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ROUND AND ABOUT
August is, of course, the silly season for news as most of us are bound for the sun to escape the monsoon season that has added a new meaning to global warming. Nevertheless life goes on at Chateau Falconcrest, albeit at a slower pace now that the Grandees are on their summer hols.
But there's growing unease in the 4TM camp at JAKE WILDE'S decision to stand down from his only elected post to spend more time advancing his career in the service. Though this came as no surprise to 4TM insiders, throwing in the towel clearly shows that JAKE thinks 4TM have no chance in next year's elections. While 4TM will have no problem in topping up their slate with no-hopers who simply want to see their names on the ballot paper that still leaves PRIESTLEY and BINKS with the problem of who's going to do all the donkey work for the tiny band who have half a chance of getting on the NEC. JAKE had built himself up to national importance with name recognition throughout the union. Though the MAD MONK and his cronies still enjoy considerable prestige within their old Revenue fiefdom they cut no ice with the rest of the union. MOIRA CAMPBELL has a fight on her hands to keep her seat. DAMIAN CARR is not in the running and the old Moderati bruisers like WILLIE SAMUEL and JOE COX have no influence outside their own workplaces.
Talking about has-beens, ALISTAIR MCLEAN, a former member of the old Customs GEC, and long time editor of the in house magazine lost out in the recent elections to GEC. Not to put too fine a point on it, Alistair has been vociferous in his condemnation of those who got what they voted for in the elections, continually claiming that HMRC had no one looking after the interests of members in Scotland to anyone who would listen.
Of course, ALISTAIR means that the only ones elected from Scotland are from Left Unity i.e. HAMISH DRUMMOND, NICK MCCANN and HELEN MCFARLANE. He has been implying that their loyalties would not lie with members based in Scotland , as they would blindly follow the LUNITY line as dictated from on high.
Well that's not the case as far as MCCANN goes, as he is more likely to be using LU climb up the greasy pole. His own Branch certainly feels there was no quality among LU activists at GEC level, based on how the LEAN dispute was handled.
But it's a funny old world, as Mrs THATCHER, once noted. KERRY FAIRLESS, ex Customs, and now the new AGS , has put it to the GEC, with the apparent blessing of the Grandees, that since ALISTAIR has experience of national negotiations, he should be enlisted to assist FAIRLESS with the role of AGS on Health and Safety, despite the fact that ALISTAIR has no real experience in this field. Many branches are watching this closely, believing this to be a dangerous precedent to set, particularly as there are so many good Health and Safety specialists out there. Quite funny when we consider how often our people condemn management for not having competent people in place.
Old-timers like ALISTAIR do, however, know the name of the game while PCS tyros only understand the rules and this can plainly be seen in the antics of the unelected "National Young Members Committee" that met on 14 th July in Vauxhall Bridge Road . As usual National Young Members Organiser TRACEY EDWARDS talked long and hard about what she's been up to. She went to Glastonbury as PCS had six places on offer to young PCS members through the Workers' Beer Company. The hand-picked PCS "delegation" consisted of one non-member and 2 over-age members, but that would barely be noticed at this festival for ageing hippies and, in any case, such details are trivial when the struggle for workers' rights are at stake. Sadly it appeared that some workers were more equal than others as squabbles over the allocation of the shifts resulted in them "missing all the good stuff" while the PCS t-shirts were being nicked rather than sold.
TRACEY EDWARDS (who is a member of SOLIDARITY, a sprig of the old Scottish Socialist Party, but this has nothing to do with her getting the job) couldn't give a timescale on the democratisation of the network as instructed by a then-half-empty-Conference. She's going to write a plan, which will include a timetable for elections to the committee (i.e. when Grandees have found enough people to stand).
Of most interest to us was the update on the YOOF WING's "campaign to destroy the PFL". It turns out that JANICE GODRICH is in receipt of a petition of some fifty names collected at National Conference against the "homophobic" PFL (Thursday's conference 2007 issue). Janice has said she will "see what she can do".
Meanwhile the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Committee AGM took place in LU ( surely DWP - Ed ) HQ Leeds. All 20 attendees were kindly provided with an LU leaflet upon their arrival. Unsurprisingly all named were elected, even those who were too busy to attend but not busy enough to collect the facility time that goes with the role. Expect some rumblings of discontent at the next East Yorks & North Lincs Revenue Branch BEC however. They nominated one of their own for VP and 2 for committee members. Sadly only one was successful. PETE GODDARD was elected unopposed as VP but JAMES ASHTON and ADAM GRIMMER missed out. Whether this was anything to do with the fact that GODDARD was handing out the afore-mentioned LU leaflet and ASHTON and GRIMMER weren't on it will have to remain a mystery of democracy.
Back at the Home Office President HAMMOND is under pressure with the appointment of new Group Sec, PAUL O'CONNOR, formerly of HMRC Group and a Regional Chair for NW, something of a position Hammond can only dream of although he was heard to say he fancies a place on the NEC (dream on!)
It appears his grip is slowly loosening as AS CLEMENTS (former NEC and an old HMRC mate of O'CONNORS, and spouse of HELEN CORKERS) has got to grip with issues getting support for a ballot on industrial action in the Immigration Service. Unheard of previously for any members within the Home Office to be informed of what's going on never mind a ballot for IA!
We hear that HAMMOND is very much seeking to rescue the situation by attempting to appear conciliatory at GEC's and seeking a consensus view on all matters. Further trouble is predicted for HAMMOND as he tries to get a grip with things as management attack his old chums in the regions. We hear BOSMAN is attracting management attention for his lack of official work; we await more reports from the coalface shortly!
It's so long ROD BACON, who finally retired to take his well-earned rest in July and farewell ARTHUR NEWELL, a leading CPSA Moderati and pillar of his local Conservative Association who passed away at the age of 92 in July. NEWELL was a Thespian who supplemented his expenses and meagre civil service salary by playing bit-parts in TV soaps. His major claim to fame was that he played a Sensorite in DOCTOR WHO. Now he really has reversed the polarity of the neutron flow.
Non simper ea sunt quae videntur
Things are not always what they appear to be
Phaedrus(ca. 15 BC - ca. AD 50)
The Bible; Testament 3.0 leaked on the internet
Extracts from the eagerly awaited book ‘The Bible – Testament 3.0’ filled the internet last week, and several websites posted what appeared to be copies of the complete manuscript, which has been kept in a tightly sealed cave of secrecy leading up to its Sunday release.
If the online material is genuine, it would represent a major breach of security that God Inc. have been working feverishly to protect. The publishers of the blockbuster fantasy series released a statement saying ‘Thou shalt not read our book on thy internet’, at which lots of excited fans were alerted to the fact that it was on the internet.