Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Ave atque vale

My job share partner as UNISON Branch Secretary in Lambeth, Nick Venedi, is leaving Lambeth and is off to face new challenges. It's been fun to work with Nick over the best part of twenty years and he will be sorely missed.

It is however to his credit that several members of the team who will continue to lead the branch were encouraged into activity by Nick over the years. I suppose that I ought to count myself in that company since twice over the years, when I had stood down as Branch Secretary, it was Nick who prevailed upon me to return to office.

Nick is justly proud of his key role in bringing our Housing Benefit service back in house in 2001 after the disaster of privatisation to Capita - at the same time he also worked hard to shift the Labour Group in Lambeth away from the excesses of New Labour.

Whereas in 1998 the Labour manifesto in Lambeth attacked Council staff, by 2010, for the second successive local election there will be a workforce manifesto agreed between the Labour Group and affiliated trade unions.

We will I am sure continue to build on the work we have done in the past, and when we do we will remember Nick's contribution.

Good luck comrade!


mrcentreleft said...

It's good to see you supporting someone on the Cente-Left of Politics Jon.

You'l have to be careful, you might find yourself turning into a reformist???

nick venedi said...

Thanks Jon, its not like you to get emotional? lol.. you have been a brother and a great friend. I know the Branch will unite behind you because you are a great leader and a real genuine activist. I will of course keep in touch with you and many other friends. I am looking forward to attending meetings however where I can dish out stats without getting that suspicious look from you! You always forgot I was an accountant!
Stay strong!

Jon Rogers said...

I'm really not persuaded that - outside of a revolutionary situation - there is much of use to be made of the distinction between revolutionaries and reformists mrcentreleft!

The changes which all socialists wish to see in our society are pretty revolutionary in their implications, and the methods which we advocate and use are surely those that are most appropriate to the circumstances in which we find ourselves.

It's that - pragmatism - that I think Nick and myself have in common (although Nick might beg to differ from time to time!)

Nick - thanks for the kind words mate. You take care and keep in touch.

James Caspell said...

"For the second successive local election there will be a workforce manifesto agreed between the Labour Group and affiliated trade unions."

Jon, can you publish the minutes of a Branch Committee or a (quorate) Labour Link meeting where this was agreed?



Jon Rogers said...


The full draft of the Agreement was reported to the Branch Committee and further discussions were reported to the last Labour Link meeting.

I don't publish the minutes of meetings on this blog as it is boring enough already!

James Caspell said...


When was the last Labour Link meeting and how many members were present?