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Corbyn-supporters expelled or barred from voting in leader poll

from Vox Political

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.

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:

This prompted Phillip Jones to ask her a reasonable question:

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.

This was from ‘Susan’:

Another Susan asked:

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.


29 Comments

  1. Mary Breeze says

    It is very interesting to actually read the small print of the Labour Party rulebook – including a clause which says the NEC can override absolutely everything else written in it!

    Like

  2. Western democracy anno 2016. Disregarding and sabotaging the outcome of referenda and political leadership elections clearly didnt stop thepeasantsfrom speaking out. So on to the next phase; blocking the people that ruin your planned neo-liberal discourse from voting using DDR-methods, to avoid anotherpeasant revoltwithin your disfunctionalSocial Democraticparty. Labor is neitherSocialorDemocratic`. If the Blairites manage to win the leadership election using these pathetic means to exclude tens of thousands of Corbyn-voters; their victory will be short-lived. Another party will emerge to the left of Labor (like it did here in The Netherlands-SP; or in Germany-Die Linke)

    Like

  3. Jack Rabbit says

    “Kafkaesque” kind of says it all doesn’t it? They have clearly gone for those with high profiles who are very active on Faceache and Twatter but they have been sneakier than that, to whit my application process. Never mind that I had to pay £25 despite being a card carrying member, but when I paid by credit card they stipulated that I had to provide five years worth of addresses, my residential CV address should be the same as my credit card address – they aren’t because Ilive abroad (I got round it) and they wanted to see me on the electoral register (on the one listing people abroad) – you’d think I was applying to join MI5. Eventually was able to vote this week. Only one choice really if you prefer integrity to a snake-oil salesman.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Alan says

    The blatant corruption remarked upon by the author is reminiscent of US electoral fraud tactics. Although termed ‘Blarite’, as all connected with Mr Blair, little is original. This erosion of centuries fought rights has been ongoing since the latter part of the 19th century, notably the round table group and more recently Chatham House, along with many others. To coin the phrase Blarite obscures the reasons why the commentator Frank refers to the electorate as consumers comparing brands. The defeat of Mr Smith won’t diminish the corruption, Mr Smith as Mr Blair are merely following a well placed path, unfortunately a path used by both sides of the house.

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  5. Paul W-S says

    Frank – that is very astute. The commodification of everything clearly now includes politics and politicians who, bereft of anything except the glossy sheen sprayed over them by the PR machinery, merely periodically disport themselves in the hope of attracting some voter attention. Once they have a sufficient level of it to gain entry into the right political circle they merely squat there and wait out their lucrative directorship/consultancy for some multi-national

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    • John says

      Has he?
      It is pointless John McDonnell writing to Ian McNicol about the election being rigged.
      McNicol is the rigger-in-chief.
      John should demand an emergency meeting of the NEC to dismiss McNicol.
      They should also reinstate all barred members’ rights to vote in the Leader election.

      Like

  6. James Carless says

    So what next for those of us that have committed the great sin of exercising our freedom of speech ?
    Will our cards be forever marked as ‘being the wrong sort’ ?
    Perhaps public ‘confessions’ and spell in a ‘rehabilitation camp’ might redeem us ?
    Who appointed these Labourhood watch spies ?
    When did brotherhood of Labour become the Orwellian Big Brother nightmare ?
    This leadership battle has now become much more than a debate for the heart and sole of a political party.

    Like

  7. Christopher Goodman says

    So previously voting for the Green party is enough to get you barred from voting. Are these people for real? Are they really saying people are not allowed to change their mind about their politics? If it wasn’t so serious it would be hilarious. Desperate people hanging on to power at whatever the cost.

    Like

    • Yes, it should be remembered that Dennis Healey, a post-war Labour party heavy-weight, was a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain before he joined the Labour party, and George Orwell was a member of the Independent Labour Party (ILP) which he joined in 1938. Presumably these types of ‘extremists’ would not be welcome in today’s Parliamentary Labour Party.

      Like

  8. The PLP as it is ,Is a laughing stock across the country. Every one can now see them for what they are REALLY about money buissness and perks. They know if Jeremy Corbyn is Leader again there will be CLP meeting all over the country.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Nogginthenog says

    Even if you put aside the obvious attempt to rig the vote, I don’t believe they think they can win this way, rather they are attempting to make it closer to justify the next attempt, how can ANY party expect to be taken seriously as a potential government when they behave this way?

    It beggars belief that they cannot see how this looks from the outside, but they apparently cannot. It also explains some of the provocative tweets from certain labour MPs, they have obviously been provoking an angry response so they can report people. Trolling during an election to get people removed. That is what they are reduced to.

    Corbyn may be one for unity, but after this, I think the labour brand will not survive without a complete disassociation from the ringleaders of all of this, they will have to be forced out. No one will vote for a party with this kind of anti democratic group within it.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. O Lucky Man! says

    Er, is this the official death of satire then..?

    “…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…”

    Up until recently if I saw something like this as a headline somewhere I’d assume it was some kind of third rate clickbait trying to suck me into an onion-like screed of nonsensical jest. Now it is apparently the way the world is. Words fail really. It’s a level of bullshit that has become so obvious that even those who subscribe to it must be fully aware of its contorted corruption.

    So here we all they are then, Living the Lie. Detached from any vestiges of rational moorings, starting to ascend up into the skies of a blossoming propaganda nation. One retrospectively sanctioned wrong word on social media, one fragment of a construably wrong move on the CCTV and you are nutered by the millionaires, the billionaires, and their morally and financilly indentured minions.

    What a pile of shite really.

    Liked by 2 people

    • John says

      It is all totally Kafkaesque.
      People having their membership and entitlements removed for saying things that were not wrong when they said it.
      This kind of bizarre retrospective behaviour is rarely condoned in law.
      McNicol and his cronies are breaking every single principle of natural justice.
      No “evidence” or witness testimony is produced and no appeals procedure is available to appeal against their ruling.
      I appreciate Jeremy Corbyn’s desire for a new, gentle, kinder form of politics but McNicol has made this impossible.
      Jeremy Corbyn has to show firm leadership and get McNicol and his cronies booted out of the Labour Party.
      All those refused membership or who have lost membership entitlements must immediately be restored.
      If ever there is a time for Jeremy Corbyn to be “No more Mr Nice Guy”, it is now.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Seamus Padraig says

        Yup. It’s time for Jeremy Corbyn to start kicking ass and taking names. If he play Mr. Nice Guy too much longer, he could end up like Bernie Sanders.

        Like

  11. The thing to remember is that the Blairites (not being a member of the LP, I’ll call them what I like) do not want a mass, thriving party. From their point of view opening the doors to a mass and active membership is akin to opening Pandora’s Box; all sorts of strange people with heterodox ideas might enter. And this would make us ‘unelectable’. Therefore, their ideal organization consists of a self-serving, group-think, middle-class coterie of professional administrators without a political idea in their collective heads, who periodically – every 5 years – tout for votes from a largely depoliticised electorate. This is essentially the same approach as used in commercial business organizations. We are now no longer citizens we are consumers comparing the brands of rival teams.

    The Parliamentary Labour Party is now become a front-line in the neo-liberal offensive against the emerging anti-globalization movements. It is fully committed to block any fundamental change in the status quo. It has become a caricature of everything it once used to be against.

    Liked by 3 people

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