Friday, August 31, 2012

At last - the Anorak's chapter

Since I don't intend to blog about Chapter 11 of the report of the General Council to next month's TUC (which lists obituaries) this brief post about Chapter Ten brings us to the end of my attempt to read the report (so you don't have to).

I'd like to than regular readers (including Sid and Doris Blogger) for their support and encouragement as I performed a task above and beyond the call of duty, testing me to the limits of my endurance. There were moments - back in Chapter Eight for example - when I didn't know how I could carry on. But we made it!

Chapter Ten deals with TUC Organisation and its first substantial content amounts, in a mealy-mouthed way, to an admission that Congress, and the General Council, got it wrong in 2010 when they proposed that a full scale Congress would only take place biennially.

(I shall say "I told you so" on this occasion - http://jonrogers1963.blogspot.com/2010/09/end-of-congress.html?m=0).

Apparently unions are encouraged, voluntarily, to send smaller delegations and, from 2014, delegates at Congress may not have tables, but proper Annual meetings of Congress will take place once more.

Aside from this point, this chapter let's us know which General Council members have lead responsibility in which areas (information about how many meetings of the General Council and the Executive Committee have been attended by each of these august bodies may be gleaned later in Appendix One).

It is also here that the decision of Brendan Barber to retire, and of 32 unions, representing 96% of the affiliated membership, to nominate Frances O'Grady to succeed him. Brendan clearly outshone Norman Willis as a TUC General Secretary.

It's a positive step for the movement that the TUC will be headed for the first time by a woman, and all trade unionists should wish Frances luck.

It is, however, perhaps only the gender of the successful candidate which differentiates the process of "election" of TUC General Secretary from the process for choosing a Pope. This does mean that such an "election" does not afford our movement the opportunity for the searching debate we need to have, about the future for the movement in general and the TUC in particular.

The chapter closes with some commentary on the role of the TUC as an employer and about its library collections (which are housed at London Met University, suggesting to me the topic of a worthy Emergency Motion to Congress).

Check back here during Congress for the occasional update, the odd irrelevant comment and the occasional outburst of outraged cynicism.

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

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