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Sunday, 31 July 2016

Kafka Comes to Brighton – First they suspend the Party & Remove the Elected Executive

Then They Hold an Investigation into what happened at Brighton & Hove Labour Party AGM
There was only 1 incident at the BHDLP AGM - a race hate attack, currently being investigated by the Police, which involved Harris Fitch, a Progress supporter, registered at the address of Labour Councillor Caroline Penn and associate of Councillors Warren Morgan and Emma Daniels.  Strangely enough this incident hasn't been mentioned by Morgan or indeed Peter Kyle MP 
The pub where the race hate attack took place
Seema Chandwani and Michael Calderbank, both of whom were abused

Having suspended the BHDLP and reinstated the defeated Executive, the NEC has now decided to conduct an investigation.  Worthy of Alice in Wonderland's Trial or Kafka.

On July 12th Ann Black, Chair of the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) suspended Brighton & Hove District Labour Party.  This was because of allegations which were made by those who had lost the elections to the BHDLP Executive at the 9th July AGM of the district party.  Supporters of Progress had lost these elections very heavily, nearly 2-1.  It was an AGM attended by some 600 party members.  Black also removed, at a whim, the newly elected Executive and reinstated the old Executive who had been voted out of office. 
The suspension of BHDLP was based on allegations of a spitting incident as alleged by Cllr. Emma Daniel above.  Problem is that there is no victim of this incident, no CCTV footage, indeed nothing.  The only conclusion is that Daniel and the leader of the Council, Warren Morgan, deliberately lied.
Warren Morgan is insistent there was a spitting incident - which is very convenient - since it enabled the losing candidates in the Executive elections to be reinstated.  Problem is that there was no such incident.
There was no 'unhappy security staff member' nor was there any CCTV footage.  Warren Morgan has suddenly become disinterested in finding proof of his allegations because the damage has now been done.
Black did these things on the basis of allegations by Progress councillors Warren Morgan and Emma Daniels that there had been a spitting incident involving the caretaker of City College where the meeting was held and more general allegations of ‘negative aggression’.  This account of affairs has been vehemently denied by local party members and the new Secretary Greg Hadfield has accumulated some 60 witness statements.
Pub security log of the race hate incident
City College have since confirmed that no allegation or complaint has been made to it.  The allegation of spitting has been shown to be false.  CCTV footage of the area at the time of the alleged incident has been examined and it showed nothing untoward had happened.
City College statement makes it clear that there has been no complaint about the fictitious spitting incident
Despite this the Party remains suspended, forbidden to hold meetings of any kind and the elected Executive remains removed because Ann Black doesn’t have the honesty or integrity to fess up to the fact that she, at the very minimum, made a mistake.

There was however a nasty hate incident involving a local thug, Harris Fitch, a Progress supporter and friend of Labour Councillors such as Emma Daniels and Caroline Penn.  Fitch is or was registered as a Labour Party member at Penn’s home address.  A visiting Momentum speaker from London, Seema Chandwani and her friend Michael Calderbank, were told to ‘fuck off back to London’ by Fitch and an unnamed friend when they went for a meal at a pub by Brighton Station, Grand Central.

Warren Morgan and Emma Daniels, who were happy to promote a fictitious spitting incident have kept quiet and refused to comment on the hate attack that did occur.  It seems that their concern about ‘intimidation’ is extremely selective.  For more information see Revealed: The anti-Corbyn “moderate” in Brighton and Hove who stands accused of the hate-crime against Seema Chandwani

In the meantime, having suspended the Party and removed the elected Executive, Ann Black has set in train an investigation into the very incidents about which she has already made a decision.  Kafkaesque?  One Katherine Buckingham sent an email, at 8.24 pm on 28th July to the local Labour Party announcing an investigation was to be held, over 2 weeks after Black’s decisions.  The email reads:
Dear member,
Over recent weeks a number of complaints have been brought to the attention of national officers of the Labour Party regarding Brighton, Hove and District Labour Party.
For that reason, the General Secretary has asked me to conduct an investigation into recent events in the District Party. I will be reporting to the NEC Disputes Panel in due course.
You are welcome to send me your views on current issues in the District Party. If you wish to contribute, please email your statement to by Monday 8th August. All submissions will be treated in confidence. If you have already written a statement to me, the General Secretary or the regional office these will be considered and you do not need to resend them.
Many thanks,
KatherineKatherine Buckingham
Head of Disputes and DisciplineThe Labour Party
I sent an email today to Ann Black concerning her suspension of Brighton & Hove Labour Party.  Her actions are made even worse by the fact that she is on the current Left-wing slate to the National Executive.  The LRC has already issued a statement, which I endorse, that Black must never again be supported by the Left for election to the NEC in view of her role in the current witch hunt:
Dear Ann Black,

Contrary to your assertion below, the suspension of Brighton & Hove Labour Party has not been covered in your report of the 19th July NEC meeting .  I would therefore like to ask:

i.  Why on the basis of unsubstantiated allegations and innuendo did you, as Chair of the NEC Disputes Panel, suspend B&H Labour Party on 11th/12th July in an unsigned email to the Secretary of Brighton & Hove DLP, Greg Hadfield?

ii.  The complaints made were vague and revolved around intimidation.  The 60 extracts from statements made by those who attended the meeting suggests that your decision to suspend the meeting was made on the basis of complaints from those who lost the election or their supporters.

iii.  The main allegation, of a spitting incident, which was made by Cllr. Warren Morgan, has now been shown to have no legs.  The alleged incident, which involved a caretaker of City College, has been demonstrated not to have occurred.  City College has made no such allegation. No complaint has been received by them.  No such incident is seen on the CCTV and Warren Morgan and Emma Daniels, who both asserted that there was such an incident, by their own admission witnessed nothing.

iv.  Why did you reverse the decision of the largest AGM ever, of 600 people, to elect a new Executive instead of first holding an Inquiry?

v.  Why has it taken till 28th July for Katherine Buckingham (below) to write stating that she is conducting an inquiry into the AGM of BHDLP of 9th July, when you have already taken a decision to suspend the party and remove the democratically elected Executive?  Why did you annul an election before the Inquiry was begun?  Is it normal practice to suspend a party, remove its elected Executive and then conduct an Inquiry? 
There was clearly a meeting which voted to elect a new Executive.  No one has suggested there were any improprieties in the conduct of the count, why have you undemocratically overturned the decision of a 600 strong AGM?

This demonstrates to me that you are unfit to be a member of a grassroots left slate in future NEC elections if you cannot be trusted to act democratically in the here and now. 
If the inquiry of Ms Buckingham is to have any integrity or validity then you should acknowledge your mistake and instantly reverse your hasty decision to depose a democratically elected Executive.

Tony Greenstein
(suspended member)

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