Monday, April 20, 2009

UNISON members losing confidence in the Government - official

Dave Prentis was missed at last week's NEC - but everyone's entitled to a holiday! Opening today's Guardian I am very glad he's back.

Dave has returned to offer some home truths to this beleaguered government.

Responding to the so-called "smeargate" scandal (in which the Labour Party General Secretary is now implicated), it is reported that Dave will say; "Our time and patience is running out. The country is in a mess and we look to the government to come up with serious solutions, not to waste time in childish venom. The government is losing us. It is losing the support and trust of health and public service workers in their droves."

I think this is a timely and important intervention. What we need from this Government is a serious response to economic crisis along the lines of UNISON policy.

What we don't need is scurrilous anonymous blogs set up to libel opponents. (As an aside, I think that trade unionists who want to be taken seriously need ourselves to avoid anonymous blog posts. Those who blog anonymously are clearly not supporting the views of our General Secretary but are closer to the discredited approach of Damien MacBride.)

What UNISON members now need are more NEC members prepared to take the more robustly independent political line which is increasingly required as this failing Government persists in ignoring the warnings of our leaders.

If you are a UNISON member who has not already voted in the NEC elections - vote for the candidates of the left now!

Full marks to Dave Prentis for speaking the truth to the Government today - given the reported role of Charlie Whelan in relation to the "Red Rag" website (and the links between that Union and Derek Draper's public online presence) it will be good to hear from the leaders of another large trade union too...

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