Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Sound of Silence

News reaches your blogger on the floor of Congress that the General Council voted by a narrow majority not to make a statement about Palestine (a draft of which had been circulated yesterday).

The draft GC statement represented a moderating of the positive position of the FBU motion 76 which reflects the policy of UNISON Conference (and calls for a boycott of Israeli goods and disinvestment from companies associated with the illegal occupation of Palestine by the Zionist state).

On this occasion the General Council were right to restrain themselves from making a statement (which would - constitutionally - have taken precedence over the motion if agreed). This important debate (scheduled for the end of tomorrow afternoon) will now revolve around a GMB amendment to the FBU motion which seeks to water down our policy of support for the Palestinian people.

UNISON (I am pleased to say) is opposing the GMB and supporting the FBU on this question, as are the General Council.

Update - I have made an important amendment above on receipt of additional information (and also understand that there was a full and frank exchange of views between the General Secretary of the TUC (who may have been disappointed by the General Council decision) and a Mr Simpson from UNITE (putting in a rare appearance at the General Council) who expressed himself with characteristic courtesy and good humour.

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