for discussion at the LU national council June 14 2015
Laurie McCauley is a member of Left Unity and the Communist Platform. He was suspended by Manchester branch nearly a year ago. Though there have been vague accusations of “persistently disruptive behaviour” the fact of the matter is that he was suspended because he wrote a critical article in the pages of the Weekly Worker (see ‘What “safe spaces” lead to’ May 15 2014).
An ‘offence’ other Left Unity members are guilty of too. Yet despite numerous reports and comments on branches, national conference, national council and wider developments in Left Unity, quite rightly, no other member has been suspended or otherwise subject to disciplinary measures. Indeed one of the great strengths of Left Unity is its commitment to openness and its willingness to publicly debate differences.
Comrade McCauley remains a fully paid up and accepted member nationally. Manchester branch has not taken comrade McCauley to the disputes committee in an attempt to get him suspended from the party. But comrade McCauley has appealed to the disputes committee in an attempt to get his suspension from the branch lifted.
However, due to the long list of other cases, a misplaced insistence on keeping proceedings secret, an inquorate disputes committee, delays caused by new elections, etc, he has not even managed to get a hearing. His case remains unheard and unresolved.
Such a situation can only but bring Left Unity into disrepute. After all justice delayed is justice denied.
No one is expected to like it when their politics are subject to criticism. But disagreement and the expression of differences should be considered a normal part of life and certainly not a disciplinary offence.
Therefore the national council wishes to apologise to comrade McCauley over his treatment and urges Manchester Left Unity to immediately end his suspension from the branch.