Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Hardly a vote of confidence

I had to miss the fun and games at today's meeting of the Unison Greater London Regional Committee.

In those parts of the blogosphere written by or on behalf of paid officials of our trade union I understand that there is much joy at the inconsequential decision of that body to nominate a Mr Prentis as General Secretary.

It is the form of this decision (rather than its substance) that tells you all you need to know about the difference between the Regional lay leadership now and that five years ago.

Never before has the Regional Committee arrogated to itself the right to nominate a candidate for General Secretary. When we had a socialist majority we would never have shown such disrespect for our members. We thought the Regional Council should take that decision (and it is noteworthy that those seeking to build their reputation on having "tamed" the Region did not dare to put this question before the Regional Council).

Now though things are desperate. Though the Prentis camp can stack up nominations from Regions and Service Groups the crucial branch nominations are melting away.

Last time our General Secretary had 512 branch nominations. This time Prentis supporters argued for the tight timetable which we are working with precisely on the basis that it would facilitate branches to make nominations at our AGMs.

Anything less than 400 nominations from branches will - therefore, in the light of this justification for the timetable - be a shocking indictment of the unsatisfactory record of our Union leadership over the past five years.

If our General Secretary, as an incumbent, can command the active support - by way of nomination - of less than one third of Unison's branches then he is plainly hobbled.

If it quacks like a duck

And it limps like a duck...

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How few nominations for your preferred candidate – one Mr Holmes, I understand – will count as "a sad indictment" of the 'united' left?

I see from his campaign blog that he is claiming 30 branch nominations (though no service groups or regions") and has set himself the staggering target of 50 …