Is there a plot to kill the independent Nationalist Trades Union Solidarity? That is now a question being seriously asked by many political veterans. For the first year of the existence of Solidarity little was done. Former President Clive Potter found reasons not to do things. He failed even to produce a membership card for those enthusiasts who joined despite his almost complete lack of promotional work.
When Pat Harrington of Third Way took the position of General Secretary, Potter did everything he could to delay the progress of the Union using every bureaucratic objection he could. He sought to block every suggestion Pat Harrington made.Then when this failed he tried to expel Pat Harrington and prevent the election of an expanded Executive team. Reason enough for many to suspect that something untoward was going on! Yet this is by no means the end of the story…
When the British National Party asserted that that agents were being used against the Union the State allied Searchlight magazine specifically responded:-
“Searchlight makes no comment about this allegation. However when Solidarity was set up, we examined its rules and wrote in an internal briefing note in January 2006: ‘It would seem difficult for Solidarity to exercise firm control over who joins, and once people are members they can exercise thier democratic rights to elect the Executive Committe, etc. Any attempt to prevent members exercising their rights could result in a complaint to the Certification Officer [the regulatory authority for trade unions]'”
– ‘Not so solid now’ , Searchlight July 2007, p16.
In the light of this statement it is interesting to note that three people, Potter, McLinden and Mullen have made two ‘Breach of Rule’ complaints each against the Union in the same time period and in collusion to the Certification Office (CO). Additionally Potter and McLinden have brought about a financial investigation into the Union by the CO.
Solidarity is answering all such vexatious and unfounded complaints but nonetheless it is time-consuming and a diversion from the proper functions of the Union. Not only that but it appears to many that the Certification Office is being unwittingly misused as a tool to bureaucratically harass the Union and target Pat Harrington as an individual. Third Way has no doubt that Solidarity will overcome these attempts to stifle it. We have no doubt that Pat Harrington will be exonerated by any fair investigation. The traitors, agents and dupes, Potter, Hawke, McLinden and Mullen will be beaten by determined Nationalist workers.