Friday, October 02, 2009

Why do I do it?

As I have been getting ready for next week's UNISON NEC meeting I have been remembering the words of a senior national official who told me recently that the NEC was failing in its task to scrutinise the conduct of officials.

As a vocal critic of shortcomings in what you might call the governance of our trade union I have taken this very much to heart and am therefore using the procedures available to me as an NEC member to ask questions and seek answers.

You can read more here in due course.

Whilst doing this I have taken inspiration from this very interesting interview with Dan Gallin, of whom I had not heard before but now consider a significant and important thinker about the future of our movement.

Hat tip to the New Unionism Network.

I am reminded why I do spend so much time on trade union activity when someone says;

"The point is to nurture and strengthen the politics of radical democracy, the particular strand of socialist politics which I believe is the authentic Marxism, which insists that power, where it matters, always has to remain in the hands of the workers. Today this means almost all of society, since nearly everybody is part of the working class, whether they know it or not. To get there, you have to start from the bottom, the point of production, and then build democratic institutions, like democratic unions, impose democratic procedures at every level, democratize the decision-making mechanism in public administration. We don't want to abolish bureaucracy if bureaucracy means administration, we all need administration and we want it to be honest, transparent and efficient, in our own organizations to start with, then in society at large. We want an administration built on our key values: justice and freedom. These will be the values of the society of the future - if we make it that far."

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