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ROUND AND ABOUT
by Judas Iscariot - January(2) 2002

Now that the season of goodwill has ended, it's business as usual in Whitehall and Falconcrest. Last week a series of inspired "RED MENACE" articles appeared in the paid press slagging off SERWOTKA, other public sector and transport union leaders and poor old Arthur Scargill as well for good measure. The features in The Scum, the Financial Times and The Times were more or less identical in theme while The Guardian confined itself to sniping at King Arfur.

The first objective is to try and justify the Government's intransigence in the face of strikes and claims from the public sector and the railway unions and no doubt the powers that be think this will give the right-wing blocs a gee-up when it comes to the AGMs. But it will do little to boost the MODERATI's chances under the dead hand of self-styled "Leader" CURRIE. And it can only embarrass ME FIRST, whose leading cabal like to pose as "left of centre" when it reality they are all things to all men and will say anything to bag some more votes.

LUNITY kicked the ball off early publishing their list of candidates in mid-January (see link on HOME(ish) page) but there were few surprises in their declarations. JANICE GODRICH, as predicted, is the Presidential candidate, followed by CAWKWELL and WILLIAMSON (Admin & Allied), Sue Bond (Exec & Allied) and KATHY LIDDELL (IR) for veeps. The rest of the EC list is a bunch of predictable has-beens and old bores including the tiny band of UNITY dregs led by the redoubtable ROLAND BIOSAH MBE. Of course it hardly matters, as LUNITY'S strategy is to keep what's it's got on the NEC and try to win a few more seats for good measure in the mean time. They then hope try to play off the two dinosaurs against each other in the future. But given that over half the list hasn't a prayer of getting on they could have at least chosen one token member under the age of 30 to grab the "yoof" vote.

UNITY, a secret society comprised mainly of high-caste former communists, has been playing a curious double game. Last Autumn they held secret talks with the MODERATI in Leeds to see if they could cobble together an unholy alliance against the Trots in the DWP to be. Nothing came of it and they have subsequently struck a deal with LUNITY largely to keep their ageing time-servers departmental posts - and the juicy 100 per cent facility time and perks that go with them. The ASSORTED TROTS were happy to oblige knowing full well that these people will all be retiring in the next five years or so and once they're out of the way they'll will have the entire left franchise to themselves.

The dinosaurs are still sleeping in their dens dreaming of the final mauling which will give the Mods or the Undymen total control of the union - or at least an overall majority on the NEC.

Meanwhile there's still a strike to be won - or at least a good draw to be attained. The next protest stoppages are set for the end of the month and MAREK has been stomping up and down the country trying to boost morale for a protracted campaign. This has been largely successful though he can't have been amused at his last experience at the Brent office. When he told CHRIS FRAUD that he had brought along a GEC speaker as well to spur on the troops, CHRIS had absolutely no idea who she was. Step forward DOREEN PURVIS, late of MENDICANT and the notorious NEWCASTLE EIGHT, now trying to make a comeback in LUNITY.

SERWOTKA'S strategy - basically the old CPSA one of a war of attrition - is now largely understood except by the Department, which still hopes to force the members back to work with nothing but their tails between their legs. This is always Management's hope in any dispute. This particular Management team, drawn largely from the ranks of the old DE, has little or no understanding of the nature of the dispute or why so many members are up in arms to keep the safety screens if their black propaganda is anything to go by.

All it consists of is trying to dismiss the hazards faced in unprotected offices, dismiss the rank-and-file leaders as lefty loonies, while spreading childish rumours in the offices and on the various independent PCS discussion groups on the Web. These rumours consist of the old favourite - that most members do not support the action - while at the same time spreading the myth that there is a substantial body of opinion amongst which wants an All-Out strike or NOTHING to win. This one is passably sophisticated. It can be used as a stick to beat Serwotka on the left as a "sell-out" merchant while frightening others into thinking that an all-out indefinite strike without strike pay is in fact on the agenda while dismissing the current campaign as doomed to failure.

Well, only time will tell but it's early days yet.


BUSINESS NEWS

Sir Roy d'Lewis resigns from PCS Board

SIR ROY d'Lewis has resigned from the Board of PCS plc. He made the announcement from his Brixton home over Christmas stating that at 60 he now felt he could no longer contribute to the success of PCS plc and was happy to make way someone younger. His retirement ends months of speculation over Sir Roy's future.

For over three decades Sir Roy had been the driving force behind the Roy Lewis Partnership, which was established in 1975 as part of CPSA Ltd. He started on the sales counter in DHSS ten years before preparing for the launch of a company that for over a decade was one of the most successful branches of the entire CPSA operation.

In its hey-day the Roy Lewis Partnership (RLP) produced some of the most attractive lines in the public services industry. It traded under the old CPSA Broad Left logo, directed by an able team of managers and sales staff. His oft-declared vision was "to be all things to all people" and for 12 years he scored spectacular successes.

While meeting the domestic public sector services demand with tried and tested products he explored the markets in Eastern Europe through CPSA's Commissar franchise. But his management style, though well suited to the Seventies, failed to meet the challenge of the following decades.

Sir Roy never masked his ambition to become Chair of the entire Group believing that the methods he had used in developing RLP could turn the entire CPSA operation around. In the turbulent boardroom battles of the Eighties he backed Marion Chambers and Barry Reamsbottom in their struggle to wrest control from the Baugh family and was appointed to the Board in return.

There Sir Roy continued to play a vocal role but only at the expense of the Partnership. A number of unprofitable deals in the Eighties reflected the lack of focus and a lack of productivity in RLP. Many RLP managers were attracted by better packages offered by competitors in the public services market and those that remained together with those that joined the team lacked the knowledge and experience needed to preserve RLP's traditional market share. Many of them had no clear purpose and no clearly defined performance criteria. There was total absence of customer focus.

Inevitably RLP had no choice but to accept the inevitable and in 1992 all independent operations ceased and all future production was marketed under the Moderati label. Sir Roy continued to hold a variety of managerial posts within CPSA plc and he rose to prominence during the protracted negotiations, which eventually led to the merger with two other rivals in the sector. But out of touch with new production techniques, tough new performance criteria and new incentive structures in the new conglomerate that became PCS plc, Sir Roy increasing was relegated to the back burner.

Plagued by ill health Sir Roy sought comfort in traditional remedies and holistic cures including the consumption of vast quantities of snuff and adopting the practice of only washing once a month in the ancient belief that soap and water advanced the ageing process. Regarded as increasingly eccentric by the time he retired few shareholders could actually to remember who he was.

Sir Roy intends to play a role in the PCS Pensioners' Association and his local tenant's association.


So, farewell then
Sir Woy d'Lewis

Mrs Barrabas says that when you went to Conference

you put your expenses under your soap

and did not touch either all week.

Your catchphrase was
"Schtum, schtum!"

Now you are schtummed.