Well you've all surprised me. Heatwave not withstanding, the hit rate on here has been phenomenal over the last couple of days as we've all been considering the candidates standing for election and especially for Chair of Napo. An incredible 5981 hits on Tuesday, with 5461 yesterday and loads of comments, some outrageously unprintable and hence deleted, but the blog can hardly be accused of being biased as all the candidates appear to have been roundly rubbished and praised in equal measure.
Ok, I exaggerated a bit. Some of the candidates have received some faint praise, but many members appear highly dissatisfied with the choice on offer, especially for National Chair and I think I can sense why. Despite the absurdly long and utterly uninspiring 'pulling rank' statements by the 'continuity' candidates, they are bound to win due to the oldest stunt in the book, namely the far left continuity candidate standing in order to split the vote and prevent the upstart PSO getting a look-in. All completely above-board, accountability and democracy satisfied and back to business as usual at Chivalry Road.
To say it's a sorry state of affairs would be yet another gross understatement in a very long line of such. The blog has yet again provided plenty of graphic evidence of a very unhappy and angry membership which just doesn't seem to be addressed by the candidates in what must surely be some of the most bland, boring and pointless election addresses I've ever come across.
Far be it for me to offer any advice, I'd merely point out the following glimmer of hope that at least one candidate acknowledges there's a problem and appears to be suggesting an eminently sensible way forward:-
"An independent review will enable us to modernise - become fit for purpose and have the best chance to protect our values, our jobs and our conditions."
Those with long memories will recall I've been suggesting that Napo has been dysfunctional for some time and was in fact something highlighted by Judy McKnight prior to her retirement in 2008. It's my understanding that she was particularly critical of the ability of the NEC to effectively steer the Union and hold the General Secretary to account. I would suggest that subsequent events proved this view to be all-too-painfully accurate and left the Union completely unprepared for the tsunami that hit it in the form of TR.
If the Union is to survive, there must surely be some acknowledgement of the situation and a willingness to tackle it head-on, or the sleep-walking into oblivion will just continue.