Mike Paling – expelled for sharing Facebook posts

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On the very same day that LAW’s honorary president Moshé Machover was expelled from the Labour Party, so was Michael Paling. But, unlike Moshé, whose expulsion had to be overturned by a successful international campaign, comrade Paling remains expelled. Mike was a member of Redcar CLP prior to his expulsion. The MP there is the notoriously anti-Corbyn, Progress-supporting Anna Turley.

As his email to Moshé explains (see below), his ‘offence’ was sharing posts which included articles from Weekly Worker. His Facebook timeline is full of posts he has shared, most of them have nothing to do with the CPGB or LPM. He was obviously targeted as an active trade unionist. They were amongst many such posts that he shared on Facebook. We need to put an end to this McCarthyism.

Mike Paling has been expelled under Chapter 2.I.4.B of the Labour Party’s rules which states:

“A member of the party who joins and/or supports a political organisation other than an official Labour Group or unit of the Party or supports any candidate who stands against an official Labour candidate, or publicly declares their intent to stand against a Labour candidate, shall automatically be ineligible to be or remain a party member, subject to the provisions of part 6.I.2 of the disciplinary rules”.

This rule has to go. As it stands it could be interpreted to debar any member or supporter of Progress or Labour or indeed any organisation deemed political but of course it is only being used to debar members of left-wing groups. An anti-fracking or an anti-racist group could equally be deemed political. The proscribed list of organisations, such as Militant, has been scrapped. Now any member of the Compliance Group can take exception to any group they define as political and then auto-exclude someone, without them having any right of appeal, from the Labour Party. This rule is witch hunter’s charter.

It could of course and maybe in the future it will be used against members of Momentum. However today it is being used solely against people on the Left. Although I detest the Zionist politics of the Alliance for Workers Liberty for the reasons I gave in a previous post, they have a right to function and operate in the Labour Party like any other group.

[Update January 14 2018: The data protection disclosure documents recently sent to the comrade contain a statement according to which he had previously been auto-excluded in 1994. The comrade assures us he had never been a Labour Party member prior to joining in 2014, nor in any other political group, let alone expelled. Presumably, that inaccurate information may have coloured the indifferent reaction he got when writing to Ann Black about his expulsion before he knew that claim had been made.]

Tony Greenstein

(this was first published as part of a longer article here)


Letter from Mike Paling to Moshé Machover

Dear Moshé,

No one was happier than myself when your expulsion was rescinded after the fantastic campaigning by members. Sadly the same cannot be said for myself regarding my expulsion at the same time, my crime was the sharing of 8 items from Labour Party Marxist and the Weekly Worker, (CPGB). I would just like to make it clear from the off, I have never attended a LPM or CPGB meeting, let alone joined either of these organisations.

I regularly share political articles on Facebook, including some by your good self, but I’ve shown no bias towards LPM or WW. I’ve checked my Facebook timeline and counted 12 occasions when I’ve shared LPM and WW pieces during September, the month cited by Sam Matthews. However, there were over 200 political articles shared from other sources, such as Labour MPs, Unite the Union, the TUC, New Statesman, national newspapers, etc, during the same period. Of course, I will dispute the premise that LPM support is incompatible with membership, but even if that is accepted, there is no evidence that I’ve given any such support. Like yourself, I was offered no right of appeal but given 14 days to challenge the validity of the so called evidence attached to the expulsion letter, unlike you, however Sam Matthews has not seen fit to reply to, or even acknowledge, my communication.

During my time as a Labour Party activist I’ve participated in election campaigns Party actions regularly attending CLP, branch and Momentum meetings and supporting Labour movement, antifascist and Palestinian solidarity actions. No doubt the latter has made me more susceptible to the attention of purge minded bureaucrats.

Kind regards, M Paling.