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)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The UNISON NEC results - in London and beyond

I am particularly pleased that Sean Fox has won the seat which I have held for the past fourteen years in the Greater London Region, and that my comrades Sonya Howard and Helen Davies have held their seats, so that London has elected three out of four left wingers (with the left winning once more in every contested seat).

At a time when we have an opportunity for UNISON to cleanse the Augean stables at Congress House it is good to see that UNISON members have elected (and re-elected) democrats and socialists who are committed to that task to represent the Region on the NEC.

Looking at the results nationally I am sorry to see the departure from the NEC of my friends and comrades Jonathan Dunning, Adrian Kennett, Sarah Littlewood and Dave Auger all of whom have served our trade union with distinction during their tenure on its ruling body.

However, I am encouraged to see that there are more candidates elected from the democratic left than ever before – indeed the only thing that holds those of us who believe in effective and democratic trade unions back from being in the majority is that we simply don’t stand enough candidates.

Those who determine the actions of our trade union at a national level have, once more, an opportunity to reach out to and include their critical friends on the left and I would like to think that they will take this opportunity. I will not, however, hold my breath. Some people are just so easily upset.

The indications are that the turnout in the elections continues to decline and this is something to which the incoming NEC must turn its attention, as they will have to consider the recommendations made by the Assistant Certification Officer in relation to the future of our democracy (our response to which will be the first test of the incoming NEC next month). Our trade union is not thriving and change is overdue.

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