LABOUR VOTE RIGGING: AN AIDE MEMOIRE
The corrupt Labour Party machine today continued in spectacular fashion its mission to degrade our democracy and our politics.
So many enormities has this cabal now committed they are becoming hard to keep track of.
Here, then, is a helpful aide memoire relating what they have done so far. I will be adding to it as (no doubt) the gerrymandering continues, and please do let me know if I have missed any:
- Barred 130,000 new members from voting in the Leadership election by placing a six month cut-off date on voting eligibility. The cut-off date for all previous Leadership Elections this decade were given a vote in same varied between 2 days and 1 month.
2) They did this despite having clearly stated on the section of the website signing up new members that they WOULD be able to vote in Leadership Elections, and that this right was included in the money paid for membership.
3) Set the fee to pay to vote in the Leadership Election as a Registered Supporter at the phenomenally high £25 (in the previous election it was £3). £25 is obviously a significant amount of money to have to find for many natural supporters of Labour, the supposed party of the disadvantaged. Furthermore, many of the people paying it had already recently paid their membership fees in the expectation that they would be allowed to vote. Now, suddenly, they were told that they would not, unless they paid a further £25. Finally, people who were NOT members would be able to vote by paying £25, a right denied to people who WERE actually members.
By the way, when “Soft Left” Angela Eagle, the anti-Corbyn Candidate at the time, was asked if she thought £25 was too high, she shrugged and said it was “ a pretty fair price to pay for the future of democracy” (?)
4) Again making up the rules on the hoof, the NEC summarily banned the payment of the £25 Registered Supporters’ Fees via Crowd Funding Websites. I repeat, Labour is supposed to be the Party that sticks up for the disadvantaged. In fact many in the anti-Corbyn camp keep trying to claim that this is what motivates them “we’re doing this on behalf of the very many people that desperately need a Labour Government!” is a familiar mantra of theirs.
5) Again making up the rules on the hoof, the NEC summarily applied a joining freeze to voting by Affiliated (Trade Union) Members as well, in response to UNITE and others offering new members the ability to pay their fees in instalments (again with great care and concern for the disadvantaged I must say)
6) Arbitrarily suspended all CLP Meetings other than those for the purpose of making Leadership Nominations. This was on the highly unlikely and uncorroborated grounds that intimidation was going on at such meetings, in which case why allow the Nomination Meetings? Furthermore, despite the ban a number of anti-Corbyn MPs somehow managed to hold CLP Meetings in which they explained to members their reasons for hating him.
In fact the suspicion must be that the motive for suspending all meetings was to limit any inconvenient pro-Corbyn activity within local parties (for example censure by those local parties of rebellious MPs)
7) Summarily suspended Wirral CLP, on the grounds that the NEC had received accusations of bullying and prejudice at that CLP. This CLP had recently passed a motion instructing its MP, Angela Eagle, to support the Leadership of Jeremy Corbyn and was about to vote on a motion of No Confidence in her.
Here is the Vice Chair of the CLP being interviewed by the BBC https://twitter.com/IamalrightJack/status/749414679424958466) Judge for yourself how much of a thug he is.
8) Summarily suspended Brighton & Hove plc, co-incidentally just after it had elected a Pro-Corbyn Executive Team. The NEC also summarily cancelled that Election. Again this was on the basis of allegations of intimidatory behaviour during the CLP’s AGM.
See also evidence collected by Greg Hadfield, the newly elected Chair of B&H CLP (whose election the NEC Cancelled)
9) Summarily banned use of the term “Blairite” on Social Media or at Party Gatherings, on pain of expulsion from the Party. So this is a fairly common term that many people use as a convenient shorthand because it’s less cumbersome than “the right wing of the Party”. It’s a phrase naturally used to denote those who follow the philosophy of a hugely significant Labour figure. Yet now people have to actually check themselves before they think and speak through fear of what the all-powerful Executive will do to them. This is actually highly sinister — a political body getting inside peoples’ heads and dictating what comes out of their mouths.
10) When 5 new Labour Members won a Test Case at the Old Bailey to allow them to vote after all in the Leadership Election, the NEC appealed the decision. This meant that they were spending tens of thousands of pounds’ worth of members’ subscriptions on a court case to stop many of those same members voting.
11) When the NEC won their appeal they applied for, and got, Court costs back from the 5 individual Party members who had brought the Test Case. Another fine example of looking after the less well off?
12) On 2 separate occasions, arbitrarily removed a large number of members and registered supporters from the voting roll. The guidelines and procedures under which they were doing so remains unclear. One NEC Member, Johanna Baxter (main picture), tweeted that she was at home vetting the voting lists on a Saturday night, suggesting that the process is both entirely arbitrary and on the whim of one person. The reasons given (by e-mail) to those excluded were incredibly vague one-liners, with no details and no corroboration. Furthermore the reasons were ludicrous: “Tweeting in Support of the Green Party”; “Re-Tweeting Inappropriate Content”. For goodness’ sake all sorts of photos, memes and jokes go flying around Twitter. How can be people be expected to stop and think about everything they pass on, especially if they don’t know what the guidelines are? In any case they should not have to. It is not the Labour Party’s business to dictate what individuals can and cannot say.
As for “Tweeting in Support of other Parties” surely that is quite a normal thing to do. I mean not saying “Vote for them” but saying things like “I’m glad the Greens have highlighted this issue”. Naturally, from time to time, supporters and even members of one party switch to another. Surely that is in fact a good thing if Corbyn is encouraging more of that.
Some very prominent and long standing campaigners have had their right to vote removed, including John Dunn, who recently challenged Owen Smith on his sudden adoption of the Orgreave justice campaign as his own and the General Secretary of the Bakers’ Union.
The most bizarre exclusion to date has been the exclusion of a Corbyn supporter on the basis of a FaceBook Post unrelated to politics (about the Foo Fighters) that contained an expletive. Really, though, even if her post had been political it is not the business of the NEC to act as morality police in any context at all. It is surely up to individuals how they express themselves and what views they express. Vetting should be about ensuring that new members are not carrying out nefarious business on behalf of a rival party/criminal activity. It should not be about enforcing the moral views of a small, unaccountable clique on to the rest of the membership. Although of course that is just an excuse for the real purpose of the exercise: to rig the vote in favour of Smith.
I have not seen one complaint from a Smith supporter saying that their vote has been removed, although I have seen some very abusive Social Media interventions from same. No action has been taken against Mike Foster, who likened Corbyn supporters to Nazis, or Lord Sainsbury, who donates almost equal amounts of money to Labour and the Liberal Democrats.
13) The Registered Supporters who have had their vote cancelled have NOT had their £25 refunded. Effectively the NEC. Effectively, the NEC has encouraged them to donate £25 to the Party and then later, on a purely arbitrary basis, cancelled the Vote which was the basis of the donation being made. If this isn’t Fraud it certainly looks very like it.
14) Simply failed to send out tens of thousands of ballots to eligible voters in the leadership election (estimated in the end at 60,000), passing them all off as an “administrative error”. Members have recounted how they chased their ballot several times, each time being assured that they were being sent out in batches and that theirs would probably arrive in the next one. The deadline for voting came and went and still no ballot was received. When they called again they were told, in the worst traditions of crappy phone and internet companies, that sorry now the deadline had passed and there was now nothing Labour could do about their own administrative cock-up.
Although really, it is scarcely possible to believe that an organisation of the standing of the Labour Party could be so imcompetent as to accidentally fail to give 60,000 voters their ballots. Even if that were the case, such an event would normally be subject to in-depth press coverage. There was practically none. The other alternative, that the party machine did this deliberately to fix an election should be equally unthinkable. Sadly, though, in light of recent events it is very far from unthinkable.
15) Suddenly and arbitrarily decided to alter the make-up of the NEC by adding two more members appointed (not elected) by the Scottish and Welsh Party Leaders. Purely co-indentally, this came a few weeks after a new NEC had been elected by Labour Members, in which Corbyn had won a sweeping NEC majority. This change was decided upon and put to conference by the outgoing NEC, and of course had the effect of neutralising Corbyn’s democratically elected incoming majority, the Welsh and Scottish leaders both being Blairites. Furthermore, at Conference itself, this profoundly significant measure was not put to a separate vote, but, ridiculously, only as part of a raft of other proposals. Delegates could therefore only reject it if they rejected all the other measures. Finally, the conference Chairman consistently denied requests by delegates to put the proposals to a card (ie fully tallied and counted) vote as opposed to a show of hands. This despite the fact that the Party rulebook clearly states that a card vote must be implemented if requested by delegates. Once the proposal was passed, Scottish Party leader Kezia Dugdale promptly appointed herself as the Scottish Member. More details here. Incidentally the mainstream media, where it reported this at all, referred to it as “a battle for control” of the NEC, as if it was just a matter of procedure rather than a deliberate fix to reverse a democratic vote.
Obviously, the main point of outrage with all the above is the simple fact that the NEC is openly doing its level best to fix an election, and in doing so degrades our Party and our Country.
However, there is also the issue that, in all these things, the Party machine has simply been able to make up and change all the rules of the game on the hoof in response to what its agenda requires. It is able to do this in a completely unaccountable, mysterious fashion and just suddenly hand down changing dictates to the entire membership as to how things will be. This is something Corbyn must urgently address once re-elected as it is unacceptable in any credible public organisation (much though the Court of Appeal seems to think otherwise).