A shortish, note about the Labour Party selectorate purges. Firstly, about whether we should be criticising the Party’s staff and Officers, secondly about the influence of Smith’s campaign’s backers and thirdly examining one or two cases of the 2nd stage exclusions of members but presumably mainly registered supporters.
The General Secretary is an Officer, appointed by the NEC and Conference and holds office at the satisfaction of those two bodies. Discussing the issue of “satisfaction” is legitimate discourse within the Party.
It’s clear that Labour First are encouraging their supporters to make complaints about people and while they will claim this is to stop cheating and Entryism, the NEC have decided that candidates for Registered Supporter must have no support for other “political organisations” for the previous two years, which will include time in which they may have been members of different parties. NB We do not place this waiting period on MPs or Councillors “crossing the floor”. This is wrong in so many ways; the most upbeat point to make is that we should be welcoming people who have changed their minds about the best way to build a better society, not placing a two year pre-entry probationary period on them. The anonymous accusations are also worrying.
The charge of trotsyist entryism is designed to justify the inspections and exclusions (and the 6 month freeze date) but the resultant exclusions seem to have mainly hit ex-greens, including some who joined last year and long term members whose 8 week provisional membership period is well over.
One of the most egregious exclusions has been that of the Catherine Starr, whom it would seem has been excluded for expressing her extreme support of the Foo Fighters. (I believe that they are a popular beat combo.) The Canary cover these purges well in this article, “Another Labour purge…”, and highlight the case of Dr Gemma Angel who was previously a Green Party supporter, joined Labour and has been excluded due to her previous public support of the Greens, the evidence being one tweet! An interesting aspect of this is the notice letter,
where McNicol makes it clear that he has taken advice from the NEC, which in my book may not be legal since the NEC is his supervisory body and these duties are his or his delegates alone. This takes us to the issues of segregation of duties within the disciplinary process required for the purposes of natural justice and anti-corruption control. The letter also documents their two year silence rule.
The third case of interest is that of Cllr Pamela Fitzpatrick, where it would seem vexatious and false allegations of abusive behaviour have been made about a Labour Councillor with many years of membership, leading to her suspension, loss of vote in the Leadership election and loss of whip on the Council meaning she can’t pursue her leadership role in fighting domestic violence.
This isn’t right!
I’d hoped this would have been shorter.