Sunday, June 20, 2010

UNISON NDC 2010: End of Conference – Goodbye Bournemouth

The UNISON National delegate conference finished at 4pm on Friday. Our President, Gerry Gallagher, was given the traditional very emotional UNISON “goodbye and thanks” - which left him red eyed and saying he would close conference down now since he was sure we didn’t want to see a grown man cry!

Conference will still live on a few more days on this blog as I will still post on some of the debates, fringes and speeches that I didn’t have time to do at the time.

It was actually quite a positive conference and apart from the occasional silliness by the Ultra (disunited) left it went quite smoothly and there were some very good and constructive debates. There was a bit of fuss and bother by some daftey on Wednesday who came to conference wearing a tee-shirt praising someone who had been kicked out of the union by independent lay discipline committees after being accused of let us say – “very serious extremely offensive behaviour” against trade union members (and various other things!). A number of delegates who represented trade union members who had been brave enough to complain against this person (who is now a paid full time SWP official and currently trying to sue the union) naturally objected to this.

There was a “call for unity” by many speakers – which is fair enough but it seemed that for some speakers this unity would only be on the basis that us proles gratefully accepted their leadership and direction over said “unity”. The words “hell and high water” comes to mind with regard to this particular no doubt kind and generous offer.

There was of course a little bit of the usual NEC “bashing and baiting”. But even the sensible left of UNISON London region had a “comradely” disagreement with the NEC over a proposed maximum term of office.

Conference was however solid and united in its opposition to the CONDEM s attempt to decimate our public services. UNISON 1.3 million members are rolling up our collective sleeves, getting ready for a fight, weighing up what is Tory bluster and what they think they can get away with – and what we shall be doing to stop it.

As is my want after close of conference I went off for rest and recuperation in another south coast resort for the weekend, this year, Weymouth in Dorset. Picture is the lovely view from bedroom window on Saturday morning. I recommend the Weymouth fish restaurant “Floods” and the late night Friday (not Saturday) boogie at the “Edinburgh - House of Sounds” bar.

It was all very strange that no-one in Weymouth was at all interested in standing order committee reports, or rule P expulsions (apparently there was some sort of football tournament going on somewhere? :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

On the t-shirt chappie - the person the t-shirt lauded was someone found by a panel of lay members to have misused members' money. Pretty much the lowest of the low.