A usual reply to that question is that if members were to know then the government – the enemy – would know the plan.
Now if we were an army made up of obedient and disciplined soldiers, then that reply might suffice. But of course we are not. We are grouped together in a voluntary association and members have to be won, persuaded and energised; they are not a stage army to be marched up hills and down again.
In the previous posting we contrasted our vision of a union to that of the leadership of Left Unity. They are content to ‘run’ or it may be more accurate to say ‘manage’ a top down union. Orders come from the leadership and the activists/members’ job is to implement them. This treats members as an inert body to which things are done to, and done for.
In contrast we want the members to be the active ingredient, for them to show local initiative; we want our union to resemble the UCU over the past weeks, where activist and members over turned the union leadership and on a local level are winning the dispute.
The union’s task is therefore to persuade members/activists into self activity. Are we arguing therefore that the leadership of the union should have no plan; that we hope something just self emerges from the grass roots? No. Do we have a plan? Yes. In part. But we recognise that until any plan has been argued out with the membership and built as a result then any plan can only be provisional and in outline. Over the next weeks we will set out our ideas for discussion but the key thing is that the union begins the discussion now with members and activists as to what next.