Thursday, March 19, 2009

London UNISON members “Stuff” Toy Town Extremists

Today was the London UNISON regional Annual General Meeting and I am really pleased to report that there was a complete victory over the forces of darkness by those of light and reason.

The so-called “United Left” Regional Council Officer (London Executive) candidates who were supported by SWP/Socialist Party/Militant Tendency/Trotsky entryist extremists were all soundly defeated.

This is the 4th year in a row that we have won and I suspect that this year our margin of victory was the biggest yet.

After the meeting I had a chat with some trusted London grass root & Labour Link comrades about whether or not I should be magnanimous in victory on this blog?

They all said without hesitation “No, stuff ‘em”. This view was quite widespread since the behaviour of many of the extremists (not all of them) at the meeting was just frankly appalling.

Since this evening we have had a few sherbets to celebrate I will post properly on the meeting another time.

But I will say this was a good day. Congratulations to Gloria, Conroy, Lynn, Gill and Emma. Many thanks to all our supporters. Next battle is the UNISON NEC elections. I can’t wait!


Anonymous said...

Light and reason? with a degree of obfuscation perhaps when several members had to make repeated points of order to get some transparency about voting numbers? When the regional rules seem to be supersceded by a supposed 'code of conduct' wrt the Council not accepting a motion on the agenda.If that code is in existence then why hasn't the region(ie officials via influencing/instructing lay officers -we know it happens ) put that code of conduct to the regional council for a rule change? Wouldn't that be logical and democratic?Seems perverse to me -and very sad.
I had thought Regional Council provided an opportunity for genuine open debate as opposed to suppression of democracy?
Someone mentioned careerists today -and that seems to be the way things are going. Why? If we want to lose members then we are going the right way about it.
Disaffected member

John Gray said...

Hi Anon

What on earth are you going on about?

Anonymous said...

I thought the Trots heckling and attempt to dominate the meeting
by shouting and after people had spoken against or voted against their policies actually helped the voices of reason in the region

the number of people who commented on the Trots bully boy tatics and bad manners during and after the meeting was noticable

and having witnessed a female unison member of staff being sworn at by one trot unhappy at the result I hope action will be taken against such individuals

Anonymous said...

Yes agree totally

we now have a full democratic mandate

lets use it

Anonymous said...

Toytown indeed. If they are not sure why they lost, just look at this election statement from 'Lambeth Irritant' James Caspell. As you read it, remember that he's standing to represent the views of young trade unionists in the Greater London Region, and not the Bolshevik Central Committee.

James Caspell - Regional Council Election Statement

I am a shop steward in the London Borough of Lambeth and also the Young Members’ and Publicity Officer for my Branch.

I believe that the interests of young members can only be served by a fighting, member-led union in which maximum participation is encouraged in an inclusive environment free of bullying and harassment of young workers.

We need to provide socialist answers to the financial and environmental crises of capitalism, which will affect young people most acutely in terms of unemployment, pay cuts and attacks on our rights won over decades. Only collectively owned, worker-controlled and democratically accountable public services can put people and the planet before the interests of private profit.

Regional Council is essential in ensuring that UNISON follows its own policies within Greater London. Our representatives should facilitate maximum participation of all members, including young workers, providing the confidence we need to fight our employers, fight the government and ultimately fight capitalism!

What a jerk!

Anonymous said...

It seems very strange to me that the AGM is quorate every year full of delegates who come and vote and then leave almost immediately after the vote.

These people never attend meetings through the year and as is well known by the people that do turn up to Regional Council we are inquorate at every other meeting throughout the year. Does this make the forces of light and reason proud?

Each year these delegates try and pass a rule change to limit the amount of meetings. If these people can only turn up to one meeting a year they shouldn't even be elected by their Branches to attend as there is no way they can represent their members. Do the members that elect them know they're not attending? At least the people who turn up to every inquorate meeting try and represent their Branches.

As for the forces of light and reason - ??? Please explain? I nearly responded to a previous blog where you said that the Leadership had done wonders for London. What?

How can we represent our members views when we can't even debate motions at meetings because we are inquorate. When the Leadership of our Region won't even let us ask questions of speakers that come to those inquorate meetings?

Maybe the forces of light and reason should start getting their supporters to attend Regional Council so that we can at least get through business.

Anonymous said...

The fact that any of you actually think this stuff is of any relevence whatsover is farsical. Oh well I guess it keep you busy and diverts your attention from any serious matters. Why don't you all get a life.

Anonymous said...

Nothing about the results on the hard left UNISON blogs. How very strange.

Anonymous said...

some of us who vote and leave
have jobs
never crossed your mind did it

some people
ordinary members
live in the real world
and go to work after they have voted
because their patients/clients come first

not a political errelevant meeting

Anonymous said...

to true...

The Trots just simply dont get it

yes our patients/clients come first

Anonymous said...

they're not singing anymore !
they're not singing anymore !


Anonymous said...

We have a democratic
why cant we just smash them
and end this stupidity once and for all

Anonymous said...

OIP Wins Again

Anonymous said...

Hi John
I am not from your region but I have to say well done for beating the trots. They are bullies and gobshites, they boo and heckle if you dont agree with them and worse sometimes issues threats too. I have had years of these rotten pathetic morons who are usually very sad individuals with no life or indeed no grasp of real life itself.They live in bizarre fanatsy world of almost constant revolution, a world that will never ever become a reality only in their tiny minds!They shout empty slogans, they make undeliverable demands,they insult anybody or organisation that opposes them,they claim democracy but are totalitarians by nature,they are thugs devoid of humour or reason.I am so glad that others continue to fight these joke but dangerous minorities in our union.If these village idiots ever took control of our union members would leave in droves and we would have an instant credibility problem. Keep up the good work and be always on your guard with these parasites on our union.

Anonymous said...

Well done Mr. 'light and reason.They were really stuffed.When I watched thim sliink off to the pub afterwards,no doubt to plan next years election,I did wonder whether they had been in the pub before the AGM,given the general swearing and bullying that was going on. I have always wondered what that litle white box was that Rogers carries around with him ? Now I know it must be a hip flask with a hidden straw which is useful during stressfull times.
I liked Nicks comment above,but is this the same (ex LSE)(and sometime leader of the Lambeth /AWL /Permenant Revolution ) Caspell who ,my good friends in Lambeth tell me that he and his deputy publicity officer(Gurmeet) have recently resigned from thier branch posts .Apparently they are circulating e-mails acccusing the branch officers of bullying and forcing them out of office ! and just before the NEC elections ..well well I am sure these baby trots are clever enough to circulate such scurrilous e-mails to all London branches (hopefully)
keep up the good fight ,


Anonymous said...

Good grief -what on earth is this all about?

Congrats to those who won and congrats to all who stood and voiced their principles. As to heckling at the RC -I seem to remember that many people did this and that included your good self John G ( crying 'shame' when someone expressed an honestly held view). And your shouting down the mike by the way -I may have a hearing impairment but i still don't like people shouting down the mike!

I think the debate on RC meetings through the year was slightly odd as I recall that the officials had said some months ago that they were seeking to get a report about how to improve attendance at RC -though nothing seems to have come of it.

It strikes me that each regional committee should be given a report on which branches attend the Council so that they can establish if any branches have problems attending on a regular basis and that the region should then attempt to elicit their views on improving attendance. As others said -no other region has this problem of attendance -and this region and its surrounding areas has one of the best public transport systems in the UK.Most members are relatively near. Bizarre that we have not had a quorate meeting other than the AGM since LP became the Regional Secretary.If I were an official and knew that I would be worried -if I really believed in lay democracy that is!

And yet again there was another attempt to build a divide between Health and LG in some people's speeches -why?

We have Health and LG people workimg more and more together -so why is this perception being voiced and what is being done to stop this disunity?

On the paper ballots -I saw and spoke to a number of health people voting outside of the Hall using the prescribed hand outs they had been given and told to use - and those I saw were women being supervised by men to ensure they voted correctly ie using the hand outs- and then the women left the building! Ok if you have to go and look after patients/clients but what do you actually tell your members - that you voted the way you did because you were instructed to do so because that's the way it is, or you didn't want to read the election addresses or your branch hadn't mandated you? Or more tellingly that no-one bothered to champion your right to attend the regional council or health/HE/utilities AGM in full? (Maybe that is why the Health AGM in the afternoon was so short lived?)And by the way -a lot of people who believe in union democracy take annual leave to attend RC -in Lg, in Health, HE and utilities.

Surely if the region can obtain full time off for elected council officers it can try to ensure that Regional Council and its attendant AGMs provide sufficient support to allow people to attend them in full?

Of course the real test for the leadership of the region will be to see what it can do to ensure that the next RC is quorate -I look forward to seeing/hearing what the officers and officials will do to ensure that.If that is not achieved over the next year then questions have to be asked -if we are allowed to ask questions and get answers that is?
Best wishes to all

Anonymous said...

Interesting Blog.One of my mates in Hammersmith pointed me here 'cause that Rogers guy seems to be the same person who came to our branch annual meeting at the town hall a couple of weeks ago.(have you got a picture of him ? ) Anyhow the description of him with his hip flask seems real enough cause when he spoke at our meeting on local goverment history in london he was stinking of drink before the meeting even started. Must have been the fish and chips he had in Brixton for lunch before coming over here ??

Good luck


Anonymous said...

I think "Kat" whoever he or she is was in a different meeting or even a different world? it is due to the bullying and harassment I saw by local government yobs I will never attend a council meeting again with these charlies. what a waste of my time. I will turn up at the agm. they shouted down the young delegate who was trying to speak against them. Forgot to mention that one "Kat" nor the hords of threatening male paper sellers outside the hotel.

John Gray said...

Hi All
I’ve not got enough time to answer all the points so I’ll just respond to those having a go at me.

Hi Anon 09.11
I am now convinced that Ordinary London UNISON members do not turn up at RC meeting because of the appalling behaviour of (a minority not all) of ultra leftists at such meetings.

Hi Anon 10.04
There are 140,000 members of UNISON in London alone. So who controls the union is important. Obviously the extremists do hold us back, but we are now taking back control. So we will become even more influential.

Hi Anon 0.08
Not sure what you mean but no doubt it is something nice, positive and constructive (not).

Hi Kat
I think you are being rather hypocritical to be honest. Offering congratulations then suggesting wrong doing? I rather not have your congrats thank you very much. The stench of sour grapes is overwhelming.
Wrong, I did not heckle the SWP extremist – apologises if I was too loud on one occasion on the mike. It was unintentional – believe it or not. It is just incredible as a safety rep you do not mention the violent conduct of many of the extremists in shouting down the young member’s convenor Sarah Lewis because they did not like what she said and had even worse paranoid delusions about what she said. The constant screaming and booing by a small section of extremists was appalling and you know it.

As I have already said ordinary members will not turn up to RC meetings because of such behaviour. So instead of 2 or even 3 councils we will only have one AGM. I hope those responsible for such yobbish behaviour in united left (it was planned) are proud of themselves.

Such behaviour helps us win every time. So I suppose I ought to say “thank you”?

Anonymous said...

Hi John

I wouldn't take what Kat says seriously. She is well known within womens meetings (confereces) for doing things or making statements so that she gets noticed. No one ever knows where she is politically and its all about her (ratther sad) I am sure that if we (the progressive forces in the region) win another few elections she would want to join us.

Well done for standing up to the bullies I felt intimidated by the paper selling mob outside the hotel and their shouting helped me decide to vote for you.


Anonymous said...

does anyone seriously believe our members care who we voted for ?????

how many people Kat have you discussed who you voted for with since regional council

They wouldnt know them or their politics anyway

we will be lucky if a majority of our members dont vote Tory at the next election, thats how left wing they are

we are not a socialist or revoluntionary organisation

being accounted to a handful of Trots who want to spend all day finding differences between themselves is not democracy

what about the 98% of members who never turn up to branch meetings

what about their views or dont they count - because their not left wing

The Regional Officers now have a big democratic mandate thy should use it to empower reps fight on bread and butter issues

Put Patients first and by doing so we put our members first

Anonymous said...

Kat tell me when you last stood for a contestead election as a steward ????

I bet never

is that democracy

or just a special type of democracy

as Lambeth Militants suggest

Anonymous said...

So do we know for sure Caspell has resigned at Lambeth as a branch officer?

Anonymous said...

Interesting that Mr Caspel is now puting comments on your blog John pretending he is someone else and asking if he has resigned as a branch officer? Suppose he hasn't been talked about for weeks so he needs attention. Sorry if I got it wrong.

As i understand it he has resigned as international officer after doing it for 2 weeks not sure why or care. Also know hear that no one in his branch is too cocerned. Am so confused thought they were all on the ultr left? Or are there 28 diferent shades of ultra left? God knows and no one cares.


Anonymous said...

Gosh - i am somewhat overwhelmed at my popularity having made what I thought were constructively critical comments but a few points:

I haven't been to women's conferences or any regional women's thing for nearly two years now I think - so not sure if there is another Kat around posing as me going to women's events making 'look at me' statements?

many thanks to those who voted for me by the way to be on the safety committee( I actually beat John G and Conroy L -coming 3rd even though the 'prescribed form' only had an all male slate).

Elected as a shop steward -i wish we were all in the position of having so many activists coming forward as potential shop stewards( but i really don't think we are across branches, service groups or regions)to have elections for that position - though I did win an election to be a membership officer in my branch and to be on the safety committee at region.

RC AGM is controversial by its nature now and people do heckle -but i didn't notice any 'side' heckling more than another. Reminders about a code of conduct at the start would be useful -and reminders through out - as heckling -whatever the source -can be intimidating and is not helpful.

People did have genuine cause to query aspects of officer decisions -such as not wanting to divulge vote numbers on card vote matters.

Sour grapes ? No that is silly, possibly petulant? -i won what i wanted to win ie being on the safety committee so am def not sour about anything.

Leafletting hordes? i got a leaflet from a woman as I went in, no pressure, no hassle -certainly the usual papersellers afterwards which i avoided in search of a non liquid lunch.

Not sure how people identify LG delegates from non LG delegates in order to positively identify them wrt being 'perpetrators' etc -I certainly don't know many of the people at RC and where they are from -and i am a regular attendee.

Having spoken to two new attendees from my branch at RC they said they felt it was quite confusing and couldn't understand why there was so much angst and confusion over when something needed 2/3 majority and if it was so important why wasn't it a rule and also why delegates had to ask for voting figures that should surely have been an automatic.

Looking at the stats though it does seem we had about 235 attendees who voted for the RCOs but by the time we got to hand votes that figure was well down -which does suggest that a number of people leave quite quickly and don't attend the whole of the AGM.

Not sure why there is so much about lambeth LG branch on the blog when so much seems to be happening with Newham? LG That sounds much more interesting.


Anonymous said...

So kat never been elected as a steward

shouldnt people have the right to vote no or a recall

when have your members been given that democratic right

no election of stewards no say