List of reasons supporters have been suspended from Labour is lacking thousands of entries

Iain McNicol (not Constable Savage) [Image: Getty].

Iain McNicol (not Constable Savage) [Image: Getty].

Wow. Iain McNicol, Labour’s general secretary, has released “dozens” of social media posts as examples of sexism, anti-Semitism and racism that have led to their authors being disqualified from the Labour leadership election.

The problem is, Labour has disqualified thousands of people, not dozens.

It seems likely that Mr McNicol has included only the most vile examples he could find, in order to fuel mass media indignation against those responsible.

What about the others? What about the woman who was disqualified for saying she loved the Foo Fighters? What about the man who was disqualified because of a Twitter post allegedly made on a day when he didn’t actually post anything on Twitter?

What about the man who was disqualified for tackling Owen Smith over his opportunistic use of Orgreave as a site for a speech?

What about the trade union leaders who have been disqualified, apparently without reason?

It’s like something out of the ‘Constable Savage’ sketch on Not The Nine O’clock News, for those who can remember that far back:

“Some of these cases are just plain stupid. ‘Confessing support for another political party – in 2013.’ Is this some kind of joke, McNicol? Don’t you think people might have changed their minds since then?”

“No sir!”

“And we have some more here. ‘Standing up to Owen Smith at Orgreave’. ‘Standing up for disabled people’. And ‘Standing up for members of a trade union’. You do know that one of Labour’s current slogans is ‘Standing up, not standing by’?”

“Yes sir!”

“In short, McNicol, in the space of just one month, hidden among other accusations, you have brought thousands of ridiculous, trumped-up and ludicrous charges…”

“Yes sir.”

“…Against the same group, McNicol. I believe you call them ‘Corbynistas’. Sit down, McNicol. McNicol, why do you keep accusing these people?”

“They’re villains, sir!”

“McNicol, would I be correct in assuming these… ‘Corbynistas’ are… socialists?”

“Well, I can’t say I’ve ever noticed, sir!”

“Stand up McNicol. McNicol, it’s officers like you that give the Labour Party a bad name! The social media love to jump on incidents like this, and the reputation of the party can be permanently tarnished! Your time in office is dominated by petty personal vendettas – do you get some kind of perverted gratification from going around, stirring up trouble?”

“Yes sir!”

“There’s no room for men like you in my politics, McNicol. I’m transferring you to the SDP!”

Something like that.

Labour’s general secretary has released examples of sexist, anti-Semitic and racist social media posts from supporters of the party who have been suspended from voting in the leadership contest.

The extraordinary move from Iain McNicol comes after Labour HQ was accused of a “purge” of members by the shadow chancellor John McDonnell.

He had claimed that thousands of members and registered supporters had been denied a vote without a proper explanation – and warned they would not accept “what appears to be a rigged purge of Jeremy Corbyn supporters”.

But in a letter to representatives of Labour’s ruling body, the National Executive Committee (NEC), Mr McNicol has released dozens of social media posts from supporters of the Labour party who have been deemed ineligible to vote in the ongoing leadership contest between Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith.

Source: Labour’s general secretary releases list of reasons supporters have been suspended from the party | The Independent

PS If you’d like to see the original version of Constable Savage, here it is:

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15 thoughts on “List of reasons supporters have been suspended from Labour is lacking thousands of entries

  1. Jonathan Wilson

    According to this article… http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/labour-leadership-election-racist-anti-semitic-abuse_uk_57c85b1ee4b01e35922a55a0 “Party sources have said that Starr had been suspended for a much more serious and abusive post”.

    Surely that is a breach of DPA/privacy/libel? and it doesn’t allow any right to reply… when the might of the Labour party has just accused her of a serious breach. Or does that not count because she “went public” in the S*n so any counter statement made by McNicol or “a source” is fair game?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      This is the case of ‘Foo Fighters’ fan Catherine Starr.
      If she was banned for a more serious post, where is it?
      We have to rely on the evidence available to us. As wwe cannot see this alleged post, we cannot accept the claim that it exists.
      So, yes, on the fact of it, the comment is defamatory.

  2. farmersboy

    And to add insult to injury a couple of days before barring me entry to the Labour Party and taking part in the vote they took 3 months subs out of my account making me fully paid up until well after the leadership contest is over

  3. lambtonwyrm

    The letter lists some of the comments but there are even 1 or 2 of those which are dubious. If people are to be disqualified then the letter should clearly state the reason, citing evidence, and giving a right of appeal.

  4. foggy

    Seeing as the ‘T’ word has been banned, it will be interesting to see if they’ll ban singing The Red Flag……………’Though cowards flinch and bleeeeeeeeeeeeeep sneer’

  5. Fibro confused

    Blimey glad the NEC members who made these decisions don’t oversee football matches, the crowds would be reduced to single numbers!

    There are some examples of abhorrent utterances made by people who no should not be taking part in party election. The language used in others some of it I dislike intensely ie ‘C U next Tuesday’ it’s sadly part of peoples language now as is the F word, not keen on scum either it has others uses than it’s intended use in those posts.Traitor what would they prefer perhaps turncoat instead? I really don’t see in a lot of instances that use of these words warrants suspensions. Actual death threats they need reporting to the police and of course suspended and after investigation banned from the party. Voting or supporting another party before, well as been said people change their minds, after all that’s what the whole party wants to happen at the next GE to change peoples minds on what party to vote for.

    The thing that bothers me is the thought that ‘whoever’ is sat trawling through peoples posts on twitter or facebook going back several years in some cases. Approx 500k plus people to check up on and they are!!
    Myself some family & friends have never been caught up in ‘games’ like this before, the well documented decisions by the NEC, the drip feed of spurious statements by various mp’s in the press along with none incidents, it’s frankly bizarre.

    I hope your planning to turn it all into a book Mike, do you do comedy? 😉
    (you have to laugh or we’d go insane)

  6. Joan Edington

    A Labour activist up here has been expelled for the second time. Last year he won his appeal and was re-instated. Hios letter said “It has been brought to our attention with supporting evidence that you have publicly shown support for other parties on Facebook.” It seems the PLP’s Facebook trawling mechanism doesn’t understand the use people make of Facebook. He has “Liked” The SNP and Nicola Sturgeon’s pages, the only way to get quick access to what the opposition are doing and saying, and a method used by many activists of all parties. It doen’t mean that they actually support those other parties. In effect, the PLP are stopping a good Labour member from gathering much of his opposition data. I know that I support the SNP but even I can see that he is only doing what a good activist should. He is taking legal action and I hope he wins.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Likewise, to be honest.
      It’s the same with Twitter. I use it to trawl for news stories – not just what the mainstream media want us to think is news but for whatever really is capturing public interest. When I find something, I press the ‘Like’ button. Do I actually like what’s being said? Mostly, I don’t. It’s simply a mechanism for me to be able to find the article quickly (on my ‘Liked’ page). I was concerned that I might be disqualified from voting because of it, though.

      1. Joan Edington

        The guy I was talking about has, with the support of Neil Findlay, been reinstated and promised his ballot paper without having to challenge. I suspect his making the expulsion so public scared them off. He was sent an email saying they made a mistake and there had been a lot of ‘administrative errors’. Aye right! More likely becaiuse he is a Young Socialists activist, the sort the PLP seem to have a distaste for.

  7. Rupert Mitchell (@rupert_rrl)

    I think this farce has gone on long enough and that it is time we sought legal help, as many people seem to have been maligned and not given a chance to defend themselves. I want a professional Labour government (under Jeremy Corbyn for my preference) but whoever is the eventual leader it needs to be one who can control this disgraceful and unprofessional mud-slinging and the lack of democratic control in what appears to be vested interests when dealing with people’s rights to vote in polls.

  8. David Chesters

    I’m not sure whether you can do anything but publicize what has happened, but it seems that Blairites (IMHO) at Labour HQ have disenfranchised hundreds, perhaps thousands more members, (besides the ones they fraudulently ripped off for £25 recently).
    I am an associated member of the Labour party as I have been a lifetime member of the UNITY union, and I have already cast my vote, but my Mother, who was expecting to be able to do the same, has not received notification of her vote in any form. I rang Unite HQ to ask why not, and they told me that Labour HQ had dictated to them that “Payed up / lifetime members” were not eligible to vote as they no longer contribute to the “Political Fund”.. My mother achieved 30 yrs as a member a few decades back, this means that she became “Non Contributory” and therefore a lifetime member without subscription. However, she has not been notified that her previous voting status has been altered by either the Unite Union, or the Labour Party. In my opinion this is gross misconduct by Labour Central Office, Underhand and devious to say the least. Could you please get word out about this fraudulent behavior and get me some answers as to why they think that stopping a lifetime Labour supporter from voting for her party’s next leader and possibly Prime minister is OK in their books. Personally I believe it is mainly because older members are old Labour and align with Jeremy far more, and so need to be kept from voting. What do you think folks?
    Yours sincerely
    David Chesters

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