Slow motion

May 23, 1997

The odd moment of fun enlivened an otherwise terribly serious AUT council meeting in Scarborough last week. Delegates indulged in a pretty spectacular piece of time wasting over the name of its spring and winter gatherings - "council" or "conference". Not that important, one might think. Yet delegates spent some 30 minutes in earnest debate (although they were simultaneously debating the next motion before deciding "better the devil you know").

But the best council non-starter was the executive's motion calling on the Government to rejoin Unesco. Unfortunately the speed of the new Labour administration caught the exec napping, prompting Bill Trythall (York), who was moving the motion, to say: "It's the first time in 18 years when we've called on the Government to do something and they've done it already." This is thought by insiders to be an underestimate.

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