Radio Five this morning were having a pre conference chat with TUC officials and finished their chat with the thorny topic of the EU Constitution referendum.
The presenter put it to the TUC official that two unions had submitted motions asking for the EU constitution referendum be debated and voted on. The response though from the TUC official was less than clear. She said it would very probably be debated. However, another speaker claimed that Gordon Brown had already put pressure on the TUC leadership to either :
1) Allow a deabte but have no vote.
2) Subsume the motion in to a further motion which the TUC could not oppose.
The point is, the TUC, whose members are largely pro EU, but anti constitution, has a real opportunity to send Gordon Brown a message, and also to point him in the right direction. I have no doubt that should Gordon Brown fail to offer a referendum, it will cost him votes and support. If Gordon brtown can afford to lose a few % points in the polls, then I'd be very surprised.
So the TUC needs to make up its mind whether it will be a friend to Gordon Brown and point him in the right direction, even if it is advice he does not want. Alternatively, the TUC can be the very worst kind of friend, a lackey, "yes" men, who tell Gordon whet he wants to here, but not the truth.
It could be a defining moment for the Labour movement. I wonder if the TUC is up to the job.