andrewgodsell

Tales from an author

Suspended from the Labour Party Day 5

Among many implications for many people, the Labour purge is not helping in my battle with Asperger’s. People with Asperger Syndrome struggle with social interaction. Membership of the Labour Party has always been important to my sense of identity. When I joined Labour in 1984 I felt part of a political party that championed the NHS, comprehensive education, and workers’ rights, while providing opposition to Thatcherism. 13 years later I helped in the election of a Labour government, which was destined to introduce the minimum wage, and strengthen the NHS, along other achievements. I felt proud of my small role in the process. Although I struggle talking to people I do not know, confidence in the strength of the Labour Party, and enthusiasm for politics, has enabled me to be a regular party canvasser, talking to people on their doorsteps.  Now that I have been suspended, I feel that part of my identity has been taken away, hopefully only on a temporary basis. This is something I Tweeted about last night. I received support from fellow Tweeters, for which I am grateful, and that prompted this attempt at a more detailed explanation of what I feel.

Well that is the emotional bit done.

Now for an update on the practical side.

The message from myself and others is spreading rapidly. My series of Blog posts about the Labour purge have received over 3,200 views in just 4 days

I have emailed a member of the Labour NEC, seeking advice on the possibility of members of the NEC taking up the case of members who have been suspended.

Having received advice on Twitter, I have today emailed Electoral Reform Services, the organisation running the Labour ballot, trying to clarify the situation regarding my vote – in the continued spirit of openness, here is the email (only one redaction!).

Hello 

I am writing to yourselves as organisers of the Labour Party leadership ballot. 

My Labour membership number is [redacted]

On August 23 I emailed the Labour Party asking for confirmation of my ballot – first email in chain below. 

On August 24 I received an email from the Labour Party saying that my vote had been removed, due to allegations about comments I had posted on Twitter. There was no detail of the allegations, and no obvious right of appeal.

On August 25 I replied to the August 24 email, seeking to challenge removal of my vote, but I have not received a reply. 

Later on August 25 I received email below – in reply to original enquiry of August 23 but hopefully influenced by my email of August 24 – advising that I am due to receive a ballot. 

I am concerned about the confusion here. 

If I still have a vote, when will the ballot be sent to me?

If my vote has been removed, are there any safeguards in your running of the ballot to ensure that fairness is applied?

You may be aware of media reports that thousands of Labour Party members face the same uncertainty as myself.

There are also reports that Electoral Reform Services have been able to resolve some cases where members have not been given clear information by the Labour Party. 

Please can you clarify

Thank you

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