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ROUND AND ABOUT
BY JUDAS ISCARIOT - LATE JULY 2005

Here comes summer and the full-timers and high-castes are basking in their villas in Spain , Tuscany and the south of France while those who remain in London live under the shadow of the terror bombers and trigger-happy cops. Inner London Management responded to the transport chaos following the 7th July attacks by giving the staff the following day off but not the DSS Fraud staff at Tavistock House, next door to where the bus exploded. Traumatised staff were told to report to work at their nearest DSS office on the Friday, where there was no work for them. They were then told to take a day’s annual leave. Following intervention by H&S reps, they have now been given retrospectively 2 days special leave with pay.

Needless to say the PCS/DWP Management meeting set for the 7th was also postponed to the following week. When it eventually did convene DAVID BLUNKETT made some interesting responses. Whilst unable to give a categorical assurance on no compulsory redundancies BLUNKETT did commit Management to further detailed discussions around “redundancy avoidance”. He also “welcomed the opportunity" to work closely with the unions, and observed that the imposition of arrangements such as the ER framework was not his preferred style of management. Management’s detailed response to the union’s demands on redundancies, staffing and job cuts is expected by the end of July.

This Management shift, at least in emphasis, has only inflamed the now open war between the Left Unity grandees and the Socialist Caucus and opened up new divisions within the Carcase itself. The Lunity leadership, essentially the former Mendicants now in the Socialist Party and the Scottish SP, want to see what they can get from negotiations and some certainly believe that a deal on redundancies and pensions can be won. The Carcase top brass think that protracted selective strike action is the only thing Management understand and they believe there’s mass support for it in London. But beneath the legitimate debate there’s a hidden agenda – Lunity’s desire to cut the Carcase down to size within their Big Tent and the Carcase’s objective which is to carve a bigger niche for themselves within the left-led coalition by exposing what they are increasingly calling a sell-out by the DWP Lunity leadership and SERWOTKA himself.

The DWP GEC leadership wants to “leave the London submission on the table” until the response from Management comes and they see the public position of some of the CARCASE big guns as undermining their whole negotiating position. This position is accepted by some of the CARCASE – but not all.

When the full GEC met with the arrival of a heavily sun tanned CHARLIE MCDONALD the Caucus split. MCDONALD and WALSH (both members of the shadowy Alliance for Wanker’s Liberty ) vigorously argued for action and exposed their true position of “No Job Cuts”, a position the union does not hold nationally and which inherently rejects any notion of negotiation.

The debate got quite heated when JOHN McINALLY raised the question of the “lies” in TONY REAY’S article in an obscure magazine called the Weedy Wanker. Regional Secretary REAY claimed that “Members have been voting in favour of regional-wide, discontinuous strike action at a ratio of 13 to one - a result described by PCSU general secretary Mark Serwotka as “fantastic” and concluded that “It is somewhat ironic that when Mark Serwotka, then a Socialist Caucus member, stood for president of what was then the Civil and Public Services Association in 1993, Socialist Party members claimed he would personally be responsible for 100,000 job losses in the civil service because he was standing against their candidate. In 2005 Mark is general secretary of PCSU and SP members dominate its bureaucracy; 100,000 job cuts have actually been announced, yet the Socialist Party is not prepared to lead action against them”.

McInally claimed that the vote MAREK refers to was for a one day strike, and was based on a very low turnout. SERWOTKA himself denies discussing the matter at all with Carcase, and rejects the attribution of any comment on the matter. The vote for "discontinuous" action was actually under 9 per cent of the total membership in London with nearly as many either voting against or abstaining.

CHRISTINE HULME then denounced JOHN McINALLY and his allies (in this case one DAVE SPAGBOL) in no uncertain terms forcing JOHN to appeal to the President (JANE AITCHINSON) for “protection” against these “slurs” and “personal attacks”. PHIL PARDOE of the Socialist Wanker’s sided with the GEC majority. When the vote came the Caucus split with MCDONALD and WALSH voting against and CHRISTINE HULME abstaining. Immediately after the meeting ended REAY sent out an e-mail calling for a joint London BEC on 3rd August. This should prove to be an interesting meeting, designed to bulldozer through a motion calling for action in London NOW and denouncing the GEC for timidity. If they manage to get their motion passed and wave it at the GEC, it will have as much effect as Mr Chamberlain's declaration of peace in our time.

Knives are now out for Caucus on the GEC: there’s a vacancy and the next on the call-up list is TONY REAY. Moves are afoot by non-caucusite factions (SP/SSP/SWP) on the GEC to go for a by-election instead. They probably already have a candidate in mind. The Caucus has all but been squeezed out of the committees (CHARLIE gets to sit on one). ROB WILLIAMS (Mr Jane Aitcheson) has moved from Pensions where he knew the business, to DCS leaving a newcomer, SAM HALL, to carry the Pensions portfolio. HALL is also not from the Pensions Directorate - he's in JCP in Inverness . Pension’s reps are none too pleased.

On a lighter note I have just been sent a leaflet for a "day school for rank and file trade unionists" organised by the Alliance for Worker's Liberty on 17th September in London . One is a bog-standard "Disputes: how to win them" session with speakers from NUT, RMT and PCS. But the "How to make compromises" opening by NEC member JOHN MALONEY should be intriguing, not to mention "Organising to Win with PCS” by CHARLIE “Motormouth” MACDONALD.

CHARLIE wasn’t at the LABOUR REPRESENTATION COMMITTEE AGM in London on 16 th July but the great and the good within the left of the labour movement was there including a substantial contingent from PCS – the majority from the CAUCUS’s Labour Left group, a much smaller group from the AWL and a couple of Labour Party civil servants who did not appear to be in any of the union’s factions at all. MAREK was one of the four general secretaries who spoke together with MPs who defended the stand of the public sector unions against job cuts.

Meanwhile oop North the great and the not so good turned up in Durham on 9th July for the 121st Durham Miners’ Gala. In 90 degree heat the PCS stand was staffed by Junior North East full-timers SIMON ELLIOT and the pouting LIZ BLACKSHAW. After hearing DENNIS SKINNER speak, the mob retired as usual to the Court Inn, a hostelry in the shadows of Durham nick.

First to succumb to the heat and booze was KEVIN MCHUGH (IR NICO) who left the pub in a huff after a row with JOHN FREEMAN (DWP North Notts) leaving STEVIE RICHARDSON (DWP Stanley) on his own trying to tap Madame PURVIS for free drinks!

A busload of Scousers turned up led by PAUL O’CONNOR (IR Liverpool) and his Missus. The eccentric MARTIN KELSEY (Home Office Merseyside) sang songs with 180 verses, to the amusement of top Commie NEC member PETER MIDDLEMAN. As the drink went down it was realised that STEVE FARLEY (Liverpool FTO) had gone AWOL. EDDIE SPENCE, the Leeds Office Full Time supremo was very concerned, not least because he was sharing a room at the Hanson Hotel, Jesmond with Farley and Farley had the room key!

The mystery was solved over two hours later when a barmaid found FARLEY asleep on a table in the back room of the pub! Suitably refreshed STEVE re-entered the fray to get some more in. TERRI MARTIN of Newcastle 8 fame was there with sons Niall and Connor. Terri had a stand up row with a young squaddie fresh from Iraq after he referred to Arabs as "ragheads". She chased him out of the pub shouting: “I hope you get shot on your next tour"!!

The cabaret was provided by KIM MORGAN (DWP Durham ) who in full view of the assembled hordes tore a strip off new boyfriend STEVE CAWKWELL stating she wanted a serious relationship and commitment etc, etc… demanding he stay in Durham that night. As CORKY left to get his train to Hull she was comforted with much leg patting and soft words by National VEEP and part-time FARLEY impersonator KEVIN KELLY.

The day ended with our merry chums in the Centurion Bar and the Newcastle crew all vowing to return next year, when it is hoped that MAREK will be one of the speakers. He was due to be on the platform but could not attend due to a family illness.

 

National Vice President
Kevin Kelly having a brain installed
under anaesthetic

Credo quia absurdum

I believe it because it is absurd

Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus ( 155–230 AD)