Slings and arrows

May 30, 1997

Natfhe's 1997 conference must go down as one of the oddest in living memory - which, given the wealth of collective experience, is a very long time.

In what were almost surreal circumstances, the union's former general secretary John Akker was reincarnated - as a journalist.

Mr Akker, who had somehow secured press accreditation, looked somewhat ill-at-ease as he sat with his "fellow" reporters on a bench below the very stage from which he might have otherwise have expected to survey his kingdom.

For the remainder of his time at the conference, Mr Akker frankly looked a little lost. One delegate compared the former leader to the ghost of Hamlet's father come seeking demanding revenge for his untimely demise.

Only time will tell if the denouement will be just as tragic.

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