The vote on health logistics privatisation has already been reported this morning – along with housing and corporate manslaughter, a crushing defeat for the platform.
During the debate, UNISON General Secretary David Prentis paused for repeated applause and went over the 10-minute limit, at which point the microphone was cut off without morning by the chair, leader of the European Parliamentary Labour Party Gary Titley MEP.
Unreported was the exchange provoked when one delegate produced an example of anti-UNISON flyers being distributed on conference floor, allegedly by party staff, and demanded to know who was responsible.
Another delegate replied, saying that in fact she had distributed the leaflets and not party staff. It is widely suspected that she had been put up to it by the leadership, but they evidently hadn’t briefed her very well.
She went on to accuse the “UNISON stand” of “taking a million pounds of public money”. Presumably she had been meant to say that opposing privatisation would incur such a cost, rather than accusing those on the UNISON stall in the exhibition hall of pinching the money.
She then waved a letter from David Prentis attacking the government’s position and said “I demand to know who is responsible for this piece of paper!”
We suspect that it may have been, erm, David Prentis.
We can only say to the party fixers who organise these antics – if you’re going to do it, at least try to get it right.