Unite Says I Can’t Vote – Labour Says I Can #ChaseItUp

Labour Leadership Election



8th September 2016

After only 3 days on Youtube, the Labour Party’s HQ discovered my telephone recordings and sent me the following threatening letter.  This is probably the quickest response I’ve ever had from them even though I wasn’t asking for one:

From: Legal Queries <legal_queries@labour.org.uk>
Date: Thu, Sep 8, 2016 at 7:08 PM
Subject: Unlawful telephone recording
To: Paul Cardin

Dear Mr Cardin

I write regarding the content uploaded to a YouTube account in your name at the following hyperlink: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUSLkZXNAGs

This video contains an audio recording of a telephone conversation between yourself and an employee of the Labour Party discussing your eligibility to vote in the Labour Party leadership election.

Although it is not illegal to record telephone calls for your own records, it is an offence under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 to make that recording available to a third party without the permission or consent of one of the parties to that telephone call.

At no point during this conversation did you request consent for this call to be recorded, or make any attempt to inform the recipient of your call that you intended to publish a recording. Had such request or notification been provided, consent would not have been provided.

We therefore require that you remove this recording from the public domain as soon as practically possible. We withhold the right to take further action, including but not limited to legal action, should you fail to do so.

Yours sincerely

John Stolliday

Head of Constitutional Unit

The Labour Party

Sent by email from the Labour Party, promoted by Iain McNicol on behalf of The Labour Party, both at Southside, 105 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6QT Website: www.labour.org.uk to join or renew call 0345 092 2299.

My response:

From: Paul Cardin <gorkys611@googlemail.com>
Date: Thu, Sep 8, 2016 at 9:50 PM
Subject: Re: Unlawful telephone recording
To: Legal Queries <legal_queries@labour.org.uk>

Dear Mr Stolliday,

The recording you refer to is no longer available to third parties and is no longer in breach of the Act, as suggested.
As you’re aware, the purpose of my phone call was to verify that I am eligible to vote in the forthcoming leadership ballot.
Please make enquiries and confirm that my online ballot paper has been batched and will arrive by Friday 9th September (tomorrow) at the latest, as promised by your employee Peter in the recording,
Yours sincerely,
Paul Cardin


5th September 2016

There’s widespread concern that possibly 100,000+ people who are eligible to vote may not have received their ballot papers due to an ‘admin’ error by Labour HQ.

Before I was aware of this ‘admin’ error I’d already made the following phone call to Unite the Union in Liverpool on 31st August 2016.  I did this having realised my online ballot as a union affiliate supporter was unlikely to arrive by the end of August:

So the verdict seemed to be because I had not ‘affiliated’ by the deadline of 8th August 2016, I didn’t qualify to vote.  I found this alarming because I was already an affiliate – in fact I’d affiliated to the Labour Party in plenty of time – 32 years earlier in 1984 – after leaving the Royal Navy, joining the local electricity board – MANWEB – and signing up to the EETPU, the old electricians’ and plumbers’ union.

This was when I began investing and first had a stake in the Labour party, and there’s a good chance it pre-dates the point at which most of the 172 unhappy MPs first contributed.

So that was that.  After being unceremoniously banned by Iain McNicol the first time around in August 2015 because my aims and values allegedly didn’t match the party’s, the axe had fallen again.


But I didn’t let this deter me and after applying online last Friday for my ballot to be sent out, I made a follow-up call direct to the Labour party today on 0345-092-2299.  Scroll forward to 15:56:

The verdict this time was I could vote, and that my online ballot was being sent out inside one of a number of batches – which should arrive in the next couple of days, or by the end of the week at the latest.

After the unhappy events of August 2015 and the current, desperate weeding out of potential Corbyn voters this time around I don’t actually believe this second response can be correct, hence my caution with recording the phone calls (which is legal as the recording and the calls were undertaken from my domestic place of residence).

So until I actually receive the promised online ballot…  watch this space !


About Wirral In It Together

Campaigner for open government. Wants senior public servants to be honest and courageous. It IS possible!
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