Standing apart;Diary

26th February 1999 at 00:00
Poor Doug McAvoy. Ever the suitor, never the groom.

The NUT's general secretary is a long-time advocate of marriage between the unions. More muscle, better results, goes his thinking. His latest attempt to put this into action comes with an appeal to fellow gen secs, suggesting a joint ballot on the Government's dreaded proposals for performance-related pay.

No dice. The NASUWT's Nigel de Gruchy, sensing a scam, snipes: "I don't want to play a part in the election campaign of another trade union leader. I'd prefer to leave it to the democratic process." (Doug's leadership is being challenged by left-winger Christine Blower.) Peter Smith at the ATL, also in the throes of an election, looks similarly unlikely to march under the NUT banner. Incidentally, David Blunkett - assuming he's over the shock of the Sheffield sit-in - addresses the NUT's Easter conference in Brighton and The Diary gathers he'd like nothing better than a headline-catching bust-up with Doug and the comrades.

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