From the TES website Alison Long wrote:
Can we move beyond the well-worn "Martin is a leftie" and consider some of his other attributes? For those of you who do not know me, I am deputy secretary and H&S adviser for Lewisham NUT and am not a member of any political party. The Martin I know is clever, courteous and caring. He is a highly effective negotiator, mostly because he listens carefully and understands the arguments and standpoints of all sides.
Martin works tirelessly to get the best deal for all teachers. He spoke at National Conference of the need for national action not only on pay but on workload and performance management regulations. This is not revolutionary politics, it is plain common-sense trade unionism. We only have to look at the TLR debacle to see that local action was only effective in those divisions with high membership and strong leadership. Action became a bit of a "post-code lottery" - if your local branch was well-organised and well resourced you had a better chance of effective action than if you were part of a small NUT group in your school and/or had local officers who were either over-cautious or who simply did not have the time and resources to help mount school-by-school campaigns.
We are a national trade union. We need to look to other public sector trade unions to help mount a joint campaign against below-inflation pay deals, the burden of unnecessary paperwork and bullying performance reviews.
This is not extreme left-wing politics - this is getting back to our trade-union roots. Ir baffles me that the STA continually passes over the chance to put Martin on the national stage. He is a very effective communicator, extremely knowledgeable about both education issues and trade-unionism, has energy and drive but is, at the same time, on of the most patient and good-humoured people I have ever met.
At our local meetings, it is the SWP who oppose Martin's nomination for national office, as I believe they also do within the STA. Isn't it about time that we ignored inter-factional far-left wrangles and got on with choosing the most competent people for the job? Nominate Martin for Vice President, and then go on to win the campaign to get him elected.
Remember there is a debate on the TES website and anyone can join in.