Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Oppose the Expulsion of Pamela Fitzpatrick.

with 4 comments

“I received yesterday afternoon a letter from the Labour Party expelling me as a member of the party. My offence, that I spoke to Socialist Appeal in May 2020 about why I had applied for the role as General Secretary of the Labour Party. Labour proscribed Socialist Appeal this summer and has retrospectively applied the rule.

The party has been such a huge part of my life for so long I wanted to take time to think about what has happened before I told people. “

Pamela Fitzpatrick

*******

The Morning Star reports,

THE latest victims of Labour’s alleged witch-hunt against socialists urged the left to continue to speak out against the “oppressive regime” within the party today.

Local councillors Pamela Fitzpatrick and Jo Bird, who were expelled from Labour last week, were guests on the Not the Andrew Marr Show, hosted by Labour Grassroots’ Crispin Flintoff.

Ms Fitzpatrick, who represents Harrow and is a former local Labour group chair, accused the right of the party of expelling her to protect the “small group of men” at the heart of the abuse.

She also revealed that her expulsion had been briefed to the media, despite Labour’s insistence that those expelled maintain confidentiality.

“We’ve got to encourage [people to speak up] because keeping your head down is not working,” she said.

Ms Fitzpatrick accused those running the party of “abusing our processes,” adding: “They have no grounds to expel me, but they’ve done it anyway.”

Ms Bird, a councillor for Bromborough on the Wirral in Merseyside, said that she was “delighted” to have finally been expelled from the party.

“I feel free, I’m free from this ridiculous oppressive regime that the Labour Party has become.”

Yesterday Labour national executive (NEC) members Laura Pidcock and Nadia Jama submitted a motion to the NEC pointing out that a ban on “support” for various proscribed organisations had not defined what support meant, and that retrospectively applying it to discipline members for actions prior to the ban contravened natural justice.

Labour witch-hunt victims call on socialists to speak up about ‘oppressive regime’ in the party.

Comment:

No doubt some people will try to find a way to smear Pamela Fitzpatrick but the fact remains that the charge against her is that she gave an interview to a small circulation paper of the tiny group Socialist Appeal, before it was proscribed. Nobody is suggesting that she is a member of this organisation.

This Blog notes as well that the expulsion of Jo Bird comes at a time when moderate left voices are expressing deep concern at the exclusion of Jewish members.

More:

Perhaps Labour should (also retrospectively) investigate Keir Starmer for writing in Socialist Alternatives, a group aligned to the Tendance marxiste-révolutionnaire internationale (TMRI). The TMRI was considerably to the left of Socialist Appeal. Its leading figure Michel Pablo (Michel Rapitis) had been involved in actively supporting the armed liberation movement in Algeria, the FLN, which successfully overthrew French colonial rule.

(from The Left in Paris)

 He was one of the first to make contact with the Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN) and began to organise solidarity action (the so-called “suitcase carriers” who assisted the FLN with publications and transferring funds.

One of the ‘bag carriers’ was Jakob Moneta (1914-2012), who was a Trotskyist employed as the trade union representative at the West German embassy at 28 Rue Marbeau. He used his ‘diplomatic bag’ to transport documents for the FLN.

Pablo was personally involved with two more ambitious ventures – setting up an arms factory in Morocco where Trotskyist engineering workers from France and elsewhere worked, and a project for forging currency; for the latter he was arrested and jailed in the Netherlands in 1960.

After Algerian independence in 1962 Pablo became an adviser to Ben Bella until his being overthrown in 1965.

The War in Algeria

Declaration of Michel Raptis at the Amsterdam Trial

(14 November 1961)

Put on trial for his part in a plot involving the fabrication of counterfeit money, Pablo and his comrades took advantage of the trial and used it as a political forum.

I don’t have a strictly private life. For many years the apartments I’ve lived in with my wife were open to the members of our organization, to our friends and our political sympathizers, to a great number of people. During the war and the Nazi occupation of Europe, Israelites or men of the Resistance of all nationalities hunted by the Nazi services naturally found refuge at our home. When the Algerian revolution began in 1954, and Algerian militants were in turn pitilessly hunted down by the police services and terrorists under the orders of colonialism, my wife and I told the Algerian comrades to do us the honour of considering our home at their entire disposal. It was the same in Amsterdam.

We hope to continue in this way until the end of our days, today aiding our Algerian brothers to the best of our abilities, tomorrow our black brothers of Angola and South Africa, our Indio brothers of Latin America, our brothers from everywhere, oppressed and exploited men fighting for the liberty and dignity of man.

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Written by Andrew Coates

November 22, 2021 at 1:40 pm

4 Responses

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  1. This is so obviously in breach of the most elementary norms of natural justice that I cannot conceive of how it can possibly be justified. All democrats within the party – left, right and centre – should give Pamela F their full and public support.

    Jim Denham

    November 22, 2021 at 2:52 pm

    • August.

      This petition was started by members of Harrow West Constituency Labour Party (CLP)

      We understand that Pamela Fitzpatrick, a member of our CLP and Labour Councillor for the Headstone South ward in the London Borough of Harrow, has been threatened with “auto-exclusion” from membership of the Labour Party by the party’s Compliance Unit on the grounds that she is allegedly a supporter of Socialist Appeal, an organisation that was proscribed by Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) in July 2021.

      The Compliance Unit’s evidence for Pamela being a “supporter” of Socialist Appeal is, in its entirety, that she gave an interview to Socialist Appeal in May 2020. This is not a valid basis for exclusion, for two reasons.

      First, the conduct that may amount to “support” for a proscribed organisation, as defined by the NEC, is clearly set out in the updated Labour Party Complaints Policy (https://labour.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Labour-Party-Complaints-Policy.pdf Pamela is not alleged to have done any of these things listed there. Giving an interview to Socialist Appeal does not amount to any of those things. Therefore the Compliance Unit has provided no evidence that Pamela has supported Socialist Appeal as defined by the NEC.

      Second, the interview took place more than a year before the NEC made the decision to proscribe Socialist Appeal. Anything a member is alleged to have done at a time when an organisation is not proscribed cannot possibly be a basis for auto-exclusion on grounds of support for that organisation.

      Pamela’s conduct did not amount to supporting Socialist Appeal as defined by NEC, and even if it had, it took place at a time when Socialist Appeal was not proscribed. Therefore there are no grounds on which to auto-exclude Pamela from membership of the Labour Party. The Compliance Unit’s purported action against her is contrary to Labour Party rules, the decision of the NEC and the principles of natural justice.

      In the light of the above, we urge the Compliance Unit to immediately cease its purported action against Pamela and confirm in writing that she will not be auto-excluded from Labour membership.

      https://www.change.org/p/support-cllr-pamela-fitzpatrick-auto-exclusion-has-no-place-in-a-democratic-labour-party

      Andrew Coates

      November 22, 2021 at 3:12 pm

  2. Is Labour still employing a bunch of politically wet-behind-the-ears youngsters to operate its disciplinary procedures? If so, that would account not only for this ridiculous case, but the party’s bizarre volte-face in the case of Gilbert House and his factually accurate, although politically unfashionable, observations about the menopause and who undergoes it. If it is true that those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad, then Labour must have upset just about every deity on Mount Olympus…

    Francis

    November 22, 2021 at 6:50 pm

    • The suggestion is one of a number of explanations.

      Fitzpatrick has a long record as a Labour councillor,

      “Elected as a councillor for Headstone South in 2014 and re-elected with an increased majority in 2018, Pamela also stood to be Labour MP for Harrow East in the 2019 General Election, attracting hundreds of volunteers who came to Harrow from across and beyond London to canvass for her. In an effort to defeat Bob Blackman, the Green Party candidate Emma Wallace stood down and demonstrated her respect for her opponent saying, ‘Whilst there are a number of differences between the Labour party and the Green Party, we believe Pamela Fitzpatrick is a progressive voice, one that is committed to working with the local Harrow East community and standing up for all their best interests.’

      Pamela Fitzpatrick was recently elected to Labour’s Women’s Committee and is well known nationally across the Labour movement. Her interview to Socialist Appeal in May 2020 was given when she stood to be General Secretary for Labour.

      In addition to her political work, she set up Harrow Law Centre and continues to work there supporting people in often desperate situations.

      https://wembleymatters.blogspot.com/2021/08/hundreds-rally-to-support-of-popular.html

      This is her Interview, which I’ve listened to and it contains no reference to being part of, or building, Socialist Appeal:

      https://www.socialist.net/who-should-run-the-labour-party.htm

      Andrew Coates

      November 22, 2021 at 9:08 pm


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