Labour HQ asks members to check with them before tweeting

Labour Party President Nigel Haworth has asked members not to “launch immediately into a commentary” on Twitter but to run things by Party HQ instead.

Ex Labour Party member Phil Quinn must either still be on the Party mailing list or is being forwarded party emails. He has blogged on an email sent to members.

Equally, the modern era provides multiple opportunities to comment publicly on political issues. Blogs are one thing, but I think media such as Twitter are probably more important.

It is easy to read a newspaper report, or pick up a news item on the TV, and launch immediately into a commentary that may be widely shared.

We see this regularly, and it is sometimes founded on incorrect information, as events subsequently show. Spokespeople in Caucus, staff in Party HQ, Council members, members of Policy Council and I are available promptly to respond to queries about issues before public comments are made.

“It is sometimes founded on incorrect information” could also apply to Labour MPs on Twitter.

We are happy to talk to you if you hear or read something that worries you, or makes little sense. And a quick check with the Party about the issue allows you to comment in an accurate and informed way, even if you disagree! We are all the better for debate founded on accurate information.

Debate founded on accurate information is laudable.

Debate founded on HQ vetting is more of a worry in a modern political party.

So what are we to think now? Should we treat all tweets that look like they might be from Labour Party members with suspicion of being managed by Party HQ?

I wonder what the turnaround time will be if, say, a hundred party members are itching to say something on Twitter. Maybe HQ are set up to respond quickly, or maybe they hope that people will have moved from touchy topics before they get a reply.

I suspect Quinn didn’t run his post by HQ before launching into commentary – but he’s not a member any more so exempt from Party control.

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7 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  27th July 2015

    This policy suggests the number of active Labour party members barely reaches 3 figures.

    Reply
  2. Missy

     /  27th July 2015

    This is worrying in my opinion. It is one thing for MP’s and office holders to have their communications vetted by HQ & the leadership, they are the representatives of the party and it should be expected that they are putting forward a cohesive and unified message – but to have the rank & file membership run social media comments past HQ is sounding like the thin edge of the censorship wedge.

    This also raises the question of what else is ‘being run past party HQ’? The most obvious being some of the posts / comments at The Standard. We know that MickeySavage and TRP are both involved at a reasonably high level in the party (or at least MS used to be with his association to Cunliffe – not sure if that is still the case), so are their posts being vetted by HQ? Are they checking with HQ before they write something, and if so, does that put lie to Prentice’s claims that TS is not connected to the Labour Party?

    I only bring this up as I noted a comment from TRP which indicated he attends meetings that deal with matters concerning the Labour Caucus – in particular the comment related to Andrew Little and how he is presented – and this suggests to me that he works for the Labour Party, and most likely the Parliamentary wing of the Labour Party, and if this is the case, it makes sense that what he writes is vetted by HQ or Labour Parliamentary wing. How much can you believe is someone’s opinion, and how much is Labour Party propaganda? And this latest email from the Labour Party makes it seem like they are desperately trying to control what people say even if they do not work for, are not publicly connected to, or are not an MP for the Labour Party.

    Reply
  3. Mike C

     /  27th July 2015

    WOW !!! The Labour Party have gone into lock down mode, trying to suppress all of the dumb arse comments from their members.

    It will never work, because there are too many pig-headed big-mouthed dick-head Labour Supporters who think that their own shit don’t stink. LOL.

    Reply
  4. The Left…. control, and if that doesn’t work more control, and if that doesn’t work more control and if that doesn’t work excommunication form the Party and if that doesn’t work… well an Ice pick to the head has been used in the past.

    The key problem the Left has and has always had is ideological purity and splintering. Monty Python lampooned it brilliantly long ago and its still true today.

    Its the reason that Labour and other left wing parties revere strongmen/woman leaders like Clark and Stalin. They get stuff done but only because they impose ruthless discipline on the party faithful. the party members recognise at a very unthinking level their own need to be controlled because at a base level they recognise their own deep set dysfunction and desire to debate mindless trivia….

    i.e. http://www.thestandard.org.nz

    The Pythons on splintering:

    Reply
  5. Dave

     /  28th July 2015

    Can anyone imagine some key political activists or political terrorists as I cal them putting anything in front of others for checking, one example (who might not be a member) TISO He tweets so much they would need 2 staff members just to manage him! Many other examples and after a few days it would be abandoned!

    Now what this does show is Labour recognize the negative spiteful hate speech originating from some of their members / supporters. It’s another example of where the socialists are on the wrong side of the statistics.

    Reply
  6. Mike C

     /  28th July 2015

    Suppression of Free Speech. The most important principle of communism 🙂

    Reply
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