Now -read the book!

Here is a link to my memoirs which, if you are a glutton for punishment, you can purchase online at
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)

Friday, December 30, 2011

Led by a Star

Mark Serwotka, commenting on the pensions dispute, issues a timely warning against defeatism in tomorrow's Morning Star (

Those looking for resolutions for the New Year should take heed - and should also consider the wise words of the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Britain, Rob Griffiths, who says "Unions need to meet urgently to draw up a strategy based on common objectives and which recognises the value of a bold and imaginative approach to various forms of popular and industrial action."

UNISON's leadership led N30's strike, just as UNISON was the heart and soul of the great mobilisation on 26 March. 2011 has been the year in which UNISON has shown what it can achieve with sound leadership and vigorous mobilisation. Our achievements this year have been a tribute to our leaders as well as to our members.

In 2012 we face a choice. It is right that we should face this choice, as policy in our trade union is made by members. Our choice is between following the guidance of those who (believing that this was always about "damage limitation") think we should settle for the modest gains of the Framework Agreements or following the line laid down months ago by our General Secretary when he said "to those who say 'name the day' I say one day won't be enough" (

It is a choice to be made by the elected members of our Service Group Executives (SGEs) on 10 January, and it is not a choice to be made hastily. I have spent much of the holidays reflecting on the real but limited gains made in negotiations and asking myself if this is all we should settle for.

I think, perhaps, that UNISON is better than this. UNISON's position has yet to be determined, and I hope that SGE members read tomorrow's Morning Star.

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

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