Much has been said about Unisongate elsewhere "online" but I just want to focus on a remarkable thing that happened yesterday.
The Union appears to had hired its most expensive lawyers to defend itself from the complainants. I am politically on the complainants side: I believe in working together when we have things in common, and when this comes to saving libraries and public sector trade unionism there is no question that the far left are our first natural allies, more so than Labour Party characters. The corruption of waning union power is linked in my mind with the base of the Labour Party itself, which started as a one-issue party to represent workers back when there were proper jobs. The scandal is Labour's failure to resolve disputes internally and will project these publicly. I equally or more so criticise Barnet Council's recent failures including the failure of the Tory led council to properly run a London Mayor election. The embarrassment led to the CEO's resignation and some press criticism, and an investigation.
Yesterday ran over time. We weren't let in till 10:20. Our lawyer was investigating the last person of the day, and it was more monty python than carry on at your convenience. The poor chap was repeatedly being accused of sexism agianst what our lawyer described as the 2 women members of NEC. This ignoring of their view in his independent investigation was described as odd several times and when he ended his cringe worthy shouting at the witness (there were no microphones) the judge had to stop him short when he got to the word sexism. I am not saying there was no sexism. Of course sexism exists and must be challenged. But it seems to me that this line of questioning was not in the written evidence (which I have not seen). It seems to me that if you accuse someone of sexism in such a confrontational way (Dave was in the room) you are not going to get the desired apology. It seems to me an odd behaviour of a male lawyer representing a male trade unionist to be accusing this man of sexism with no evidence. With more serious allegations it's understandable that witnesses and victims must be protected, that they should not re live their trauma. That's why I am writing this because I hope Unison has proper channels such as a women's caucus, or Labour women's conferencae, through which this sexism and alleged sexism can be fought and defeated.