) Jim Murphy: “Hearing abt expulsions of members for supporting other parties before they joined Labour. Crime: not joining Labour before joining Labour.” She added: “Also hearing of expulsions of members frm across party w/ bad or unclear evidence. We need to show more respect to members fighting with us”.

This prompted Phillip Jones to ask her a reasonable question: “looking like the election has been manipulated so Owen Smith will win , will u refuse to accept the result if that’s the case?”

She is a member of the NEC now, and – even though it is not set to meet until later in the year – if there is a good reason to recall members and discuss a matter, it should be done. And this is an extremely good reason.

“So.” This was from ‘Susan’. “Tweet nice things about Tories & my Labour membership is safe. Agree with parties we need to work with like Greens/SNP & I’m out, right?”

Another Susan asked: “Anyone know of any Owen Smith supporters who have been suspended without a vote, no reason given? Labour machine in full authoritarian mode.”

Does anybody know? Anyone?

Well.

160825 Labour purge voters

The notification letters contain information on how to appeal, but I would strongly suggest that anyone in such a situation should also contact Liz Davies here:

She is a barrister who can advise members on what to do.

There is a clear stink of corruption about this purge. The aim is to prevent anybody who wants to change the current Labour status quo from ever being able to do anything about it. That is wrong.

One hopes those who still have a say in the ballot will take note of what is being done and use their votes accordingly – to restore a leader who will end the corruption, remove the people responsible and restore fairness to the Labour Party.

That’s Jeremy Corbyn, of course.

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55 thoughts on “They’re calling it ‘Labour Purge’ 2: Corbyn-supporting members are expelled or barred from voting in leader poll

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Yeah, and good for him. Steve’s a journalist; he’ll write about it and it’s to be hoped that people will take action as a result.
      Liz Davies will advise people on what they can do now.

  1. Rusty

    I’ve received an email stating I should go through by online history and delete any reference that may affect me from voting, they believe search software is being used against Corbyn supporting members! Something similar that happen across the pond to bernie Sanders! This IS happening here right now, they ARE STEALING THIS ELECTION! Good work Mike,.

    1. John

      I’m not sure what you mean by “online history”? R u referring to FB/Twitter etc? If so, you can’t do anything about those, don’t think. Once you’ve posted, you’ve posted.

      1. Rusty

        It was an email from ( stronger in campaign ) warning about what the nec is doing!! I don’t have face book or Twitter!

    2. John

      Well, I’d be interested to know if they ARE using search software, and how exactly they are identifying people on twitter and FB? FB is easier, because people mostly use their OWN names, so all they need to get right is the location, otherwise it’s a total waste of time. With twitter though, often people don’t use their own names, so I’m stumped as to how the RIGHT people can be properly identified?

    3. John

      Rusty – your last post just has a link to a change.org petition, which doesn’t appear to contain an email?

  2. Phil Woodford

    Good to see a clean-up. Although there’s obviously a lot more work to do before Labour becomes voter-friendly again.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      It would be good to see a proper clean-up, with the corrupt elements removed to make way for a properly voter-friendly party.
      Your comments mark out your loyalties.

  3. Jane Owens

    Now that I have already voted for Jeremy Corbyn, will my vote be declared null and void if I use the ‘B’ word? These ridiculous and increasingly desperate measures are suitable material for Monty Python scriptwriters.

    1. sylvanmoonscape

      Your vote is not secure, even if you’ve already voted. Do not become abusive or give anyone cause to think you are doing so.

  4. David

    Any news of a certain Mr Owen Smith being expelled for using Ableist language & Abusing Mr Corbyn?

  5. Di Finch

    What is happening is wrong and undemocratic but reading about the 100 days plan if MR Corbyn is reelected appears to suggest the same will happen to them but from the Far Left. Maybe they are taking presumptive action.

  6. Zippi

    Are the notifications only by letter, or by e.mail, too? I’m away on tour so, if I ‘ve been sent a letter, I won’t know.

  7. jeffrey davies

    oh bugger im out blairite blairs babies back stabbing b hmmm iv called mu neath mp im very sorry i cant join ops

  8. David Woods

    Should not the part pertaining to fair debate:-

    ‘However for fair debate to take place, people must be able to air their views in an atmosphere of respect. They shouldn’t be shouted down, they shouldn’t be intimidated, and they shouldn’t be abused either in meetings or online;’ –
    first and foremost be applied in government!

    Watch any tv regarding political debate there is nothing but shouting down, intimidation and abuse!
    The Tories do it towards Labour, Labour do it towards the Tories, and Owen Smith and his cronies do it to everything Jeremy Corbyn tries to say (bugger there goes my vote)!
    I’ve seen primary school children show better manners and debating skills than our so called political elite!

  9. David lowton

    It’s OK for Shaun Woodward to defect from Tories. Rewarded a safe seat and promoted to NI Sec. But rules r different for members. Members who retweet an anit-Smith smear or support some of the Greens policies will get banned. If members posts anti-Corbyn abuse messages they are ignored. McTernan can threaten a journalist, and hurl abuse at Corbyn. Alistair Campbell can call someone a twat on twitter, Owen Smith can call Jeremy a lunatic, Labour MP’s can hurl abuse at JeremyCorbyn int he House of Commons, Foster can call members nazi storm-troopers, and Tom Watson can call members rabble and trots and without being disciplined or banned. These purges are something a fascist party would do. It is entirely wrong and abusing the party rules.

  10. James S.

    So your headline says it’s an anti-Corbyn purge, but you detail the case of a pro-Smith candidate getting purged?

  11. casalealex

    BEWARE LABOUR TOMORROW – (who are these people?)

    PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE

    DEMORALIZATION:

    The objective is to erode your opponents morale. That encourages them to retreat, surrender or defect rather than defeating them in combat….

    DO NOT LEAVE THE LABOUR PARTY
    This is exactly what ‘they’ want you to do.
    DO NOT FALL FOR IT

    It’s what Corbyn loyalist Richard Burgon was warning against when he wrote the following on June 26, and he was right.

    “Outrageous? Anti-democratic? Offensive to ordinary Party members? That’s exactly the point. I’ve seen quite a few Labour activists on social media declaring that if a ‘coup’ takes place, they will leave the Labour Party in disgust.

    That’s exactly what those plotting to scrub out the Party’s democratic decision last summer want to happen. For some, a much smaller and less active Labour Party is a price worth paying for a return to the status quo that they’re comfortable with – a status quo which lost Labour 5 million votes between 1997 and 2010, saw Labour decimated in Scotltand and saw Labour end up as being viewed as part of a political establishment that’s not to be trusted.

    For some, the plan is to reconfigure the Labour Party’s membership to one at ease with their Blair-inspired politics through the tactic of disrespecting members and the democratic process to such an extent that members resign in droves.

    For the sake of democracy, let’s not give them what they want.

  12. Rachel

    This is why it is sensible to use a unique email addy for FB. If people can’t identify your profile they can’t search it.

  13. John

    Bakers’ union chief suspended from Labour – see http://www.itv.com/news/update/2016-08-25/union-leader-suspended-from-labour-and-barred-from-leadership-election/.
    This is getting completely Kafkaesque.
    I think McNicol and his fellow conspirators are doing this or two reasons.
    First, in a vain attempt to steal the election for Smith.
    Two, if that fails, to leave a legacy of division and real bitterness behind, designed to plague the Labour Party for years.
    McNicol and his gang are enemies of the Labour Party, as are all those who have supported these measures.
    What they have done clearly breaches all the legal rules of natural justice.
    He – McNicol – should be personally sued for every penny he possesses for bequeathing his poisonous legacy to the Labour Party.

  14. David Woods

    Its all our fault of course.

    If we had accepted their ‘new leadership list’ and not insisted on the previous (and democratically elected) leader having his damned name on it too, the hundreds of thousands of new members he brought to the Labour Party would have been more than welcomed to vote!

    But if we insist of wanting an ‘strong and honest’ man as a Prime Minister then we can just all F Off as we are not wanted!

    From their viewpoint we are the reason that the people should be kept out of politics, only needed once every five years (for the sake of democracy), but we don’t need to worry our heads, they’ll tell us which box to make our mark in!
    Public servents indeed!

  15. hayfords

    As an outside observer, it is endlessly entertaining to watch both wings of Labour tearing the party apart.

  16. Jess

    Are the bliarites completely bonkers?

    Or just running scared?

    Will they want to purge the electoral registers next?

    1. John

      Don’t joke about it.
      Removing people from electoral registers is something the Republicans in the US have been doing for decades.
      Try not to give the Blairites any more new ideas…….
      Part of the alleged “record” being used to bar members from voting is how they responded to previous canvassing.
      This shows that this Blairite rabble will use any kind of data to get their way.
      It even throws up a need from now on not to tell anyone the truth about one’s voting intentions – ever!
      It also highlights the need to use nom-de-plumes on-line and on social media.

  17. Glyn

    I can’t get my head around this….I’ve just voted for JC and I’ve been using lots of ‘bad language’ on Facebook etc for many months….and often a lot worse than those apparently banned. However, I didn’t answer the constant stream of phone calls and emails asking me who I would be voting for….

    1. Zippi

      I, also, didn’t reply to any such e.mail; I thought that it might be a bad idea; perhaps, I was right?

  18. Joan Edington

    It’s good to hear that true Labour folk are now seeing the real Jim Murphy that we up in Scotland recognised a couple of years back. It is my opinion that he, personally, lost as many Labour voters as the SNP attracted. Just another Blairite, Israel-loving war-monger.

    1. Phil Woodford

      Hmmm. “Blairite, Israel-loving war-monger…”

      If we’re not careful, we’ll have to get someone else in to conduct another impartial investigation.

      Oh, no. We’ve run out of places we can offer in the House of Lords.

  19. Bluecat

    A workmate has just been told she can’t vote due to something she posted on Twitter in 2014. She’s a bit stumped by that, as she says she only joined Twitter a few months ago.

    I’ve told her to complain – there is a lawyer collecting details for a possible class action.

    1. John

      If what you say is true, then I’m wondering if these voting bans are just one massive bluff. Unless, in your mates case, they’ve got the wrong person somehow?
      Definitely challenge it, AND get the evidence. If it IS a bluff, they’re going to end up extremely embarrassed, and potentially in a LOT of trouble!

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        Interestingly the reason given for vagueness about which comment/post/tweet triggered a ban is to prevent identification of a complainant. It also, of course, makes it impossible to defend against the allegation.
        But an appeal against a ruling can only be done fairly if all the details are known to everyone, not just one side, so there’s room to kill upsurge stone dead.

      2. John

        The example letter you provided in your blog post, has one important element in it…… a DATE!
        They are telling the receiver that on a certain DATE, they committed ‘wrongdoing’.
        For a vague letter, that’s quite precise!

        “……to prevent identification of a complainant….” ??????

        Personally, I think that’s total b*ll*cks! Why? Well, that letter has been sent to ONE particular person?
        Why has it NOT been addressed to that ONE person? Unless it was, but they’ve removed that info when they sent you the letter?

        If I’m going to be fined for parking illegally, it must be proven that:
        1) It was MY car
        2) It WAS parked illegally

        You’d have to be blind bl**dy stupid NOT to CHALLENGE IT.

        Personally, it looks like it’s more than deliberate, and a totally desperate bluff.

        BTW, I’m happy to be corrected if I’ve made a mistake here 🙂

  20. Tony Turtle

    OK, so if I call Smith a “Dead” politician and a founding Blairite, will they revoke my right to vote? In my defence, John Smith is a Dead politician and was responsible for the rise to power of Tony Blair! Oh, and I wasn’t going to vote anyway, any party who wants to manipulate the electorate in such an underhanded way doesn’t deserve it.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      You want to make John Smith responsible for Tony Blairbecause Blair became the party leader after he died?
      That seems abit sick, to me.

  21. john stott

    this so called labour party ie THE SCUM! THE SCABS ! THE ELITE are now just going to the lowist depths of being a scab or is this just blarites in action. all my life labour workiing class man, my father labour union man too of the 1950s 60s and the70s n my grandfather and great grandfather who was a grandmaster of one of the union builders of scotland A REAL REALIST OF BOTTOM UP RIGHTS FOR WORKING CLASS SISTERS N BROTHERS. this owen smith lot are scabs FACT. they are voted in by us the people but when they get in power they think one thing ‘them selfs and keep the country has it is to keep the poor ‘ vunbraberle, sick. the squeeezed middle . the immagrants THEY LOVE CHEAP FAST EASY IMAGRANTS KEEPS WAGES DOWN and now eavern the bloody disabled and the dieing ie atos to pay for the very few at the top all the countrys money is being put into one pot and its been like this from 1977 THAT EU U ALL SIGNED UP TO IN 1972 N 1975 WELL HEY THE BIRTH OF NEO LIBERALS! THATCHER: MAJOR; BLARE ; BROWN; CAMROON: MAY” THE SNP ; MOST OF THE TORY PARTY” MOST OF THE LABOUR PARTY: THE LIBDEMS: THE GREENS; shock most of the damm lot destroying the country for name titels n profit in the name of a better britan WTFUC” this lot are takeing the piss out of the commern man women child iam sick of it ive the country go worse n worse all my 43 years n plz look at all current tabels on,,,,,, nhs, road buliding, house building,schools, jobs,wages, EVERYTHING ITS GETS WORSE N WORSE EVERY 5 YEARS ! U WONT BELIVE WHAT I HAVE HAD TO GO THROUGH IAM DISABLED TRY TO TELL THIS GOVERMENT DWP ATOS MAXIMUS N CRAPITA THAT ” whats next in 2020 to get more money full on private nhs ,,, wellfair payments now start at 35 not 25 no more winter fuel payments for the old age ? U KNOW ITS COMEING . i mean cmon what kind of a labour party brings in the WCA FOR DISABLED PEOPLE FFSAKE !… one man n his team though i see JERMERY CORYBAN wants a better fair britian a good nhs , good schools, gas, water, electric, trains out of private hands . good wages U KNOW WHAT IAM SAYING JERMERY IS MY VOTE n the rest well they are just scabs

  22. Darren Cahil

    ‘So why has the Labour leadership not also purged members who refer to Corbyn supporters as “Trots” (short for Trotskyists or Trotskyites), “rabble”, “dogs”, “Nazis” or “Nazi Stormtroopers” (or German words for the same – “Sturm Abteilung”, anybody?), “racists”, “homophobes”, “misogynists”, “anti-Semites” or, indeed, “lunatics”.’

    I personally welcome their ridiculous ad homiens. It gives us plenty of material to mock them with. The question is, why are people being purged for saying words like ‘traitor’?

  23. foggy

    Any member who is suspended and intends to appeal the decision should throw in a ‘Subject Access Request in accordance with the Data Protection Act’ for ALL data that the Labour Party hold on them. The Labour Party are Data Controllers and therefore have to, by law, provide you with all material/information they hold on you.

    1. John

      I visited your site, but you don’t appear to have included the comments of that letter on it? Is that because it follows exactly the same format as the letter that Mike has included on this blog post?

      1. Rusty

        I don’t know how to forward this message! It’s an update that’s warning about the purge! If you could sign this you may get the same update I received!

      2. Thomas Walker

        The Labour Party Devouring it’s own children,they’ve removed democracy,which leaves us with what.?

Comments are closed.