The ‘Yes Scotland’ Campaign has published a film on their facebook page, showing Roddy Robertson advocating support for independence.
As a private individual, he has the right to do so, however he did not do so as a private individual. He did so in his capacity as the FBU Executive Council member for Scotland.
At the Union’s conference in May 2013, a Resolution was carried that made it absolutely clear that the Union “will remain neutral on this issue and not indicate support for or against Scottish independence“
This policy was reiterated by the General Secretary when he issued a circular to Scottish members and officials in March this year, in which he stated that whilst individual members and officials may wish to participate in debates and campaigning, that “such activity should not be undertaken in the name of the FBU, nor should any indication, hint or suggestion be given that views on a Yes or No vote reflect the views of the union.”
The General Secretary went on to say that “members, particularly officials, who make public comment in relation to a Yes or No vote, or seek to influence public opinion on these matters should make it clear that they speak purely in a personal capacity“.
There is absolutely no doubt that Mr Robertson has openly disregared this Conference policy and is in clear breach of the Union’s Policy and Rules.
Let’s look at what exactly he says in the film:
“I’m voting yes because I believe in public services.
I’m Roddy Robertson. I’m the Executive Council member for the Fire Brigades Union. I’ve been a senior official of the Fire Brigades Union for over 20 years.
I’ll be encouraging my members to vote yes because I believe that that’s the only way we can protect the public services in Scotland.
I’ve watched the damage to my colleagues, my comrades, in the fire service south of the border and I know what’s coming our way if we don’t vote yes“
So, did he fail to state that he was speaking on a personal capacity? – Yes!
Did he undertake such an activity in the name of the FBU? – Yes!
Consequently, did he give an indication, hint or suggestion that his views reflected the views of the union? – Yes!
Did he fail to remain neutral on the issue and not indicate support for or against Scottish independence? – Yes!
Is he in clear breach of the Union’s Conference policy and General Secretary’s instruction? – Yes!
This complete disregard for the policies and rules of the Union follows on from him leaking internal FBU emails to the Press and publicly lambasting the General Secretary in a Sunday newspaper.
In the past few weeks, two of his key supporters have been removed from their posts in the recent round of elections – Mr OBE and Mr Chaudhry (he who supported management’s proposals to cut crewing levels).
Further elections are to follow, which will inevitably see new blood put in place and more of his minions kicked out!
His world is crumbling around him and it appears that he is now completely out of control!
He cannot be allowed to openly flaunt and disregard the Union’s own policies and rules. If ordinary members can’t, then neither can he!
*The film of Mr Robertson can be seen on our Facebook page.