Green Party’s Undemocratic Processes

Reinstate the Bromsgrove One – Rectify the Anomaly Soon!
By Abu Jamal

As the Green Party of England and Wales gathers in Nottingham for it Spring Conference featuring the 40th Anniversary of the Founding of the Party, one person who will be not attending this event is Mark France.

Mark a longstanding Labour Movement and Socialist Activist who joined the Green Party in June 2010 was Expelled by a decision of the Green Party Regional Council at a meeting held on the Weekend of 2nd/3rd February 2012.

Mark was never given any clear indication of what charges were laid against him or provided with any evidence or documentation relating to these charges. Mark was not able to provide any defence. There was no hearing in which Mark was able to participate in nor was he able to present any defence. Mark was given no clear indication of the Disciplinary Process despite numerous unanswered attempts to clarify this with Green Party Officers.

To and insult to a series of injuries Mark was not even informed of the outcome of this Disciplinary Process until after he protested loudly via social media at his mistreatment. When he finally [19th February] received a special delivery letter from the party

For a political party of the Left with an avowed Republican Socialist Feminist, Caroline Lucas as the Green Party MP in Westminster, the treatment of Mark France seems to make a mockery of the Green Party rally cry ‘Fair is Worth Fighting For!’

Should this twitter storm in a Green tea cup be of any real concern for thousands of trade union activists and Socialists confronting the devastating effects of Con/Dem Austerity?

In the midst of a rear-guard struggle to defend the last remnants of the Welfare State established by the Labour Movement in the aftermath of the 2nd World War can we really be bothered what happens in Bromsgrove Green Party or how the Green Party conducts its internal Disciplinary Processes?

I would argue that in building mass resistance to the Tories and Lib Dem attacks then all structures in our movement should be based upon the robust, inclusive democratic traditions that were at the heart of the earliest trade unions, the co-operative movement, the Chartists and the Women’s Suffrage Movement.

The early radical democratic tradition of the working class in England was based on a struggle for a just society and inside the movement a sense of social solidarity and mutual respect allowed a plurality of views to flourish without unity in struggle becoming compromised.

One of the great tragedies of recent decades has been the collapse of social solidarity and the destruction of this old radical democratic tradition. Many Trade Union and Labour Party members, activists in various campaigns and left organisations can recount tails of undemocratic behaviour, the formation dominant cliques, the frequent use of bureaucratic manoeuvring to stifle debate or worse hide under the carpet uncomfortable truths.

Sometimes it is a hard pill to swallow but much of the left is riven with forms of behaviour which mimic the worst excesses of power struggles in wider capitalist society. Our organisations and our culture is polluted by various forms of control freakery which often lead to disciplinary processes that are invariably long drawn out and where truth is often the first casualty and justice very hard to achieve. The Crisis in the SWP exposes this culture of control which crushes dissent leading to the abuse of ordinary members and often their sacrifice on some alter erected by a hierarchy which seeks the divine right to rule.

Even the Green Party, which for the past 40 years was known for its highly democratic, de-centralised, and inclusive internal regime, seems to be capable of holding secret courts that put on trial hard working rank and file activists giving them no chance to defend themselves or appeal.

At the same Green Party Regional Council meeting on the 3rd of February another longstanding activist from Cardiff, Anne Greasby, was also expelled from the party. Her ‘crimes’ seemed to centre on public criticism of Pippa Barlotti the Leader of the tiny semi-autonomous Green Party in Wales.

In Mark’s case, some jokey comments made on this website over two years ago were apparently used to accuse Mark of “promoting violent revolution under the banner of the Green Party” this reason for his expulsion was given to a London Federation of Green Parties meeting by a member of the GPRC.

If the “Libertarian” Green Party is capable of mirroring the worst excesses of left wing sects then something deeply disturbing is affecting the political culture in England. Finding the source of this undemocratic culture of control is something that all socialists need to address. Defence of the victims of this culture is part of rebuilding a genuine spirit of social solidarity.

As the Francis Report stated, to prevent abuse of patients and staff the NHS needs a “culture shift based on openness, transparency and candour”. It took the courage of whistle-blowers and campaigners like Julie Bailey to expose the failings in the NHS – Socialists need to be as equally courageous in the fight to build a new culture of openness, transparency and candour in all our organisations and campaigns. UnitetheUnion has supported Julie Bailey’s call for David Nicholson the NHS CEO to Resign. Perhaps if ‘Fair is worth fighting for’ David Murray the Green Party CEO needs to consider his position?

Anyone wishing to protest at the Expulsions of Mark France and Anne Greasby from the Green Party can write to David Murray CEO, The Green Party, 56-64 Leonard Street, Development House, London, EC2A 4LT.

A letter from Mark Anthony France (MAF) to Will Duckworth, Deputy Leader of the Green Party regarding MAF’s attitude to violence can be read here MARK ANTHONY FRANCE attitude to violence 2

49 comments on “Green Party’s Undemocratic Processes

  1. Howard Kirk on said:

    Just in case this is an oversight, Andy I thought I would draw your attention to MAF’s address printed at the foot of the letter to Will Duckworth.

  2. Caroline on said:

    The question has to be asked – what is a socialist doing joining the Green Party in the first place?

  3. #2 What relevance does that have to the post?

    Do you mean that he should be expelled becauase socialists shouldn’t join the Greens?

  4. Caroline on said:

    #4 Not at all – it merely means, why would a socialist want to join a pro-capitalist party like the Greens?

  5. Nick Wright: One wonders why Mark Anthony France bothers with what are described in the letter as ‘little read sites like Socialist Unity.

    LOL! at the time i wrote the letter to Will Socialist Unity was going through a lull…. until the SWP Crisis increased its trade!

  6. Howard Kirk:
    Just in case this is an oversight, Andy I thought I would draw your attention to MAF’s address printed at the foot of the letter to Will Duckworth.

    I am not too concerned about my address being published… I have trained a crack team of vicious rabbits to protect my home… and since my involvement in the Julie Must GO! Campaign I take regular hate mail from the local bromsgrove squirearchy with a pinch of salt. If the Bromsgrove EDL want to come and get me they will have their throats ripped out by Thumper and Bambi.

  7. brainwash on said:

    #2 – There are more socialists in the Green Party than in the SWP or the SP for example. Bit pointless to rehash the same nonsense that was all over the previous Green Party thread.

  8. Caroline:
    The question has to be asked – what is a socialist doing joining the Green Party in the first place?

    Caroline you would be suprised that the vast majority of green party members consider themselves to be ‘socialists’ of some sort and there are many long standing Green Party members who became radicalised in the late ’60’s and ’70’s and did their time in various marxist sects before retreating into what was viewed as a safe retirement home for old bolsheviks….. the Eco-Socialist Current called the Green Left is a part of the Green Party and is influencial… Will Duckworth the Deputy Leader is a Dudley working class trade unionist and socialist… so your question has already been answered by many ‘socialists’ who are in the Green Party by choice and who don’t want to see their comrades stitched up and expelled without due process and right to appeal.

  9. Andy Newman: I BEG YOUR PARDON !!!!

    Sorry Mr Newperson…. I don’t have access to your viewing figures… maybe it was just my perception that at the time I wrote to Will that Socialist Unity was a dry scholastic and really boring club for disfunctional keyboard knights and marxist male geeks…. I maybe it was just me that was bored at the time? Please accept my apologies for any offence I may have caused to your proprietorial sensibilities – please dont ban me from the site I promise to be good!

  10. Caroline:
    #4Not at all – it merely means, why would a socialist want to join a pro-capitalist party like the Greens?

    Possibly because they believe that it has sufficient socialist policies and other members who are socialist that it can be pointed further in an anti-capitalist direction.

    Regretably most institutions in our society are pro-capitalist to one degree or another. This is because we live under capitalism.

    Not a good enough reason for me to join myself, although at various times I have been tempted.

    I don’t like lack of proper structures though, partly because I always suspect that situations like the one Mark has become a victim of will arise.

  11. Andy Newman: We have a highly secretive procees to go through first, we may or may not inform you of your decision

    LOL! – am offline for a bit got to do my paper round!
    I first heard of my Explusion from the Green Party two weeks ago while delievering the Bromsgrove Standard… a local tory came up and said ‘Heard you were expelled ha! ha!’…. wonderful way to find out and very weird how this chap got the news before me!

  12. paul fauvet on said:

    #5. “Why would a socialist want to join a pro-capitalist party like the Greens?”

    You might as well ask “why would a socialist want to join a pro-capitalist party like the Labour Party?”

  13. mark anthony france: a dry scholastic and really boring club for disfunctional keyboard knights and marxist male geeks

    :D Probably substitute that for “Debate & analysis for activists & trade unionists”.

    So is that the end of it Mark, or can you appeal? Either way, sorry to hear about your ongoing troubles. Very surprising the Greens acted this way; if anything they’ve always come off as too permissive!

    Why were you expelled from the Labour Party? I know enough anti-war Labour activists for that to stand ou. Were you promoting violent revolution under the banner of the Labour Party? :P

  14. Caroline on said:

    paul fauvet: #5. “Why would a socialist want to join a pro-capitalist party like the Greens?”You might as well ask “why would a socialist want to join a pro-capitalist party like the Labour Party?”

    Very true.

  15. I’m sorry to hear that your expulsion has been confirmed Mark. I think it’s interesting that these expulsions are taking place just now. We all know that the Greens on Brighton council are using the old Labour ‘dented shield’ argument to push through cuts. In Bristol, the Green Party have just proposed a £200,000 cut in the budget of the Adult Learning Service and the consequent closure of the Stoke Lodge centre in the city. Increasingly the Green Party is going to have to weed out the “trouble-makers” as it makes the compromises it deems necessary in order to secure a share of political office. Green Left should start to prepare now for life after the Green Party!

  16. Manzil: So is that the end of it Mark, or can you appeal? Either way, sorry to hear about your ongoing troubles. Very surprising the Greens acted this way; if anything they’ve always come off as too permissive!
    Why were you expelled from the Labour Party? I know enough anti-war Labour activists for that to stand ou. Were you promoting violent revolution under the banner of the Labour Party?

    just got back from my paper round… 200 copies of the Bromsgrove Standard delievered in double quick time….
    Manzil to understand both my expulsion from the Labour Party while living in Bromsgrove and the my Expulsion from the Green Party while living in Bromsgrove …. you have to get to grip with the Semi Feudal political social and economic structure of this little piece of middle england… Until New Labour stripped it Powers via legislation in 1997 Bromsgrove was not run by democratically elected local government councillors but an unelected self appointed coiterie of local burgers which had and unhealthy influence on the area since the Middle Ages… this body was called the Court Leet. Proletarians in the town were allowed to have their ‘Labour Party’ as a lap dog opposition so long as they stayed on their reservations kept their heads down and tugged their forlocks when the local squirearchy demanded a show of subservience…. You have to remember that very dogy organisations like the Midlands Industrial Council and the Consultancy Group that had their origins in the Economic League and those planning a military coup against Wilson were based in this area.
    The Court Leet and the Tories were a particularly nasty bunch of feudal overloads in this neck of the woods and via a variety of mechanism their control of local housing meant that they maintained a population that is probably the most homogenous in the UK… ie now blacks irish asians allowed to stay in the area. In the 2001 Census Bromsgrove was 97.8 White British… people even lied on the census about their ethnic/religious origns so the thousands of local people with recent Irish/Catholic ancestry self reported themselve as Protestant and British.
    The local Labour party took exception to me embarassing Gordon Brown by collecting 500 plus signatures in Bromsgrove High St for ‘Military Families Against the War’ and presenting them to him at his jamboree at Warwick University…. It took nearly 18months for me to have a hearing in front of an NEC Disciplinary Committee and they backed the local labour party complaint that ‘we don’t want him’.
    The Green Party ‘problem’ was a product of the hostility i created from the local Tory Party as a result of the ‘Julie Must GO!’ campaign during the MPs Expenses Scandal in 2009… they took their vengence by infiltrating the local Green Party to ‘get me’.
    Looks like they did ‘get me’ and No their is No Appeal according to a letter I have off the Green Party CEO.
    That is why I am mouthing off on Socialist Unity and my close friend ‘Abu Jamal’ has written about my case.
    I would like to be reinstated as a member and have the whole disciplinary process restarted and the rules proceedures and standing orders already in place [in theory] to be applied in this process because they were not adhered too in my case.

  17. jay blackwood: Increasingly the Green Party is going to have to weed out the “trouble-makers” as it makes the compromises it deems necessary in order to secure a share of political office. Green Left should start to prepare now for life after the Green Party!

    Jay… you may be correct in your assessment but there is still a fight to be had in the green party for its soul…and I will continue to support the Green Left in their steady progress. However, I expect the Green Left to defend members rights in the Green Party robustly. If I am reinstated I will continue to play my role as a committed eco-socialist in the reshaping and reqroupment of Politics in England and will carry out this work via the Green Party if I am allowed to do so.

  18. mark anthony france,

    I found that descent into the murky political bowels of Bromsgrove blackly comic, and very interesting. Thanks for taking the trouble! You have a gift for narrative. :)

    I fully understand your desire to keep fighting for readmission into the Green Party and for ecosocialist politics within it, and wish you luck in both. That said, it is hugely depressing to see yet another example of socialists having to swim against the tide of their chosen organisations.

    If they don’t let you back in, because localism demands tolerating Tory infiltrators or the Pippa Barlottis are more valued, then sod them. You’ll find a better political home eventually (Christ, I hope we all do), even if the Greens go down the path to tepid social-democratic environmentalism.

  19. Manzil,

    Manzil I find your comments strangely heartwarming – after many, many moons fighting smoke and shadows in the darkest corners of north worcestershire essentially alone. To come across in the virtual world a comrade who appreciates what I am attempting to do is uplifting.
    One day comrade we all shall meet in the sunlit uplands.
    the splintered sunrise of the 20th Century will be a distant memory as we celebrate together at the Rendezvous of Victory.

  20. Hey,

    I just want to say, as a Green Party activist (currently sitting on conference floor) that it sounds like this has been dealt with really badly – I’ll do my best to ask awkward questions – we clearly need to improve our democratic procedure…

  21. Loony Lefty on said:

    This is a welcome and timely article. My one criticism of it is that there have been two expulsions of high-profile, longstanding activists from the Green Party, but the case of the second activist, Anne Greagsby, gets barely a mention.

    The issue of the stifling of democratic debate and the holding secret courts that put on trial hard working rank and file activists giving them no chance to defend themselves is not confined just to the Green Party or the SWP but has become a problem across the Left and the trade union movement. For that reason these cases in the Green Party and the SWP have a wider significance and a relevance to all of us.

    I’ve come to know Anne Greagsby only recently when she became involved in the disabled-people’s anti-cuts movement in Wales, and I’ve found her to be an outstanding activist. I do not know mych about the Green Party or about the circumstances leading to Anne’s expulsion. But as a trade union officer and a community campaigner I know only too well the value of good activists, even when they say things or advocate positions I disagree with. I’m not sure how big the Green Party is but I doubt they could easily afford to shed some of their best activists.

    Quite aside from the appalling secret kangaroo court and complete failure of any kind of due process or natural justice (giving a right of reply to the accused etc) I have profound concerns about any organisation that believes towing the “party line” and not disagreeing with the leadership is more important than good activism, organising and campaigning.

    Like France, Greagsby has been denied a voice. A forum like Socialist Unity could help give them a voice. I would like to read accounts by France and Greagsby themselves on this forum of what happened, so that their voices and experiences can feed into the wider debate about how we recapture the radical democratic tradition and tolerance for debate and dissenting voices that the wider Left seems to have lost.

  22. brainwash on said:

    #26 – “I would like to read accounts by France and Greagsby themselves on this forum”

    I think i am right in thinking Mark France wrote this article under an a.k.a , not sure why he felt the need to do that.

  23. brainwash:
    #2 – There are more socialists in the Green Party than in the SWP or the SP for example. Bit pointless to rehash the same nonsense that was all over the previous Green Party thread.

    Eh? How do you work that one out?

    Sorry to hear of your rude and undemocratic treatment Mark, best of luck to you!

  24. Libertarian Lefty on said:

    Mark France had a motion to the current Green Party conference seeking a review of the GPRC to get accountability and transparency… the GPRC (GP Regional Council) expelled him first.
    Anne Greagsby questioned the GPRC at last September’s conference on their failure to consider her complaint of harrassment by a leading GP member in Wales; but none of the GPRC’s co-chairs turned up at the meeting, nor did they produce a report to Conference. According to the Green Left forum, her expulsion was due to tweeting critically on the jag-driving Welsh GP leader, as on the blog http://pippabartalotti.blogspot.co.uk/
    It looks like an unaccountable clique misusing power to expel critics.

  25. brainwash on said:

    #28 – Pretty easy really , some experience of all three Parties and some Maths. Green Party membership was at 13,000 as of 2011 , approx 6 times that of either SWP or SP and i would think at least half of Green Party members would consider themselves socialists.

  26. brainwash:
    #28 – Pretty easy really , some experience of all three Parties and some Maths. Green Party membership was at 13,000 as of 2011 , approx 6 times that of either SWP or SP and i would think at least half of Green Party members would consider themselves socialists.

    Bloody hell that’s increased, last I remember it was about 6,000!

    How many are organised in Green Left?

  27. Adam Ramsay:
    Hey,

    I just want to say, as a Green Party activist (currently sitting on conference floor) that it sounds like this has been dealt with really badly – I’ll do my best to ask awkward questions – we clearly need to improve our democratic procedure…

    Hey Adam,
    How did the asking of ‘awkward questions’ go at green party conference. It seems from weekend tweets that conference was a good event and marked further progress for the Green Left. Unfortunately, I haven’t heard off any comrades whether the motion C30 that I proposed on ‘Review of Dispcilinary Process’ was discussed or voted upon?
    By the way, have you had any contact with Jack Brindelli since he did his wonderful Les Miserables youtube resignation from the SWP – he seems like he’d make an ideal Green Party activist in Norwich!

  28. Loony Lefty: This is a welcome and timely article. My one criticism of it is that there have been two expulsions of high-profile, longstanding activists from the Green Party, but the case of the second activist, Anne Greagsby, gets barely a mention.

    Hi Comrade Loony
    This article was written on the morning of Friday 22nd in an hour or so and it was not possible to contact or clarify with Anne Greasby to what extent she wanted her case publicised or discussed on an internet forum like Socialist Unity.
    I don’t know Anne personally, but I too have been impressed by her committment to activism both as a Green Party member and supporter of a variety of campaigns as displayed by her twitter profile.
    I didn’t know the details of Anne’s case – the classic problem in these sort of situations is that the accused are isolated and vunerable and wary of spreading information about their ‘case’ out of fear of further allegations of ‘bringing the party into disrepute’… Classically, the online pronouncements, background or faux pas of ‘leading’ figures like Pippa Barlotti are ignored or treated as ‘charming idiocincracies’ … but comrades like Anne who raise valid criticisms are immediately drawn into demoralising a Disciplinary process… that acts to gag them and bury the criticism. Once under scrutiny the accused is already trapped in a Kaftaesue nightmare. I hope that Anne Greasby and another people who have experienced similar situations whether in their TU branch, a united front campaign, the Green Party the LP or any other organisation of the left will come forward and speak of their experience… We need a movement that values it’s human capital and treats all members with equal respect and sensitivity… we don’t need working class activists to become effectively demonised usually by people who are persuing their own agenda and who have interests seperate and apart from the interests of the working class and the oppressed as a whole.

  29. brainwash: I think i am right in thinking Mark France wrote this article under an a.k.a , not sure why he felt the need to do that.

    yep brainwash… I wrote the piece under my islamic name [i did my shahada in Feb 1999 – In Huddersfield… to see a earlier use of Abu Jamal in my campaigning work follow this link http://www.bbc.co.uk/bradford/content/articles/2006/06/15/huddersfield_soweto_feature.shtml but since moving back to Bromsgrove in 2006 I am no longer a practicing muslim and use my ‘christian’ name although I have used my ‘islamic’ name occasionally when writing including a couple of leading articles for Socialist Unity in years gone by. I apologise for any confusion over ‘names’ may cause for new readers of Socialist Unity.
    I also used Abu Jamal because it enabled me to write about my self in ‘the third person’… if I wrote in ‘the first person’… I was worried it would come accross as Boo Hoo! Moan Moan! What about ME ME ME!…. obviously, that is what I feel like but as I didn’t know any comrade who could write at short notice a piece on my situation I decided to draft in my alter ego Abu Jamal

  30. Manzil: Bloody hell that’s increased, last I remember it was about 6,000!
    How many are organised in Green Left?

    Manzil the Green Party is the biggest leftwing sect in the country!
    The Green Left is a really interesting organisation has a membership structure and an elected officers ctte… I don’t know the figures but it’s probably over 250 paid up members
    I have only every been to one Green Left meeting last year in Birmingham and despite the predominantly white male middle aged make up the meeting was very very productive friendly inclusive business like democratic mature strategically focused … basically, a brilliant experience… and I would heartily recommend any Green Party members reading this thread to join the Green Left http://greenleftblog.blogspot.co.uk/p/how-to-join-green-left.html

    As I have been expelled from the Green Party I am also defacto outside of the Green Left as it is only open to members of the Green Party.. But comrades have been generally supportive and a comrade from Camden Green Party has volunteered to act as an ‘advocate’ on my behalf to attempt negociation with the Green Party aimed at my reinstatement.

  31. If anyone was at Green Party Conference reading this it would be great to have a report on whether the issue of the expulsions of myself and Anne Greasby came up or was the subject of any discussion by GP members over the weekend.

  32. brainwash:
    #28 – Pretty easy really , some experience of all three Parties and some Maths. Green Party membership was at 13,000 as of 2011 , approx 6 times that of either SWP or SP and i would think at least half of Green Party members would consider themselves socialists.

    I think you’d have to offer further evidence to back up your claim that “at least half” of the Green Party are Socialists personally, but I’m sure you speak with more authority than I. You’d probably also need to provide a reasonable definition of ‘socialist’ as well, but since that would be a long and tedious convo I won’t ask you too. If the Green Left has only 250 members I’m not convinced that there really are 5000+ Socialists in the Green Party.

  33. Sam: I think you’d have to offer further evidence to back up your claim that “at least half” of the Green Party are Socialists personally, but I’m sure you speak with more authority than I. You’d probably also need to provide a reasonable definition of ‘socialist’ as well, but since that would be a long and tedious convo I won’t ask you too. If the Green Left has only 250 members I’m not convinced that there really are 5000+ Socialists in the Green Party.

    Sam, I don’t feel comrade brainwash is under any obligation to provide evidence of the numbers of ‘socialists’ in the Green Party nor a definition of ‘socialism’.
    My quesstimate of the number of members of the Green Left is just that a guesstimate… I don’t have the figures…
    but as an indication of GL influence and Socialist credentials then take a gander at Derek Wall [Green Party International Officer] recent article in the Morning Star
    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/128738
    As Derek points out:
    “Yet class struggle shapes society. We have an economic system of capitalism that oppresses humanity and degrades the environment.

    The forces of capital are immensely strong in Britain, from media control to the power of the City of London to patterns of land ownership that would make an old-school central American dictator blush.

    And these forces tend to distort what we do on the left. As Marx noted, when we “make history” we do not do so “in circumstances of our own choosing.”

    So sam you may have been living a somewhat sheltered existance, I don’t know, but welcome to the world of marxism alive and well and kicking in the Green Party.

    As far as I am concerned if someone says they are a ‘socialist’ I tend to believe them and see if there isn’t something we can work on together to defend the working class internationally and at home and bring us all a little nearer to ‘socialism’…
    Clearly, it is quite possible for people who do call themselves socialists to be really nasty… and that applies to people in the Green Party the SWP the SP the Labour Party and every other organisation and campaign on the ‘left’.
    That is why robust democratic mechanisms must be in place in all our organisations to ensure inclusion equality and non oppressive practice and to make sure that people can volunteer to give their time and energy towards making a better world without being used abused manipulated chewed up spat out and burnt up.
    over the past half century hundreds of thousands of people have had an appalling experience during their time in all these organisations as ‘socialists’…
    Invariably, the people who have been victimised in this manner tend to be the most working class and the most oppressed.
    Invariably, those who do the oppressing usually call themselves ‘socialists’ too except they tend to be more affluent and concerned about personal status and privaledges within their choosen organisation… They move to protect their privaledges with all the cunning of a wolf like predator and they ruin people’s lives… and spread a plaque an emotional plaque that renders productive work impossible.

    We need a mechanism for protecting our movement from the imposters that mechanism is Democracy openness transparency candour and the capacity to speak truth to power without fear.

  34. Adam
    I would normally raise these matters in the public domain but others have done so and i think it is right to give clarity to the situation.
    I was hoping to move the Disciplinary Review motion at Conference but was unable until to stay till Monday. It is possible that the motion may fall off the agenda because it is at the end of the agenda anyway.
    In my proposal speech to the motion i was actually going to say that even if the motion was voted down through lack of knowledge by members or a some people in the party not wanting to lose face the facts is that because their are enough serious flaws in the current procedure and practice that need urgent action in the procedure is needed to protect the interests of the Party as an whole as well as individual members.
    Our procedures need robust skilled bench marking in respect of a number of legal obligations before they meet our needs fully.
    The Green Party of England and Wales is a democratic party and i do think 99% of people in the Green Party try to promote fairness in their dealing with members but good intentions are just good intentions.
    As for Mark France and his individual case – I did offer to advocate (he is in West Midlands Green Left) for Mark and make representations on his behalf (others in the party have as well) and in my case using my experience and knowledge of best practice to ensure his rights – but only with the understanding for a limited time that Mark refrain from making public statements on the case until evidence had been gathered and representations had been made.
    I was concerned that Mark would make public statements and accusations (which he has since) that could be seen to bringing the party into disrupt so by compounding the nature of the complaints against him.
    If he had done what was requested and common practice in these sorts of situations, I could have tried with some likelyhood of winning to find a fair settlement and been able to present mitigating circumstances to what were very serious complaints in amongst those that were not.
    Mark refused with abusive comments this formal offer and in my mind has played the the role of a victim which is very frustrating for those many people in the Green Party who have tried to sort this situation out in a fair and understanding manner in line with good practice.
    Mark is a good person but sometimes he does not help himself for what ever the reason

  35. Should read would NOT normally raise these matters in the public domain but others have done so and i think it is right to give clarity to the situation.

    ran out of time editing

  36. jill mills on said:

    The Green Party Regional Council wish to inform readers of this thread that the allegations Mark France makes about the Green Party are untrue. He was included and informed in the complaint procedure at all times in the correct manner- this is documented and recorded. It is to be regretted that Mark did not acknowledge or engage with the process. Our complaint procedures are clear and transparent and published to all members and we offer training in dispute handling to local parties so that the process is not dominated by a central group.

  37. Roy:
    Adam
    I would normally raise these matters in the public domain but others have done so and i think it is right to give clarity to the situation.
    I was hoping to move the Disciplinary Review motion at Conference but was unable until to stay till Monday. It is possible that the motion may fall off the agenda because it is at the end of the agenda anyway.
    In my proposal speech to the motion i was actually going to say that even if the motion was voted down through lack of knowledge by members or a some people in the party not wanting to lose face the facts is that because their are enough serious flaws in the current procedure and practice that need urgent action in the procedure is needed to protect the interests of the Party as an whole as well as individual members.
    Our procedures need robust skilled bench marking in respect of a number of legal obligations before they meet our needs fully.
    The Green Party of England and Wales is a democratic party and i do think 99% of people in the Green Party try to promote fairness in their dealing with members but good intentions are just good intentions.
    As for Mark France and his individual case – I did offer to advocate (he is in West Midlands Green Left) for Mark and make representations on his behalf (others in the party have as well) and in my case using my experience and knowledge of best practice to ensure his rights – but only with the understanding for a limited time that Mark refrain from making public statements on the case until evidence had been gathered and representations had been made.
    I was concerned that Mark would make public statements and accusations (which he has since) that could be seen to bringing the party into disrupt so by compounding the nature of the complaints against him.
    If he had done what was requested and common practice in these sorts of situations, I could have tried with some likelyhood of winning to find a fair settlement and been able to present mitigating circumstances to what were very serious complaints in amongst those that were not.
    Mark refused with abusive comments this formal offer and in my mind has played the the role of a victim which is very frustrating for those many people in the Green Party who have tried to sort this situation out in a fair and understanding manner in line with good practice.
    Mark is a good person but sometimes he does not help himself for what ever the reason

    Roy: Mark refused with abusive comments this formal offer and in my mind has played the the role of a victim which is very frustrating for those many people in the Green Party who have tried to sort this situation out in a fair and understanding manner in line with good practice.

    Roy

    With respect Roy – in what way did I “refuse with abusive comments this formal offer”?

    I did disagree with your and other people’s assessment expressed via the Green Left discussion list that I should ‘shut up’. And it was only after several days of publically moaning about my secret ‘EXPULSION’ via Twitter that and sending loudly moaning e-mails to Green Party Conference Organiser, CEO, Chair, GPRC Co-Chairs that eventually I got a ‘special delivery’ letter on 19th February from the GP CEO which confirmed my ‘Expulsion’ and that I had no right to ‘Appeal’.

    As I explained previously on the Green Left Discussion list I have had experience in the past of promises that someone would look into my case and support me in disciplinary tribunals… The last time was when I was victimised by my employer the DWP [actually for making statements on this website calling for the Resignation of Bromsgrove MP Julie Kirkbride and ‘for speaking in public on matters within the Ministers remitt’…]
    The PCS adivises a softly softly proceedural defence which I went along with…. I got completely shafted – and this is in the context of a big government organisation Like the DWP the context of employment Law and with a supposedly highly trained Trade Union Rep backing me all the way…
    So in this context Roy perhaps, you being a sensitive soul like myself, I was very very wary that In the Context of having already being railroaded through a bizarre process where I was not allowed [and still haven’t seen] to see any evidence against me – was not allowed to know who my accusers were – was never given any formal indication of where I was in the complex flow charts governing disciplinary procedures in the Green Party… In the context of the lack of any agreed recognition that the ‘Green Left’ is able to somehow ‘horsetrade’ over a completed Disciplinary Process and Expulsion and turn it around via some magic behind the scenes diplomacy. In this context I made it clear that I disagreed with your proposed way forward and that I would continue with my prefered option to speak openly and transparently about what happened to me.

    Roy It has never been my intention to bring the Green Party into disrepute… that is why I have been working fairly hard for several years to promote the Green Party.
    If since my UNFAIR UNCONSTITUTIONAL EXPULSION some people in the Green Party feel I am bringing the Party into disrepute well I sincerely apologise. But as I am not under the discipline of the Party I am under no obligation moral or otherwise to ‘shut up’.
    I would argue that by allowing working class activists to be the subject of secretive meetings between GPRC officers and non Green Party ‘complaints’ … to have National Green Party Elections Officer ‘secretly’ ban me from standing as a Green Party Candidate and to have to essentially ‘secret’ Disciplinary Investigations stretching from July 2012 [during which time no one from any formal GP body contacted me at all]…. Culminating in a ‘secret’ Tribunal and a ‘secret’ decision to expell me…..
    In that context Roy… I did have little faith and some suspicsion that however well intentioned and dillegent you may have been as my ‘advocate’ that you would be just as easily ignored by the apparatus clique in the Green Party as I had been. So i would not agree to your terms… but I do not consider that I did so in anyway that was abusive. If you feel that then my sincerest apologies.
    Another Green Left Comrade who seemed to appreciate my perspective on the situation also offered to act in some way as an ‘advocate’ and as he was closer to the centre…ie lived in London and seemed more in tune with the ‘politics’ involved I gratefully accepted his offer to ‘advocate’.

    Roy this whole issue is a Political issue…
    You Talk about presenting ‘mitigating circumstances’ in regard to ‘very serious complaints’ …. YOU JUST DONT GET IT! I have never seen any evidence about what the complaints agains me are…. I If you have then I urge you to post here the evidence relating to ‘very serious complaints’…

    As I understood this to be a political issue that is why I took it up Politically by tabling a motion on GP Spring Conference Agenda calling for a Review of Disciplinary Proceedure…. I was intending to use the Green Party Members website to promote this motion gain further support to ensure it had a high placing on the Conference Agenda and wasn’t left to the afternoon of the last day… when people are already drifting home… and it would be likely to be missed…
    Then I was ‘Suspended’ from the Green Party and all access to its internal communications blocked….

    So here we are… Roy you say ‘in my mind Mark was playing the role of a victim’
    When the simple truth Roy is that I am the victim.
    People in the Green Party need to make sure that no other member is treated in this way.
    If they want any advice on how best to do that the – Pass the Review of Disciplinary Proceess Motion Today…. Reinstate Me Soon… and we can talk.

    As for me shutting up the answer is simple. NO

  38. jill mills: The Green Party Regional Council wish to inform readers of this thread that the allegations Mark France makes about the Green Party are untrue. He was included and informed in the complaint procedure at all times in the correct manner- this is documented and recorded. It is to be regretted that Mark did not acknowledge or engage with the process. Our complaint procedures are clear and transparent and published to all members and we offer training in dispute handling to local parties so that the process is not dominated by a central group.

  39. #40-42. The fact that Anne Greasby was also expelled makes it more difficult to believe that this Mark France’s expulsion was as justified and transparent as Roy and Jill assert, that it was a “one-off”.

    Isn’t the burden on you to justify the expulsion of a member? Not to mention two.

    I mean, you don’t have to – for reasons of confidentiality or whatever. But in the absence of that, it makes it hard to accept your claims at face value. The disciplinary procedures may be local and transparent, but the result seems just the same as a process dominated from the centre.

    mark anthony france,

    Sam wasn’t the one who asserted that six thousand members of the Green Party are socialist, though. While a member of the Labour Party, it was quite a rare occurrence for me to meet someone who wasn’t happy to broadly describe themselves as a socialist. The issue is what credence we give such a statement, based on an assessment of people’s organised political role. There don’t seem to be many substantive differences in the role of a socialist in Labour and one in the Greens: what differences there are seem to favour the former, given the ongoing direct role of the labour bureaucracy within the party.

    If you claim the Greens are a viable means of engaging in socialist politics, on the basis that half its members are socialists, you probably need to defend that with evidence. It’s not about questioning people’s honesty; merely of trying to get a sense of what they mean by such a statement.

  40. jill mills: The Green Party Regional Council wish to inform readers of this thread that the allegations Mark France makes about the Green Party are untrue. He was included and informed in the complaint procedure at all times in the correct manner- this is documented and recorded. It is to be regretted that Mark did not acknowledge or engage with the process. Our complaint procedures are clear and transparent and published to all members and we offer training in dispute handling to local parties so that the process is not dominated by a central group.

    Jill…. with respect that comment is a load of poo!
    why would a member who is so concerned about the failings of the dispute resolution and discipline process in the Green Party that they table a resolution to conference fail to take up the opportunity to particiapate in any Tribunal where they could see and hear evidence against them and finally get a chance to defend themselves…

    Be careful Jill…. your comments here may be percieved as bringing the Green Party into disrepute by lying.

    If you are so so certain that everything was done above board then as the cat is out the bag … publishe everything you got on this site…

    If you are not so sure as you make out… then why not Reinstate me and we can go through the whole process again… this time properly… then me and you might be able to me up for the first time and treat each other with the equality of esteem which is the necessary precondition for sucessfully conflict resolution.

    Fair is Worth Fighting For …. isn’t it?

  41. OMG I am gettin so fucking sick of this shit… for christ sake what did I do?
    Did I eat Natalie Bennett’s pet Cat?
    Did another member see me doin 28mph in a 20mph zone?

    Why have I been expelled….?
    I have had enough of all these Fuckers… I’ll get me Coat.

  42. I suspect that this thread will rapidly become a ping pong match of claim and counter claim, where noone will be any the wiser.

    Whatever the facts in the individual cases of MAF and Anne Greasby, the discplinary process via the 20 strong GPRC seems to be held in low regard, and has a reputation for being arbitrary and opaque.

    I intend to close comments now.

  43. jill mills: The Green Party Regional Council wish to inform readers of this thread that the allegations Mark France makes about the Green Party are untrue. He was included and informed in the complaint procedure at all times in the correct manner- this is documented and recorded. It is to be regretted that Mark did not acknowledge or engage with the process. Our complaint procedures are clear and transparent and published to all members and we offer training in dispute handling to local parties so that the process is not dominated by a central group.

    Jill, speaking as one of the SU editorial team, can you confirm that you are speaking officially on behalf of the Green Party Regional Council?

    Mark, I strongly advise you not to respond any further until we have established if this person is speaking officially and if so, if this person is telling the truth in any way.

    Mark, can we have your consent to discuss this in this thread with this person? I would like some kind of evidence to be shown – just in case there has been a huge mis-understanding.

    Jill Mills: If you’re speaking in an official capacity, you’re going to need to make sure you’re being straight with us. All of us here have known Mark for a long time, and he’s not a man who throws around accusations.

    He is telling us that he wasn’t even told of his expulsion and certainly didn’t go through any kind of serious process. You are now telling us that he was offered this process but “did not… engage with [it]”.

    Please will you substantiate your claims. You can’t now pull back – having given some information, you need to be fair and give all of it. You can contact us directly through office@socialistunity.com if you prefer.