Emma Bateman – https://twitter.com/EmmaBatemanGPW
- Three-times Co-Chair of Green Party Women
- Recently reinstated to GPEW Party after 6-mth expulsion
Transcript from webinar of 04/12/23
Notes prepared for talk on 4-12-23
I am speaking this evening because from where I am sitting it looks like Gender Critical women are being penalised and individually picked off as trouble makers in the Green Party. The way that suspensions work is that they can make you feel very isolated, and so coming together in recognition that this is happening to all of us is important. I think that we are well aware that when women encounter the public shaming tactics that all four of us have faced, there is an expectation that we will become subdued and withdraw, because those shaming tactics are very effective.
I do want to speak out but I am very aware that I have an ongoing legal case against the Green party and that the lawyers will be listening out for slips and trips. So I have had to grapple with what to reveal to people about the way I have been treated.
I also know that there will be people who will want to suggest that even taking part in this event is against the code of conduct because it does seem like the first rule of complaints club is that you don’t talk about complaints. There is a fog of confidentiality that hangs over much of what goes on in the party, and figuring the rules of what can and cannot be said is pretty tricky.
So a brief history.
In 2021 I was co chair of Green Party Women and I was put on a no fault suspension on 8th March 2021, International women’s day.
In June 2021, I sent in extracts from the judgement of the Maya Forstater case to the Green Party regional council which is the body responsible for imposing no fault suspensions and for party well-being. The Forstater case enshrined in law that Gender Critical beliefs are worthy of respect in a democratic society and that people have a legal right to express them. I suggested that GPRC might want to look again at the grounds on which they had suspended me in light of this case, and a few weeks later they lifted the no fault suspension but told me they would reinstate it if they became aware of any behaviour by me that created a risk to an individual, group or the party.
So I spent from March till August out of the party for a complaint that has to date still not been heard.
I was re-elected as co chair of green Prty Women in January 2022. We had our first committee meeting on February 3rd and I was suspended on February 4th with three no fault supensions and another five complaints in rapid succession.
The first three of these complaints were dealt with in two disciplinary hearings, and the Disciplinary Committee imposed concurrent suspensions that amounted to a year long suspension and six months bar from office. I appealed against all three of those complaints and the tariffs were all reduced at those appeal hearings. The overall result was that the suspensions ended in August 2022 and I was then barred from standing for office till around the end of October. I do not believe that it was coincidental that the bar from office was long enough to prevent me from standing for positions at the Green Party Autumn Conference.
In 2022 I spent from March till August out of the party.
Two of the complaints against me were submitted by members of the former Green Party leadership team and I think it is important for members to understand that while the Green Party likes to think it is a grass roots organisation, the way that Gender Critical members have been treated is enthusiastically encouraged by the top brass, with the notable exception of Jenny Jones who herself has been accused of ‘terfery’ (TERF stands for Transphobic Exclusionary Radical Feminist, and is used as an insult against Gender Critical women).
In one of those cases by a former leadership team member, the Disciplinary Committee gave me a one year suspension and six months bar from office, but this person wanted me expelled so they appealed to try and get a harsher sentence. They claimed they had new evidence for the appeal. It transpired this was an accusation that I had made a child cry at a Green Party conference and that I was therefore some kind of safeguarding risk to children.
I know I have a reputation for evil terfery, but I will state categorically I did not knowingly make a child cry at any Green Party conference.
In January 2023 I was expelled due to a complaint by another former member of the leadership team in conjunction with a Green Party councillor. This complaint went through several committees and it took 11 months from the first hearing to the appeal outcome. One reason it took so long is because during the course of the first hearing there was an outburst from one of the disciplinary panel’ that he was ‘sick of this shite’ (a sentiment for which I have some sympathy). In addition, it turned out that the former leadership member brought the complaint to try prevent me from going to a Green Party conference where I was due to propose a motion on ‘Ensuring Sex and Gender Are Not Conflated When Gathering Data’. Bringing a complaint in order to harass, annoy or subdue somebody is covered by the guidance on unreasonable, persistent, abusive, malicious and vexatious complaints, and is supposed to be behaviour that is not acceptable. I think that attempting to prevent a member from going to conference could be construed as ‘subduing’ somebody.
Following this first disciplinary hearing I was expelled, so I appealed. The Apeals Committee sent the complaint back to the Disciplinary Committee who expelled me again, then I appealed again, and Appeals sent the complaint to the Disputes Complaints Referral Group for consideration on whether it was vexatious. A short while after delivering their opinion, two of the Appeals Committee resigned. I do not think the timing was purely coincidental. The Disputes Complaints Referral Group decided the complaint was unreasonable but then sent it back to Appeals Committee anyway rather than dismiss it, which I believe is a first.
By this time I was told that the lawyers were going to be consulted too. That was all done by early September but it took till mid November for a new Appeals Committee to make the decision to un-expel me but bar me from office for 18 months. I have to say that I think if it were not for the legal advice, the new Appeals Committee would have cheerfully stuck to the original Disciplinary Committee decision to expel me.
The reason I have detailed that last complaint is to highlight the time, effort and resources that are being put into these complaints. For my own part I had to respond to the four different hearings and it is very disheartening to have to write defences outlining why I think I am not a transphobic bigoted right wing TERF. These complaints and procedures are draining energy and goodwill from the party.
With all the time and effort that went into hearing this complaint it would be supposed that I must have said something truly reprehensible (actually that is the word that the last Appeals Committee used so they do believe that my words are reprehensible). So what did I say that warranted all of this bustle?
I have had to think about revealing that because I have already been expelled twice for writing the heinous words so I am not sure if revealing them here will start the merry-go round again and I will find myself sliding down a snake back into exactly the same complaint as first time around. However all of the evidence relied on were tweets and I have not been asked to delete any of these tweets, so they are all still on my twitter feed, and I figure that they are already in the public domain anyway for Green Party members to get all hot and bothered about again, which does seem to be some members way of cutting down on heating bills.
So I am going to share my ‘reprehensible’ words though I am redacting names of those I interacted with to avoid any comeback on them.
These fouteen tweets below are the total ‘evidence’ that was presented to the Disciplinary and Appeals Committees. These are the worst tweets that the former member of the leadership team could find. Only nine of them are by me, and one of them is just my twitter profile. The remaining five tweets are random people who are not necessarily Green Party members, calling me a transphobe. This is supposed to be evidence that I have brought the party into disrepute. Those tweets are not on my twitter feed but were posted randomly on the Green Party twitter account. The tweets by me are snipped out of conversations so do not make much sense in isolation, because alongside other people I was discussing the sex and gender issues on twitter with members and non members alike. These tweets were what the committee made their decision to expel me on.
I understand that the volunteers on the Disciplinary Committee have a difficult job, and I will not go into each of the allegations and what was upheld or dismissed at each stage. In theory, members are able to read the redacted minutes of all disciplinary hearings should they wish, which give the reasons for the Disciplinary Committee decisions, however the minutes are uploaded erratically and often months go by with no minutes uploaded. The latest minutes on the site are currently from March 2023. They can be found on the members site here:
I think that Green Party members may want to consider for themselves how a culture has been established in the Green Party in which the tweets below were considered sufficient to expel me (twice!)
I would ask members to also consider how being expelled for these tweets chimes with the following clauses of the GPEW Code of Conduct.
8 Freedom of expression
8.1 Members’ right to freedom of thought, conscience and belief should be respected.
12.1 As the Green Party welcomes people from a wide range of backgrounds, members may
encounter people who hold differing political or philosophical worldviews. Freedom of belief
and the right to change that belief is a fundamental human right. Members should therefore
show tolerance and respect towards people that hold political or philosophical worldviews
that differ from their own.