Clearly a curse afflicts all expressions of support for greater democracy in our trade union, as the Motion has now been ruled out of order, following the decision of the National Executive Council (NEC) to ask the Standing Orders Committee (SOC) to change its mind.
However, the SOC may be keen that a casual observer would not think that they are easily pressured by the NEC (by which I mean, pressured by those whose bidding the NEC does).
For Motion 111 is not the only motion to suffer from the rare but potentially lethal "retrospective ruling out virus." Another motion, seemingly beloved of the NEC, is stricken with the same affiliction - Motion 106 (from the NEC itself) on Branch Funding has also disappeared from the Final Agenda, having flourished in apparently rude health on the Preliminary Agenda.
Could it be that the SOC, having given the NEC the void it wanted in place of a sensible debate on union democracy felt obliged to assert its robust independence by pointing out that Motion 106 did not in fact meet the terms of the previous instruction from our Conference which it was meant to address?
On the other hand, perhaps Motion 106 (which had hitherto been timetabled for debate without any need for prioritisation) had attracted sufficient competent amendments that it threatened an unavoidable and unpredictable debate which might have led to a (necessary and desirable - but not from the perspective of the Centre) devolution of resources?
Perhaps, as I blog, some at the UNISON Centre are celebrating the ruling out of order of Motion 106 even more than that of Motion 111...
Perhaps the celebration is taking place on the empty sixth floor? Or the empty seventh? (Or the roof garden on the essentially empty fifth?)
The eighth is empty most of the time too and would do as well.
The ninth is just empty prestige when we have better facilities elsewhere but might suit such a celebration.
Some things really are out of order.
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