Thousands of Labour members have suspensions lifted. They should protest

[Image: Oli Scarff/Getty Images.]

[Image: Oli Scarff/Getty Images.]

I know. It runs against common sense to protest against the lifting of a suspension – from any organisation.

But the way the Labour Party has organised the thousands of suspensions that were handed down in the run-up to the leader election on September 24 is a disgrace that wronged far too many people and shamed the party as a whole.

Here’s a fairly typical reaction:

Restitution is required – for several reasons.

Firstly, the mass lifting of these suspensions indicates that they were only imposed to prevent people from voting in the election, in an attempt by the party’s main organising committee to influence the result.

Secondly, in support of the first reason, the grounds on which many of these suspensions were made had no substance to them.

Finally, although the suspensions have been lifted, they are to lie on each affected member’s file, and may be used against them in the future. This is unacceptable. It suggests guilt where none has been proved.

This Blog urges Labour Party members, whose membership had been suspended but who have had their suspension lifted under these unacceptable conditions, to unite and challenge this unjust, prejudicial and discriminatory treatment.

Constituency Labour Parties should be preparing motions to the NEC, demanding the reversal of the actions details in the letters and a full apology for members who have been assumed guilty even though no evidence has been tested in any disciplinary hearing.

Here’s a copy of one letter, used as an example by the Skwawkbox blog:


The blog states:

Note that there is no trace of apology in the letter and that a ‘formal NEC warning’ is issued – in this instance, nonsensically. The tweet in question put a caption on an image of a senior Tory MP, showing the MP in question calling a homeless person ‘scum’ who is homeless because they deserve it – in other words, it was attacking Tory attitudes, had no bearing on any Labour member and was certainly not in any way ‘detrimental to the Party’.

If it had, in fact, been the person receiving the letter who had called a homeless person ‘scum’, they would have no place in the Labour party. But they didn’t. To issue a formal warning in those circumstances is both ridiculous and confirms that no proper investigation was undertaken.

Those suspended – even for the most flimsy of reasons – have a sword hanging over them. The letter will remain on file – no time limit is given – and any future infringement (for example pointing out the arrogance of Tories to the homeless) could, as the preceding page makes clear, result in the end of ‘continued membership of the Party’.

The fact that these letters are being sent out in huge batches – and the fact that the real, obvious point of some of the supposedly-offensive messages has so obviously been missed – shows that no proper investigation took place. The fact that so many suspensions could be imposed and then just be lifted at the same time, suggests forcefully that the reasons for them were never the point and are now being lifted because they’ve served their real purpose.

And with a threat hanging over members who are overwhelmingly pro-Corbyn, just for good measure.

This behaviour on the part of a section of the party bureaucracy reflects extremely poorly on the party. It’s their behaviour that brings the party into disrepute – and which needs sanction.

Apparently the letters will continue to be issued until November 17. Anybody who has been suspended but has not heard anything within several days of that date will need to take action to find out what is happening with their case.

While Iain McNicol’s name is on each letter, some have argued that he is only carrying out the will of the NEC as general secretary. He cannot be absolved of all responsibility, however, as he has a responsibility to ensure that everything Labour does is legal and the suspensions weren’t – a recent court case showed that combining publicly-known information (such as that from Twitter or other social media) with confidential information held by the Labour Party (such as membership details) breaches the Data Protection Act.

This Blog therefore recommends pursuit of both Mr McNicol for carrying out the NEC’s orders without checking their legality, and those members of the NEC who voted in favour of this heavy-handed election-rigging in the first place.

Source: Labour’s suspension-lifting mass mailing makes mockery of process | The SKWAWKBOX

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13 thoughts on “Thousands of Labour members have suspensions lifted. They should protest

  1. Dez

    There is something very wrong and undemocratic at the heart of all this matter and it needs an in depth review of what went on and exactly who authorised this cunning plan. All the while these same people remain in the driving seat the Labour party doing what ever they want politically without any recourse or them being removed the rotton apple is still in the barrel.

  2. Rupert Mitchell (@rupert_rrl)

    Thank you for posting this which I also have received; it is a bigger insult to me even than the suspension.

    I really feel Jeremy Corbyn should deal with this enormous insult to true Labour members and I am very disappointed that he has not done so.

  3. jeffrey davies

    still guilty hay you guilty has charge but out of the goodness of our heart we leaving you off yep the blairites of this party just dont get it but then crossing that floor they wont do they heve to be pushed out

  4. Roland Laycock

    Its nice on one hand and sick on another this people did no wrong and are heads going to roll for the malpractice or are the perpertrators going to be let off and it all brushed under the carpet and let it all happen again at a later date

  5. Douglas Ward

    Yes I to have received said letter.
    I have emailed head office and asked for the details of my supposed offence and the persons name who made the complaint.
    That mail was sent on the 04/11/2016 I am now waiting for a reply!
    The above Revolution in the Desert as the right Idea we should make a stand all OF US who are effected by this nonsense to get our names TAKEN off THIS LIST THAT THE NEC HOLD IN THEIR RECORDS!

  6. Lin Wren

    That man should go. HE colluded with others to rig an election. He has broken the law using each members personal data. He betrayed his office & the Labour Party. Now he is still trying to impose his will with absolutely no foundation of wrong. He can no longer be trusted.

  7. casalealex

    Why have these suspensions been lifted? Or, more to the point, why were they ever given in the first place? It just proves that they were given to influence the election of the Labour leader. This blatant misuse of ‘power’ is an affront to democracy and free speech. During this time many ‘Honourable’ members of the Labour Party were openly and outrageously denigrating Jeremy Corbyn, in the press and on television. This definitely had a much larger audience than Twitter, and the media fuelled the appalling biased utterings of these snakes in the grass; but not one was suspended or even admonished by the NEC. So one set of rules for us and another for them! Apparently, many of those who were suspended were not even given a reason for this decision, and had no right of comeback. It was in effect a kangaroo court decisions. Should we be beholden to the NEC’s munificence, whilst many are still having the original suspension held over their heads like the sword of Damocles? I am thoroughly ashamed of the actions of the Labour Party over this infamous episode.

  8. thelovelywibblywobblyoldlady

    Even people convicted of a crime have their conviction “spent” after a certain time period within the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. You’ll note there is NO time limit specified in these letters, so does that mean they will lie on file indefinitely? Mike is right – each and every member should object to this – here is a suggested response …Dear Sir, I refer to your letter dated 31 October 2016 which informed me that my status had been amended to “unsuspended” with a warning to be kept on file. I wish to raise several objections to this as follows:- You state that I had allegedly made comments on Twitter; how do you know that I am the person who made these alleged comments? Does the Twitter account identify me by name. Did you use Labour Party data to correlate the e mail address on the Twitter account with the e mail held by Labour HQ. Did you use the ISP address held by the Labour Party as personal data to correlate the Twitter account and individuate the member. If so, this could fall foul of the Vidal – Hall v Google 2015 Court of Appeal judgement as the combined data would be personal data under S1 (1) DPA 1998 and thus subject to the 7 Data Protection principles. I also note that you state that I “may” have caused offence to some Labour Party members. Please let me know who these members were and in what way it is that I have caused offence.

    1. Douglas Ward

      On receiving my letter of lifting me out of my suspension on Friday 04/11/2016 I emailed head office and asked them to send me the offending email plus the accuser who complained about my offensive remarks!
      I handed a copy of my suspension letter to my CLP Chairperson a week ago Friday, before the first CLP meeting after the re-election of Jeremy Corbin that I couldn’t attend or partake in, but as yet have had no reply.

    2. Dez

      Neat solution…..hopefully they do not drag these files out again every time “they” ? want to influence the voting to their favour. Still think there should be a deep investigation to who exactly approved this scam of an undemoncratic cunning plan they need flushing out as totally against JC’s let’s play fair thinking.

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