Saturday, February 06, 2010

Democracy and Debate - or hasty hero worship?

UNISON's North West Regional Council decided today it did not need to hear from any candidates before overwhelmingly endorsing the recommendation of the Regional Convenor to nominate the incumbent General Secretary to carry on, as did the Scottish Council.

In the competition to praise our General Secretary my NEC colleagues in Scotland and the North West do not seem to have offered any explanation for why we were warned off discussing the General Secretary election as recently as the December NEC only then to be bounced into a special NEC meeting at two weeks' notice.

I suppose it must be really obvious that the General Secretary was always committed to seeking re-election and that that somehow explains the timetable of decisionmaking about the election and I am just missing something. Because if, in fact, there had been a debate at Mabledon Place for some time about whether or not to have an election then that would make a bit of a nonsense of some of what is now being said by those lining up in support of the status quo...

Perhaps it is a requirement of "collective responsibility" not to ask too many questions or want to encourage debate?

The Eastern and South West Regional Councils have however voted to call special meetings with adequate notice before deciding upon a nomination. I hope that UNISON branches up and down the countries will also want to involve members in proper discussion before taking decisions as important as the nomination of a General Secretary.

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