Thanks to the President, Chair, and to the General Secretary for allowing me to address the NEC. It's unusual to talk about  your own case but this isn't really about me and I won't go into great detail here.

Two weeks ago I was suspended, along with my colleague Jawad Botmeh, our emails shut down and computers removed from our desks, in what is widely recognised as an attack on our union.

It's an attack on our right to organise.

It's an attack on our right to elect the reps that we choose.

It's not about me or Jawad, about our politics or his Palestinian heritage.

It's about our right to challenge management rather than just manage their challenges.

So thanks for the support of the NEC because you all know that this is an attack on every one of you, and every rep in our union.

The members have been brilliant; the reps have been absolutely solid; we had 150 at a rally on Monday lunch to support out campaign.

Without this support, this could be my last NEC and who would want to stand for election to the NEC for the vacancy that would leave?

Who will want to stand up for our members if we allow this attack to happen?

So thanks for allowing me to address this NEC and for your ongoing support.


Max Watson, NEC, Feb 20th 2013