A week before a key selection meeting, Labour officials have silenced members online. But that hasn’t stopped the party asking them to cough up cash for a naff Keir-aoke (Geddit??!!)
By WALTER CRONXITE, Political Editor
Just a week left until the grassroots members of the new Constituency Labour Party in Croydon East finally get to have a say in the selection of their candidate for the General Election, and an unelected official has tried to silence them on social media.
Carole Bonner is the Newman Numpty who was installed as chair of the CLP without any election or members’ general meeting, and who has presided over a shadowy selection process in which members have been shut out of the long-listing and short-listing process.
With Croydon Labour in “special measures” after they bankrupted the borough when in power at the Town Hall, faceless and nameless officials at London Region and in the National Executive Committee have been deciding on who should go forward to a members’ vote next Saturday. Bonner has been doing their bidding on the ground locally.
According to Bonner, it was Labour’s NEC who finally determined that four candidates should go forward to next Saturday’s selection meeting: Olga Fitzroy, a councillor in Lambeth with a reputation for organising successful national campaigns in the music industry, Natasha Irons, a Merton councillor, Johnson Situ, a former Southwark councillor who now works for London Mayor Sadiq Khan, and Joel “Bodger” Bodmer, who has never been elected to any public office.
Separately, but being run at the same time, is a long-delayed selection process for Labour’s London Assembly candidate for Croydon and Sutton, where there are just two names on the ballot paper: Merton councillor Martin Whelton and one of Bonner’s fellow Numpties, Maddie Henson. Henson is the first Croydon councillor from the Newman era to be allowed forward as a candidate for selection for elected office.
Bonner, a former councillor in New Addington and one of the Newman Numpties who supported the discredited Labour regime that crashed the council finances, has a long and very well-deserved reputation for never answering members’ questions and regarding herself as unaccountable.
And this week, she shut down discussion about the selections and CLP business on the relatively new Croydon East CLP Facebook page. She claimed to have acted on “advice” in banning any new posts, but Bonner refused to say where that advice had come from.
“We’ve been frozen out,” one concerned member told iC. “We can no longer contribute or communicate with other members via the Facebook page.
“Perhaps they were worried that Olga and Natasha were getting posts and a certain other candidate wasn’t.”
Even in applying this Orwellian restriction on discussion, Bonner and the other page administrators (Melanie Felten and Mark Henson who were also installed as CLP officers without election by London Region) have issued mixed and confused messages, first limiting members to one post per day, then one comment per hour, then suspending all posts, all without any real explanation.
“Member-led democracy it isn’t,” said one of those banned from using the Facebook page.
“Would someone please tell me what is going on?” asked another.
The shutdown of debate hasn’t stopped Bonner coming up with another wheeze, though, which she has allowed to be published on the CLP’s Facebook page.
It’s a Croydon Labour Keir-aoke! Geddit! Hilarious, no?
In another posting, Bonner (or someone) has written, “It’s that time of year to have a party, roast your chestnuts and jingle and mingle.” Ho, ho, ho.
The event is to be hosted by Tony Blair fan-boy Martin Angus.
They promise no speeches, but there will be a raffle, with all profits split between Croydon East and Croydon South CLPs. Tickets for the event, on December 16 at the salubrious Ruskin House, are a mere £17… With a pay bar, natch.
“So we’re not allowed to comment or express an opinion on the Facebook page – unless you are Carole Bonner – but you can buy tickets to fundraising events,” another disgruntled member said.
“Under Bonner and her chums, that is all party members are good for.”
The event does, though, present some intriguing possibilities for choices of songs for key Croydon Labour figures… Take your pick, and suggest some of your own:
Read more: The fix is in: Labour excludes members from Croydon selection
Read more: Questions asked over Town Hall Mayor’s business deal
Read more:Blairites stage factional coup to oust Fisher from CLP post
Read more: #TheLabourFiles: MP Reed, Evans and the Croydon connection
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