UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.
Tuesday, 9 September 2014
'Congress, President, Glen Williams UNISON moving Composite 4 and fully supporting Motion 13.
Congress, in May 2009, this NW Region where I have always lived and you are now was devastated warn Nick Griffin from the BNP was elected to the European Parliament to represent me, my family, my community, my union and my region. A Holocaust Denying fascist had been elected because of voter apathy and racist anti-immigration sympathy exploited by the BNP and now built into the disgraceful and cynical Immigration Bill. Griffin and the BNP had won… but my union and our movement did not lose heart. We set about doubling our efforts using tried and tested methods of trade unions and community activism, building solidarity and promoting a positive vision of hope.
But why oh why Comrades do we make it so difficult for ourselves…to get shut of the disgusting Griffin we had everything in place – a brilliant candidate, a long-serving trade unionist, a UNISON regional Official, a powerful, articulate and local woman. Everything was in place to defeat Griffin, but what was our candidate’s name…Griffin!! Can you imagine the chants – ‘What do we want, Griffin out, when do we want it now….what do we want, Griffin in, when do we want it now!!!’
Congress Theresa Griffin was our candidate and that is where the similarities end. Theresa stormed to victory to truly represent me, my union and this region in Europe. My union worked tirelessly and in this region, in the run up to the election we delivered 650,000 Hope Not Hate Newspapers and leaflets.
Griffin was out…and Griffin was in!! UKIP (or Ucrap) performed less well here in the North West than in any other region in England outside of London.
But Congress, UKIP are no flash in the pan – we have to expose UKIP as the party that will strip away the employment rights we have fought for over generations. We have to tell our Members what voting for Ucrap means – they want to scrap maternity pay – UKIP want to privatise our schools and our hospitals, they want workers’ rights to be at the discretion and good will of our employers. UKIP want all planned house building to cease and they want to raise income tax for nearly 88% of all British people.
The threat of Ucrap and the Immigration Bill is very real but so is our ability to defeat them and their toxic messages that:
Blame immigrants for unemployment, that blame Immigrants for relying on benefits, that blame Immigrants for poor housing and for the economy and that blames same sex marriage for bad weather! Ridiculous and poisonous!
Trade unions have a unique role to play in 2015. When UKIP pretend to speak for ordinary working people we must expose their policies and their lies.
The key challenge is to turn out the anti-UKIP majority. The challenge is to turn out voters who value our modern, diverse inclusive communities and we need to make the immigration debate less toxic.
We got organised after 2009 and with over 6.5 million trade union members in the UK we are 10 times bigger than the 3 main parties and Ucrap put together so we can and should make a difference and this Composite and Motion 13 spell out in positive and practical ways how we will achieve this.
UKIP are a racist, sexist, homophobic, misogynist party and if we expose them for what they are we will send them back to the gutter from whence they came.
The trade unions represent ordinary working people no UKIP and we will make a difference and destroy the politics of hate.
Anyone who knows me will tell you I am not a great fan of the Royal family but when asked about the Immigration Bill and UKIP ….. Jim Royle was right and said ’my arse’!
Expose the lies.