While Unite’s Len McCluskey is dithering about whether to announce his departure this year or next year (he now seems to have finally settled for next year), the GMB displays a ruthless and almost admirable efficiency:
1) Hold congress in Brighton 9th to 13th June, but don’t bother publicising it or reporting on what happened at it.
2) Rule out of order proposed rule-changes submitted to congress which would reduce the number of nominations needed to stand for General Secretary.
3) Hold special Central Executive Council meeting half way through conference, which agrees to stage a General Secretary contest – applying rule-changes just passed at the conference.
4) Announce on 17th June that the General Secretary election process is now underway (although it need not be held until 2020).
5) Announce on 17th June that 50 nominations (equal to about 100 in Unite) will be needed to get on the ballot paper (previously it was 30.)
6) Announce on 17th June: “A period of purdah will commence on Monday 17 June 2019 during which all employees should refrain from active campaigning in line with these by-laws and all employees, Central Executive Council members, Regional Committee members and Regional Council members must refrain from any online activity or social media activity in respect of, related to, or referencing the General Secretary & Treasurer election.”
7) Announce on 17th June: “Save for hustings arranged in accordance with by-law 21, no potential nominee, nominee or candidate may address any meeting of any Branch (including a meeting of his/her own Branch) or Region or Section of the Union or any meeting of any kind whether held in a workplace or elsewhere, on the subject of the election.” This makes it a bit tricky for any rank-and-file candidate to get 50 nominations.
8) Announce General Secretary election result on 31st October.