Men fight and lose the battle, and the thing that they fought for comes about in spite of their defeat, and when it comes turns out not to be what they meant, and other men have to fight for what they meant under another name. (William Morris - A Dream of John Ball)

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Silence of the Goats

In thirteen years on UNISON's National Executive Council (NEC) I have rarely been called upon to speak at our National Delegate Conference.

As an NEC member I may only attend Conference in that capacity and may not speak other than on a subject agreed by the NEC (and in accordance with NEC policy).

My NEC colleagues‎, knowing that I am painfully shy and often awkward and tongue-tied have generally spared me the embarrassment of making a fool of myself at the rostrum.

Others on our NEC who need to be protected from a similar fate for similar reasons (such as my equally retiring friend and comrade Paul Holmes) also experience four relaxing days on the top table, knowing that we shall not suffer the stress of being asked to speak to such a big crowd of people.

Delegates at Conference will of course appreciate that those of us not asked to speak could not possibly match the persuasive eloquence of those NEC colleagues who do get up to speak on behalf of the NEC time and again.

If regular readers of this blog (Sid and Doris Conference-Anorak) believe that NEC Conference speeches are allocated to reward loyalty to a leadership line I can only express shock at such cynicism.

After thirteen years I think I can sort out the sheep from the goats on our NEC.

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the EE network.

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