Monday, September 10, 2007

Gordon Brown at the TUC

Here is the report I wrote as I listened to Gordon Brown this morning but couldn’t blog at the time as my battery died… I am not the first UNISON NEC member to blog about the speech!

Gordon Brown has started his address to the TUC by thanking retiring members of the General Council. As someone else whose already blogged this put it this is a transparent attempt to appear to be part of our"family”, our movement.

Brown talks about Burma and Darfur as well as Iraq and Afghanistan.

He has now just used the phrase “a British job for every British worker”. This is meant to be the bit of the speech in which he is telling us good things about job creation, but it has some pretty scary echoes.

Then we are told about “stability” this is why public sector workers have to put up with real terms pay cuts.

Overall this sums up the difference between Brown and Blair.

The same basic medicine, but delivered to us with warm – not to say soporific – words rather than overt hostility.

In response most delegates applauded, though many of us did not. A few small unions moved to give a standing ovation but only a handful stood – PCS had the distinction of making a protest, but (in line with our delegation meeting discussion yesterday) UNISON did not.

Update – I have just read this comment from our General Secretary on the Guardian website;
Dave Prentis, general secretary of Unison, said that Mr Brown had delivered a "conciliatory" speech.
"He delivered lots of good news in an attempt to sweeten the bitter pill that was the message about pay discipline," said Mr Prentis.
"Perhaps he hasn't yet gauged the real feeling of public service workers having to bear the brunt of government cost-cutting."
The General Council statement on pay is probably a bit too vague and wordy to help the Prime Minister with gauging our feelings – I hope that we hear from as many unions as possible at this evening’s fringe meeting so that we do get the message across…

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

seems the Broon is tone deaf then? hope the UNISON leadership stops dancing to his tune soon.