In a meeting addressed by the General Secretary Jeremy Dear, the BBC London branch heard strong views from members about the NUJ's Israel boycott policy. One member, who works frequently in the Middle East said "I don't want to pay my dues, only to have my views misrepresented by the union." Jeremy Dear explained that the National Executive might find it difficult to find anything in the rulebook allowing for a ballot - but he admittted that the executive could take that decision and accept the risk of censure at next year's ADM. The branch then passed the following motion:
“As BBC journalists and NUJ members we are dismayed at the passing of a motion at ADM calling for a boycott of Israeli goods. As members of a corporation which prides itself on providing impartial news coverage, we cannot associate ourselves with a move which involves taking sides in any conflict. This branch calls on the Executive to hold a ballot of all members to see whether they support the view taken at ADM on an issue which could have a profound effect on the way all British journalists are viewed at home and abroad.”
43 were in favour, 1 against - with no abstentions. It was the best attended branch meeting in recent years - by contrast, the meeting that sent our delegates to ADM was attended by 3 people.