Statement on Jasmine Freemantle’s expulsion

On the 12th of May, the Workers Party expelled current VUWSA president Jasmine Freemantle for flagrant violations of core working class, socialist and party principles. Since then her response has been to attempt to cover up the fact that she was expelled for consistently attempting to ride roughshod over VUWSA employees and for refusing to argue for basic socialist and Workers Party principles in VUWSA.

In particular, Freemantle undermined the Workers Party on campus and made restrictions on the right to strike. The unrestricted right to strike is in our policy platform, which was democratically ratified while she was a member. We, however, have no interest in wasting our time responding to every piece of Freemantle’s lurid fiction, personal attacks and self-justifying antics.

People who know the Workers Party will have little difficulty in recognising that subsequent comments by her bear little connection to reality.

19 Responses to Statement on Jasmine Freemantle’s expulsion

  1. Paul Drake says:

    As an outside observer, if the above information is correct, then I think that the WP management did the right thing and it takes courage to deal with the more distastefull issues.

    The critics of WP need to note that most left organisations, unions and parties (even the Greens)are prime targets to be infiltrated by mole operatives who are likely to work for the SIS. Even if the above scenario was not mole related discipline needs to be maintained at the top level otherwise the organisation will be all adrift.

    Look what happened in the late eighties and early ninties? Due largely to the work of moles the left were hoplessly divided, beaten and demoralised. If any one has learnt from that experience it seems the WP has.

  2. WP Admin says:

    Yeah. If we’re not a disciplined collective, we’re nothing in the face of opposition. We’re a party with agreed policies, not a smattering of individuals. And making restrictions on workers’ rights is definitely not what we’re about.

    But I’d add that it wasn’t “WP management” that made the decision. The branch voted on it.

  3. John Edmundson says:

    I’d also add that while Paul is correct that the left will be targeted by the state, there is no suggestion at all that Jasmine is any kind of agent of the state.
    Cheers,
    John

  4. Liam says:

    Similarly there is no evidence to suggest that any of her claims have even the slightest amount of fact behind them

  5. Jared D says:

    Pretty disgusting child support though. I sincerely hope the WP addresses at least some of her points on that issue — you’d be better for it.

  6. Matthew Cunningham says:

    I hate to say it, guys, but this is a very poor response. You’ve not bothered to address one single issue raised by Jasmine - issues that are backed by solid evidence in the form of emails, statements, and actual Workers Party policy. Instead, you incorrectly (and, more to the point, slanderously) dismiss her case as “lurid fiction, personal attacks and self-justifying antics”. Liam subsequently claims that that “there is no evidence to suggest that any of her claims have even the slightest amount of fact behind them”. This is, quite simply, an outright lie, and suggests the author has not even read Jasmine’s statement.

    If you hope to salvage any vestiges of a reputation, you should admit that you were wrong, and that your case against Jasmine is weak, contradictory, and based upon the personal issues of a small subset of Workers Party members.

    Cheers, Matt.

  7. Alastair Reith says:

    No Matt, we just can’t be fucked wasting time endlessly rebutting a series of very long emails - we’re not interested in writing a new version of the Logan Dossiers (look it up). Unlike Jasmine, we do day to day work pushing revolutionary politics and fighting for worker’s rights (as opposed to trampling on them).

    Jasmine has wasted enough of our time already, along with time of other workers activists like the Unite organiser looking after the countless complaints from VUWSA staff in response to her bullying. We don’t want to let her waste any more.

  8. Alastair Reith says:

    Oh and other thing - this was not decided upon by “the leadership” with the rest of the party just toeing the line. The push for Jasmine’s suspension and then expulsion came from grassroots members of the Wellington branch who were sick and tired of her trampling over our politics and our reputation as a principled revolutionary organisation. Following a democratic vote in Wellington, it was ratified in similar democratic fashion by the other branches of the party.

  9. Byron says:

    “Pretty disgusting child support though. I sincerely hope the WP addresses at least some of her points on that issue — you’d be better for it.”

    Just out of interest Jared, did you talk to any of the Workers Party members who were at the meeting at our retreat where childcare was discussed before making that comment?

  10. Liam says:

    Well, I’m off to write an outrageous blog, smearing as many people as i can, in an attempt to grab some attention and drum up some sympathy in a desperate attempt to hang on to my elected power. I expect everyone who took the blog mentioned above seriously to offer me the same courtesy

  11. Don Franks says:

    Jared, your sanctimonious comment about childcare was not necessary; the accusation is baseless, as are most of the other accusations.

  12. Jared says:

    Hi Byron.

    No I admit I didn’t, but if by going on her word that those sorts of practices are overlooked (as is addressing gender imbalance at all times) then it’s worth mentioning. I’m sure you’ve ratified those practices and I wish you well with them.

    Don, keep your knee under the table mate!

    Jared

  13. Adam says:

    This is really sad to see and a pity it could not be handled better from both sides. This is disappointing and destabilising. Two weeks on and it still is just a big mess.

  14. Daphna says:

    I think Adam you see it as bigger than it is.

    Jasmine was not involved with the party for many years, and
    when she it was on the periphery mostly. Her no longer being a member has had no impact on the work we do.

    We have more important and more interesting things to get on with.

    Regards
    Daphna

  15. WP Admin says:

    “No I admit I didn’t, but if by going on her word that those sorts of practices are overlooked (as is addressing gender imbalance at all times) then it’s worth mentioning.”

    Yes, and the party supports free childcare. The questions were over practicality, not whether to offer childcare in itself - legalities at conference, whether to offer to casual members, how to arrange it for branch meetings etc. We can’t really afford to contract it out. We worked out a system with Jasmine, but that’s partly because she was comfortable with having other branch members playing babysitter.

  16. WP Admin (sic) says:

    God, you guys truly don’t get it do you? Don’t you realise that you cannot expect your members to be WP puppets in Vuwsa, that is just fucking crazy. If a young Nat had been elected president and was expected to run all VUWSA decisions past the National Party caucus, you deluded fools would be going crazy. The real issue is that Jasmine Freemantle is beholden to us, the fucking students, NOT the workers party.

    I don’t know if you realise, but Joel’s general uselessness and offensiveness has alienated a lot of otherwise receptive students at Vic, as has your heavy-handed response to Jasmine not doing exactly what you want. Good luck for the future you misogynist retards

  17. Byron says:

    The above comment is not by the real WP Admin (obviously).

    To the above commenter: You are making a straw man argument, no one expected every VUWSA decision to be run by the WP, but we did expect a student president elected after running on a Workers Party ticket not to make people redundant, cut their sick leave entitlements etc. I think its pretty obvious that no socialist organisation can let that happen.

    Also please note the comment policy: “comments containing racist or abusive language will be deleted.” Your use of the word ‘retard’ (as well as the swearing, and a baseless attack on an individual) are borderline. If you continue to comment in this manner you can go to Kiwiblog to do it, they love that sort of thing. We don’t.

  18. WP Admin [sic]:
    There was no expectation of anyone being a puppet, Wellington members are much to independent to be cowed in that manner. We’re too busy to do that sort of micro-management anyway.
    Jasmine was elected on a platform of opposing the change proposal put forward that year, that I was involved in. I campaigned heavily for her on that basis to reverse what had been started.
    She made every staff member bar one redundant and saw the largest turnover of executive [at one point there weren't even enough to make quorum] since she was last on the executive.
    Jasmine was elected as a WP rep, she had a responsibility to students but also to the political organisation she belonged to.
    I was not generally useless or offensive, I still get students talking to me on the street or on the bus about what they’re up to, having been a class rep, member of a rep group, student from the bar, or someone I’ve come into contact with over my time at VUW.
    I helped fight off closing the Gender and Womens studies school, tried to help the stop the cull at the Education Faculty, helped get $100,000 in compensation for the students of Unicomm hostel. Look at what’s been happening in the last year and a half and you’ll see the difference a militant student president can have. I made a lot of mistakes, no doubt about that, but I had more success than failure at VUW.
    You might well live in the politico bubble at Vic, but the majority of alienation I encountered was amongst the small group of people who surround VUWSA and Salient. Most students wouldn’t know what you were talking about.
    I have little interest in debating an uninformed troll, but I object to baseless slurs.

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