15 July 2016

Brighton & Hove Labour Party Suspended by National Labour Party

The local Argus has been a propaganda sheet for the Labour Right and its undemocratic tendencies - it took the Argus 5 days to report the 'takeover' of the Labour Party by its members!  
Progress and the Labour Right Declare War on Democracy 
It's the Politics of Pinochet
Brighton and Hove Labour Party has been suspended by the Disputes Panel of the NEC.  I understand, though it cannot be confirmed that this was at the instigation of the Chair Paddy Lillis of the right-wing USDAW trade union. 
Warren Morgan's false allegations were made with a view to the NEC overturning a vote by over 600 Labour Party members
It was only last Saturday Brighton and Hove Labour Party held their AGM.  At the largest meeting of the party, over 600 people, voted out the old right-wing Progress Executive Committee by majorities of approximately 2-1. 

Mark Sandell, formerly President of West Sussex NUT was elected Chair, beating Mark Jackson by 376 votes (62 per cent) to 224.

Claire Wadey, a previous member of the Executive, was elected Treasurer, beating the previous Secretary, the universally acknowledge incompetent and useless John Warmington by 374 votes to 226.

Greg Hadfield, who previously edited the Brighton and Hove Independent paper defeated Edward Crask to become secretary by 393 votes to 213.
A racial attack on a visiting Momentum speaker has been ignored by NEC apparatchiks
Tweet by Seema Chandwani who was abused by friends of Council leader Warren Morgan

Anne Pissaridou defeated the even more useless Nicky Easton, the previous vice chair for campaigns by 391- 204 who had distinguished herself by failing to engage people in a single campaign.  Easton had even opposed a resolution during the year which supported the doctors’ strike and urged members to join the picket lines.
Christine Robinson was elected unopposed as vice chair for membership.  [see Corbyn supporters top poll for key posts on Brighton and Hove Labour party executive]

Three of the additional five ordinary Executive places, which are elected by STV, also went to supporters of Momentum.
The only incident during the day was a racial attack by two Brighton LP members, one of whom is sympathetic to the BNP.  The incident was witnessed by 2 Labour Councillors inc. Julie Cattell without any attempt to intervene 
Immediately Council leader Warren Morgan went into overdrive to manufacture out of thin air allegations of malpractice and intimidation.  Morgan invented out of nowhere a spitting incident even though there is no victim or any complaint.  The only thing that happened was that when security for the venue barred further people entering the building at one time and then locked people into a room against all fire regulations, there was some pushing and shoving.  The security guard, when asked later about the incident replied ‘what incident’.

He also alleges that Peter Kyle MP was subject to abuse which is the exact opposite of what happened.  It was his supporters who engaged in abuse.  Kyle was perhaps miffed that people saw him as a traitor to Party Jeremy Corbyn and didn’t want to speak to him but failure to speak to someone doesn’t constitute abuse.

There was one serious racial incident which occurred after the Momentum meeting when one of the speakers from Tottenham CLP  Seema Chandwani and a friend Michael Calderbank were subject to racial abuse by 2 Labour Party members and supporters of the Right.  The incident was covered in Monday’s Morning Star.  They were told to ‘get the fuck out of Brighton now, scum’.  These same racists had wrongly identified another Black person in the pub as the Momentum supporters and attacked him first!  Sitting in the pub and giving their approval to the action of their ‘comrades’ were two Brighton Labour councillors including Progress councilor Julie Cattell for Preston Ward.  The names of the two individuals are known.  One of them combines Labour Party membership with support for the BNP and is an ardent Zionist!  This incident however was not the subject of Warren Morgan’s complaint. 
Council leader Warren Morgan - Progress supporter and former Lib-Dem
The only complaint I know of is against Warren Morgan for making the false allegation of spitting.  It was made by an unnamed Labour Party member to Iain McNicol, Labour’s General Secretary.  This was made yesterday, shortly before notice was received by Greg Hadfield, the new Secretary, of the suspension of Brighton Party.  Mention should also be made of the fact that news of the suspension was leaked to the press before party officers were officially informed and that is how Greg first learnt of the suspension.

What is clear is that national Labour Party officers are willing to flout the basic norms of democracy in the Party now.  Banning meetings, stopping over a hundred thousand people voting, imposing high financial penalties on those who do vote and now suspending parties.  In Brighton they have even gone as far as reinstating the old Executive despite the fact that they were democratically voted out.  This is the democracy that Warren Morgan and his Progress acolytes believe in.

The time has long gone when Momentum should indeed take the gloves off to these protégés of Blair and Brown.  Their contempt for basic party democracy is visible for all to see.  On the basis of spurious and untested allegations, properly conducted election results are overturned on the say so of one individual.
Peter Kyle MP - one of the leaders of the anti-democratic right-wing Progress

What We Can Do

Firstly the elected Executive should continue to meet and Labour Party members should have nothing to do with the old Executive.

Secondly party meetings should continue as before and the National Executive's dictat should be ignored.

Thirdly we should lobby members of the National Executive, including Momentum, to have the NEC meet not only to overturn Brighton & Hove's suspension but to overturn the decision to bar 130,000 new members of the Labour Party from having a vote and to reduce the amount supporters of the Labour Party have to pay from £25 to £3 again.

Fourthly - we should urge the Labour Party to urge that those members of the Labour Party who attacked Seema Chandwani and those who were present but did nothing, including Cllr. Cattell, should be suspended forthwith pending investigation.

Tony Greenstein

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