Monday, November 26, 2007

It was grim up north

Thursday was a grim day - I travelled to Scotland for a family funeral.

Neil was 41 years old, just a few months older than me. He has left a wife and two young children - what was clear, as his friends and work colleagues spoke so passionately about him, is that he will also leave a huge hole in many other people's lives. It was an incredibly sad but amazing funeral - around 300 people there. What's for certain is that each of us, as we thought of Neil, also thought a lot about our own lives and our priorities. Rest in peace Neil.

After a late night back from Scotland and full of cold the last thing I needed was a 9-hour National Executive Council meeting - but it's what was on the agenda.

The meeting talked a great deal about the tough financial climate facing the NUJ and has put forward some motions to the annual conference to curb spending or raise additional funds. Some of them won't be popular and some of them will be thrown out but they may well be essential unless other alternatives can be found.

The NEC also tabled motions on a range of other topics including the protection of sources, multimedia working, Colombia, equal pay, Alan Johnston and the kidnapping of journalists and workplace reps. The deadline for motions is later today and the preliminary agenda is out on 14 December.

Among the other issues the NEC tackled were the industrial situations at The Guardian, BBC, ITV, Informa and union campaigning. John McDonnell MP attended to give his report as secretary of the union's Parliamentary Group.

Saturday afternoon I spoke at a workshop on the media and Venezuela alongside Ian Bruce, the BBC's former correspondent in Caracas at the Hands off Venezuela conference.

Sunday I nursed my cold - oh and then went out to see the Flux of Pink Indians and Steve Ignorant and the remains of Crass - the old anarchist punk is still alive and kicking inside the trade union bureaucrat!

1 comment:

susan said...

Hi Jeremy, I have added you to my blogroll. I will see you in Belfast if not before......