Monday, 12 March 2018

Mark Birkett: More on Bullying

 by Mark Birkett
THANKS for sending me this. I agree with every point in it except for your rather odd question at the end. 

 That comment seems to imply that Mr Lloyd's imposition as Rochdale's 'choice' by entirely-unaccountable people in London, his subsequent and deliberate failure to answer dozens and dozens of legitimate constituent queries, and my suspension from the Labour party for complaining about the same are not the absolute affronts to democracy I've very accurately highlighted them as.

There is no 'bandwagon' here Brian. The issues are real. For me and for people like Debbie Abrahams. 

It is crystal clear that the Labour Party HQ and NEC are torn between at least two factions within the party - variously described as Trades Unions vs Momentum / Old Guard vs New / Left vs Right . Each side is trying to outdo the other, and elements within each group are engaging in (yes) bullying people. It sometimes takes the form of suspending innocent members like me, who are guilty of nothing more than highlighting the party's wholly anti-democratic MP-selection systems, its non-existent complaints procedure for disputes with MPs and indeed the sheer lack of leadership shown by Jeremy Corbyn in these matters.

And it sometimes takes the form of trumped up charges of bullying against innocent MPs - turning the real bullying argument completely on its head. Poachers turning gamekeepers in effect. I have had similar dissembling nonsense thrown at me. I was made out to have been 'threatening' to Mr Lloyd by the man himself when nothing could possibly have been further from the truth. I have never threatened anyone. And similarly, when the party HQ Investigations Officer Megan McCann wanted to withdraw from having to interview me face-to-face (and risk awkward questions being asked of her and recorded as such) she tried to make out I had been 'threatening' to her too. It's all a smokescreen. The real bullies are those who are making these spurious bullying claims in HQ and on the NEC.

Complicated to follow perhaps, but if you're going to report this story, please try to do so with considerably more detail so you actually get it right? Otherwise, you are actually just muddying the waters and leaving your readership none the wiser.

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