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

PERCEPTION! a confusion of facts

Here we go again, the hard left faction making a mountain out of a molehill or rather a reality out of a perception. The latest lunacy from unison action broad left is a ridiculous attack on the perception many people have of trade unions and which are perpetuated by anti trade union politicians (otherwise known as the government).

So let’s be clear what we are talking about; the dictionary definition “perception”- the way in which something is regarded, understood, or interpreted. The hard left faction definition “perception” – this is the truth, the reality, the actual facts.

What they are saying? This was posted on their twitter feed, “There is so much wrong with it. It denigrates battles fought by previous generations. It implies that militant struggle is only the property of men. It erases Grunwick. It ignores the current battles in Glasgow & Birmingham. It’s shameful”.

It would be so easy to insult their crass stupidity on this matter, but I will refrain; a bit… They actually prove the point of the caption in their comment. This is the “perception” P E R C E P T I O N… For crying out loud!

7F8093E0-EB8C-454C-A985-0DA34356D48F

 

Of course perception does not reflect the facts as it is based on assumption. Do a google search for NUPE strike and you will see many sisters involved in strike action, so I am surprised that they reference Grunwick (http://www.striking-women.org/module/striking-out/grunwick-dispute) and how “perception could erase a well reported documented dispute by Asian women. Also worth remembering that they lost the dispute, something the hard left faction claims as a success.

This is fact not perception. If the only pictures of strike are of the Miners Strike or Longbridge etc. Then your “perception” will be exactly as described. Of course the real reason for this faux outrage is to have another go at UNISON, their favourite target. They of course know best, they of course can run the union better. The Grunwick dispute ran for two years, can you imagine any public service workers taking sustained industrial action for that length of time? Also worth noting that the Grunwick strikes were not in any of UNISON’s partner unions.

As with all things, the hard-left faction’s ideology is rooted in the 1970’s when life was a little simpler economically for working people. The law enabled trade unions to act in a more militant way and to offer support in a very different way. The world has moved on and deindustrialisation, globalisation, technology and the nature of debt has changed communities for ever. The economic stresses and strains on modern workers is completely different.

I am told that a number of people that associate themselves with unison action are independently wealthy, so they would be able to survive the financial impact of industrial action far better than the people they encourage to fight their politically charged disputes.

As I have said before, I am not anti strike, it has its place and when used effectively can be successful. The hard left faction wants strikes all of the time, it is there first line of attack. Well let me tell you, I have been involved in organising industrial action, I have taken part in industrial action and the work involved does not finish when the dispute has ended. It can take a lot of effort, time and pain to rebuilt a relationship with you members and your employer. Funny how these people are never around to help with that heavy load. The move onto the next dispute so they can make themselves look good and massage their own egos. I have seen it many times, they just abandon the members and the activists.

The childlike affectation of unison action broad left is to be pitied, how sad it is that adults can behave in a way that is detrimental to our members and our union. Their SWP/Socialist party fuelled outdated fantasy politics is tired and impotent and best left in the 1970’s where it belongs. The absurd dick swinging and pissing contests is pathetic, they really need to grow up and put away their childish fantasies.

The piece in the UNISON activist magazine identifies that we need to wipe away the perceptions of what modern trade unionism is about. It seeks to encourage members to get involved and get active. It most certainly is not about reinforcing stereotypes or attacking disputes of the past. UNISON recognises that trade unionism has had to change, that our tools have had to be adapted to deal with 21st century situations. People have changed and so have their needs. This latest attempt to rubbish UNISON is most likely out of fear, because the hard left faction know its days are numbered.

Thanks for reading.

GI Jayne

Shameless Showboating Exposed

The hard left-faction couldn’t make its mind up over the reasons for some strike action over the weekend. The attempts to build a molehill into a mountain were sadly scuppered by an informed user.

PH5A (2)

This was posted on Saturday (17th November 2018 23:59) Which clearly informs the the reader that members in the branch have voted YES for strike by 74% in a consultative ballot, which apparently is a record turnout over proposals to move from 4 weekly pay to monthly pay. “Members have had enough” it goes on to say.

It’s not exactly clear what members have had enough of though? Have they had enough of being paid? have they had enough of being used as pawns to satisfy the ego of the person posting the information?

A conversation ensued… The below was posted in response.

PH4_LI

 

PH2_LI (2)

So we see the usual defensive mechanism at play here, that someone who points out the obvious flaws is branded an anti-trade union, tool of the bosses. Interesting that they say members understand the issues as they clearly don’t. Perhaps it would have been helpful if they had spoken to the members rather than at them. Our conversation continues…

PH3_LI

The person responding points out the flaws in the argument and the absolute absurdity of resisting something that virtually every worker in the UK experiences. They also take the time to point out how keeping a 4 weekly pay structure will be damaging to workers on universal credit. They also point out that efforts would be best put into negotiating transition arrangements, rather than trying to get them to strike.

Well it didn’t end well for our strikemonger, they were clearly outgunned intellectually and therefore had to withdraw by removing the conversation, probably fearing that their members may read it and realise that they had been duped.

Sometime later, the post was amended…

 

PH1_LI - Copy (2)

As you can see by the amended post, the reason for the ballot has changed to be dismissal and re-engagement notices being issued. Now I don’t know about you? but this seems a little disingenuous. If the employer was going to dismiss its workforce, you would have expected a little more noise over it. Words such as “sacking the workforce” would have been used, which is very valid reason for going on strike. It is of course doubtful that there would need to be dismissals as a consequence of changing pay frequency, as it would not be seen as a significant change to the contract. From the employer’s perspective, the administration and legal challenges would not be worth the trouble of dismissal.

There is clearly something not quite right about all this and having been found out the person decided to delete the conversation. Creating a dispute for the sake of it is a despicable thing to do. To do it so you look good and to feed your own ego is also reprehensible. Effort should be in supporting members and resolving issues, not the pursuit of self aggrandisement. You have been caught out and your subterfuge exposed, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Make up your own mind reader, this is just one example of many that shows the hard-left faction for what they are; egotists and charlatans.

Thanks for reading

GI Jayne

 

 

 

We want you to sign this, but we don’t know why?

The hard-left faction is encouraging people to sign a petition to end the suspension of an NEC member, but they don’t know why other than they want the suspension to be lifted saying “We do not know if these views and her suspension are linked”. I did have to giggle at this as it reminded me so much in its absurdity of the “Judean People’s Front” or if you would prefer “the People’s Front of Judea”.

Not knowing the facts of any situation is a trait of the faction, often ignoring the evidence to perpetuate a pointless campaign. When confronted with the facts they will usually ignore them or accuse the person giving them the facts, of being a Blairite or right wing. I am not sure that this petition will be of any benefit to the person they are seeking to support. I don’t know if the person themselves has sanctioned this petition, if this is the case, I would imagine that it would not support their case.

The facts of the case are unknown to me as they are to them, so anything in the absence of these facts is only speculation, rumor and wishful thinking; they do love a martyr. Of course, given the hard-left faction’s trope of UNISON being a corrupt evil empire run by right wing demagogues, it is not surprising that they jump on any bandwagon that they believe supports that view.

Looking at the comments on the post, pledges of solidarity are made, there is outrage and disbelief, my favorite being “Absolutely disgraceful. They cannot be allowed to get away with this”. I do have to smile as the person posting the petition and the petition itself makes it clear that they do not know why the suspension is in place and as they say, “We do not know if these views and her suspension are linked”.

It is worth noting that the petition says that signatories are signing in a personal capacity; if that is the case, why have they included their branch/national positions? That is not a personal capacity, is it?

If you were to ask them why they want the suspension lifted what would they say? What would be the rational for the request? What if the suspension has nothing to do with speaking against the health deal? What if the reason for the suspension is more sinister? For all we know, the suspension may be for dancing naked in the moonlight at national delegate conference; this is the ridiculousness of this document.

No doubt details of the outcome of the investigation will leak out, and without doubt, the facts will be ignored or manipulated to support the hard-left faction’s mania.

I have always believed that if you are going to put your name to something, you must be sure of the facts, particularly if it is in the public domain. In an age of post truth, fake news, you can’t help thinking that the unison action village idiots are taking a leaf out of the orange numpty’s handbook.

Thanks for reading.

GI Jayne   

Rumor, Speculation and Intrusion

A recent posting on the hard-left faction’s Facebook page linking to a story in the Nursing Notes Blog, illustrates attempts to link UNISON to the indiscretions of the RCN over the Health pay deal. It makes claims that UNISON Staff were threatened with disciplinary action for encouraging Health members to reject the offer. The sub heading of the story reads “An astounding 84% of Unison members voted to accept the pay deal which the union sold as a 6.5% increase over three years”, suggesting that Health members were duped by UNISON into accepting the deal.

The information provided by UNISON was factual and members voted on that basis. Unlike the ballot, the hard-left faction did not communicate with all members subject to the deal; the members spoke, and it was a resounding ‘Yes’. Time to accept that members make the decisions not unison action.

Apparently a “leaked email” provides evidence that staff were threatened and suspended for speaking out, suggesting that their motivation was one of whistleblowing rather than misconduct. It may be a reasonable assumption as to origin of the “leaked email” given previous posts by the faction on this subject. It would of course been helpful if the full content of the email had been provided, thus giving context and identifying its origin.

It is not for me to comment on an internal disciplinary investigation regarding any member of UNISON, other than to say that the process must be completed as per the rules of the union and the all evidence tested before any determination as to the culpability of an individual.

On reading the comments on the thread, there is a sensible response outlining the responsibilities of those that hold and executive position and the meaning of collective responsibility. Of course, this is attacked by certain individuals who have no interest in the democratic processes of UNISON.

Collective responsibility is the bedrock of any trade union and any attempt to undermine it is an act of anarchism. It is a reasonable expectation from trade union members that the people they elect to represent them will actually represent their views and not the views of a faction or political party.

I do hope that UNISON will be challenging the story and its content as it gives an inaccurate portrayal of the facts. Clearly its purpose is to add fuel to fire on the alleged conspiracy relating to the Health pay agreement. It is also worth pointing out that UNISON is not the RCN, no matter how badly the faction wants it to be.

Thanks for reading.

GI Jayne

Upstairs Downstairs

Well this certainly was a revelation; I had no idea that the majority of those NEC members who align themselves with the hard left faction, don’t even meet in the same room as the NEC. They choose to inhabit a room on one of the lower floors. Even though provision is made for them to join the NEC; they just choose not to. They claim to be showing solidarity with another member who has medical issues. It seems very odd that 15-20 of your NEC members don’t even engage at probably one of UNISON’s most important meetings. They are mic’d up to the chamber so they can take part and I am told that the start of the meeting usually involves a cacophony of noise and claims that the tech isn’t working, for the purpose of causing disruption.

It seems absurd that people who have been elected to represent members behave in this way; self segregating so they don’t have to take part fully with the NEC. UNISON members would do well to remember this in the forthcoming NEC elections. One would expect that a commitment to fully engage with the NEC would be mandatory if not an obligation.

There was a presentation on recruitment for the forthcoming Grovember initiative. The faction asked about servicing members who work for private contractors, suggesting that unison probably shouldn’t recruit them unless they are serviced by the centre. The response from Dave Pentis was that it would have been sorted if the review motion had been passed at National Delegate Conference. Hmmmm, wonder who was responsible for bringing that down?

A discussion followed on direct debit subscriptions, with a faction member claiming that a number of members don’t have bank accounts. This may be true, but you have to wonder how they get paid. It was clear that they were angling for direct cash collection, for reasons we can only speculate on.

Of course the NHS pay deal came up. As you will recall reader, I have reported on this previously and outlined the hard left faction’s plan to undermine it by making claims that UNISON mislead members on the deal. This is categorically untrue! This of course cannot be said of the RCN who recently issued an apology to their members for misleading them. The faction have tried to lump UNISON with the RCN on this matter, but the evidence and ballot result tell a very different story.

Using RCN issue to whip up trouble when our members made a democratic decision on the offer is unacceptable.

It was reported that the NHS pay deal had brought thousands of staff within the living wage threshold, which is a good news story. Not seen the hard left faction celebrating this achievement and I doubt we ever will.

Another previous reported issue was discussed, that of the Dave Prentis article in the New Statesman regarding UNISON’s Labour Link decision to support the IHRA definition on anti semitism. As you will all know, the definition has now been re-adopted by the Labour Party after much furore. The President made it clear that the business of Labour Link was not for discussion at the NEC as not all NEC members are levy payers or members of the Labour Party. The point was made that if people wanted to be part of the debate they should join the party.

Dave Prentis explained that he had written the article in the New Statesman in a personal capacity. He had been referred to as the General Secretary of UNISON because that’s who he is. A faction member said that they had not received a response to the letter they had written to Prentis on the article. It transpires that Prentis had responded on the 23rd August. Strangely enough, an apology from the faction member was not forthcoming. I not that the individual has put the response on the hard left factions facebook page. Of course they had neglected to to supply the full facts or offer an apology.

Dave Prentis pointed out that he had said nothing different than others had said. UNISON has adopted a policy on anti semitism not the IHRA. The IHRA definition was Labour policy in 2016 and it does not impinge on the work of the union with regards to Palestine. UNISON continues to work with trade unions in Palestine. UNISON’s policy is and has always bee a two state solution. He said go back to conference if you want to change it. He is proud of the fact that UNISON came out against anti semitism, it is blight of the party. We need a labour government and that is what we should be focusing on. The NEC had agreed at a previous meeting that anti semitism is racism and therefore they would denounce it. This was a unanimous decision.

The faction want to discuss the general Secretary election of 2016, particularly on the Certification Officer report. The president gave his commitment that the report would come to NEC, but all processes have not been completed and the matter can”t discussed until process is done. This is a matter that has troubled no one outside of the unison action camp. It is quite clear that they want the opportunity to bully and make accusations against staff and lay leaders. This for all intents and purposes is a dead issue. The world has moved on considerably and it certainly is not an issue that is of any importance to UNISON members, not that it ever was.

If you are having trouble sleeping, I suggest you look it up, it’s freely available online. Quite interesting that those who are named from the faction in the document don’t exactly come out smelling of roses. These observations will no doubt be ignored.

I have never understood why they are so keen to beat up our union and make claims that it is corrupt in some way; that certainly is not the case. Spending valuable time on this kind of incessant navel gazing is pointless and prevents the union from getting on with work that actually makes a difference. I suppose if you are self obsessed, you may not want to move the spotlight.

My contact told me that a lot of these arguments are brought up over and over again, and valuable time is wasted by this perpetual hate of our union. The hard left faction claim that UNISON is not a fighting union; apparently a number of branches taking industrial action were discussed at the meeting. Interesting to note that most of them were branches that don’t associate with the faction.

Sounds like NEC meeting are somewhat convoluted due to the constant time wasting of the hard left faction. Is this really what we want from our leadership? Remember! Unison action broad left is brought to you by the same people who created militant (now the Socialist party). We all know how that ended.

Thanks for reading.

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.

Saints and Sinners

The hard left faction have held some meetings recently, I hear on the grape vine that they have been looking at their slate for the upcoming NEC Elections and have ditched their support for certain individuals. Given that their current obsession is open selection within the Labour Party, it would be interesting to find out how they have selected this slate. I will put money on them being the usual suspects with a smattering of SWP/Socialist party loyalist fuhrer favorites. Certainly they will have employed some McCarthyistic endeavor to root out anyone they believe has shown Blairite, right tendencies, which is faction code for anyone who does not agree with them.

Surely the aim for the Labour Party is to is to become the next government, and if serious about this, all efforts and energy should be put to that aim. The current trigger ballot process is more than enough for the deselection of a sitting MP and replacement candidate. It is simple process low on bureaucracy and big on democracy, as in the members make the decisions. They have the usual bee in their bonnet over this, because the people that are directing them have not bothered to research how the existing process works.  Member made decisions are not something that the hard left faction are particularly fond of, despite what they say. Their SWP/Socialist party controllers who are adept in rhetoric, put much energy into perpetuating myths in support of their own political aims. The language of the hard left faction is the language of the SWP/Socialist party, check it out for yourself.

Having recently looked at the Stronger Unison Facebook page and in particular their pinned post, it is clear that the hard left faction were on the attack, as a number of them responded stating that they were indeed members of the Socialist party, you can’t help thinking that in their attempts to attack them, they actually supported the point Stronger Unison were making, and in the words of Homer Simpson “Doh!”……..

Saint Corbyn will be making his keynote speech at the Labour Party Conference this week, so doubtless the hard left faction will be making all sort of claims on the back of this. It’s going to be an interesting week, so keep your ears to the ground.

Thanks for reading.

The birth of a conspiracy

Reader, we are very fortunate to be on the ground level of the birth of a conspiracy. The hard left faction have put out the statement below.

UNISON Action is opposed to disciplinary action being instigated against individuals or branches for simply expressing a different view from the national leadership on issues that effect members or for campaigning amongst membership to alter UNISON policy on any issues.

UNISON Action will challenge the use of inappropriate disciplinary action being used to simply silence opposing views from that of the national leadership and to threaten and coerce members activists and branches into not raising questions and concerns around policies.

UNISON Action will work to ensure our union is genuinely lay led and oppose intimidation and unjustified abuse of disciplinary action, precisely to stifle democracy and freedom to express views and campaign to change policy which was a founding principle of UNISON.

Important things to identify in this statement are the absence of facts. Some glib attention grabbing phrases of the accusatory nature suggesting persecution and unjust action on the part of UNISON. Strong language such as ‘threaten’ ‘coerce’ ‘stifle’ ‘abuse’ etc is used to draw the reader into a world of conspiracy against the supposedly honourable person/s just legitimately raising concerns or opposing views.

I have no knowledge of the case/s they are referring to, but I would like to bet that they relate to the indiscretions of some of the hard left faction’s inner sanctum. I refer to the birth of a conspiracy, as this is the usual trope, whenever one of its number are challenged through UNISON’s rules.

It is important that you are aware reader, that UNISON does not take this sort of action lightly, and a decision to do so is made not by the General Secretary, but a number of lay officials, who seek legal advice before making the decision to proceed.

The hard left faction will now put some energy into trying to rubbish any action taken by UNISON as an unjustified “witch hunt”. Doubtless we will see that tactics employed by the likes of Tommy Robinson and co in pleading the innocence of whomever is subject to the disciplinary action. There will be claims of all sorts made and I guarantee that they will take the opportunity to bash UNISON and its leadership.

It is important to note that UNISON provides guidance: https://www.unison.org.uk/content/uploads/2013/06/On-line-Catalogue133053.pdf This document has been in place for some 18 years following a decision of National Delegate Conference. The document is comprehensive and easy to understand, setting out how to campaign to change UNISON policy democratically and within the rules of the union.

This guidance will be conveniently forgotten, or rather ignored as the conspiracy unfolds and as usual the facts will be buried by the faction, particularly if they do not fit their mantra.

So watch this space and let’s see what unfolds.

Thanks for reading.

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