By complete co-incidence I happened to have a meeting at Eden Court about Hi-Ex the same day that the STUC annual Congress was on- which was handy! Always lovely to see now familiar trade unionist faces and catch up with some brothers and sisters.
With the council elections coming up it was also nice to catch up with one of the candidates I’ve been supporting, and also to catch up with a good comrade who is also standing for another party. Being opening in support of one side or another is a new thing for me, and i am finding it strange to adjust to how reasonable people are from opposing parties. Within the circle of FBU people I work with most closly there is a wide range of party stand points, but essentially we agree on many things and since there is a baseline of respect, no-one falls out about it. I hadn’t really expected this. Perhaps it is like football? you may support different teams fervently, some folks may switch teams when theirs lets them down, but essentially you are all football fans. Not that politics is the kind of thing you can be a ‘fan’ of ! but its more something you can engage with and take an active part in.
Brother Alan Paterson FBU Scotland Chair – speaks on Tuesday at STUC annual congress, on Pensions cuts and how dangerous and counterproductive it is expecting members to Fight fires and conduct rescues over the age of 55 .
The always entertaining and articulate Bob Crow of RMT union, talks at STUC fringe meeting on why labour is failing the trades union movement and workers, why bigger unions like Unite and Unison should unaffiliate to labour in order to work in a cross party way to better represent their members. There followed a vigourous and interesting discussion, with input from FBU’s Jim Malone on how we have engaged with politicians in a new and much more productive way in Scotland.