Initial response to SA conference
forwarded this response
I will add just a couple of minor points.
tedious speech from the chair by Nick Wrack (who had already spoken
at the outset) lasted not 15 minutes, but certainly 20 minutes and maybe
I managed to fall asleep twice during it. Since the conference had
50 minutes late, this ponderous filibuster was clearly a device to make
quite sure that debate was kept to the bare minimum, and to show who was
charge (i.e. "I can speak for as long as I like, you are limited to 3 or
minutes each, if it pleases us to call you").
The extremely hostile rant by Chris Bambery, full of spurious
was evidently designed to intimidate anyone inclined to vote against the
task group's motion. Bambery may have been provoked by some silly
earlier by John Nicholson, but this did not justify his outburst.
The circulation of a leaflet from the SADP "Why we are walking out of
conference" went down pretty badly with several non-aligned people that
spoke to. Inevitably, the fact that the leaflet had been produced in
advance, and a meeting room had been booked in advance at the nearby
community centre, and the SADP and supporters didn't move the motions
they had submitted, meant that the SADP appeared as a bunch of people
are determined to be in opposition come what may. Having myself signed
SADP petition "Defend, Maintain and Build the Socialist Alliance" - and
would sign it again - I personally felt betrayed by this walkout.
Easily the best speech of the entire day was the first one after lunch,
Andy Higginbottom of the Colombia Solidarity Campaign, who had provided
catering. He outlined some of the dangers that trade unionists and
families are exposed to in Colombia. This put all the posturing by the
of us into perspective.
SUN welcomes further
responses to SA conference