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.
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.
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
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.