REPEAT: THIS IS NOT A STORY ABOUT ME OR BY ME. IT'S BEEN WRITTEN BY ADRIAN VOCE.
ADRIAN VOCE WRITES:
""Yesterday I voted in the Labour leadership contest. Two hours later I received a letter from Iain McNicol, the party’s General Secretary, saying ‘It has been brought to our attention with supporting evidence that you have publicly shown support for the Conservative party, including on 22 April 2015’.
That threw me. Anyone who knows me, or who has read much of what I’ve published, will know how unlikely it is.
I trawled by Twitter account and found that on the date in question, 22 April 2015, I had re-tweeted David Cameron’s comment about something that Alex Salmond had said, dripping with irony, about his supposed influence on the Labour Party. Salmond’s comments were clearly a joke and I challenged Cameron for trying to represent them as a serious point. I’ve screenshot the tweets below.
I’m assuming this is the alleged offence and find it quite depressing that even this level of petty, blatant gerrymandering, which must cost them a fortune in staff time, is so shockingly incompetent as to not understand the nature of what they were digging up as ‘evidence’.
But even if my tweet had been in support of the Tories, I JOINED THE PARTY FIVE MONTHS AFTER THAT DATE. Does Labour not want to attract people from other parties? I think they need to look again at the Math. Quentin Davies, who defected from the Tories to Labour as an MP, was made a life peer for his troubles. I’m more likely to have once supported Man United than I am to have ever supported the Tories (I’m Liverpool: it’s a tribal thing), and I’ve been thrown out on my ear.
Anyway, the letter goes on (and on): ‘... the Labour Party's rules state: ‘A member of the party who joins and/or supports a political organisation other than Labour … shall automatically be ineligible to be or remain a party member… You are therefore ineligible to remain a member of the Labour Party. If you have received a ballot and cast a vote, it will not be counted.
‘Under … party rules you may apply for re-admission but this must be made directly to the National Executive Committee … Such applications shall not normally be considered by the NEC until a minimum of five years has elapsed...’
My Granddad was a shop steward at Camell Laird the shipbuilders. My Mum was named after Ramsey MacDonald’s daughter. My Dad was a social worker and a lifelong socialist. I’ve voted Labour all my life. Shit, they even gave me a gong for some work that I did with them when they were last in government.
I can’t see them being in government again for a long time, but that wouldn’t stop me supporting them. This will though. What just happened seems to me to be not only undemocratic but also anti-democratic. A political party that manipulates and subverts its own electoral process like this cannot claim to stand for fairness. Labour has seriously lost the plot. Whoever wins this contest, it is tearing itself apart. I doubt that I will ever vote for them again."