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ROUND AND ABOUT
By Judas Iscariot - Ides of February 2006

Mess rooms were packed on Monday to read the dispatches of last week's big push that sent Management reeling across the entire DWP front. The cheery faces of our members in the trenches, unlike those of the Hun, told the story.

DWP Management admit that 50,000 went on strike, therefore probably 70,000 were absent from work. It was a bloody good hit and all reports indicate a better turnout than on the last offensive on 5th November 2004 .

Management's "robust policy" for dealing with the disruption amounted to shutting understaffed offices and relying on their secret weapon of offering overtime to clear the backlog. Only scabs are likely to pick up that offer, and when, inevitably they go sick for more than 8 days in a rolling 12 month period and are up for a warning, the local rep will advise them to contact DWP Group at Leeds for representation: with a shrinking workforce and striking to save jobs, scabbing is becoming less tolerated.

Hardship funds exist at Branch and National level to help alleviate acute financial suffering, so we can assume that scabs are driven either by greed or other principles incompatible with belonging to a trade union.

We must confront this issue and re-educate those who seek to undermine the common cause. This is hardly helped by having a bunch of loonies and timeservers in charge of the Education Corps: do you really want to attend a Branch Organisers' school to be shouted at by CHARLIE McDONALD (yes, he runs them)?

Back at Chateau Falconcrest the Lunity leaders are rejoicing at their double victory: success on the front and in the bitter factional struggle between the grandees and Socialist Caucus that goes on behind the lines.

While the grandees were mobilising the troops for the big offensive, McDONALD and LEE ROCK urged their followers to use every opportunity to snipe at the grandees.

SERWOTKA was not amused at their antics at the London rally and in Sheffield ROCK launched an attack on the GEC for doing too little, too late while conveniently forgetting that his pals stopped a call for strike action in the run up to the general election in favour of sectarian posturing in London.

GEORGE GALLOWAY'S antics came to the fore at the London Strike rally with ROB BRYSON boasting about how the GORGEOUS ONE put down JODY MARSH. A CARCASE wag claimed this was a blow for the working class, forcing an embarrassed PHIL PARDOE to tell comrade BRYSON to "shut up".

But it seems that GALLOWAY is not the only one ignoring his constituents. Members at TAVISTOCK SQUARE had to ring SERWOTKA to get PARDOE to pull his finger out and deal with the Industrial Injury claims arising from the bombing that took place outside, err last summer.

In Newcastle HMRC KEVIN McHUGH and other former CPSA stalwarts from all sides of the political spectrum had promised to help the DWP CSA with leafleting for the strike. This was sadly delayed when someone drove home with the leaflets forgotten in the boot of his car. No-one's owned up to it but the chief suspect is Big Fat Geordie Bastard JOE COX.

The struggle to cut the CARCASE down to size culminated at the DWP Lunity Gateshead conference called to agree slates and motions for Group conference .

The CARCASE apparently mobilised for the Gateshead meeting, but not well enough it seems as they lost every single vote. They spent the morning laughing and sniggering during grandee speeches, but disappeared from the second session (which was about EQUALITY issues) to a rally addressed by the ROCK/LLOYD leadership in an attempt to bolster morale, though to little avail. In the end only two CARCASE members made it onto the slate, RED BACON and CHRISTINE HULME.

The National Big List has now been to the grandees to negotiate a common slate with their PCS Democrat allies. The Democrats expected to be rewarded for their loyalty and they've got what they wanted: GLENYS MORRIS down for vice-president and eight seats on the slate for the usual creeps, timeservers and Ian Albert. Paula Brown, Steve Comer, Mary Ferguson, Neil License, Victoria Steeples, Graham Taylor and Garry Winder form the rest of their elite crew.

None of this helps the hapless JAKE WILDE whose 4thMembers faction looks set to be crushed again by the Lunity juggernaut. All he's got to show for a year's work is the recruitment of JOHN (GOEBBELS) FERRETT, the "independent" Home Office section leader, currently under fire from the grandees for not opposing the dawn deportation raids on asylum seekers that's top of the agenda of the Scottish Socialist Party at this moment in time.

LEE ROCK, the Cockney voice of Barnsley , meanwhile languishes on sick leave suffering from "stress" (caused by having to do a real job by all accounts). He is apparently seeking a transfer on health grounds to Sheffield in an attempt to get a union post that attracts facility time. No, really..

Back in Geordieland SEAN FAHEY takes the early bath on 10th March at the age of 56. MCHUGH has taken over as branch sec and he has also been co-opted onto the HMRC GEC. He was full of himself when he heard the news until it was pointed out that as he does not have a vote he is no threat to the Mad Monk's lot and that his appointment keeps him off the Group conference floor as a speaker!

IAN WILSON (DWP Hexham), aka MR FRAN HEATHCOTE, took his whack last November after a month of leaving do's. His last Regional Committee was on the 24 th November 2005 , the day that legalised 24 hr drinking came into force. Ian, one of the original MOONLIGHT 85, proved the point that you can win after 20 years of campaigning behind closed curtains and smoke filled rooms.

KIM MORGAN (DWP Regional organiser) kindly arranged STEVE RICHARDSON'S 50 th birthday bash for the 20 th December 2005 , inviting various dignitaries including KEVIN KELLY and STEVE CAWKWELL to a gargantuan piss-up unaware that the drunken bum will not be 50 until next year! Still they had a good practice run for next year.and the fun continued at  JEAN HALLIDAY'S engagement bash in January. The Passport Agency VP is going to marry some bloke who makes diggers and farm machinery.needless to say RICHARDSON did justice to the bar.

It'sonthePCSwebsitesoitmustbetrue: BUNTER has come a cropper with his claim that 2 branch nominations should be enough to stand for GS. The Certification Officer has ruled against CURRIE and in favour of the NEC. "It is regrettable that the Union has been compelled to defend itself against such an unfounded complaint, especially that it has necessitated the expenditure of approximately £30,000 in legal fees. Nevertheless, the outcome of the case has, once again, confirmed that PCS is a democratic, member-led union which sets the highest standards in the conduct of its elections." Wrote Janice and Mark on 23rd January, which would be all very well, but SERWOTKA believes that ONE nomination should be sufficient to stand and has said so. Doesn't bode very well for FATBOY SLIM and the MODERATI's resurrection shuffle, though. Funny how things go in 30's - 30 NEC ordinary members, £30,000 legal fees, 30 pieces of silver....

Suave mari magno, turbantibus aequora ventis e terra magnum alterius spectare laborum

It is pleasant, when the seas runs high, to view from land the great distress of another.
Titus Lucretius Carus
99 - 55 BC