Today has been the most humiliating experience of my life! I had been summonsed to appear in front of the whole Lodge Committee to explain my ‘forgery’ of the Lodge Secretary’s signature. I was forced to wait outside the committee room for twenty minutes with my stomach churning and my nerves on edge wondering what was going to happen. When I was eventually called in I had to face them all whilst the Secretary again explained the seriousness of my action and how it couldn’t be allowed to go unpunished. It was like a kangaroo court and in my opinion they had decided I was guilty before I went in. I explained exactly what I’d done and why I did it, pointing out that nowhere on the letter was either my name or address so there was no way I could possibly profit from it. I had only been trying to raise funds for the union.
My explanation fell on deaf ears and I was totally shocked when Tommy Wilson launched a personal attack of such a vicious nature I felt quite scared. He accused me of trying to overthrow the Lodge Committee and subvert the minds of the membership with my ‘lunatic propaganda’. He attacked the SWP and said I was their puppet, their ‘agent of destruction’. It would have been laughable if it wasn’t so serious. I was ordered to wait outside whilst they made their decision. The bastards made me wait another twenty minutes as I wondered what they were going to do. It was terrible!
I was called back in and had to stand in front of them whilst the sentence was pronounced. I am to appear in front of the whole Durham Executive on a charge of ‘Fraudulent Conversion’ which could result in my expulsion from the NUM! If Tommy Wilson has his way that is exactly what will happen.In addition I had to hand back my letter of authorisation to collect funds for the union and have been banned from ever collecting funds for the union again. I was, and still am, stunned! Before I left I gave them a cheque for £120 I had received from Colin Barker in Manchester, and made out to the Lodge, and added sarcastically that perhaps they didn’t want any money I had collected. Tommy Wilson snarled that I should ‘stuff it up my arse’, but Slater was more diplomatic and thanked me, adding that it was a shame I’d spoilt myself.
I’ve made my decision to stuff the lot of them, union and SWP! Why should I stick my neck out? I’m going to stay at home and spend more time with Kath and the girls. I’ve done my bit and the reward has not been worth the fuckin’ effort! I feel totally isolated and betrayed and it’s not going to happen again. A couple of comrades have phoned and urged me to attend the union meeting tomorrow but it’s not going to happen. I can’t face giving those bastards the satisfaction of seeing my face as their decision is read out. To be honest I feel too ashamed!