Handbags, Peanuts and Quavers

Despite the subdued nature of some delegates this morning – presumably reflecting my own hangover – there’s been plenty of shouting. The Finance paper is normally pretty fiery, but even moreso this year because of the Union’s financial crisis.

Even before we get down to debating the controversial subs increase, a long line forms of people asking various questions on the financial report. The trouble is, much of the questions are dealing with minute details rather than the wider picture. The result is a combination of bewilderment and boredom, unless you happen to be the person asking the questions.

Next, the vexed question of the subs increase. Without a 5% hike, we’re told the NUJ will face an immediate deficit of over £200,000. Our austere colleague in South Yorkshire propose an amendment which would mean a far more modest 0.05% increase – a sum so small the admin would probably cancel out any benefit. The subs increase is a tough one for everyone, but in my view it’s a necessary measure.

Then, more handbags as a motion is discussed over the closure of the Union’s training department. This is effectively to censure the National Executive and the NUJ’s leadership. Again, it’s controversial and tempers flare. How anyone has the energy to do this is beyond me. Perhaps it’s down to genuine passion, or adrenalin.

Or in my case, a much needed mid morning snack.


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