THE POPULAR FRONT FOR THE LIBERATION OF CPSA
FREEDOM! UNITY! SOCIALISM!
REVOLUTION UNTIL VICTORY!
ROUND AND ABOUT
It's summer again. Deck-chairs and beaches. Henman losing at Wimbledon and England sunk in Germany. The high-castes off to their villas in the Midi or Tuscany and an uneasy calm across the entire front-line.but not at Falconcrest where the LUNITY high command has been in top gear following Brighton Conference and their sweeping election victories at group and national level.
4TM is in disarray following the humiliating results in HMRC, which they hoped to win, and the national elections which left them with just one seat on the new NEC. JAKE WILDE was telling anyone who cared to listen that he would not be standing for president in 2007 while LES PRIESTLEY strives to breathe new life into what at the moment is a faction dead in the water.
The LUNITY biggies are now focusing on stage two of the cull of their troublesome critics on the left, the Socialist Caucus, whose sniping over pensions and the DWP dispute has enraged the Grandees for the past two years. At Conference they once again gave the green light to their Secret Left allies to repeat their crude attacks on leading CARCASE luminaries in their appropriately yellow "Unity in Brighton" Conference bulletins though this was too much for TONY CONWAY, a former CPSA Commissar to stomach, and he personally apologised to ROD BACON for the smears, which he conceded were "childish" and "offensive". An example of their attempts at humour included "Too much ROCK makes you sick!" The sort of abuse you would not expect to find in such an august publication, unless we look at last year's and the year before's.
But "Unity" is just a tiny band of high-castes whose base in Customs relies entirely on the LUNITY machine for survival. The Commissars have nothing in London and it's London where the CARCASE has its base, deep in the heart of the DWP.
And there the Grandees, other LU factionettes and motley independents pulled one over CHARLIE McDONALD and his cohorts by speedily assembling an anti-Carcase slate for the elections to the DWP London Regional Committee. It means nothing in itself. The DWP "London Region" is an ineffectual talking-shop that has been dominated by CHARLIE and his mates for years. But that's precisely why it's a target for the Grandees, who believe that a vociferous campaign against them in defence of the Grandee national pension's agreement and the handling of the DWP dispute could help build a counter-base to challenge the Carcase's grip on the Metropolis.
The knives were out when the new DWP GEC met after Conference. The first vote was on the nominations for the Health and Safety Committee. Top Grandee JANE AITCHISON decided to seek nominations for these posts, ROD BACON who seems to have chosen his own 'panel of experts' in the past took great exception to this attack and forced matters to the vote. The combined might of the Grandees plus WILLIE SAMUEL, a 4TM stooge, prevailed and branches will be asked to nominate. The politicizing of the hitherto apolitical DWP H & S Committee may have unfortunate consequences for the membership as one would be hard pressed to think of any Grandees with H&S experience. Recent soundings suggest that the Grandees might be pulling back from such a catastrophic move. H&S has been a success story for the GEC for the last few years, why kill the goose that lays golden eggs to pursue a political vendetta? Rod's one of the saner elements of the Carcase and has no control over the London Loonies. WILLIE has now been provided with the correct information and a complementary full-body wax depilation.
When it came to the question of the ongoing struggle against the cuts the Grandee majority re-affirmed the policy decided at Brighton of pursuing negotiations with Management with further action to be decided by the GEC decision if an "offer" to settle the dispute is received or if no 'offer' is forthcoming. This wasn't good enough for the Carcasites who repeated their demand for plans and dates for future actions while complaining that they were getting no updates despite the fact that they had just sat through a 15 minute report-back.
Creepy Commissar LAURA MARTIN, who got the order of the boot courtesy of the CARCASE at the Group elections, was at the GEC behaving to the entire world as if she hadn't heard the results. Like 4TM biggies GWENDA BINKS and BILL McCREATH, who were also unceremoniously dumped in HMRC, she is asserting her right to attend as a TU Side Secretary, but still...
And now a little birdie tells me that GILL WHITTAKER and WOODS have lost their positions on the East Midlands Regional Committee meaning that the Carcase now has NO regional positions at all in the East Midlands .
The Socialist Wankers are watching developments on the side-lines partly because much of their time is now devoted to building their Respect project but largely because they have so little on the ground these days, particularly in London. Following the unpleasant PARDOE incident, their main man in the DWP, ROB BRYSON, couldn't be arsed to attend any SWP fraction meetings at Conference preferring the attractions of the swimming pool and Brighton 's colourful night life to listening to another dirge from SWP Industrial Organiser MOIRA NOLAN - she was the old crow seen at the Brighton Centre on observer credentials (why? She was never in the CS) wandering around on her own, looking for her broomstick.
MOIRA spent two hours to no avail last week trying to persuade BRYSON to withdraw his resignation which was sent to her on 13 th June and reads as follows:
I am writing to let you know of my decision to leave the party. I don't wish to go into detail in this letter due to the possibility of it been passed around the fraction then leaked, which would not be helpful to anybody. However in summary, I feel:
1. The fraction is heading in a different direction than the one I would prefer.
2. That very different standards of control and discipline are applied to individual members of the fraction often in an unwelcome manner.
3. My association with the fraction restricts the role I am able and need to play within the union.
4. That I am unable to connect and empathise with many members of the fraction.
I am happy to discuss the above in more detail if you should wish.
I believe that my leaving is best for all concerned.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish yourself and the fraction members all the best for the future.
If JANICE GODRICH has any sense she'll get MARTIN JOHNS, the last SWP defector, to have a word in BRYSON'S ear. She could probably buy WILDE off with the promise of a full-time job at the same time.
Meanwhile far behind the frontline the National Young Members Committee met on the 17 th June. Basically, it was a three hour exercise in pretending that nobody had ever really disagreed with anyone else about anything, with those who supported Motion 121 at conference trying to compromise on the fine points, and those who had sought remission facing up to the fact that they now have to do the best they can with what was decided at conference.
The most amusing section was when questions were asked about what different regions had planned for the forthcoming "Young Members' Week" - none of them had received any materials from HQ, so nobody had any plans at all.
There's to be a petition about the Minimum Wage passed about at that time, and despite HQ taking months to process new applications, a prize draw for new Young Members signing up during the week.
HAMISH DRUMMOND spoke so much that at one point he lost his voice, to the general amusement of all but himself. This he put down to travelling down from Scotland in a non-smoking car, and thus a lack of medicinal nicotine.
JAMES ROLLES, representing London and the South East, advised the meeting that there was absolutely nothing going on there whatsoever that anybody had told him about, a fact long suspected by several of the more active regions.
Needless to say the actual "Democracy" part was hardly discussed at all, and deferred to an ongoing working group, which currently has no timescales for reporting back, or indeed, doing anything.
Dem Yoot Dem! The future is in safe hands.
deos enim religuos accepimus, Caesares dedimus
the gods were handed down to us but we created the caesars
HOW NOT TO RUN A WHELK STALL
Meanwhile in London, having been outflanked in branch nominations to the LRC, The Carcase (prop. C. McDonald) has decided to call on the services of London LU (prop. C. McDonald to decide its slate (Carcase). It also has the temerity to tell LU members that the non-Caucus branch nominations properly submitted by a number of BECs can safely be ignored as they're meaningless. Now read on...
PCS DWP Left Unity in London
Charlie McDonald, (Convenor), c/o Hackney SSO, 17 Sylvester Rd , London E8 1DZ ,
To: DWP LU Members in London Date: 3 rd July 2006
As you may be aware, elections will be taking place in DWP London region at the regional committee AGM on 18 th August. In order that we can determine the Left Unity slate we need to hold a meeting.
As you will be aware Left Unity was opposed in DWP and national elections by the right wing grouping "for the members". There is little reason to believe that these layabouts will put forward a slate of coherent and competent individuals in DWP London. However, we, as the Left, cannot be complacent. For example one of their prominent right wing supporters works in London .
Some comrades may have had BEC's already where nominations have been submitted. This does not matter as branches do not have to vote for candidates they have nominated. Branches should be holding mandating BEC's, where they instruct their delegates who to vote for. If there are better candidates (ie Left Unity) then they can vote for them.
In order that London comrades can elect a slate we have organised a meeting. This will take place on:
Tuesday 10 th July
at the Lucas Arms
245a, Gray's Inn Rd , London , WC1X 8QZ
from 5:30 to 6:45
If you should require any further information or clarification in respect of these arrangements, please do not hesitate to contact me.
The posts we need to elect are listed below. If you have any nominations please send them to me by post or e-mail by 3:00 pm on 10 th July.
Please note that this meeting is only open to those who work within the geographical boundaries of the DWP London region.
London Region Elections 2006 - Positions
Regional Officers (9 posts)
Regional TUS JCP (two officers and 4 members - 6 in total)
Regional TUS Pension Service (two officers and 4 members - 6 in total)
BDC TUS (two officers branches to elect one TUS member from each BDC)
Programme Protection TUS (two officers and 4 members - 6 in total)
Regional Health and Safety Committee (two officers, members are delegated from branches)
DWP LU London convenor
I should point out that I've seen the provisional slate of the London Left Alliance, as the anti-Caucus grouping is provisionally known, and so has Charlie. The slate contains a number of LU activists, some independents, possibly even an Undyman, but no 4TM members. I should also point out that in Charlie's view anyone who is not Charlie McDonald is right wing. The LU activists not in the Caucus are furious at this blatant stunt: certain to be outvoted by Carcase at the meeting it is likely they will boycott the meeting, should it go ahead.
Then again, if the Grandees allow this gerrymandering, we'll all be able to have a laugh whenever they mention "democracy" or "Democratic Alliance" and remind them of the exact time they turned their backs on it. Perhaps it's time for the Ringmaster of the Big Tent to crack the whip in London, because appeasement doesn't seem to be working.
As for the Carcase, they should consider if the Big Tent is really big enough to contain their superinflated egos, or whether they'd be better off as a separate faction so that they can continue to wage war against their fellow elected TU reps, some of whom Charlie describes above as "layabouts", (in)coherent and (in)competent.
The ball's in the air....
But has the ball been struck into the long grass, or not?
The DWP LU constitution sets out clearly a responsibility to elect LU candidates to stand in Group elections and makes it an obligation of membership to support those candidates. It is silent on arrangements at regional/branch level.
In practice we have never asked groups to form common LU slates at regional or branch level unless there is a possibility of right wing candidates standing. Where we do so the process is an informal one usually achieved by consensus. It is highly unlikely that right wing candidates will emerge in the current situation.
DWP Left Unity members in London are therefore free to meet and discuss candidates and discuss their merits. However all London LU members will remain free to stand for election in the region and to advocate support for the candidates of their choice.
I hope this ruling clarifies the situation.
So, Carcase can hold the meeting under the guise of it being an LU meeting and can put together a slate, but it is not binding on LU members to support it. They are free to support the anti-Caucus alternative slate. I hope they will make this clear in their next missive, but won't expect it.
Incidentally, a large number of non-Caucus LU activists are unable to make the date of the meeting due to attending a black member's meeting Oop North. No Race Impact Assessment appears to be in place. Tut.
Do pay attention at the back....particularly Charlie who is reminded that there are NO right wing candidates nominated on the alternative slate!
I'm scoring this 0 - 0 at half time.