Labour Suspension Appeal Process

Very important information for anyone suspended from the Labour Party during the leadership election process.

andrewgodsell

After several frustrating days, I have finally got hold of the official appeal process for members wishing to challenge their suspension. I was suspended on the evening of Wednesday August 24. The appeal process was circulated to members of the NEC on the evening of Friday August 26 – the start of a three day weekend, during which the party office has been closed to telephone calls.

To: NEC members

From: General Secretary

Membership and Supporter validation

As you will undoubtedly have noticed, suspension letters started landing with members yesterday.

If members or supporters who have received a notification would like more information on the evidence seen by the panel, from today they can call 0345 092 2299 and a team in Newcastle will be able to help them. There is no right of appeal for registered or affiliate supporters, but if members wish to appeal they can make this…

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Thank you Owen Smith, From a Jeremy Corbyn supporter

Simply superb letter by Louise Hersee

OffGuardian

openletter

Dear Mr Smith,

I’m sure you’d agree that 2016 has been a turbulent time for UK politics – indeed I wouldn’t be surprised if my young son were to be writing about it in future exam papers in years to come.
I am one of those pesky newcomers to the Labour Party, I joined because, after years of voting Labour through gritted teeth (my first ever vote was in 1997), I had finally found someone willing to speak up for me, and those like me, in Jeremy Corbyn. Oh Mr Smith, how wonderful it was last year to hear the results come in and feel as if I were part of a great change to politics. The hope! The end to feeling disenfranchised by a party I knew in my heart was supposed to be for people like me but had moved so far to the right it made my…

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The twisted power of loaded language in the Labour Party

After McTernan’s use of the word “Traitor” to describe JC, thought it was time to reblog this.

No Time to Think

YESTERDAY, Labour Deputy Leader Tom Watson claimed that Trotskyists (sic) were seeking to influence the result of the party’s leadership election.

In an article in The Guardian Mr Watson said that members of the Socialist Party (formerly Militant), the Alliance for Workers Liberty and the Socialist Workers Party had infiltrated Labour as part of the surge of support for Jeremy Corbyn.

He claimed that these “Trots” did not have the party’s “best interests at heart”, but saw it as a “vehicle for revolutionary socialism” and were “not remotely interested in winning elections” and they were “twisting young arms in this leadership process”.

Mr Watson’s “Trotsky Twist” claim is interesting for many reasons, primarily because he has introduced the word Trot or Trotsykist (it is Trotskyite, Mr Watson) as terms of abuse against the followers of Mr Corbyn.

This word Trot can be added to a growing dictionary of abuse…

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Penn Fields in the Rain

Pouring down outside here in Penn Fields…

No Time to Think

The rain came down in sheets

Bouncing off the pavement in the streets

Sketching out the day ahead

Crawling sleepily from my bed

People passing by

Looking greyly at the sky

Feeling a relief of pain

Picture postcard Penn Fields in the rain

Driving slowly down the road

Commuters in computer overload

Collars pulled up high

Trying to keep dry

Eyes dead to the early morn

Faces figuring forlorn

Water rushes down the drain

Picture postcard Penn Fields in the rain

Thoughts of sunshine burning grain

On some other foreign plain

Memories of heat soaked time

Sipping cool Sauvignon wine

But do you ever dread

The time that’s left ahead

Have you felt a shadow of its pain?

Picture postcard Penn Fields in the rain

View original post

Right wing Labour MPs exposed by their own voting record

AMID all the rhetoric, propaganda, smears and double talk, perhaps the best way to isolate the right wing Labour MPs is to examine their recent voting records.

Over the past 10 months, under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, there have been three key House of Commons debates where MPs showed their true colours to the Labour membership.

In many ways these votes exposed the real “Enemy Within” and those who will undermine Mr Corbyn at every turn.

The first occasion was last October when Labour had the opportunity to vote against George Osborne’s fiscal charter, which introduced a law to ban governments from borrowing money to fund infrastructure, housing or public services “during normal times”.

It was a key vote to secure the Tories’ Austerity programme and stop future public investment.

The second time was in December, when MPs debated and voted on whether to extend British bombing to Syria. An extension which has already killed hundreds of innocent civilians.

And the third occasion was on 18 July this year when MPs backed renewing the Trident £200 billion nuclear deterrent by 472 to 117 – a majority of 355 votes.

On Wednesday 14 October Labour voted against George Osborne’s fiscal charter. But a group of 20 MPs from Labour’s right wing felt they could not vote against the Tories’ Austerity proposal and instead abstained.

The abstainers were:

  • Rushanara Ali 
  • Ian Austin 
  • Adrian Bailey 
  • Ben Bradshaw 
  • Ann Coffey 
  • Simon Danczuk 
  • Chris Evans 
  • Frank Field 
  • Mike Gapes 
  • Margaret Hodge 
  • Tristram Hunt 
  • Graham Jones 
  • Helen Jones 
  • Liz Kendall 
  • Chris Leslie 
  • Fiona MacTaggart 
  • Shabana Mahmood 
  • Jamie Reed 
  • Graham Stringer 
  • Gisela Stuart

The debate and vote on whether to extend British bombing of Isis into Syria was high profile and controversial for many reasons.

Labour MPs were given a free vote and allowed to vote according to their views.

Most Labour MPs – including the majority of the Shadow Cabinet – opposed the bombing, in line with Jeremy Corbyn.

But 66 Labour MPs voted with David Cameron in support of the military strikes.

They were:

  • Heidi Alexander
  • Ian Austin
  • Adrian Bailey
  • Kevin Barron
  • Margaret Beckett
  • Hilary Benn
  • Luciana Berger
  • Tom Blenkinsop
  • Ben Bradshaw
  • Chris Bryant
  • Alan Campbell
  • Jenny Chapman
  • Vernon Coaker
  • Ann Coffey
  • Yvette Cooper
  • Neil Coyle
  • Mary Creagh
  • Stella Creasy
  • Simon Danczuk
  • Wayne David
  • Gloria De Piero
  • Stephen Doughty
  • Jim Dowd
  • Michael Dugher
  • Angela Eagle
  • Maria Eagle
  • Susan Elan Jones
  • Louise Ellman
  • Frank Field
  • Jim Fitzpatrick
  • Colleen Fletcher
  • Caroline Flint
  • Harriet Harman
  • Margaret Hodge
  • George Howarth
  • Tristram Hunt
  • Dan Jarvis
  • Alan Johnson
  • Graham Jones
  • Helen Jones
  • Kevan Jones
  • Liz Kendall
  • Peter Kyle
  • Chris Leslie
  • Holly Lynch
  • Siobhain McDonagh
  • Pat McFadden
  • Conor McGinn
  • Alison McGovern
  • Lucy Powell
  • Bridget Phillipson
  • Jamie Reed
  • Emma Reynolds
  • Geoffrey Robinson
  • Joan Ryan
  • Ruth Smeeth
  • Angela Smith
  • John Spellar
  • Gisela Stuart
  • Gareth Thomas
  • Anna Turley
  • Chuka Umunna
  • Keith Vaz
  • Tom Watson
  • Phil Wilson
  • John Woodcock

In July this year when MPs backed renewing the Trident nuclear deterrent by 472 to 117, some 140 Labour MPs voted for the renewal, compared to 47 who voted no. A further 41 abstained or made themselves scarce.

Those who voted for Trident were:

  • Heidi Alexander 
  • Rushanara Ali
  • Rosena Allin-Khan
  • Ian Austin
  • Adrian Bailey
  • Kevin Barron
  • Margaret Beckett
  • Hilary Benn
  • Luciana Berger
  • Clive Betts
  • Tom Blenkinsop
  • Ben Bradshaw
  • Kevin Brennan
  • Chris Bryant
  • Andy Burnham
  • Liam Byrne
  • Alan Campbell
  • Jenny Chapman
  • Vernon Coaker
  • Ann Coffey
  • Julie Cooper
  • Rosie Cooper
  • Yvette Cooper
  • Neil Coyle
  • Mary Creagh
  • Stella Creasy
  • Jim Cunningham
  • Nic Dakin
  • Simon Danczuk
  • Wayne David
  • Geraint Davies
  • Gloria de Piero
  • Stephen Doughty
  • Jim Dowd
  • Peter Dowd
  • Jack Dromey
  • Michael Dugher
  • Angela Eagle
  • Maria Eagle
  • Julie Elliott
  • Louise Ellman
  • Bill Esterson 
  • Paul Farrelly
  • Frank Field
  • Jim Fitzpatrick
  • Robert Flello
  • Colleen Fletcher
  • Caroline Flint
  • Yvonne Fovargue
  • Gill Furniss
  • Mike Gapes 
  • Pat Glass
  • Mary Glindon
  • Kate Green
  • Andrew Gwynne
  • David Hanson
  • Harriet Harman
  • Helen Hayes
  • Sue Hayman
  • John Healey
  • Stephen Hepburn
  • Meg Hillier
  • Margaret Hodge
  • George Howarth
  • Tristram Hunt
  • Dan Jarvis
  • Alan Johnson
  • Diana Johnson
  • Gerald Jones
  • Graham Jones
  • Helen Jones
  • Kevan Jones
  • Susan Elan Jones
  • Mike Kane
  • Liz Kendall
  • Stephen Kinnock
  • Peter Kyle
  • Chris Leslie
  • Emma Lewell-Buck
  • Ian C Lucas
  • Holly Lynch
  • Justin Madders
  • Khalid Mahmood
  • Shabana Mahmood
  • Seema Malhotra
  • John Mann
  • Rob Marris
  • Christian Matheson
  • Steve McCabe
  • Kerry McCarthy
  • Siobhain McDonagh
  • Pat McFadden
  • Conor McGinn
  • Alison McGovern
  • Liz McInnes
  • Catherine McKinnell
  • Ed Miliband
  • Madeleine Moon
  • Jessica Morden
  • Melanie Onn
  • Chi Onwurah
  • Albert Owen
  • Matthew Pennycook
  • Toby Perkins
  • Jess Phillips
  • Bridget Phillipson
  • Lucy Powell
  • Jamie Reed
  • Steve Reed
  • Christina Rees
  • Rachel Reeves
  • Jonathan Reynolds
  • Geoffrey Robinson
  • Joan Ryan
  • Virendra Sharma
  • Barry Sheerman
  • Paula Sherriff
  • Gavin Shuker
  • Andy Slaughter
  • Ruth Smeeth
  • Angela Smith
  • Nick Smith
  • Owen Smith
  • Karin Smyth
  • John Spellar
  • Keir Starmer
  • Wes Streeting
  • Gisela Stuart
  • Mark Tami
  • Gareth Thomas
  • Nick Thomas-Symonds
  • Stephen Timms
  • Anna Turley
  • Karl Turner
  • Stephen Twigg
  • Valerie Vaz
  • Tom Watson
  • Phil Wilson
  • Rosie Winterton
  • John Woodcock
  • Iain Wright

And the hard core of 14 right wing/Blairite Labour MPs that refused to vote against the Tories, voted TO BOMB Syria AND for the renewal of Trident are therefore:

  • Ian Austin 
  • Adrian Bailey 
  • Ben Bradshaw 
  • Ann Coffey 
  • Simon Danczuk 
  • Frank Field 
  • Margaret Hodge 
  • Tristram Hunt 
  • Graham Jones 
  • Helen Jones 
  • Liz Kendall 
  • Chris Leslie 
  • Jamie Reed 
  • Gisela Stuart

It is easy to see without looking too far, just who are Labour’s Red Tories and those who might be advised to find a different political party to represent.

  • For more background you may also like to read: The right wing incontinence of the Progress plotters.

https://seagullnic.wordpress.com/2016/07/27/the-right-wing-incontinence-of-the-progress-plotters/

 

The twisted power of loaded language in the Labour Party

YESTERDAY, Labour Deputy Leader Tom Watson claimed that Trotskyists (sic) were seeking to influence the result of the party’s leadership election.

In an article in The Guardian Mr Watson said that members of the Socialist Party (formerly Militant), the Alliance for Workers Liberty and the Socialist Workers Party had infiltrated Labour as part of the surge of support for Jeremy Corbyn.

He claimed that these “Trots” did not have the party’s “best interests at heart”, but saw it as a “vehicle for revolutionary socialism” and were “not remotely interested in winning elections” and they were “twisting young arms in this leadership process”.

Mr Watson’s “Trotsky Twist” claim is interesting for many reasons, primarily because he has introduced the word Trot or Trotsykist (it is Trotskyite, Mr Watson) as terms of abuse against the followers of Mr Corbyn.

This word Trot can be added to a growing dictionary of abuse used by the anti Corbyn camp vis: Hard Left, Loony Left, Commies, Infiltrators, Extremists, Momentum Thugs, Entryists, Dogs, Mob, Brick-Lobbers, Cyber Bullies, Trolls, Anti Semites, Sexists, Vandals and many more.

Remarkable double standards when less than two weeks ago Labour’s NEC decided to ban Labour Party members from using the word Blairite under threat of being barred from voting in the leadership election.

The word Blairite has been added to a list of proscribed words – which also includes Scab, Scum and Red Tory – provided by Labour HQ.

Interestingly the edict didn’t ban Labour right-wingers from using the slanderous, misleading and abusive terms defined above, to describe the 300,000+ new members from all ages, areas and demographic groups attracted to the Labour Party since last summer.

As far as the NEC is concerned it’s perfectly fine for Labour right-wingers to damage the reputation of the Party by referring to hundreds of thousands of their own members with vicious and inaccurate slurs, yet anyone who refers to Tony Blair acolytes as Blairites has committed such a severe crime that they could be stripped of their right to vote in the leadership election.

Yet, it’s obvious to anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of British politics that the Blairites are the entryists who took over a left-wing political party and switched it to the promotion of Rupert Murdoch approved Thatcherism (driving away 5 million Labour voters between 1997 and 2010 in the process).

It’s remarkable how so many of the terms of abuse that the Labour right-wingers hurl at Jeremy Corbyn supporters (bullies, infiltrators, cultists, entryists) are so much more applicable to themselves than the victims of their slurs.

But that is how psychological bullies operate.

They project their own character traits onto their victims, and then continually blame their victims for the abuse they subject them to.

Loaded language is their stock in trade, learned assiduously from their Tory friends and their pals in the print media.

Last December, then Prime Minister David Cameron was repeatedly asked to apologise for labelling MPs who might vote against bombing in Syria as “Terrorist Sympathisers”.

It was a failed but oblique attempt to score points against Jeremy Corbyn for his historical support for Hamas and Sinn Fein.

Biased use of language, with a nakedly political motive, is clearly poisonous.

UK tabloids like the Murdoch-owned Sun that has compared immigrants to cockroaches recall the dark days of the Nazi media attacking those they sought to eliminate, says the UN’s human rights chief.

“The Nazi media described people their masters wanted to eliminate as rats and cockroaches,” said UN high commissioner for human rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.

He singled out an article by far right media columnist Katie Hopkins, published by the Sun, in which she wrote: “Make no mistake, these migrants are like cockroaches.”

The use of language to load news reporting and political rhetoric is used regularly in domestic situations.

The British press regularly use the adjectives Far Left, Hard Left and Loony Left to describe Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters in the Labour Party, while referring to more right wing MPs as being Moderates.

Never do they seek to define what the word Moderate means or ever refer to David Cameron or Theresa May as being Far Right or Hard Right.

What we are observing is an adjectival degradation.

Every report, coming from inside governments or institutions outside is, if it contains some form of criticism, therefore “damning”, “devastating” or “scathing”.

Warnings, which most of the time were not heeded anyhow, are “stark”, differences of opinion between politicians of the same party are “dramatic splits“, developments are “alarming” – the consumer of the media is confronted with a permanent linguistic overkill.

Remember how Tony Blair and his spin doctors rebranded the Labour Party as New Labour and Blair’s Labour as he courted Rupert Murdoch and the so-called Middle England vote in the 1990s.

For marketing and propaganda purposes he even banned the use of the word socialist or socialism among his MPs.

The final irony is that now almost 20 years later the word Blairite is considered a term of abuse by the Labour Party.

Is that the final abuse?

 

Corbyn’s chimes of freedom give hope beyond the Blairite lies

blair

YOU usually only get the true measure of a person when you meet them face to face.

And so it was for me when I first interviewed erstwhile Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair, soon after his election victory in 1997.

I had briefly met Mr Blair two years earlier in Glasgow while he was celebrating Labour’s landslide wins in the local council elections. He was triumphant, beaming and pressing flesh in every direction. The Scottish faithful loved him.

I had helped elect him and his Labour Government on 1 May 1997, thus ending 18 years of Thatcherism and Majorism and the class-ridden Tory ruination of our country.

Like millions of others I was now hopeful for a brighter and more socially equal future… after all, things could only get better!

So when, in early December I was asked by my news editor at the Sunday Sun (a North of England Sunday tabloid, not to be confused with the poisonous rag the Sun on Sunday!) if I would like to interview the new Prime Minister on his return to his Sedgefield constituency, I jumped at the chance.

On a sunny Saturday morning, armed with a hand-held tape recorder and full of questions, I made my way to the Labour Club at Trimdon in County Durham.

The club was full with the local faithful and many more had gathered outside. Here was the return of the conquering hero.

Looking tall in a dark suit, white shirt and equally dark blue tie, Mr Blair addressed the audience inside the club about his hopes and plans for a New Labour Britain.

It was typical political rhetoric, the type I had heard many times from other party leaders. But Blair was convincing and comfortable in the knowledge that he was among friends.

He finished to a standing ovation and began to mingle with party activists.

I approached his agent John Burton and requested a few minutes of the PM’s time for an interview which I could guarantee we would run the next day.

Ten minutes later John tapped me on the shoulder and told me Mr Blair was ready for ‘a chat’.

So I faced our new leader, introduced myself and asked him about his proposed cuts in benefits to lone parents. He noticeably winced at this first question, and in words which would not be alien to David Cameron, he said: “I think most people understand that we have got to reform the system. Because if you are spending more on benefits than you are on schools, hospitals and law and order put together, there is a problem.”

Asked if stalwarts in his constituency shared many fellow Labour MPs’ fears over benefit cuts, he became slightly more agitated.

He said: “Look, I have always said that whenever you are doing change then it is always difficult to begin with. We have got to make these reforms and I think people will accept them as changes we have to make.”

Then in words which could have come straight from Conservative Central Office he gave a stark indication that the disabled and sick would be the next to face an overhaul of their benefits.

“We spend more on disabled and incapacity benefits than we do on the entire school system in the UK,” he told me, before adding: “Benefit fraud – estimated at £4 to £5 billion a year – is enough to build 100 large hospitals.

“If we achieve these reforms then it will be a magnificent legacy that the New Labour Government has left us in a new millennium.”

We talked for another ten minutes before the Prime Minister moved away to the safety of his constituency friends.

This was my political watershed.

Personally I felt my interview with Mr Blair was enlightening for many reasons.

Primarily because during the course of the conversation, Mr Blair avoided any eye contact and instead looked right through me, as if reading from an auto cue.

Secondly, because these were not the words, or message to the poorest in our society, that I was expecting from a new Labour Prime Minister. A Prime Minister charged with turning back almost two decades of Conservative pillage and division.

And finally, when all else failed, Mr Blair seemed to rely on cheap soundbites and a pre-learned script.

There was not one ounce of sincerity in anything he said.

He had lost me!

And over the next four years, the actions and policies of Mr Blair’s New Labour government confirmed my worst fears.

While I still voted Labour in the June 2001 General Election, I had lost all confidence in this light blue successor to Thatcher or any dreams of a more equitable Britain.

The events of post 9/11, Mr Blair’s unswerving support of the moronic George W Bush, the illegal invasion of Afghanistan and the lies over the justification for war against Saddam Hussein and Iraq, finally nailed it.

I felt that like many, I had been caught in a web of lies and propaganda and lost in a smokescreen of rhetoric and deceit.

The poor were poorer, the rich got richer, and the innocent victims of Blair’s wars lay charred and dead.

So by 2005, for the first time in my life I did NOT vote for any party or political leader.

Under Thatcher, Major, Blair and Cameron our country had been sleep walking into a world of personal greed, arrogance and self-importance with totems such as The X Factor, Top Gear, designer clothes labels and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

Human kindness, gentleness, peace, society and social justice were jettisoned for a winner takes all mentality and a scapegoating of the homeless, those claiming benefits, Muslims, asylum seekers and the poor in general.

All of this was underpinned by our malicious gutter press who daily smeared and pilloried anyone who dared question the status quo or suggest alternatives.

And the Labour Party, which should have been standing and campaigning for a more just society crumpled into a Tory Lite modelled in the image of war monger Tony Blair.

Following Cameron’s election victory in May 2105 I published a lengthy report stating that the Left “must begin now to unify around a leader or leadership we can all trust, organise and start the fightback, or we wave farewell to any hope for a fairer and better future.”

Deep inside I cried a million tears as I thought it was a vain hope.

Then something dramatic, wonderful and unexpected happened.

Last September’s landslide election of Jeremy Corbyn as the first truly socialist leader of the Labour Party since Clement Atlee was a pivotal moment in British politics.

And profound moment for me personally.

Two months ago I re-joined the Labour Party.

Jeremy Corbyn’s messages of justice, care, peace and equality caught the hearts and minds of millions and a world away from the capitalist greed of Tony Blair and his minions.

The world was turning again and people became engaged with their own future and the power that collectively we can wage for a better tomorrow.

Now as Jeremy Corbyn is under daily assault from those same minions and their friends in the media, we must dig deep and ensure his re-election as leader on 24 September.

#Together4Corbyn

Far between sundown’s finish an’ midnight’s broken toll We ducked inside the doorway, thunder crashing As majestic bells of bolts struck shadows in the sounds Seeming to be the chimes of freedom flashing Flashing for the warriors whose strength is not to fight Flashing for the refugees on the unarmed road of flight An’ for each an’ ev’ry underdog soldier in the night An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing

Through the mad mystic hammering of the wild ripping hail The sky cracked its poems in naked wonder That the clinging of the church bells blew far into the breeze Leaving only bells of lightning and its thunder Striking for the gentle, striking for the kind Striking for the guardians and protectors of the mind An’ the unpawned painter behind beyond his rightful time An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing

Through the wild cathedral evening the rain unraveled tales For the disrobed faceless forms of no position Tolling for the tongues with no place to bring their thoughts All down in taken-for-granted situations Tolling for the deaf an’ blind, tolling for the mute Tolling for the mistreated, mateless mother, the mistitled prostitute For the misdemeanor outlaw, chased an’ cheated by pursuit An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing

Even though a cloud’s white curtain in a far-off corner flashed An’ the hypnotic splattered mist was slowly lifting Electric light still struck like arrows, fired but for the ones Condemned to drift or else be kept from drifting Tolling for the searching ones, on their speechless, seeking trail For the lonesome-hearted lovers with too personal a tale An’ for each unharmful, gentle soul misplaced inside a jail An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing

(Bob Dylan, 1964)