I know there is enormous interest, confusion, alarm and despondency amongst many Napo members unable to attend the AGM this year, so I hope this necessarily-rushed blog post might serve to clear a few things up and set a few minds at rest.
As it has done for millenia, I watched the tide turn in Scarborough this morning, only today I think it turned in rather more ways than one.
Those attending the AGM will be aware that the General Secretary made a short unscheduled speech regarding matters that had been discussed at the now notorious 'closed' session on Friday morning. I'm reliably informed that this addition to the programme was made reluctantly and I think people will be interested to know what the circumstances were that precipitated it.
I'm told that Joanna Hughes, together with a small band of intrepid colleagues unhappy with what they had heard during the 'closed' session, spent most of Friday afternoon drafting several Emergency Motions to put before Steering Committee. Essentially these sought to firm up on aspirations for a legal challenge of TR and impose upon the Executive an absolute presumption to proceed towards Judicial Review. I understand the wording was the subject of much constructive amendment by colleagues on Steering Committee.
Clearly the Executive had the opportunity overnight of deciding how best to deal with these Emergency Motions, together with the obvious disquiet being expressed by some members both at the AGM and those waiting patiently for news and hope back at home.
I understand that at a meeting early this morning, Joanna and her colleagues were given assurances that their concerns would be addressed by a statement from the General Secretary, on the basis that the Emergency Motions were withdrawn.
At this point it's probably worth reminding readers that, as is the norm, significant changes have taken place amongst the elected members of the Executive this weekend. Readers will also be aware that I have regularly described Napo's governance as 'dysfunctional'. My feeling is that we now have rather greater reason to be hopeful that the union is more effectively under the control of members than it has been of late. I'm clear that what happened today is evidence that things are not going to be the same and that things are going to change.
We are all promised a communication on Monday from Napo HQ explaining what the situation is with JR and what is required urgently of members in the form of evidence. All in all, it's been quite a roller coaster ride of an AGM, but I honestly think we can now have hope. If you drink, raise a glass tonight to a truly intrepid bunch of your colleagues and what they achieved today at the seaside!