Idiots at large

The hard left faction in engaging in its favourite pastime of Prentis bating over the call for unity in the Labour Party are showing how ignorant they really are. In a power demonstration of overt stupidity, they demonstrate how clueless they are when it comes to democratic process. Vilifying Prentis for calling for party unity and the support of the democratically elected deputy leader Tom Watson.

These politically challenged fools have no concept of unity or the need to keep differences out of the public domain or to create nonsensical feuds that benefit no one. We will be heading for a general election in the very near future and Labour’s energy should be spent on getting a Labour government elected.

Most of these entryist fools are also members of the SWP and socialist parties, bringing their anarchistic immature behaviour into grown up politics.

Fortunately Labour’s NEC stopped dead the attempt to delete the deputies posts as those responsible had not even observed the most basic of rules. I am informed that NEC Chair Wendy Nicols of UNISON reminded them of this fact and ruled it out. Interesting to note that saint Corbyn is now claiming it was his decision. Saint Corbyn can now be seen saying that he supports both Watson and the position of deputy. If this is the case, perhaps he could remove the wall of staffers and actually have a conversation with him.

Dave Prentis’s call for unity is quite correct and we would all do well to pay attention. The less said about Len McCluskey the better.

The hard left faction will take any opportunity to speak against UNISON and its leadership without a thought for the consequences. I suppose when you are languishing in your own self aggrandisement,

I suppose you won’t be considering the consequences or have any interest in cleaning up the mess.

Thanks for reading.

GI Jayne

Piss and vinegar

Piss and vinegar

The hard-left faction have put out their latest newsletter, which removes any doubt that they are an external body whose aims are to take control of our union. This will not come as a shock to regular readers or anyone who has had any dealings with them in the past.

It is of course filled with the usual rhetoric and the assertion that the union is run by a right wing cartel who are running scared of the faction. They also claim that they were banned from campaigning for this very reason. The facts are there were not banned from doing anything and such is the size of their Stalinist egos, they believe that the prevention of outside bodies interfering with UNISON’s democratic process was solely aimed at them.

The above reveals more about them than is first evident. The celebration of members having taken successful industrial action to win disputes is something we all take pride in. Ensuring that we display our gratitude, solidarity and draw our inspiration from is quite righty something we would want to celebrate. Who better than the elected leader of our union to draw together that success for the benefit of conference? The suggestion that this was nothing more than ego trip for Prentis, is narcissistic gaslighting at its best. The hard-left well known for their highjacking of industrial action campaigns and attempts to reflect the glory onto themselves is apparent here in all its green eyed glory. Shock horror! Our union backs and supports members taking industrial action; who would have thought it?

So the hard-left faction will be putting up a single left candidate; can’t think who that will be? I am not entirely sure why there would be a need to develop demands? It would be normal to develop some kind of manifesto in support of candidacy for the purpose of election, unless it’s about making demands upon themselves, which would be bizarre! It is also strange that they believe as an outside body, they would be able to sponsor and support a candidate in this or any other elections?

Prima facia evidence that this external body is seeking to undermine our union.

If I were to draw a comparison with the hard-left faction, it would be with the Brexit party. Sedition is their aim by the spreading of untruths, exaggeration and denying the facts. Like the Brexit party they are determined to destroy a functioning body that has the interests of its members at heart. Anyone who points out their failings or the facts is immediately labelled “right wing” “Bairite” or worse. This of course is a tactic to close down debate and dehumanise anyone who is against them. In using these labels, it is easy for them to dismiss what is is said, so they neither have to justify what they are saying or take any responsibility.

I am not aware of anyone who has been “witch hunted” by our union. I am aware of a number of people that have been subject to rule I and other processes because they have breached unison’s rules, or behaved in a manner that is unacceptable towards members of staff. In any process, decisions are made based on evidence, not some McCarthyistic ideology as the hard-left faction would have you believe. The decisions and outcomes are made by lay members, having taken into account evidence presented.

This faction are not UNISON, they are actively campaigning to undermine the union and its values. UNISON is a democratic union that puts members at the heart of everything it does and I for one want to keep it that way.

Thanks for reading.

GI Jayne

An amazing coincidence!

A remarkable and amazing coincidence has occurred! A group of candidates that have no connection to unison action broad left (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) have banded together to form a slate. This slate, that has nothing to do with the hard left faction (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) have produced a flyer, on one side the list of candidates and on the other side a manifesto.

A new member asked the hard left faction if there was a unison action broad left slate for the NEC elections. The response came back that there was no unison action broad left slate this year, providing a link to a list of candidates and a manifesto. The questioner asked if there is any connection with unison action broad left, to which the the response was “none whatsoever”.

Being a curious individual I decided to check the information posted for my self.

I thought to myself; this is very odd, there seem to be a majority of people on this list that are known members of unison action broad left. How very strange I thought! Why would these people not associate themselves with unison action broad left? This must be some new group I thought to myself; some new hard left faction; where oh were is unison action broad left?

I then remembered that I had seen this manifesto before, at the Heath and Community conferences.

Imagine my surprise to discover that this mystery group of candidates who have nothing to do with unison action broad left (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) had used the exact same manifesto as the unison action broad left flyers. I ask you, what are the odds? This has to be the greatest coincidence in electoral history.

Of course this is not a coincidence and there is no mystery behind who is responsible for the slate. The hard-left faction are failing miserably to keep their mitts off anything to do with the NEC elections, because they know that anyone who uses the resources of an external body will be liable for disciplinary action. They must think that UNISON members are stupid and that they will not notice that these lying charlatans are behind this. The only idiots here are they themselves. You would have thought that when planning this colossal lie, that one of them may have thought that someone would put two and two together and make four.

These people really are bad news and I ask you reader not to vote for anyone on that list. If they can lie to you about this, what else are they lying about? Those of you that have attended the Community and Health conferences will have seen these documents, so you know they are genuine.

These NEC elections are important to all members, you may not know all the candidates if any in some circumstance, but I think you ought to thank unison action broad left for providing you with a list of people not to vote for.

Thanks for reading.

G I Jayne

Season of the Idiots

Here we go again, the hard left faction making allegations that democracy is under attack within the NEC. Well in fairness that is true; but its from them not the union. I covered the issue in this submission https://guest-informant.com/2018/12/18/claims-that-unison-is-anti-democratic-are-bogus/ By and large, my comments are unchanged.

Of course claims that the Socialist party are not pulling unison action broad left’s strings, are dashed by this article from the nations favourite cat litter liner https://m.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/28645/06-02-2019/unison-democracy-and-the-right-to-speak-out-are-under-threat The usual suspects including the shady characters feature large on this one. They do seem to love a self made martyr!

So here we go again; the hard left faction are ratcheting up the rhetoric, painting themselves as the victims of an overbearing union bent on destroying democracy and gagging the Socialist party heroes who are standing up for the right to speak. This of course is utter tosh, no one is prevented from speaking, but there is a reasonable expectation that members of the NEC will respect collective responsibility. This is something they have no intention of following.

I note with interest that the hard left faction has presented a motion on the NEC election procedures that they will no doubt submit to national Delegate Conference and encourage others to follow suit. Of course what is behind this is the fact that they are an external organisation, something that they either don’t understand or that they refuse to understand. All sorts of bogus claims are made in support of the motion. I have no doubt that the standing orders committee will rule it out of order as it is beyond the remit of conference at the very least. Clearly it has been penned by the Socialist party who seem to think they are the experts on UNISON’s rules, obviously they are not.

I hear on the grapevine that Skippy has been found, I think I will notch that up to my successful campaign. Just for clarities sake, I don’t think they were found in a mineshaft.

Thanks for reading

GI Jayne

Nominations Nominations

You may be forgiven for not noticing that prospective NEC candidates are currently seeking nominations from Branches for the forthcoming NEC elections. The hard-left faction, although trying hard not to fly the unison action broad left flag, are fielding about 50 candidates, if the list they are peddling in their begging letters are to be believed. The most recent of these was circulated at the Black Members Conference.

The list of demands on the leaflet are somewhat confusing, because it looks like they are demanding it of themselves. But let’s be generous and look at each one.

We demand unison action against racism (obviously slotted in to appeal to Black Members) Difficult to understand exactly what they are demanding, as UNISON’s record on challenging racism is pretty solid. Interesting they make this demand, given the fact they allowed racist material to be displayed on their face book page. Hypocrisy of the highest order.

We demand unison action to save our jobs Presumably this is a call for more strikes, as they are clearly failing to recognise the hard work of branches, activists and officers. As a lot of those named are officers and stewards of branches, are they suggesting that they themselves are doing nothing? Well, they are probably not putting the work in were its needed. If your response to everything is strike, you are bound to miss other oportunities.

We demand unison action for decent pay This suggests that UNISON has done nothing on pay, the last time I looked UNISON members voted on pay deals. The hard-left faction do not respect the decisions of members who make democratic decisions. Don’t they trust members to do this? You would think not.

We demand tories out now and a general election Straight from the SWP playbook. This call can be heard at the paste tables of the SWP and Socialist party in most cities. Interesting that they are not demanding this of UNISON, in fact it is not clear who they are demanding it of?

Let’s have a look at some of the comments contained within a unison action broad left nomination request.

The way the nec works must change and It must reach decisions member’s want.

The union works in a democratic way, so by default not everyone is going to be satisfied, It is of course right and proper that democratic decisions are supported by all members of the NEC by virtue of collective responsibility, something the hard-left faction are not keen on.

Given that this individual prefers to segregate themself from the NEC by sitting in a different room, I think I may agree with this one; yes turn up and get involved!

Not content with continuing austerity, members in this region are being forced to work for no pay.

Now forgive me if I am wrong, but isn’t what is described here slavery? Wouldn’t you expect this individual to be reporting this to the police? At the very least you would expect them to do something about it it?

The rule  book states we  are a member led union. But are we? Or are we led by  unelected  paid officers, the  majority of whom are NOT unison.members. And what about the majority  of the  current nec? Can  they  really be  trusted to defend our  member’s.?

This is a long running claim by the hard-left faction that has no basis in fact whatsoever. It does emphasise their total ignorance of how the union works and given this individual has been a member of the NEC for a number of years, it clearly demonstraits that they have not been paying attention. Paid officers of the union are employees of UNISON, who are free to join a trade union. There are a number of trade unions recognised by unison who make up the staff side just like any progressive employer. Some of them are UNISON members mainly for reasons of solidarity. If UNISON did not employ people it would not be able to function.

Can the current NEC members be trusted? Well I don’t think I would be trusting this individual. I am sure that this sort of rhetoric is the cause of great offence to current NEC members who do work hard on behalf of the members.

There must be no more polical witch hunts. Both  branches and members must  have the  right to campaign against  national policy- including  opposing  pay deals – free from faceing  suspension and free from the interference of unelected  of paid officers.

Please read my previous blogs on this subject. To summarise, an individual is currently suspended from UNISON and is under investigation. The hard-left faction are claiming it is for speaking out against UNISON policy. The truth of the matter is that they don’t know what the person is suspended for or what the allegations amount to. They have mounted a campaign of support for a reason that is nothing more than fantasy. I am sure that the truth will leak out once ever the formal process has ended. UNISON has specific rules relating to the conduct of its members and where allegations of a breach of these rules are made, it has a duty to investigate. UNISON employs staff who are trained and able to conduct these investigations. The decision as to wether the allegations are upheld is made by lay officials.

The time has come for members to take control of thier union. Yes  there has been industrial action but these have been grass roots level action and only belatedly received national backing, what we need is an NEC that leads and not follows. No more letting branches  fight alone.

Another old chestnut this one with a touch of the Brexit missive. All industrial action must be approved by the National Industrial Action Committee, having been first approved by the Regional Secretary concerned. There has been industrial action and it has been supported by the wider union and the Regions concerned. If they believe that there has been no industrial action, they must have been living in a bubble.

As I have explained many times before, all industrial action has to abide by legislation to provide protection to both members and the union. The hard-left faction keep ignoring this vitally important point. What they mean by “fighting alone” is that they want secondary action which is unlawful.

What is meant by “an NEC that leads not follows” is beyond me, as to its meaning, perhaps someone could explain it?

Most of the requests that I have seen cover the same territory, some in a slightly different way and many are obviously cut and paste from the same template. The template has probably been penned by the shadowy characters who associate themselves with unison action broad left, obviously fuelled by the SWP/Socialist party.

Having been declared as an outside organisation, unison action broad left are struggling to leave their fingerprints off the campaign, however the cracks are forming. You don’t have to be a forensic genius to to see this.

My advice to you reader, would be to support anyone other than the people that appear on the list. If you care about the union and everything it does, don’t give these people a bigger foothold on your union. They claim they do not want to take over the union; the evidence proves that they do.

Thanks for reading.

GI Jayne

 

 

 

Claims that UNISON is anti-democratic are bogus

Below is a breakdown of the facts relating to the unison action statement on the recent NEC decision on the election procedures. The original text of the statement is in italics  and the commentary in red.

UNION DEMOCRACY AND RIGHT TO CAMPAIGN UNDER THREAT.

At the 6th December NEC a new set of elections procedures were passed that we believe are not only a breach of the rules of the union but also of our conference policy.    

There is no breach of UNISON’s rules, the election procedures are within the law and within UNISON’s rules and has little to do with conference policy.    

The new election procedure states:

“No nominee or candidate shall invite or accept any donation or contribution in money or kind from any organisation or company, including from any provider of goods or services to UNISON, any political party or any employer in which unison organises.  For the avoidance of doubt an outside organisation or company includes but is not limited to an organisation, club, association or other entity which consists wholly or partly of UNISON members and is not provided for in UNISON rules. In determining whether or not something fits into this category, income resources and formal structures would be considered .This is not an exhaustive list.”

Who would have any issue with this? Why would the union want outside interference in its procedures? It would not be acceptable to have a political party or organisation supporting candidates. It is a reasonable expectation that those standing for office support the aims, objectives, values and rules of our union. It is worth noting that the hard-left faction asked for the definition of an outside organisation and they clearly fall into this category. Claims that they are a grass roots movement of unison members campaigning from within can easily be disproven. There is a plethora of evidence to demonstrate that they do not work within the rules of the union, that they actively campaign against the aims and objectives of they union, that they bully and harass officials of the union and that their interests are not those of the union.  There is overwhelming evidence that they are backed by the rape apologist SWP and the militant Socialist party.

Not satisfied with Banning members of political parties or organisations campaigning last year in the SGE elections in support of their members, the union is now effectively banning any group of unison members getting together to campaign.

This claim is not factual, the union is not banning members, it is preventing outside organisations from campaigning against the union and having undue influence over its democratic processes. Unison action broad left is not a democratic organistation, it does not comply with UNISON’s rules, procedures or protocols. As demonstrated at the NEC meeting of the 6th December 2018, they do not support collective responsibility or accountability. They are not recognised by UNISON, they actively campaign against UNISON, they use bullying and harassing tactics in support of their own aims.

UNISON is a listening union that encourages members to engage with its democratic processes within the rules of the union. The hard-left faction does not operate within the rules of the union and are backed by extremist political groups.

This is clearly aimed at trying to ban and silence UnisonAction from campaigning in the forthcoming NEC elections. It is our view that this is a clear breach of the rules of the union.

Unison action have determined their own destiny by virtue of their actions and activities. They have self-determined their own status outside of UNISON’s rules. As an independent trade union, UNISON can determine its own rules and procedures within the law outside of the influence of external bodies. There is no breach of UNISON’s rules here.        

The right of members to campaign is specifically provided for in Rule B2.5 and our national conference in 2001 further clarified this when it passed composite I contained in the democracy in unison guidelines.

Rule B2.5 states:

To promote and safeguard the rights of members to have an adequate opportunity to participate in the initiation and development of policy making, through meetings, conferences, delegations or ballots, and to encourage the maximum democratic debate, together with the right to campaign to change policy, while at all times acting within the rules and agreed policy.

The Democracy in UNISON guidelines (link below) are a clear and unambiguous set of principles.

https://www.unison.org.uk/content/uploads/2013/06/On-line-Catalogue133053.pdf

The NEC is bound by Rule D2.1 “not do anything that is inconsistent with these Rules or the policy of the Union as laid down by the National Delegate Conference”. 

The arbitrary selection of sentences from particular rules is disingenuous, as it removes the context. As with all things, rules cannot be read in isolation. The suggestion or rather allegation here, is that the NEC have acted outside of the rules. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is just another example of wishful thinking on behalf of the faction. As the DIU guidelines state Outside bodies should not be able to seek to undermine the established and agreed policies of the union”. This is clear and unambiguous. Therefore, the NEC is acting within the rules, guidance and policy of the union.

Rule D 2.1 states:

FUNCTIONS AND AUTHORITY

The general management and control of the Union between National Delegate Conferences shall be vested in the National Executive Council, which shall comprise representatives elected from the Regions and Service Groups plus four national black members’ seats, two young members’ seats and two disabled members’ seats. It shall have full power and authority to act  on behalf of the Union in every respect and for every purpose falling within the objects of the Union. It shall not do anything that is inconsistent with these Rules or the policy of the Union as laid down by the National Delegate Conference.

The fact that the NEC have full power and authority to act on behalf of the Union in every respect and for every purpose falling within the objects of the Union, is something that the faction is totally opposed to. It is worth remembering that NEC members are elected for that specific purpose as custodians of the union’s rules and democratically decided objectives. The NEC does have the power and responsibility to make executive decisions on behalf of the union as this rule clearly demonstrates.

As such we believe that the new election rules agreed by a majority of the NEC are acting outside of the rules of the union and conference policy.

This is a clear distortion of the facts which contradicts the points they are making above, or rather it is conveniently ignored. The DIU guidelines have this to say about collective responsibility. 

Collective Responsibility

3.1 Once a policy is established it is important that all constituent parts of the union work together to promote it and take collective responsibility in supporting it.

3.2 This principle was reinforced by the 1998 National Delegate Conference which decided: ‘there is an obligation on branches, regions and the NEC to promote existing policy and to accept collective responsibility once decisions have been democratically taken. Once policy has been agreed by democratic means at an appropriate level, all members should expect that those who may not have agreed with the decision establishing policy but were in a minority, should not be able simply to withdraw it. Such action would undermine the whole principle of collective strength and solidarity which the democracy of the union is established to promote. Democracy cannot thrive if agreed policies count for nothing. Outside bodies should not be able to seek to undermine the established and agreed policies of the union.

It is not the NEC who are acting outside of the rules and conference policy, it is those that associate themselves with the hard-left faction. Their activities and deliberate refusal to work within the rules and support democratic process is akin to anarchy, as they seek to undermine the core principles of UNISON.

There is also a question whether this would also be in contravention of the Human Rights act and the freedom of assembly.

Article 11: Freedom of assembly and association has nothing to do this. The below link provides information as to the provision of article 11. There is no attempt by UNISON to prevent the existence of the faction, the NEC decision is to prevent external organisations form influencing the democratic process.

https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/human-rights-act/article-11-freedom-assembly-and-association

In a further worrying development a number of us have been threatened with action being taken against us for an alleged breach of collective responsibility for daring to raise our concerns and voting against the proposals. 

If this is the case, then it is evident that they are not working within the rules and objectives of the union and the threat of disciplinary action under these circumstances is within the rules of the union.

It is urgent that branches and members raise their concerns with regards the new proposals by passing resolutions at branch, region and raise it on the Service group Executives. 

This is a prima facia case of these individuals flouting UNISON’s rules, protocols and conference policy. The act of encouraging others to do so is in my opinion a disciplinary matter. They are clearly failing to follow rules and and in particular collective responsibility. It is reasonable for members to expect elected officials to follow the rules and procedures of the union and for them to uphold the values and procedures of their union. This behaviour is a wanton act of vandalism and a demonstration of the anti-democracy attitude of this this faction.  

Vicky Perrin –                     NEC member Yorkshire and Humberside

Jim McFarlane –                NEC member Scotland

Hugo Pierre –                    Black members NEC member

April Ashley –                    Black members NEC member

Jacqui Berry –                    NEC member South East

Michelle Goodman –       NEC member South West

Steve North –                      NEC member North West

It may be a reasonable assumption that those that have put their names to this document are members of the Socialist party, perhaps they would like to either confirm or deny that?

Thanks for reading.

GI Jayne

Open Selection, the new conspiracy

As predicted, the hard left faction have got their knickers in a twist over open selection. They obviously have no idea how the union works and in particular Labour LINK. The usual claims about anti democratic activity on the part of UNISON are abound. One of them is even writing a motion to National Delegate Conference to express their disappointment. Well guess what? That will end up in the Standing Orders dustbin, as it will not be competent. When will they learn that the political fund matters cannot be debated at NDC?

It is interesting that there is so much complaining and bitching about Labour Link by a group of people who are mostly SWP/Socialist party members. You have to chuckle at their naivety.

So the unions did not support open selection; this comes as no surprise and for anyone who has the slightest political acumen, it is not hard to work out why.

Accusations have been thrown around, saying that the National Labour Link committee is selected by the NEC. In fairness this is in part true as half of the committee is selected by the NEC through a democratic process. The other half of the committee is elected by a direct ballot of levy paying members on a regional basis. The reason the NEC select half of the members of the committee is because the Labour Link committee is an NEC committee.

To be involved in Labour Link, you have to be a levy paying member. To have a seat on the National Link committee, you have to be a levy payer and a member of the Labour Party. So levy paying members of the NEC have a vote, but if you are not a party member, you can’t stand.

There are now calls for unison action broad left members to stand for Labour Link, presumably so they can buy the pot and enforce their naïve will upon the committee.

I note that one member of the National Labour Link committee has commented on the Facebook thread. I won’t name him especially as what he is saying is totally inaccurate and has no basis in fact; but feel free to check it out yourself.

The hard left faction believe that open selection would give them the opportunity to have their people selected for parliament. Can you imagine the chaos that would ensue? I don’t know about you, but I expect my MPs to have a modicum of competence and an understanding of the importance of their role.

If these people were actually serious about taking up office, you would at least expect them to do some research on the rules of our union.

I have said it before and I will say it again, the hard left faction are usually at the back of the queue when the work is doled out; no action, no responsibility and no commitment.

Thanks for reading.

100% FACTION

What is a Hard Left Faction?

“A faction is an organised group of people within a larger group, which opposes the ideas of the larger group”. “The term hard left describes those members of a left wing political group who have the most extreme political beliefs”. So there you have it, the hard left faction in UNISON described in a nutshell, but let’s look at it in a little more detail.

What is the ideology of the hard left faction?

They would say that they want a fighting union which translates to a union that puts strike action as its first point of engagement in a dispute. Industrial action of course has a place in industrial relations and can be an effective tool in resolving a dispute and this reporter fully understands its importance, but not all the time every time.

Why do the hard left faction call for strike action so often? You would have to look no further than their political sponsors, the SWP and the Socialist Party. You will often hear them shouting for co-ordinated action or a general strike. Cutting to the chase, the purpose of this is to bring down the government, which they naively believe will enable them to take power, facilitating the introduction of the SWP and Socialist Party’s twisted version of socialism through revolution.

Reader, you may think that this sounds a little extreme, but believe me when I tell you, this is no exaggeration or falsehood. Dig deep enough into the Socialist Party and the SWP and you will soon find it, this is the politics that fuels unison action.

You will hear them shout down UNISON’s leadership at conference, accusing them of being Blairight, right wing, gutless and other such choice handles. They either don’t or won’t understand the legal issues that face the activities of the union. They claim that legal jeopardy is a smokescreen for inaction, a barrier to prevent the union from fighting, a method of gagging them. They care nothing for the responsibility that the union has in protecting its members and itself. They would be happy to risk the integrity of the union in achieving their aims.

Legal jeopardy is a very real threat, to ignore the possibility of litigation, injunction and the freezing of the unions assets is quite frankly madness. Think about your branch not being able do anything because they have no funds, or because they have been served with a court order preventing branch officers from undertaking certain activities under the threat of being personally sued or even the threat of imprisonment? The leaders of the union have a duty to protect the union and its members.

The hard left faction still believe themselves to be able strike whenever they want to, their politics and ideology are firmly encapsulated in the 1970’s. They fail to acknowledge that the law has changed and the processes the union has to follow to protect itself are stringent and unforgiving. This has been further compounded by the Tory government’s unjust trade union act.

Does UNISON want to fight on behalf of its members? Well of course it does, but it has to do so within the confines of the law. This responsibility is never considered by the hard left faction, they would sooner ignore it because it does not fit their script. So according to them, your NEC is corrupt, your General Secretary is a Tory and the Officers of the union are in control. All faction propaganda to get members to follow them and their ideology.

Well so long for now and thanks for reading.

Bigotry, Hate and Ignorance

Confusion hate and ignorance seem to be the order of the day at the hard left faction. The meltdown regarding Dave Prentis’s piece in the New Statesman continues to rumble on. The level of ignorance of UNISON processes and rules is somewhat lost in maelstrom of hate for UNISON and its leader Dave Prentis. What is amazing is that some of those responding in the discussion have pointed out that it is a Labour Link issue determined by Labour Link. Even the minutes from the meeting of the 10th May have been distributed and they seem unable, or more likely unwilling to acknowledge the facts.

The hard left faction have decided to see the decision as an attack on Saint Corbyn by the treacherous right wing Tory leader of UNISON, who is bent on his destruction. How you get to that conclusion is beyond me reader, and I leave you to make your own mind up. It is worth noting that UNISON backed Corbyn at both Labour Party leadership elections.

The truth of the matter is that the National Labour Link committee is empowered to make decisions regarding Labour Party business and the NEC also has the power to make decisions between conferences. Can you imagine how ridiculous it would be if the union could only make decisions once a year? Nothing would happen! It seems that those that align themselves to the hard left faction and hold seats on the NEC are content to make decisions on that body when it suits them. When it does not go their way, they claim that its undemocratic.

Below is a selection of comments from the hard left faction’s social media feed. The identity of those commenting has been removed to save them embarrassment. Please feel free to have a look and check them out yourself.

We fight for a union where policies are decided by members. A union in which those in the most senior positions base their public statements on union democracy, not their own personal ideology. UNISON Action stands by Jeremy Corbyn. #JC4PM

In my experience @UNISON are barely worthy of the term union. Complacent & ineffectual.

Unison stands against labour foreign policy and against Jeremy Corbyn.

You’ve made your bed, lie in it.

All of my members will be leaving this fascist hate filled union

not as many votes as the likes of Prentiss with their back-stabbing.

Fuck off.

UNISON’s leadership cannot be relied upon.

I have seen nothing that convinces me Prentis has a mandate for his intervention, even from Labour Link Committee, let alone the union as a whole.

This is so far from being a Labour Party issue.

How to lose members.

Think you should state this is your opinion and not that of membership

He claims that they represent “Labour members and activists from across our union”

It wasn’t debated at Conference and is therefore for not UNISON policy.

I am a member of UNISON and you are not. I think I might know a bit more about our policies and rules than you do. Policy is decided by Conference, not Dave. It wasn’t decided by Conference (I was there).

This is not about anybody’s views, it’s about a senior representative of the union misrepresenting his own views as union policy. UNISON is a member led union, not a dictatorship.

Honestly I feel like walking out of unison

Silent during years of privatisation in the Public Sector Mr Prentis has now allied himself to the protagonists who want to bring down Jeremy Corbyn . I am angry and appalled at this betrayal of the Socialist Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn, I encourage all members to write complain and take action to reclaim our Union from the control of this self serving man who has overseen the collapse of the Public Sector under the Tories so #NotInMyName #MembersTakeBackControl #PrentisResign.

This sequence of events to my mind sums up the distance (yawning chasm?) between rank and file members and the leadership.

#FiddlingWhileRomeBurns ?

#WaitingForMyPeerage

It’s not worth the stress of trying to keep members in the union when we have a General Secretary who does what HE wants!

Prentis needs to retire, he’s a Blairite and not wanted to lead our union!

He’s never been a leader of the union. Right wing tosser. Feathered his own nest, that’s all.

Comrades – bad news, Jon Lansman has a new ally in Dave Prentis the right wing gen sec of unison.

Below are two extracts from NEC reports from the UNISON web page, freely available for all to see. There is commitment to the continued support of PSC and the support of protests. This statement of course post dates the Labour Link meeting of the 10th May. Looks like business as usual to me!

6th June 2018 UNISON Web Site NEC report

He (Prentis) also told the NEC that the union remained committed to its longstanding support for the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and would be supporting protests against the recent killing of protesters and the ongoing blockade of Palestine.

This is the commitment statement regarding racism and anti-semitism. Worth remembering that things have moved on in the Labour Party since the 12th April.

12 April 2018 UNISON Web Site NEC Report

“We have not intervened in the current debate in the Labour Party on anti-semitism, but instead we have made clear and categoric statements speaking out against all forms of racism which includes anti-semitism. UNISON’s founding principles make it clear that any racism by members of our union conflicts with our aims and values set out in our rule book and brings the union into disrepute.”

The minute from Labour Link where the decision was made to endorse the IHRA working definition of anti-semitism is below. This was a committee decision of which there was unanimous support. It is worth pointing out reader that there are members of the National Labour Link committee that align themselves to the hard left faction, they seem to have been silent in this frenzy of hate. Surely a simple word from them would calm things down?

10th May 2018 UNISON Labour Link Committee Minute

Tackling antisemitism

Dave Prentis opened a debate on the subject of anti-Semitism where the committee was asked to debate and vote on endorsing the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism. The full text of the definition, along with the accompanying contemporary examples, was reviewed by the committee. He pointed out that the UNISON NEC had, at its 11 April meeting, endorsed without opposition his statement on the union’s commitment to speak out against all forms of racism including antisemitism, that acts of racism committed by members brings the union into disrepute and conflict with the union’s aims and values as set out in the rule book.

With regard to the IHRA definition, it was pointed out that organisations and official bodies that have formally adopted the definition include: the Labour Party, UK law enforcement agencies, the Civil Service, around 130 local authorities, the UK central and devolved governments, and the governments of around 40 countries worldwide.

The committee debated the definition, its main points and its potential application and usefulness both in the context of UNISON and the Labour Party.

The chair asked the committee to vote on endorsing the IHRA definition, and accepting that its principles would apply to all Labour Link groups and structures in UNISON. The committee voted unanimously in favour of endorsing the definition.

A group of ignorant, ill informed Socialist Party, SWP backed individuals are whipping up a storm of hatred towards UNISON and its General Secretary. This reporter is sure that that this hatred will extend to members of UNISON’s National Labour Link committee and associated officers sometime in the near future. As always the facts are ignored for the purpose of pursuing their aim of taking over the union. The vilification of Dave Prentis is nothing new, the motivation for this is for varied reasons (more about that in the future).

The hard left faction have been asked to provide a statement on why they oppose the IHRA definition, not only by me but some of their followers. At time of going to press, we are still waiting. In the absence of this statement, we can only speculate as to their motivation.

The true purpose of the acceptance of the IHRA definition is to urge the Labour Party to move on and get to the business of building a credible government for the benefit of all UNISON members. If the Labour movement can’t beat this awful Tory government now; it’s never going to happen.

Thanks for reading.

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