On a damp and chill Halifax night in November, a group of trade union members and friends gathered to talk about Brexit. The title of the meeting, “Who stole our Brexit?”, tapped into the public shock at the betrayal being enacted before our eyes – and would be attractive to many who would not ordinarily be drawn to a union gathering.
To their credit, the organisers of the meeting, Calderdale Trades Council, did not take the now habitual trade union approach of holding up Brexit as a thing of scorn to be mocked, but rather, conducted a measured debate with speakers both for and against.
The evening was civilised, no punches were thrown, but, it has to be said, in all likelihood few views were altered. Those who came, active past or present members of unions and local campaign groups already knew their minds.
That said, it was a bold and imaginative step for a trades council to take, and it would certainly be timely for other trades councils to follow suit, and perhaps consider publicising via local press and media.