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ROUND AND ABOUT
by Judas Iscariot - December 1998

Because of the huge number of JOCKS vying for positions at the sow's breast (no changes there), it is inevitable that shenanigans involving them come to our attention from time to time. It was the PTC tradition for a SCOTTISH night at the end of Conference and for a Scottish Hotel. For the first time since the Secret Left coup in the NUCPS neither happened. There has been a great deal of falling out North of the border since the merger and one former darling of the left ROBIN McKENDRICK, who works for the Scottish Office, has defected to ME 1st. As one of the prime organisers of Scottish activism, his defection has hit the Scottish Left quite hard. They had their revenge however, and his vote on the STUC fell by about half.

The Left in Scotland are in a mess. Their full-time stalwarts PAT "Mr Invisible" KELLY (soon to be redundant, in any case) and ALBIE O'NEILL are having to deal with mass resignations of members in the Museums and Libraries of Scotland who are complaining about PCS imposing pay deals on them. A recent ballot at the National Library of Scotland saw a vote to accept a previously unacceptable pay deal carried by the membership 18 - 13 after Mr O'NEILL had declared a large number of NO votes inadmissible because members had crossed out the ballot number. Such is their suspicion of the union Scottish full-time cadre that members thought that HQ was keeping a list of NO voters to weed out at some stage... 20 members have resigned and are considering setting up a branch of UNISON.

Questions need to be asked about the appointment of EDDIE REILLY to the freshly created post of PCS Scottish Officer.Conveniently graded to exclude the natural candidate for the job MICHAEL McCANN, who is current Scottish Officer, this really does smack of jobs for the boys. McCANN was never a candidate - nor was anybody else - because the job was not advertised. This is also a bone of contention with other full-timers who, seeing no prospect of suitable vacancies post-merger, opted for redundancy. As of course did REILLY, who even went to the length of taking out a loan, believed to be in the region of £11,000, against his redundancy pay-off . So what is the forum for answers? Logic dictates that it should be the NEC, which met last week and decided on the appointment. However, it is too much to expect them to behave as adults, particularly when the leading faction (ME 1st) is determined to have its placeman (A Tankie) and the "opposition" (Moderati) are equally determined that either their blue-eyed boy gets the job or it's advertised. A previous NEC had asked BARRY to look into appointing REILLY to the new post, but he had refused. Apparently PETER DONELLAN told him it was his last chance and a further refusal to carry out NEC instructions would be deemed a breach of contract...

A formal motion on the appointment of REILLY was put to the NEC, opposed by BARRY but supported by SHELDON. Though after 17 minutes of vitriolic attack, RAMSBLADDER seemed to have alienated some of his supporters. Before the vote was taken, MARION and the Moderati walked out, anticipating a loss of quorum for the meeting. The tactic failed when 2 "independants" and DEM LEFT stooge MARK MURPHY from Chessington declined to walk, thus, although they did not vote in favour of the motion, they legitimised the vote just by being there. And that is how the post was created and filled over McCANN's head.

MURPHY,although scheduled to walk out, didn't because he said he couldn't see the point. Perhaps he will see the point when the Moderati whip the rug from under his feet at the next election. LEO BRIGHTLEY who is supposed to be in charge of the DIM LEFT on the NEC will have some explaining to do to his Moderati paymasters (again) about his insubordinate lad. McCANN is not inconsiderably upset and is threatening to consult m'learned friends. Other important issues dealt with by the NEC last week included Motions passed at Conference calling for rule changes and a rules revision conference were devolved to sub-committees, so that's safely out of the way till the next BDC in 2000.