THE POPULAR FRONT FOR THE LIBERATION OF CPSA
FREEDOM! UNITY! SOCIALISM!
REVOLUTION UNTIL VICTORY!
ROUND AND ABOUT
While we bask in the greatest heat wave since records were taken, BARRY'S been sweating on more important matters - his future career. Though the Great Scot is due to retire in ten months time he's long made it clear that he's going to do more than improve his handicap in the years to come.
At the July NEC he proposed himself along with GWENDA BINKS, a Me First nonentity, as the union's representatives for the TUC General Council for the year beginning September 2001. The Moderati and the Me Fisters closed ranks on this slate brushing aside the fury of LUNITY who wanted SERWOTKA to take one of the TUC seats. The Mods and Undymen argued that the fact that RAMSBLADDER goes in May 2002 was irrelevant. He could continue to represent the union until September 2002 and be invited to attend the NEC to report on the good work that he had done - based on his previous record over the years.
It's certainly a novel argument though some of the Me Fisters are claiming they only endorsed it because the President had said that to nominate anyone else would put PCS at risk of breaching Ramsbladder's contract.
No one knows what Barry wants or will get in the future but toadying in the corridors of power is going to play a large part in it. The Great Scot has gone out of his way to endorse Gordon Brown's Treasury thinking on privatisation and PFI. At the July NEC Serwotka and LUNITY were able to exploit the confusion and divisions between the Mods and Me First and got an advisory paper passed on the way forward in opposition to PFI/PPP. But when it came to concrete action on TUC motions both right-wing blocs again closed ranks around a draft which accepted that there was a role for the private sector.
And to rub it in BARRY then wrote to The Guardian - a paper read mainly by teachers, high castes and Trots - stating "My union, the biggest civil service union and sixth largest in the country, has never denied a role for the private sector in helping deliver public services" adding that "last week the PCS executive affirmed that there is a legitimate role for the private sector in this area".
The Trots are predictably bleating that this is in breach of Conference motion 683 ignoring the fact that Barry has never taken any notice of conference motions. Careful reading of his letter will show that he is also correct in his statements - entirely as far as CPSA went and technically accurate as far as PCS goes with the exception of conference wish for a national campaign to put pressure on the government to abandon outsourcing, market testing, PFI/PPP and all other forms of privatisation.
Lord Undy's arcane strategy of trying to win over the low-caste Mods with a hint of radicalism while winning over what his ilk call the "sensible left" is in tatters. His worst fear - that Me First could be squeezed between Lunity and the Moderati - is a much more likely scenario.
The unholy alliance with the secret left Unity bloc gave them nothing apart from the albatross-like LANNING campaign - which UNDY'S topmen carried the can for - and an equally Byzantine scheme for a merger with Unison which would be disastrous in the extremely unlikely event that it ever takes place.
Me First also suffered a further blow in the Customs elections. Lunity gained two and held two seats on the Group Executive and the Group Presidency was won by the perennial RAY ALDERSON (hobbies: drinking, cricket, union politics and communism in that order) who toppled Me Fister FRANK MCLOUGHLIN running as a "people's candidate".
Meanwhile the resistance suffered a sad blow last week. The Inter-galactic Space Cadets have gone into hiding after receiving countless threats from other organisations with the same initials. All that's left is a holding page on the Web but they've vowed to return!
TOLPUDDLE AND BEYOND
Many of you will be unaware that PCS has provided a sculpture to stand outside the TUC museum - a very worthy cause for members subs, and something which PCS should shout about. Why the hush?
The statue was unveiled the day before the march and festival amidst no fanfare at all, by ...HUGH LANNING, who spent much of his time being mistaken for SERWOTKA and having to explain with red face that at the time the decision was taken, it was anticipated that he would be GS. He was still visibly upset on the day of the march to such an extent that he, SHELDON and PRIESTLEY felt that they could not face the long haul through the village and back and remained hiding their collective shame in the beer tent, sending instead their lapdog, BOB BOWMAN (Lanolin 2000 fame - doing penance).
SERWOTKA brought his family for the day out - it's good to see the lad taking an interest in mainstream events, although he did sit at the back of the coach. Could the fact that his kids returned from Tolpuddle with scores of free balloons provided by UNISON have any bearing on the "secret" talks? Can the GS elect be bought by balloons?
That nice black lady whose kids only know the chorus to 2 songs (interminably) was there and SKIPPY provided her usual too-much-food-and-not-enough-booze picnic. JAZZA excelled himself by booking a coach with an onboard toilet that didn't work, resulting in such frequent comfort stops on the return journey that SIR WOY began to delude himself it was so late he would be mugged returning home from FALCONCREST, in spite of it being pointed out that nobody's that desperate.
Unconnected with our rabble was a lone protestor got up as Jesus, complete with loincloth and cross made from 2 scaffold boards who took part in the march - quite what the local vicar who blesses the banners made of it is not on record. He had a conspiracy theory that he was being crucified by FREEMASONS. Fortunately Grandmaster KONRAD PEUTHERER was on hand to offer brotherly advice.
A sprinkling of bit players put in an appearance, but a dearth of top dogs: No DONELLAN - presumably he thought PRIESTLEY would deputise for him. This might have worked if BEARDY could be relied on to lay off the sauce for 15 minutes. No SARAH JONES, doubtless too busy discussing Scotland with her constant companion. No BOFF, no RUNSWICK, no GODRICH. No REAMSBOTTOM, but then again - he's had the foreman's job for a very long time now.....No UNDY, No CURRIE - lard is now covered by foot and mouth travel restrictions, no McVICAR, no TERRY ADAMS. The list is endless. You can't afford not to polish up your TU credentials when there are elections looming, particularly this year when PCS provided the centrepiece at the birthplace of trade unionism.