Please note: This has been replaced by our 2017 Version.
The RCN has been growing over the last few years. This has meant some changes in how we see ourselves and how we organise. In the process we have updated our What We Stand For policy. We have also developed a method of working which members felt should be codified. This Comradely Conduct Policy was unanimously agreed at the RCN aggregate held on February 22nd in Fife.
Comradely Conduct Policy
The RCN has adopted and developed certain protocols for meetings, exchanges involving the electronic media and social gatherings. This is a working document and should be under regular review.
Our goals are to:-
- foster an atmosphere in which all members can participate to their fullest without feeling inhibited, intimidated, embarrassed or belittled.
- foster confidence, self respect and feelings of being valued.
- further develop a model of debate where differences of opinion are expressed through comradely discussions that lead us all to a higher level of understanding.
Underpinning all of these is an understanding that:-
- The way we treat each other now is the model for the communistic society we want to see grow in the future.
- No one has a monopoly on the having ‘the right answer’.
- The ‘right answer’ today may not be the best for tomorrow.
To that end we do not tolerate behaviours that are counter to these goals. Rather than exhaustively list all possible types of ‘proscribed’ behaviours (although illustrative examples are appended), we would, in the first instance, put the responsibility on to each individual to consider the effect of their behaviour, or intended behaviour, with respect to the stated goals.
Secondly, in the event that any member feels negatively (hurt, embarrassed, insulted, etc) they do have a responsibility to speak either directly to the member causing that feeling, or to another member, as they see fit. A sincere apology and an assurance that the offending behaviour will not be repeated should be forthcoming, or where there is no agreement that offence was given the issue could be brought to the wider membership.
It goes almost without saying that aggression, whether physical, sexual or verbally threatening, will lead to suspension or termination of membership, and the victim in these cases would not be expected to have to address the perpetrator. When such serious accusations are made, the accused is suspended from membership until the next possible aggregate, but would only have their membership further suspended or terminated after being given the right to defend themselves and the accusation upheld.
Insults, personal comments, turns of phrase, use of tone of voice and facial and bodily gestures designed to undermine or intimidate are unacceptable. It is firstly the job of the chair to ensure that such behaviour is challenged; secondly it is the job of those attending, although any individual who feels they have been subject to such behaviour also has the right to appeal to the chair or to the meeting.
Deliberate misrepresentation of another’s points, whether at meetings or electronically, is uncomradely. In the case of meetings it is firstly the job of the chair to ensure that such behaviour is challenged, secondly the job of those attending. In the case of electronic communication if a person is offended they should raise this at the earliest opportunity with the chair or the membership secretary or it could be raised by the wider membership and dealt with at the next meeting as appropriate.
Frequent and/or lengthy contributions to debates or ignoring the agenda item under discussion are frustrating to others and are inconsiderate. It is the job of the chair to ensure that members’ contributions are kept to appropriate time limits, and that no person enters into discussion again before another who has not spoken.