LIVELY DISCUSSION AT FAC GROUP MEETING
The Steering Group meeting held earlier this evening was principally to ensure that all arrangements for tomorrow's Public Meeting were in place.
However, before this could be addressed, the matter of the 'controversial incident' at the street stall on Saturday was raised by a member and there followed a searching discussion on 'perception' - of what words and terms ought to be avoided when addressing the general public to prevent any misunderstanding arising. Similarly, it was thought the weblog of Oct 4 might suggest there was dissent and division in the group and that introducing the subject of Mode 4 into the campaign would complicate matters.
Following amicable discussion it was resolved, without need of a vote, that every effort would be made to avoid anything that could be misconstrued by members of the general public.
There was a wide discussion on Mode 4. It was argued that should the British/Indian pact be brought to realisation then highly skilled (but low paid) Indian technicians would be provided with employment here and replace (more expensive) British technicians of whatever race or country of origin. This influx would be used to force down the pay of resident workers - as does the creation of an army of unemployed workers. The British working class faces a most serious and potentially ruinous attack upon its standard of living and quality of life. This government is in deadly earnest about its intention to destroy the organisations of the working class (the unions) and all unity of the class by fostering severe racial tensions.
It was suggested that British workers and Indian workers could unite to bring about equality in pay and conditions but it was pointed out that trade unions, shackled by Tory anti-union laws (that remained in place throughout thirteen years of a New Labour government) will not be able to assist these Indian workers for fear of breaking the law and having their funds sequestrated. The scene will be set for racial conflict and greater social division. However, it was the majority decision that public mention of Mode 4 would detract from the campaign against the cuts and further discussion led to a unanimous decision to issue the following statement:
'On the matter of Mode 4 it is unanimously agreed this important issue is outside the remit of Furness Against the Cuts although it is recognised to be a campaign that must be fought.'
Thus the matter was settled and arrangements for the public meeting were then concluded.
FAC is indebted to Barrow and Furness Pensioners' Association for underwriting the public meeting with its Pensioner Rights Campaign NW fund (to be used in the event of a financial shortfall)
Owing to the various commitments of several Steering Group members it was impossible to arrive at a definite date for holding the next Street Stall. It was suggested additional help might be available if people attending the public meeting signed up to assist with the campaign. If a sufficient number of persons (at least three) were available, then a November stall shall take place and details will be posted in a future blog.
Four members of FAC Steering Group waited at the GMB office, Hartington Street, at 7pm on Tuesday 1st to attend the meeting of Barrow Trades Union Council but nobody else turned up! It is but a few weeks ago that the secretary of BTUC complained (in an article published in the local press) that unions were failing to support the Trades Council and that unless things improved he would resign. If Tuesday was an example of the sloppy way in which the organisation is run then it is little wonder that intelligent and serious-minded trade unionists prefer avoid it.
A TUC document on the subject of Mode 4 will be reproduced here as soon as possible.