Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Dave Ja Vu?

Yesterday I received an email from the campaign to elect Dave Prentis, considered by some to be front runner in the current Unison General Secretary election.

Happily, as a Rule Book anorak, I did not follow the advice in that email to encourage members (using Unison resources) to visit that candidate's campaign website or join his Facebook group. To have done so would have breached the election regulations and therefore Unison Rules.

I was however struck by the argument that was put forward in support of Dave;

" In the difficult times ahead – whatever Government is elected - UNISON's General Secretary will have to continue to be an effective and respected voice for our 1.4 million members. Our unity in choosing our General Secretary sends an important message to politicians and employers who will try to paint us as weak and divided. The more we unite to support Dave, the better every member can be supported."

This then is an argument for unity at all costs, the unity of the lowest common denominator, the unity perhaps of a Soviet election?

That sense of deja vu...

The strength of our movement comes from our democracy in practice as well as our unity in action. To suggest that support for another candidate somehow fosters "disunity" and would - by clear implication - weaken our ability to protect our members is an attack on the very democracy to which Dave Prentis pledged his undying commitment at the Special NEC in January.

That was the same meeting at which key Prentis supporters argued for the current election timetable on the basis that branches could hold hustings to determine their nominations at AGMs.

How many of the branches who have chosen to nominate the incumbent did so following a hustings? None?

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

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