Friday, May 28, 2010

How not to fight the BNP (Part Two)

Whilst one of the leading supporters of Unison's leadership on our NEC offers the BNP a chance to snatch back one of the Council seats denied them by working class Londoners earlier this month (http://jonrogers1963.blogspot.com/2010/05/how-not-to-fight-bnp-part-one.html), our NEC has failed to update our disciplinary rules in order to ease disciplinary action against members of this odious far right Party.

Last year the NEC majority ignored criticism from the left and pressed ahead with a Rule Amendment intended to facilitate action against BNP members - of whom we believe we have more than 200 in our ranks.

The basis of the (ignored) opposition was that the wording of last year's Rule Amendment could have been used as easily against members of Parties of the "far" left as the far right.

Although the NEC majority insisted that this was not their intention, they were predictably disbelieved and Conference failed to give their proposal the necessary two thirds majority.

The arrogance of those who refused to moderate their position ahead of last year's Conference vote was reflected in their exaggerated denunciation of those on the left who had understandably objected to their cack handed drafting of last year's Rule Amendment.

One NEC member in the North West made a point of excess venom.

This year the NEC was united in support of moderated amendments to Rule C (on membership) and Rule I (on discipline) which - this year - sensibly took on board the reservations expressed last year from the socialist left.

Whilst the amendment to Rule C will open Thursday afternoon's debate at Conference, the equally important amendment to Rule I never made it on to the agenda.

The most senior official who should be accountable for implementing NEC decisions (as a Branch Secretary is accountable to their Branch Committee and a Regional Secretary answerable (to some extent) to their Regional Committee) shamefully allowed a more junior employee to take the blame for the absence of this Rule Amendment from the Conference agenda.

The shrill voices of denunciation which shouted themselves hoarse after last year's Conference have been strangely silent thus far this year.

This is all a great shame as there is a good case to be made that our existing Rules are sufficiently robust to permit action to be taken against members of the BNP. Last year the leadership loyalists wouldn't admit this as they were eager to attack the left for not going along with their poorly drafted proposals.

This year it's all quiet...


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