Friday at UNISON National Delegate Conference 2014

Delegates had been looking forward to Friday morning as the guest speaker was North West MEP Theresa Griffin.

Theresa is the former regional officer for our branch so well known to all the delegates. It was a great pleasure to see Theresa elected, especially as fascist BNP leader Nick Griffin lost his seat.

The ever mischievous Glenn Williams of Sefton branch said from the podium “it made our campaigning difficult ‘What do we want – Griffin out, when do we want it? Now. What do we want? – Griffin In. When do we want it now!'”

Theresa took it in good part saying “you got rid of the fascist Griffin and got the socialist Griffin”.

There were serious points to be made though. Especially with Theresa’s speech coming after a debate on UKIP. She pointed out that while Nigel Farage is given huge amounts of air time “We had to fight to get a hearing for the real issues”.

She did say that “Key to the success of Labour in the European elections was the trade unions” and that she was proud that it was our region that put out the first material on UKIP and the politics of hate and that “We must ensure our members and the public understand what the politics of UKIP really are”.

The rest of the morning was taken up with motions on political influence. There has been a lot of Tory rhetoric on union influence in the past year, used to distract from the hedge funds and millionaires that have bought their party. This has not been helped by comments from members of groups like Progress.

With a general election less than a year away we need to punch our full weight when it comes to political influence and do all we can to make sure our voice is heard loudly in Westminster.

With time running short Friday afternoon at conference is always a slight rush to get as many motions debated as possible. We covered a wide range of topics, from nationalisation of the energy companies to the support we give to our stewards.

Unfortunately as is often the case time ran out and remaining motions will go to the NEC to decide.

An enjoyable conference, but perhaps one more interesting for what wasn’t said than what was. It will be interesting to see how these issues develop over the next year and how they will be reflected in the motions submitted to the 2015 conferences.

You can read up on the previous days’ events:

Local Government Conference – Day 1 – 15/06/14
Local Government Conference – Day 2 – 16/06/14
National Delegate Conference – Day 1 – 17/06/14
National Delegate Conference – Day 2 – 18/06/14
National Delegate Conference – Day 3 – 19/06/14

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