UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Thursday 8 July 2010


UNISON’s TUC delegation yesterday agreed the union’s three motions to this year’s annual TUC Congress in Manchester. Given a choice of four motions, the delegation had little hesitation in agreeing that the priorities were motions on Public Services, Pensions and Benefit cuts and Housing.

These motions were universal, covering all our members across all the service groups, and bringing into focus not only the public services that we provide but the loss of services that we as citizens require. All of the motions reflect the economic analysis agreed by National delegate Conference in the Emergency Composite passed with no opposition only three weeks ago. The degree of unanimity within the delegation on the motions was almost unprecedented.

UNISON delegates realised that this year’s Congress will be the first since the election of a Tory Government in May, supported as they are by a motley crew of Liberal Democrats so hungry for power that would have sold their grandmothers, not to mention their first born sons for a seat on a government bench.

The old Scottish motto of scratch a Liberal and see the Tory underneath has never been so true, but unfortunately forgotten by so many gullible voters. The political programme being pursued by the Government has little to do with the economic state of the country. It will indeed will lead us into a deeper depression. It does have everything to do with the pursuit of anti-egalitarian, neo liberal goals that will deliberately see all of the gains made by the working classes of this country since the Second World War overturned. Congress this year will be an opportunity to begin to organise the Labour Movement as a pillar of the opposition in this class war.

To say then that there was consternation in the delegation on the news that the General Council had issued an invitation to Cameron to address the Congress would be to understate the reaction. The anger in the air was palpable. The decision was taken at a meeting where no UNISON members of the General Council could be present, scheduled as it was for the week of our own national conference several hundred miles away in Bournemouth.

There was no indication from the paperwork that a decision of such magnitude was to be taken. No respect has been given to UNISON in this perversion of democracy. We are to be expected to sit and listen to a man whose every action threatens the very existence of our trade unions, our livelihoods, and our very way of life.

This is not dialogue with the government and no one can argue that it is. This is a grotesque parody of it. The delegation was unanimous that the invitation must be rescinded. If it is not, a decision will be taken at the next delegation meeting on how we make our anger felt.

Personally, as a long time Star trek fan I know of the danger of meeting alien life forms. I won’t be breathing the same air he does in Manchester.