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)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Great White Elephant on the Euston Road

‎Regular readers of this blog (Sid and Doris Blogger) who have been disappointed by my recent silence (attributable to the volume of work some of us are facing at branch level) will note that - in the run up to tomorrow's meeting of the UNISON National Executive Council (NEC) I am blogging again with some enthusiasm.

I have been struck by the fact that tomorrow's (or - as I look at the time - today's) meeting will take place at the nearby headquarters of our sister union, the National Union of Teachers (NUT). Once more we find that the UNISON Centre cannot accommodate the ruling body of the Union which gives it its name.

I was on the NEC in 2004 when we voted to build the new UNISON Centre, and through all the years in which we received progress reports. I supported the decision and the process at the time.

With hindsight, I was wrong.

UNISON is saddled with an enormous building, standing on expensive land, which we fail to utilise effectively , having left two entire floors empty for four years.

As an organisation we have lacked even the wit or coherence to compel our London Region to occupy that empty space rather than squander the money of our low paid members paying rent elsewhere.

Such is our organisational commitment to this expensive white elephant that we compromise our commitment to equality rather than admit its shortcomings.

Since the right wing of our trade union (and their bizarre hangers-on in the wreckage of what was once the "Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist)") are determined to use the occasion of our declining income as an opportunity to attack our union democracy by focusing on the cost of Conferences, it is about time that real trade union activists (and for that matter real Marxists) named the shame of the waste of members' money that is the Great White Elephant of the Euston Road.

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the EE network.

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