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I am absolutely speechless, and in protest, I sat outside with my wife (also a full Labour Party member who joined after January 12th 2016).  We wore gags over our  mouths in protest. Thanks to the people who came along and protested with us.

PLEASE NOTE: THIS WAS A SILENT, PEACEFUL, DEMONSTRATION, WEARING A GAG OVER MOUTH IN PROTEST TO SHOW LABOUR PARTY FULL MEMBERS WHO JOINED AFTER 12TH JANUARY ARE BEING GAGGED AND CAN’T SPEAK OR VOTE IN THEIR OWN CLP’s ‘SUPPORTING NOMINATION MEETING’ – SEE BELOW.

If you  are a Labour Party Registered Supporter, or full member after Jan. 12th and can’t get in to your CLP’s ‘Supporting Nomination’ meeting, MEET OUTSIDE as we did.

 7:15, Friday 5th August 2016, St John with St Mark Church Hall, Parkinson Street Bury BL9 6NY – PEACEFUL & SILENT Demonstration, no intimidation, no abuse, ‘like Gandhi’. WEAR A GAG over mouth.

Our Labour Bury North CLP had a meeting as above, which they said we were ineligible to attend although we are full members and we paid the extra £25 ‘voting surcharge’ in the two-day window.

We are allowed to vote in the actual Leadership election (we think) but can’t attend our own CLP’s ‘Supporting Nomination Meeting’.

In my case this despite having paid £3 registered voter fee last year + full membership subscription + £15 subscription to LGBT Labour (an official ‘Affiliated Group’) + this £25 ‘new member voter surcharge’ – but because I was not a member before 12th January 2016 I am unable to attend or vote in the CLP’s ‘Supporting Nomination Meeting’ to nominate the Labour Leader!

The draconian and undemocratic eligibility criteria were as follows, as stated in emails from our Labour North West Region and our Bury North CLP Secretary:

From: Andy Smith <andy_smith@labour.org.uk>
Date: 28  July 2016 at 12:13:50 BST
Subject:  Supporting Nomination for the Leader of the Labour Party

Dear Colleague,

                   CLP Supporting Nomination for the Leader of the Labour Party

Bury North CLP will be holding a meeting to give local members an opportunity to discuss the candidates and give consideration as to whether the CLP might wish to make a Nomination in favour of a Leadership candidate.

This letter is to advise you that this meeting will take place:

On  Friday 5th August 2016 commencing at 7.30 p.m. the venue will be :

St John with St Mark Church Hall, Parkinson Street Bury BL9 6NY

According to our records you are eligible to take part in the meeting.

To take part in the Supporting Nomination meeting you will need to have been a member of the Labour Party on or before 12th January 2016 and not be in arrears.

Eligible members – Freeze Date (as per NEC decision):

Only those members who have been Party members on or before 12 January 2016 and are therefore eligible to vote in the ballot will be eligible to participate in the meeting.

Those members who are showing as being in arrears from after the Freeze Date, will be able to participate in the meeting provided they pay the arrears at the commencement of the meeting, or provide proof that they have since paid the arrears to the national Party.

No registered or affiliated supporters or non-eligible members can attend or be allowed entry to the meeting, unless they are also an eligible party member.

If you have any questions in regard to your eligibility to take part in the meeting you will need to contact John Smith 0161 761 3597

John Smith

Labour Party Bury North CLP Executive Secretary
(no email address?)

(I emailed Labour General Secretary Iain McNichol about the NEC’s recent decisions – but no reply so far – Kate.)

BURY NORTH  CONSTITUENCY LABOUR PARTY

CLP SUPPORTING NOMINATION LABOUR LEADERSHIP 2016 – ELECTIONS FOR LEADER

  • The Meeting will check the eligibility of all members attending.
  • A discussion will take place on the qualities of the Nominees.
  • No Member will be allowed to speak more than once and no contribution will exceed 3 minutes.
  • This discussion period will not exceed 45 minutes.
  • Following the discussion of Candidate qualities, the Meeting will move to a Ballot if such is agreed.
  • If the Meeting decides not to make Supporting Nominations, then the Meeting will be closed.
  • If a Ballot is agreed Tellers will be elected to undertake the Count.
  • The Ballot, if one takes place will use a single round preferred voting system (as used in the final Ballot for a parliamentary candidate).
  • The Count will be witnessed by the CLP Secretary and Chair.
  • The Ballot result will be announced to the Meeting and the CLP Secretary will be instructed to fill out the Supporting Nomination Form and make arrangements for it to be returned to the Compliance Unit ahead of the deadline of 12 noon on Monday 15 August 2016.

This email has been sent out from Labour North West at the bequest of Bury North CLP.

Sent by email from the Labour Party, promoted by Iain McNicol on behalf of The Labour Party, both at Southside, 105 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6QT Website: www.labour.org.uk to join or renew call 0345 092 2299.

My advice – HOLD A SILENT, PEACEFUL PROTEST. WEAR A GAG OUTSIDE ANY CLP MEETINGS THAT YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO ENTER. IF NOT ALREADY A MEMBER, JOIN LABOUR, AND HELP STOP THESE UNDEMOCRATIC PRACTICES.

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(Copy of email to Bury North Labour Party CLP Members 17/07/16)

Please excuse my passion and please, please, do read all this (below).

RE: Affiliated Labour Party organisations, £25 voting surcharge for new members, & *possible* Fundraising Dog Walk

On reading this again it sounds a bit like a kind of ‘suicide note’ or ‘resignation letter’ to the Labour Party, but as most of you won’t read it at all or at least won’t read all of it – or respond – who cares?

I was going to organise a fundraising dog walk (but please note: you don’t have to have a dog) for all Bury North CLP members and ‘registered supporters’, (other local CLPs also welcome) – for both new Labour Party members and the ‘experienced’ members (I didn’t want to say ‘old lags’) from whom we new ‘pups’ (however old) can learn so much  – but I don’t see any point, as probably no-one will respond – or come – given the almost total lack of response to my previous email about the £25 ‘new member voter surcharge’ and ban on meetings until October.

Maybe some of you could at least let me know whether you would come on a fundraising dog walk (with or without a dog) – probably will be in October now – say £1 for unwaged /pensioners  and £2 or £3 per dog or ‘hooman’ for rest  – starting off at a country location or Bury centre pub / & also non-alcohol café, and ending there?  Another idea for fundraising would be to do a cask ale pub crawl (also with choice of soft drinks) or something along the lines of a Rail Ale combined with the East Lancs. Railway, again, soft drinks also available (with apologies to teetotal members or those who for faith reasons are against alcohol – but you would still be very welcome to come – I’ll make sure there is a café alternative for meeting up and finishing).

At the moment, however, I am wondering, why should I bother, when I can’t even vote in the Leader Election for this Party?

I would like to thank the only two members in the whole Labour Bury North CLP on the emailing list who were not too apathetic? angry with me? perplexed? or whatever to reply or discuss my previous email about these ridiculous NEC rulings disenfranchising Labour Party full members who joined after 12th January unless they make a payment of an extra £25, and for forbidding all CLPs from meeting until October.

Thank you, the only two members who replied, for your replies and support. I am beginning to see it does indeed seem to be the case that the vast majority of new members (who may or may not have voted for Corbyn) DO NOT get involved and leave it to the long-standing experienced activists to do all the work – who may, some of them, not be fans of Corbyn – but at least attend meetings, fundraising events, go out on the doorstep and get involved – I applaud your efforts and thank you for your hard work for our CLP, (well, YOUR CLP, as how can I be a part of it if I can’t even vote?)

I reiterate, I am a FULL MEMBER and an AFFILIATED MEMBER and I have just been to this page http://support.labour.org.uk/  (which is STILL there on Labour Party website and I registered for the second time to become a ‘registered supporter’ as well (sic) – I am waiting to hear response to my  online application as member of LGBT Labour, which IS an affiliated group –  so why is this still ‘live’ on the Labour website if it ‘doesn’t apply’?

How long will it be before you change the rules again, so even if you pay the £25 you won’t be able to vote?  How can we trust you?  I don’t trust the Labour Party anymore, you seem to be making it up as you go along.

Yes, this is getting ridiculous!  I would end up having paid £3 as a previous registered supporter last year + full Labour Party membership + £15 to join LGBT Labour + this extra £25 ‘voting surcharge for new members’ (which I am not paying).  This surely cannot be allowed to stand?  I watched JC on Sunday Politics this morning, and he also doesn’t seem to think the ‘£25 extra’ is fair, or the ban on CLP meetings; ditto most ‘Soft-Left and even some Blairite MPs think it’s unfair.  If I compare our ‘yet another new’ Labour Shadow Education Secretary talking to Andrew Neil with how the rather impressive new Tory Education Secretary did  – well, watch the footage for yourselves.  The Tories are running rings round Labour at the moment, and we are providing NO sort of opposition or proper policy statements about helping the N. of England – just pathetic examples of in-fighting and a seemly supine acceptance of NEC lunacy.

Surely these NEC rulings MUST be overturned or there must be an appeal or challenge against them, whether you are pro- or anti- Corbyn, for sake of fair play? I am new to politics and to the Labour Party, but (and apologies if you think this is rude): are all of you so docile and cowed by the NEC and PLP or even possibly your local CLP that you don’t have minds and opinions of your own?  (*Effort to provoke response*) We are just sent out this two or three line email from the Secretary saying ‘you can’t meet’, with no further explanation or discussion.

I would like to know, on behalf of ALL Bury North CLP members and past Labour Party voters in Bury (many of whom voted Brexit and have probably already gone to UKIP or Tories) – what is the position of our CLP on this, what is the position of our Executive Committee, what is the position of our Bury North councillors, and above all what are any of you going to do about it, if anything

I am wondering if I am in a DEMOCRATIC party at all?

Probably not for long, some of you are thinking…well, feel free to expel me for asking ‘awkward’ questions, but freedom of speech is one of my most cherished illusions – that we still have it in this country, this Old Blighty, this Sceptered Isle – but do we even have it in this Party? Do we have anything even approaching real democracy in this county or this Party?

See my Twitter Profile:  https://twitter.com/ambergoth  This is the 21st century – why can’t we use secure online digital technology to add REGULAR DIRECT VOTING by the electorate to our representational democracy, on the most important issues affecting this country? Most people have ‘smartphones’, even in the most deprived areas where folk are not registered to vote or don’t vote in General Elections, and they are cheap enough to GIVE to anybody who doesn’t have one.  To see how easy this would be – try out the ‘Note My Vote’ app  https://www.notemyvote.co.uk/   (I am not connected in any way with this, but it’s a bit of fun and shows you how it might work).

I’ll tell you why  they will never reform our democracy willingly – the ‘Powers That Be’, The ‘Establishment Great & Good’ – AND the PLPs of both major parties as presently constituted would be against this – as it would mean giving more power and a regular say to ‘ordinary people’, us plebs and peasants, to decide what happens in matters that affect us all.  And we can’t be trusted can we? Look what happened in the EU Referendum…!  Oh dear me no, we can whistle for that!

To conclude: it’s just £25 to join the Tory Party and I don’t think there would have been any newly introduced gerrymandering measures re. who could vote for their leader (if they’d had an election that went to the membership, which of course it didn’t), but I can’t check because a copy of the Constitution of the Tory Party costs £10 apparently, and many of us can’t afford that any more than we can afford the extra bloody £25 to vote in the Labour Leadership Election! (No, I’m not thinking of joining the Tories at the moment.)

**Don’t suppose many of you read to this point – but if you did – well done.  You are a literate Labour Party supporter in the North of England, contrary to what the media think!**

PLEASE REPLY – PLEASE SAY ANYTHING!  IS THERE ANYONE OUT THERE? (…..Tumbleweed rolls across Bury…..) DO YOU WANT TO COME ON A DOG WALK (WITH OR WITHOUT A DOG) or shall I just ‘call the whole thing off’, together with my Labour Party membership?

Is this Party even worth raising funds for?

‘No offence’, as the late great Mrs. Merton used to say,

Best wishes & love to y’all, be ye Corbynites or Blairites or something in between…

Kate Mason

P.S. Please, please, please sign petition re: discrimination of RNLI against LGBT people:

https://www.causes.com/campaigns/96412-end-discrimination-at-the-rnli-against-transgender-people

https://twitter.com/ambergoth

https://twitter.com/de_Bury

https://twitter.com/BuryBT

https://www.facebook.com/ambergoth

https://www.facebook.com/GothicKate

https://ambergoth.wordpress.com/

 

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