THE POPULAR FRONT FOR THE LIBERATION OF CPSA
FREEDOM! UNITY! SOCIALISM!
REVOLUTION UNTIL VICTORY!
ROUND AND ABOUT
London was ablaze last Wednesday. Cheery Trots painting the town red in every bar alongside veteran campaigners with tears in their eyes; LANNING and his TUFTY CLUB cracking open the bubbly in FALCONCREST and all points west to rejoice at the news of the Moderati defeat in the High Court; and for SERWOTKA and Madame GODRICH a toast from a very special vintage made from the grapes of wrath. It's called Victory. But behind the scenes the players are taking stock of what's been won and who has lost.
Well, BARRY's lost and that's for sure. Before he packed his golf-bags for another holiday in Italy he told the media he would appeal against the decision but few doubt this is just one for the road for his followers.
Many of them had a premonition of defeat. None of them turned up for the Tolpuddle Martyrs beano - normally a Mod piss-up in strength, with just six members on the PCS coach and only one Moderati nonentity plus Sir Roy d'Lewis in it. SKIPPY, SMITH and the others claim they were busy preparing for a union school the next day. Many believe they had something else on their minds.
The magnitude of their disaster is only just sinking in. In May the Moderati won a historic victory over Me First and the Trots, winning an absolute majority on the new NEC. Now all of that is thrown into question by RAMSBLADDER's defeat - provoked by a gamble that could only benefit himself if it succeeded.
The Jockocracy would prefer one of their own but BOYLE is in no hurry to throw his hat into the ring and CURRIE plainly isn't up to it. SKIPPY would like to do it but she hasn't got enough backing to win and anyway she's not Scottish. They will all need time to sort it out and re-invent themselves in the post-Ramsbladder era. But time is something they do not have.
The Left's next moves have been well-telegraphed. They'll hope that the inquiry into the elections will lead to a re-run or fresh elections - a long shot but you never know. They're going to push for rules revision and they've already launched their campaign for the elections scheduled for 2004. Whatever the Mods do will backfire on them - apart from actually meeting some of the left's demands to try and buy time. But this requires subtlety and that is something few if any of them possess.
Some of the rednecks want to sack MAREK on a flimsy pretext to provoke a new GS election. Most know that if they did the Mod candidate will almost certainly lose in today's climate. Others argue that the best strategy is to stall on the NEC and wait until the opposition starts fighting amongst themselves (a strong probability) until the run-up to 2004.
There's some logic in this. What's clear from the GS election in PCS and other unions is that the left can win a postal ballot in a two-horse race between two candidates with clear policy differences. Whether that can be repeated for the Executive is another matter. There the issues are still largely manipulated by the big bloc machines and the horse-trading on the slates. Here the left and Me First face difficult challenges.
MARK has very little room to manoeuvre. Though he relies largely on the votes drummed up by LUNITY Militants and the SOCIALIST CAUCUS, he is a member of neither. He realises that he needs to reach out to a broader swathe of membership - far beyond the high-castes ME FIRST relies on - but all he's got is his trusted friend BATTLEMUCH, recalled to the service this year and already in action together with a small number of personally loyal supporters.
He can't do much to change FALCONCREST or break the grip of the Jockocracy. It's far too big. He would have to get rid of BOYLE, McCANN, PATTERSON, SKIPPY, HANSON, HICKEY and ALLEN and that's just for starters! MAREK might be able to transfer SKIPPY to a place where she can do no harm. He could look into the performance of HANSON and McCANN - both have a "problem" which only abstinence can cure. But that's about it.
That's not all his problems. LORD UNDY has once again risen like a zombie to lead what's left of the Me Fisters and he's already trying to get the left to moderate their demands. UNDY is particularly concerned at any tinkering with the current disgraceful rulebook - not surprising as he drafted most of it - and he's still puffing up his portly friend LANNING as the heir apparent or possible alternative to SERWOTKA in the future.
UNDY's problem is that he's now a chief with very few followers. He's still got to try and win the IRSF-MF back and given their views about his past plans they will need a lot of wooing.
What he's still not grasped is the secret of PCS. That is simply the fact that the direction of the union will ultimately always be decided by the trends within the old CPSA grades and consequently by the factions born from CPSA. The overwhelming majority of members come from the worst paid lower ranks which once was CPSA. The Moderati were almost exclusively drawn from their ranks like LUNITY and the CAUCUS.
He who wins the support at the base of the pyramid can reach the top. He who neglects it tumbles down. BARRY knew this lesson once and now he's been taught it again. Like Pearly Spencer he has indeed played and lost, not won.