andrewgodsell

Tales from an author

Archive for the month “October, 2016”

#LabourPurge2 This could be progress?

 After sending six emails, and having three lengthy telephone conversations with Labour headquarters, since receiving the “evidence” for my suspension more than a month ago, the long-promised written reply to my challenge finally arrived two days ago.

 As I had asked a series of specific questions, I thought I might get specific answers, but all that the helpful Compliance colleagues managed was a few standard sentences, one of which claims to remove my right to appeal:

Dear Andrew,

Apologies for the delay in responding to you.

Your Subject Access Request has been posted to you and should be with you within a week.

There is no ability to appeal an administrative suspension. Suspensions are put in place while an investigation is carried out therefore you will have the opportunity to put your case across as part of this investigation. You will be contacted shortly regarding this.

Kind regards,
Rebecca

Having given myself 24 hours to calm down, I tried another patient and diplomatic appeal, which I emailed yesterday. I do not know if there will be any meaningful response from party HQ, but at least I have more evidence of my trying in good faith to resolve the issue – when the party finally address the case:

Hello Rebecca

Thank you for replying.

I maintain that this process has been mishandled, and am disappointed that nobody in Compliance or Legal seems able to respond in detail to the points made in my series of emails below.

My email of September 8 reports telephone conversations in which Compliance and Legal said they would look at my response to the evidence, and lift the suspension if they agreed with me that I had not Retweeted the relevant messages. Why has this not happened?

I have been suspended for 7 weeks, and lack a right of appeal. The party has failed to meet its obligations under the Equality Act, and the situation is harming my mental health.

Your email states “you will be contacted shortly” about the investigation, but I have been told this several times across 7 weeks without anything happening. Please can you be more precise about a timescale?

I am copying this email, for information, to Jennie Formby, who has taken up my case within the NEC, and Simon Letts, leader of Southampton City Council. I have worked, and campaigned, with Jennie and Simon for several years, and they have both expressed a wish that the suspension be lifted, enabling me to return to Labour Party activity.

Please can somebody see sense, and lift this mistaken suspension?

Thank you

Andrew Godsell

#LabourPurge2   Invited to a meeting then banned from attending

It is now day 50 of my suspension from the Labour Party. I still lack evidence to substantiate the reason for the suspension, or any prospect of an appeal hearing.

The party machine continue to frustrate efforts to tackle this.

Having received an email inviting me to a meeting of Southampton and Romsey Labour Party, I sent the reply below yesterday.

Hello Ken

I have been suspended from the Labour Party for 7 weeks due to unsubstantiated allegations that I have broken party rules. Despite numerous telephone calls and emails to party headquarters, I have not been given a timescale for an appeal hearing. Party HQ are aware this is having an adverse effect on my health, but refuse to deal with the matter.

Given that thousands of other party members nationally are in the same position, I wish an opportunity to raise the matter at the next All Members Meeting. Please can you advise who I should contact to get the suspensions issue added to the agenda.

Thank you

I received the response below, banning me from the meeting I had been invited to attend, and refusing to allow discussion of the Labour purge (whereas many Constituency Labour Parties have passed motions asking for an end to the purge)   

Dear Andrew – Ken has passed me your email below.

I shan’t be putting this as an item for All Members Meeting for the following two reasons.

Firstly, as you are currently suspended, you are not permitted to attend any Labour Party meetings.

Secondly, even if you were, as previously advised in my email of early September, the local party has no say on your suspension or the timing, or outcome of, the national party’s consideration of the matter giving rise to the suspension. This is a matter for you to resolve directly with party HQ. I appreciate you may have been waiting a while but, if you feel you are being unfairly treated by the national party, you may wish to consider getting some independent advice. The local party cannot, and will not, interfere in the process.

I hope that clarifies why the matter will not be discussed at the All Members Meeting. If you have any issue with my reply, I suggest you contact Louise McGee, the Labour South East Regional Director, on louise_magee@labour.org.uk.

Regards

Matt Tucker

Chair of Southampton & Romsey Labour Party

I sent the following email to the Regional Director, but I doubt she will be in any hurry to reply.

Hello Louise

Please see emails below.

The lack of support from a local party I have worked hard for over many years is very disappointing.

I left telephone messages with your office on October 7 and again today, asking for a call back to discuss a timetable for my appeal, but this has not happened.

If I am prevented from attending meetings – in apparent contravention of the Labour rule book – I wonder why I received the email at the start of this chain inviting me to a meeting. I have also received other recent emails inviting me to Labour events.

Please can I have a prompt response to the points I have raised.

Thank you

 

#LabourPurge2 Data Protection breach reported to ICO

Yesterday I raised a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office about a series of Data Protection breaches by the Labour Party.

It is now 44 days since I was suspended from the Labour Party on the basis of unsubstantiated allegations, and I still have not been told when my appeal might be heard. I have sent yet another chaser email to party HQ today.

In contrast to the silence from party HQ, many of those suspended from the party remain  committed to an open discussion of the Labour Purge. I therefore set out below the points I made in my complaint to the ICO:

I wish the ICO to assess the case, and confirm that the Labour Party has breached the Data Protection Act in its dealings with myself. My case is similar to that of thousands of other party members, who have been arbitrarily suspended by a group at Labour headquarters, in a purge of people wishing to vote for Jeremy Corbyn. The suspension letters are signed by Iain McNicol, General Secretary of the Labour Party. I expect the ICO to find exactly which people in the Labour Party are guilty of this action, and issue a large fine – I understand the maximum possible fine is £500,000.   

The Labour Party has breached Data Protection law in three respects;

1 I submitted a Subject Access Request on August 27 2016, which was 40 days ago. They have not provided the requested information in the required timescale.

2 I have been suspended from the Labour Party, and prevented from voting in the recent leadership election, on the basis of malicious and unfounded allegations about comments I made on Twitter. The “evidence” provided by the Labour Party does not match the allegations, but they have refused to address my appeal, and correct their mistake. I have provided the organisation with my name and email address, in order for them to communicate with me. They have misused this data in order to trawl through my Twitter account looking for evidence to suspend me. I did not authorise the organisation to misuse my data in this way, and they have not advised me that this would happen.

3 The organisation has failed to deal with my Subject Access Request, and appeal against suspension, in a reasonable timescale. They are aware that I struggle with Asperger Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, long term mental health conditions. I have asked them to prioritise my appeal in view of this, but they refuse to offer any timescale. This means that the continued misuse of my data by the organisation is causing me damage, distress, and mental pain.

 

#NationalPoetryDay

                   Visions Reflected

Weaving a tapestry, the Lady of Shalott

Visions reflected through a glass onion

Catch a glimpse of a fair maiden

Her feet sore from bunions

Fixing a hole in the ozone

Nearly ending the verse, that’s your lot

 

Making mayhem in a kitchen, the Lady of Shalott

Wonderland and nature offer such a lot

Pig and pepper, and the piper at the gates of dawn

Getting tired, they start to yawn

Fix your mind on what we might eat for tea

Perhaps a fish no longer swimming in the sea

 

Weaving a tapestry, the Lady of Shalott

Wonderland and nature offer a lot

Caterpillar, chrysalis, metamorphosis, butterfly

Sit and watch it flutter by

Fix your mind on the beauty in the sky

This is a short poem, not sure why

 

Making mayhem at a party, a lady wearing a hat

Another wisecrack, how do you do that?

Hatter, Hare, and Dormouse, sat here since dawn

Getting tired, were you asleep, or is it just a yawn?

Fix your mind on what you might want for tea

Perhaps a crumpet – do you fancy me?

 

Relaxing in a garden on a sunny Summer day

Alice is the lady in a blue dress

Eating an ice cream before it melts in a mess

Feeling dreamy, feeling hot on a hot day

Fixing her mind on what a gardener might say

Thoughts getting longer  – do you fancy me?

 

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