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Save Our Socialists : Suspended for writing the minutes – The diary of a CLP Secretary #StoptheLabourLockout #SaveOurSocialists

“The rulebook tells me it’s my job to circulate motions to members.”

The Diary of a CLP Secretary

Dear Diary,

Jeremy Corbyn was suspended and members are furious. Some are furious about what he said, even more are furious about his unfair suspension and the misuse of the disciplinary procedures…and the rest are furious that we have a Tory government mishandling a pandemic and the leadership are doing nothing to hold them to account.

Apparently this means motions… emergency motions, branch motions and (for me) a slow rocking motion.

Though I agree with the motion I’m not sure what it would achieve…and who am I supposed to send it to?  Do they realise that I don’t have a hotline to ‘The NEC’?  It seems the General Secretary does care about what we do and don’t discuss here in Rural West CLP.  He emailed today to let us know that motions of solidarity are not competent business. I searched the rulebook and that doesn’t explain what competent business means (?) It meets the criteria for a motion and doesn’t break any rules so should be fine! If we don’t accept motions of solidarity we might as well cease to exist…

Motion forwarded to the CLP Exec.

Im not paid enough for this (hang on I’m not paid full stop!)

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Dear Diary,

We met last night and as usual I couldn’t sleep afterwards, I was sooo tired for work this morning 💤 The Zoom went smoothly – once we had registered the delegates and renamed iPad1, iPad2 & iPad3.  Only a handful were unmuted and shouting to their child, partner,  computer or dog.  Usual texts from those that couldn’t find the email.  Business as usual.  The Chair warned members to be on their best behaviour and shared the recent email warnings from the General Secretary.  They voted to accept the motion regardless and it passed easily.  Afterwards I looked up the NEC members on Labour’s website (nope!) then google… surprisingly not something the Party provides you with! So I copied and pasted each and every email address into a new email entitled “Motion from Rural West CLP”.  Im sure each and every NEC member stopped what they were doing, in order to read through our painstakingly constructed, and debated motion. Hope it doesn’t go to spam, took me ages to copy and paste those email addresses.

Don’t shoot the messenger…

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Dear Diary,

I’ve been suspended for taking the Minutes!

Well, to be fair I don’t really know why I’ve been suspended… other than it relates to rule 2.1.8.

I can continue to pay my membership fee, but can’t attend meetings or hold any position within the Labour Party.  If this is upsetting I can contact the Samaritans or my GP for support… [1] 

It’s nearly Christmas…and there’s no Christmas card from the deputy leader this year (thanks for all your unpaid work!) it seems all I got was blocked access to all of the party systems that I’ve taught myself to use!

It says not to discuss my suspension… what do I do when people contact me?  Do I tell the Exec or will someone else? How long is this going to take?? And what exactly have I done that deserves an immediate suspension before being investigated?

Answers on a postcard…

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Dear Diary,

It’s been weeks since my administrative suspension email and I still know less than Jon Snow (!) about why I’m suspended. Though it WAS nice to have a break over Christmas for a change.  I’ve received:

16 emails from the Labour party (Conference, Women’s Conference, training, CLP and branch emails etc etc)

2 member resignations (should I be jealous that they had the option?)

Affiliation letters, cheques, email confirmations (every December… to my home address)

3 new member emails

and numerous questions/concerned emails & texts from councillors, officers and members

AND I’ve volunteered at least 3 hours a week to supporting branch and CLP Officers to be able to communicate with members, and use Zoom without me. As well as forwarding all correspondence sent to me by the national party as I’m still CLP Secretary – without any rights of my own!

Ironic!

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Dear Diary,

I have 14 days to respond to 17 questions… one of which is ‘Can you confirm that you were the CLP Secretary?’ (why am I confirming this??)

The Party believe that circulating the motion (so it wasn’t the Minutes…!) was prejudicial to the Labour Party and was contrary to the explicit instructions of the General Secretary, it undermines the Labour Party’s ability to provide a safe and welcoming space to all members.

Circulating a motion undermines the party’s ability to provide a welcoming space…?? The rulebook tells me it’s my job to circulate motions to members.  If you’ve ever been to a CLP meeting, you’ll know that it’s not the Secretary’s email that creates an unwelcome space!

Thank goodness I just found www.facebook.com/saveoursocialists and I’m not alone. 70 people suspended for motions but strangely not everyone that passed a motion is suspended. WTF!

Disadvantaged. Damaged. Harmed.

A CLP Secretary x


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