Monday 16 December 2013

Not Let Into The Party

I have never laughed so much. It has taken them six and a half months, which is amusing enough in itself, but the Labour Party has rejected my membership application at the insistence, as is stated frankly, of the Acting Regional Director of Labour North, Neil Fleming.

What does he think that I am going to do? Die? In the time since I was last a Labour Party member, I have at least twice nearly done that of natural causes, anyway. He and it need to get over themselves.

I have known Fleming for 25 years, for many of which he lived around the corner from me, from the very spot on which I am typing this. He was in the year above me at school.

In early 2003, although it seems longer ago than that, he and his then employer, the then Government Chief Whip and MP for this seat, Hilary Armstrong, perpetrated an illegal act of racial discrimination against me.

Fleming, who had shown no political interest whatever until he went off to university, but who seems to have acquired his first semblance of a social life there by means of what passes for party political activity in such places, had very recently been co-opted onto Lanchester Parish Council following the death of an elected member. That represented the sum total of his experience of public office.

I, on the other hand, having also been born in 1977, was coming to the end of my first first full four-year term as an elected Parish Councillor, and I was a governor, both of a large and thriving primary school in Lanchester, and of a large and thriving comprehensive school there. Again, I had by then held both of those positions for a period of years.

I had chaired the Branch Labour Party for an almost unbelievable length of time, considering that I was still only 25. I had served on the General and Executive Committees of the Constituency Labour Party for a good many years. And so on.

Not least, I had, at the age of 19, been the Sub-Agent who had secured an overall majority of the total vote on a four-way split in what in those days was still this traditionally Tory ward. Although I expect it to be in 2015, that has never been managed again since that occasion. No Labour campaign in this ward has been run by me since that occasion.

At the same age, then, Fleming's and my political CVs were incomparable to each other. I had one. He did not.

One of the ward's three Labour District Councillors announced that she was retiring, I breezed onto the panel of approved candidates, and everything was in place. But Armstrong was adamant that even the most middle-class ward in the constituency that she had inherited from her father would not elect a mixed-race Councillor, so an impeccably Caucasian member of her staff was given the nomination instead. Without a selection meeting or anything. I would have had to have chaired it...

The MP, whose business the selection of District Council candidates was not, had spoken. Frankly, only so middle-class a Branch would have let her get away with it. But I, who chaired that Branch, became aware of the candidate selection only when presented with the nomination papers in the pub. Did I sign Fleming's? I honestly cannot remember. But I very much doubt it.

What both Armstrong and, insofar as he is capable of formulating such thoughts, Fleming really meant was of course that they themselves were not prepared to countenance a mixed-race Councillor above Parish level in her constituency, and that for the ward in which Fleming lived. Hilary Armstrong was and is a racist. Neil Fleming was and is a racist. It was and is as simple as that. Hilary Armstrong was the Government Chief Whip at the time. Neil Fleming is now the Acting Regional Director of Labour North.

Fleming not only failed to win a seat, but he took down with him a sitting Labour Councillor, who was to have been Chair of Chairs. I had expected the first, but even I was surprised at the second.

Soon afterwards, I was made Secretary of the District Labour Party, the great and good of which, hardened Armstrong-sceptics every one, were utterly incredulous that I was not a District Councillor, and generally assumed that I had decided against seeking to become one.

After the 2005 General Election, they started going around stating as a simple matter of fact, even in some now-forgotten corners of the Internet that, upon Armstrong's expected retirement, I was going to be the MP for North West Durham. That would have been fine by me, since the people whom politically I most respected clearly, and to no one's surprise more than mine, wanted me with such determination.

But Fleming and his family of boneheaded chavs (some people really are), who have somehow managed to wangle cushy office jobs with the council and who therefore think that they are something they are not, had assumed, such was the lack of intellect involved, that Fleming was a meritorious person in his own right, rather than some boyband wannabe or Premiership football reject who had happened to be in the right place at the right time.

Thus, very longterm readers will recall, did I find myself outside a public house when, under cover of darkness and cheered on by Fleming's fishwife of a sister, her then boyfriend, who is now her husband, attempted to strangle me to death.

Longterm readers will also recall the refusal of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards to take any action about the hatching of a conspiracy to murder in or from the constituency office of the Government Chief Whip, and the refusal of the Local Government Standards Board to take any action about a Parish Councillor's conspiracy to murder another Parish Councillor.

That conspirator is now the Acting Regional Director of Labour North, and has an apparent personal right of veto on membership of the Labour Party in the Northern Region. Persons thinking of joining that party in this region ought to keep that in mind. As they ought also to keep in mind that he is a racist.

To this day, Fleming has never been elected above Parish level. He has never held any other kind of public office, and he very nearly lost his Parish seat in 2007, when I was comfortably re-elected without any party affiliation.

Anyway, I was told many years ago by the then Editor of Tribune, Mark Seddon, who was a member of the National Executive Committee, that there would be an all-women shortlist for this seat when Armstrong retired, after I had emailed him to test the possibility of my doing as the Derwentside Establishment was publicly stating as a fact that I was going to do. But they were also considerable people. Who knows what they might have been able to arrange? A great deal more, though, if I had been a District Councillor.

In any event, many years later, Fleming, who was by then Labour North's Press Officer, was so well-informed in that capacity that he announced his own candidacy in the local newspapers as a done deal the day before the NEC imposed an all-women shortlist.

Way back in 2000 or 2001, I forget which, I was to have been a candidate for the NEC, but my own Armstrongite CLP spitefully refused to nominate me even though everything else was in place. How times change, that in 2010 it nominated Ed Miliband for Leader. So much, in that case, for the idea that it might ever have selected the Armstrong protégé, Blairite fundamentalist, and violent racist Neil Fleming as its parliamentary candidate that year.

I say "Blairite fundamentalist", but even Blair was an intellectual compared to Fleming. Nevertheless, he is a kind of sub-Blair in such political philosophy as he has: despite coming from a practising Catholic background in County Durham, his is an urban, metropolitan, secular, socially liberal, white and upper-middle-class small-mindedness, narrow-mindedness, closed-mindedness, communalism, sectarianism and factionalism.

Fleming is economically neoliberal and geopolitically neoconservative, pro-war and pro-cuts. He is horrified at the success of Ed Miliband in standing up to Rupert Murdoch, in preventing a British military intervention in Syria, in thus setting in train the events that have led to a settlement with Iran, and in setting the agenda on the cost of living in general and on fuel prices in particular.

He hates trade unions with a burning passion, never having made any secret of his view that policy matters "do not concern" such people. He is utterly convinced of his own entitlement, despite his total lack of the slightest distinction or capability, as recognised by the electorate when it has been insulted by having him on its ballot paper. He is Old New Labour; a stopped clock from, well, about 2003.

These terms would mean nothing to him, but nor do those applied by anthropologists to the inhabitants of the Amazon Basin.

Therefore, Fleming really has no place in Ed Miliband's broad social-democratic alliance between the confidently urban and the confidently rural, the confidently metropolitan and the confidently provincial, the confidently secular and the confidently religious, those confident in their liberal social values and those confident in their conservative social values, across all ethnic groups, across all social classes, and across all parts of the country: One Nation. The party that would have won the 1997 Election as decisively as Blair did if John Smith had lived.

Quite how far removed from its values Fleming is, is evident from the comments that he used to post on here using, for some reason lost in the mists of history, the pseudonym "Break Dancing Jesus". He persistently attempted to call me a Fascist, but tried half a dozen spellings of that word, all of them wrong.

He could, however, spell "Mulatto", which he called me scores of times in accepted and rejected comments, on at least one notable occasion calling me "The Mulatto Hitler" to Robert Mugabe's "Black Hitler". Rather more amusingly, he once assumed that a reference to "the conservative Colbert" was to The Colbert Report.

As recently as this month, he was posting anonymous comments calling me "a cripple", during working hours and thus presumably from a Labour Party computer. It is interesting that, even now that I can barely walk and have to take powerful painkillers several times per day, he is still so terrified of me that he dare not use his name when using and abusing Labour Party facilities to abuse me by reference to my disability, and he still feels the need to throw his weight around in order to prevent me from becoming a mere member of that party. Stand for Parliament? I can hardly stand at all, as he knows.

Not that he will ever be allowed to stand for Parliament now, either. If somehow he ever did, at least if it were anywhere that Labour might win, then only a lack of funds would prevent me from putting up against him, so as to tell the voters who and what he really was. A parliamentary campaign would probably kill me, but I would accept that as the price of keeping Neil Fleming out of Parliament. That would be my civic and human duty, and I would proud to die doing it.

In which vein, as recently as this afternoon, perhaps also while still at work, he posted a comment on here mocking Liam Carr's parliamentary candidacy at Hexham. That is a very interesting position for the Acting Director of Labour North to adopt, and it is not at all my view. I am firmly convinced that Liam can and should win. Clearly, Fleming is not. Liam ought to take that up with the Labour Party.

In 2005 Fleming refused to be the Labour candidate at Hexham, scorning such an "unwinnable" seat as beneath him at the age of all of 28. A more junior member of the same staff stood instead, and greatly increased the Labour vote. Fleming would not have done so. If he had been the Labour candidate for North West Durham in 2010, then this would now be a Liberal Democrat seat. That would almost have been worth seeing. Almost.

Ho, hum. On here, I regularly suggest possible legislation. Why is Neil Fleming so frightened of the slightest possibility of a change to media ownership structures in this country, and to the public accountability of the BBC? Why is Neil Fleming so frightened of the slightest possibility of the reclassification of cannabis as a hard drug? Why is Neil Fleming so frightened of the slightest possibility of a criminalisation of both adult parties to an act of prostitution? Why is Neil Fleming so frightened of the slightest possibility of a raising of the age of consent to 18?

Why is Neil Fleming so determined to ensure that anyone, even a cripple, who merely articulates those aspirations cannot become a member, nothing more than a member, of the Labour Party? The party with which that cripple agrees politically and to the extent of supporting the parliamentary candidacy of an old schoolmate. Whereas its Acting Regional Director does not agree with that party politically, and holds that candidacy, within his own region, in open derision.

Oh, and that Acting Regional Director is also a racist thug who abuses people for being disabled.


  1. You must be the most sycophantic slavish supporter to have been denied membership of a political party in electoral history.

    To be honest, it's your own fault-for doing away with your journalistic independence and shackling yourself to that hilarious joke of a party-all because its leader made a nonsensical, impractical promise to freeze a fuel bill, and failed even to oppose the fire sale of Royal Mail.

    The party is as useless as it gets. One day, you'll be delighted it rejected you- for your own good.

  2. I am not exactly crying my eyes out now.

    Those who have been in touch saying that I might face a legal action, that could only happen, or at any rate succeed, if any of this were not true.

    Anyway, I am skint, so they wouldn't get a penny, and, not unrelatedly, I am a cripple, so they could do without the publicity of pursuing me for a hundred quid or something, if they got that.

    But the main point is that I am telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

  3. This only proves what some of us have been saying for a long time, that David Lindsay is a very, very dangerous man.

    This cut-price Derek Hatton and his mob (the British People's Alliance, Durham's very own Militant Tendency) must at all costs be stopped from infiltrating the Labour Party.

  4. I take grave offence. My suits are far better than Derek Hatton's ever were.