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Bullying, sexism and racism are tearing at Labour’s seams

Starmer promised to ‘bring unity to the party’ – but social media stalking and harassment are rife without any action being taken, says LUCY WOOD

ONLY months ago, a Labour Party report, which showed that senior members within the Labour Party were doing all they could to prevent an election victory, was leaked.

It should have been a major scandal in the press but much of the mainstream media were also doing all they could to ensure that a progressive and vibrant Labour Party did not walk the path to victory.

They could not condemn the behaviour that they themselves were cheering on by working together to destroy the character of Jeremy Corbyn and all those that were loyal to him, including MPs and grassroots members.

A project that is still in progress by those that will not be content until they utterly destroy the reputation of Jeremy Corbyn and all those that support him.

The unfair dismissal of Rebecca Long Bailey MP as shadow education secretary was another indication that the party continues to eat itself in what seems an eternal attack on its members by other members.

Where is the unity, authority and integrity that was promised by a Keir Starmer leadership?

His actions have caused deeper divides while his integrity is called into question on several issues.

Such as the contemptuous way he regarded the Black Lives Matter movement by one week posing for a photo bending the knee and the next describing the movement as a “moment.”

He offended BAME members who already suspected his leniency on racists when he refused to call anti-BLM protesters racists and still has not taken action against those in the leaked report who used racist language aimed at prominent Labour MPs such as Diane Abbott.

Meanwhile, several branches and CLPs seem just as infected by toxic disunity and repulsive behaviour towards members.

Over the last five years social media has become the favoured ban hammer of the Labour Party.

It is used to harass and stalk members in the hopes of finding an excuse to report them for suspension.

After reading the report it was seen that staff members of the Labour Party were stalking members to remove the “Trots,” but grassroots members are also using social media as a weapon to remove those they dislike.

This practice has torn apart Watford Labour CLP, as the ex-chair Linda Meehan felt forced to step down after a tweet of hers was reported to the local press by a Watford Labour source.

Despite apologising and deleting the response “I would too” to a post that said “Fuck Churchill he was a racist, narcissistic, imperial scumbag. I’d happily piss on his grave,” it was dragged through the local press twice and she is now facing a barrage of racial abuse and threats to her life.

The regional office, Labour East has advised Meehan that a file of her social media posts, going as far back as 2015, has been given to them and that she needs to account for some of them.

Recently a Labour council leader in Sandwell stepped down after also being suspended due to social media posts from over two years ago, with no explanation what those posts were, therefore making it impossible for her to defend or explain her actions.

In Essex, a BAME female Labour member stood as a candidate for the 2019 election but was deemed unacceptable on the eve of her hustings.

It is only assumed that past social media posts were the reason but she was given no explanation or right to speak up against the decision.

Countless people on social media speak out saying that the same has happened to them. It seems that there is continued harassment of Labour Party members who are seen as too left-wing for the party are sought out and removed.

However, it is not just social media stalking that is tearing at the seams of the party.

Ongoing bullying, sexism and racism have been allowed to go on for prolonged periods without any action taken.

Watford CLP sent a letter in June to the NEC, asking that it urgently investigate “bullying, racism and misogyny, which is pulling Watford CLP apart.”

It went on to state: “This has gone on for at least the past two decades.”

Another London CLP, which has seen untoward behaviour focused towards two of its members, sent out an email to almost 600 members notifying them of a motion to be held at the next meeting requesting that those two members be expelled from the Labour Party with no reason given.

In Essex, three female Labour members have complained of an active member who has sent naked photos of himself to them but despite their complaints to the CLP and the Labour Party he continues to escape any disciplinary action.

When approached, Colchester CLP said: “As a principle we can say that allegations of this nature would always be taken seriously and investigated using the mechanisms available to us within the CLP.

“We do however acknowledge that as a party the process is often too slow, too complicated and in our opinion does not appear to adequately centre the rights of victims in these circumstances.”

In Enfield North, continuous interference from the national party has meant that some of their most dedicated officers and activists have resigned.

Ed Poole, who resigned the role of vice-chair membership said: “I am resigning the role because I am no longer willing to tolerate the unjustified, constant interference from senior Labour Party bodies in the democratic decisions of the executive committee.”

He went on to say: “I wanted to help shape this Constituency Labour Party but that has been made impossible by Labour Party bureaucrats constantly overriding our decisions.

“Encouraging and supporting this constant obstruction are a minority of people on the executive committee who have let their factional interests and animosity toward the secretary and others get in the way of the effective running of Enfield North Constituency Labour Party time and time again.”

Poole calls out the hypocritical behaviour of the national party that interferes in local issues but ignores racist, misogynistic and bullying behaviour, taking no action against it at all.

In a blog he wrote called “I didn’t leave Labour, Labour left me,” Poole writes: “With our own party against us we were never able to convince the electorate and we missed a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to get a politician of great integrity, compassion and honesty into No 10.”

One of the reasons cited for the disunity in the Labour Party is that it is a broad church.

The idea being that despite any differences, members would stick together to fight and win against electoral enemies to be able to deliver real change for communities.

It seems that for some in the party, electoral enemies have taken the form of their own party members and all notions of solidarity, equality and decency have been abandoned in a goal to keep a party that is a harmless alternative to the Conservatives.

Attempts were made to allow the Labour East regional office to comment on the contents above but at the time of writing no response had been given.

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