The Left

NUJ Left Plans To Revive Israel Boycott

Here is a message from Joy MacKnight

From: joy macknight []
Sent: 13 January 2009 23:02
Subject: [leftlist] Resolution on Support for Gaza – Stop the Israeli

Greetings brothers and sisters,

I think as the NUJ Left we should be taking a stand on the issue of the latest round of murderous atacks on Gaza – or example supporting the demos outside the Israeli embassy and on the streets. Maybe we could think of calling an action targeting the BBC or national paper offices that are biasedly reporting what is going on – even down to how many were on the demo last saturday.

Below is a resolution that I wanted to put to the London Magazine Branch last night but we weren’t quorate, so although I raised the issue we didn’t vote on the resolution. Are there other branches where we can raise this?

I know some may be hesitant to raise the issue of the boycott or blackade so soon again but 1) I think we need to start building within the the union for this position so we can win it; and 2) we should take our lead from the Irish TUC and other unions who have adopted the boycott tactic. We need to step up action against the Israeli state for it is obvious that they won’t negotiate.

Can we hold a public meeting? Does anyone have other ideas of what we should do?

In solidarity

And here is a response from Tim Gopsill, the NUJ’s Press and PR Officer and editor of The Journalist:

From: Tim Gopsill
Date: Wed, Jan 14, 2009 at 2:32 PM
Subject: RE: [leftlist] Resolution on Support for Gaza – Stop the Israeli Aggression

I think Joy is right – we should not be hesitant about resurrecting the boycott call.

Last year the reaction to ADM’s call caught the union on the hop and for good reasons perhaps at the time the left went along with the leadership’s strategem to wriggle out of it.

Now things are different. For one thing public opinion has definitely shifted in favour of the Palestinians; that may swing back a bit after the immediate atrocity as memories fade but the issue will remain higher in the public consciousness, and this is the main reason:

What was wrong last year was there had been no debate in the union; there should be and the left should initiate it.

We should not be inhibited by any worry that a boycott may or may not be politic for the NUJ. The decision will not be made by us, nor by the NEC, but by ADM. It may be that ADM decides against, but that is no reason not to have the debate.

The deadline for motions for ADM is July so we should start soon. I think branches should start discussing motions like this one.


That’s the far Left strategy. Try to take over unions, fiddle with procedure to get their trotty motions discussed, and even when you lose, at least you’ve had your 15 minutes of member-subsidise publicity.

This is why the far Left needs to be kicked out of all elected positions in the Union movement. They’ve no interest in pay and conditions. They’re happy to wreck a union, as long as it helps them to recruit. They’re waiting for the Revolution, after all.