Stephen Jolly, the Irish upstart socialist party councillor for the City of Yarra, has been dumped by the Victorian Socialists.
Neither side is commenting on what caused the sudden excommunication of their wunderkind, but the nature of the silence and the history of the party may provide clues.
In a report yesterday from The Age, where Jolly will most likely end up working, it is claimed details of the accusation against Cr Jolly cannot be made for legal reasons, although no charges have been laid. Therefore, it must be serious.
Jolly was suspended earlier this month on the strength of these unknown allegations, which led him to resign, removing the socialists from the list of micro-parties who can boast a member in an office.
The Socialists are reported as saying that Jolly chose to resign of his own free will and his denials of the unspoken transgression are “not credible”.
“Information we’ve learned … warrants immediate suspension and that expulsion would have followed unless he presented evidence substantiating his denial,” the party said in a statement.
“Instead he chose to resign.”
Councillor Jolly responded by saying, “I am restricted in what I can say legally about this matter. I have not been charged with anything. I have not pleaded guilty to anything, nor have I been found guilty of anything.
“I have done nothing wrong and am most disappointed in the Victorian Socialist Executive’s decision to comment publicly on the matter.”
The Victorian Socialists have a bad track record where ‘transgressions’ are concerned and it usually involves threats against women or ‘touchy-feely’.
In 2011, City of Yarra Councillor and Socialist Party member Anthony Main was accused of violence against women when he was alleged to have threatened female unionists during an International Women’s Day event.
But Main was pretty handy with his boot, too, and was caught on video with other protesters tripping over and roughing up an elderly man who was entering a talk by Geert Wilders.
When in 2016 mass resignations occurred in the Socialist Party Australia over a reported cover-up of allegations of violence against women, Anthony Main’s scrawl was curiously absent from the list of signatories. However, Stephen Jolly’s was right up the top just above Mel Gregson’s.
Subsequently, if we were to take a wild guess what this is all about, we would have to assume that the Anti-Sex League hasn’t been quite so successful at stifling the toey impulses of some of its senior members.
What a shame.