THE POPULAR FRONT FOR THE LIBERATION OF CPSA
FREEDOM! UNITY! SOCIALISM!
REVOLUTION UNTIL VICTORY!
ROUND AND ABOUT
Many amongst us now are tired. To those / would say that Victory will belong to the side which holds out the longest. The French Army is moving rapidly and in great force to our support. There is no other course open to us but to fight it out. Every position must be held to the last man: there must be no retirement. With our backs to the wall and believing in the justice of our cause each one of us must fight on to the end. The safety of our homes and the Freedom of mankind alike depend upon the conduct of each one of us at this critical moment
Sporadic strikes, "days of action" and protest meetings...the front line is once again ablaze with action. But many amongst us are indeed very tired...
That was clear at Brighton Conference in May. The weather didn't help and it was matched by the gloom that hung over main conference that could not be dispelled despite the undoubted eloquence of MARK SERWOTKA and the grandees who repeatedly tried to rekindle the fighting spirit amongst delegates largely drawn from their own constituency.
A sombre mood pervaded all the delegates' watering holes and hotels in Brighton this year. Though the grandees' Democracy Alliance once again swept the polls the triumphaiism of old had gone. While the outcome was never in doubt - the weak and ineffectual 4TM opposition guaranteed that - the piss-poor turn-out even by PCS standards reflected the indifference and apathy towards all those who claim to lead us amongst the rank-and-file these, days.
The facility time fiasco didn't help either. Attendance was visibly down because many DWP delegates had been forced to take annual leave come to Brighton. Others simply could not sacrifice the time to come. This was testified by the empty chairs at DWP conference and the lower attendance in other groups like MOD, who's Management did eventually grant special paid leave but only at the last moment and too late for many branches to make bookings, in time. Of course, this wasn't the fault of SERWOTKA or the grandees as such, but that of a wilful Government that has torn up the national facilities agreement in the name of "savings" and "austerity". But it wasn't helped by the breath-taking incompetence of our own Senior DWP officers viz: Comrades FRAN HEATHCOTE and STEVE CAWKWELL - who neglected to negotiate routine conference attendance time - or by the DWP grandees who imposed a three-line whip on their followers to defeat a censure motion on day one of group conference.
No one doubts, apart from some of the nutters in 4TM, that the union has no choice but to continue to fight against the Coalition Government's job cuts and imposed pay settlements that have reduced the wages of those on the lower rungs to bread-line levels. No one can sensibly argue against the grandees' contention that we can expect nothing from the Government but more of the same until the election comes in 2015. The real question is what comes next?
Well, we don't need a crystal ball to safely predict that barring a miraculous upturn in the UK economy the Tory and Liberal Democrat vote will dip and that next government will be led by Labour. The problem is that PCS has no coherent strategy to deal with Labour, which will not only be the Government but also the direct employer of most of the membership. The grandee dogmatists regard Labour in the same way as they dismiss the Tories and Liberal Democrats as enemies of the working class. The PCS Socialist Party ideologues, like JOHN McINALLY and CHRIS BAUGH, still cling to the impossible dream of building a left alternative, despite the failure of all previous efforts to build a credible electoral platform to challenge Labour in the polls. ARTHUR SCARGILL couldn't do it, despite his NUM record and immense prestige in the labour movement, let alone MAREK or BIG MAC.
But the war of attrition continues regardless. In the beginning it made sense. It enhanced the union's bargaining position and it provided the basis for the "co-ordinated public sector" strikes that some believed could split the Coalition and bring down the CAMERON government. It worked once. The TUC backed the massive November 2011 strike which was supported by some two million workers. But never again. The "public sector" consensus broke up when Unison cut its own deal the following year and as election day draws closer union leaders, including the so-called "awkward squad" begin to look to a future without the Tories and are starting to mobilise support for a Labour victory and for significant concessions in return for the millions they are expected to shovel into Labour's campaign funds when the election campaign starts in earnest next year.
This year the best mobilisation was the People's Assembly Against Austerity in London in June. The great and the good of the labour movement were there as well as the usual suspects on the left of the Labour Party and far beyond. More than 4,000 people packed into Westminster Central Hall, cheering speeches from union leaders including our great and glorious leader and LEN McCLUSKEY of Unite, Christine Blower of the National Union of Teachers, politicians including Green Party MP CAROLINE LUCAS, and officials from a number of protest and campaign groups
Everyone called for co-ordinated strike action to step up the fight against austerity and the Government's attacks on what's left of the welfare state. Indeed MAREK summed it up with a succinct message, saying: "let our slogan be 'stuff your austerity, we want something different." But, SERWOTKA still shies away from political reality - the fact that the only alternative to a Tory-led government is one led by Labour.
Not so McCLUSKEY who responded to ED MILIBANO's keynote speech on the economy in June by saying.
"Ed Miliband's speech offers hope that there is an alternative to George Osborne's punishing experiment nim the national economy.
"Disgracefully, millions of people do not earn a wage that can keep them and their families, yet they work the longest hours in Europe. They are thoroughly fed up with the lack of decent, secure work in this country and detest the waste of talent that sees one million young people wasting their taients on the dole. They want a government that will roll up its sleeves and do something about this.
"So the jobs guarantee, action on demeaning, insecure work and a drive to embed the living wage are a good start. Labour now needs to firm these up, working with unions, as well as employers, because with our connection to millions of working people we can bring these promises to life, and address some of the real drains on people's incomes such as childcare and travel costs.
"Ed Miliband is also right to recognise that decade upon decade of housing neglect has saddled this country with a chronic homelessness problem and a warped social security bill.
"Only by building enough affordable houses can we bring to an end this scandal. Contrast that with the Tory offer of state-subsidised mortgages for second homeowners and people will understand who is on their side.
"This is now about offering a distinctive choice in 2015 about the sort of nation we can be. If Ed Miliband continues in this vein, then he will win working people back to Labour."
Conference debate however rarely departed from the parameters set well in advance by the grandees themselves. Look at the SOCA crisis. Conference quite rightly denounced the attempt to establish a scab "National Crime Officer's Association" encouraged and abetted bv SOCA Management seeking to impose a no strike agreement in return for a sweetheart deal which gives the quislings as much facility time as they can eat. But no-one asks what the point is of retaining the membership of this elite group of high-castes in the first place?CPSA sold off its entire P&T group back in the 1970s and the much smaller SOCA group could be transferred to PROSPECT at a price wnicn couid save Falconcrest money - particularly it we threw in a full-time official as well - and mavbe win us some brownie points with the scientific and technical staff that could be cashed in at a later date.
LEON BAUGH officially became NUMBER TWO with the retirement of DGS HUGH LANNING by simply by remaining in position as AGS. The grandees avoided a contest for the vacancy BOFF clearly feared by getting rid of the DGS post altogether, thereby saving money and avoiding an election whose turn-out was likely to be embarrassingly low.LANNING's own departure was low key, much like his own efforts to reinvent nimself in the probation officers union in a final bid for giory. HUGO, as we have pointed out time and time again, has never won an election apart from the last one wnen ne was the only candidate. He retained his unbroken record in the race for the general secretaryship of NAPO, a union he knows nothing about, when he was defeated by IAN LAWRENCE, the current NAPO DGS and late of our union, by 931 votes to 620 in a 19.6 per cent turn-out.
The fight goes on in EQUINITI - not some place in Africa but the people who run the NHS pensions - and other offices and centres up and down me country, some were well supported some not and some simply fell at the first hurdle because of the incompetence of those who pretend to lead us. The regionai strike action in the Valuation Office got messed up simply because someone overlooked telling VO management of the intention to go on strike in Leicester, Lincoln and Nottingham This was apparently due to an ''administrative error" but it was not clear how it occurred. SHARON LESLIE, the R&C group secretary took the blame.
PCS called a strike in BIS for Friday 31st May but forgot to tell the members about it. There was no communication to members from PCS nationally, from the Group or from any of the branches. Some BIS activists found out about it in a in a newspaper column on Sunday 26th May. Checks of the PCS website revealed it was finally mentioned on 27th May but it was buried and you would never know it was there unless you searched for it. Apparently, someone was handing out leaflets outside the main BIS building at Victoria on 27th May, which was a bit pointless as half the staff were off for the Queen's birthday. Is this part of a new ploy bv PCS to caii strikes but not actuaiiv teii anyone?The Government will be pleased to learn that PCS action will continue across the dog days of Summer. Not strike action nor even negotiation, out consulting the troops on what they want to do next. Fuck me. They just blew half a million quid of your subs on the ADC at Brighton, but the NEC remains blissfully unaware of the numerous motions passed instructing them how to prosecute further action. Actually, that's not entirely true. There are bits of motions that they need to bury, such as raising a levy for paid strike action. Admittedly it would be laborious to set up and administer, but the real reason the grandees detest it is that it's an INDEPENDENT LEFT idea, and we can't have Trotsky's Independent Traders getting a foot in the door.
Meanwhile the retiring Valuation Secretary (a position once occupied by NAPO's new genera! secretary IAN LAWRENCE) was on holiday during the regional strike as was veteran right winger JEANETTE BROOKE, R&C Group Treasurer and VOAC member. It had been thought that Mme BROOKE would succeed GWENDA BINKS as Valuation Secretary but probably because BROOKE is ensconced as the Group Treasurer the post went to KEVIN WILLIAMS, said by some to be another "safe pair of hands". Despite the abject failure of Madame BINKS MBE to resolve the VOA Pay intentions issue which have created pay discrepancies of £5000 to £6000, a number of VOA delegates felt the need to organise a meal for her send off at R&C Group conference in Brighton. Alas it was called off because she could not attend due to "other engagements".
Stiii, good luck to ail who are now grazing on their civil service or union pensions while the rest of us work like Trojans to keep ahead of the debt collectors and their telephone chasers.
People like JOHN MICKEY who drove for a holiday in Ireland last month with his old tax disc because his new one had still not arrived in the post. JOHN cleverly decided to cross over into Northern Ireland to sort it out at the post office. They cheerfully told him that there was nothing they could do and that he would have to go back to the "mainland" (an Ulster term for England) to resolve the issue. JOHN then got WYN PARRY, who has the keys to the HICKEY house, to check out his mail and send the disc on to him. But he couldn't as the disc had still not arrived. HICKEY is now stranded. While a British tax disc is not a requirement in the Emerald Isle he still needs one to drive in the UK without facing the wrath of any passing plod who takes a dislike to his car. Why he didn't just renew his disc at the post office in person like all the other old gits is beyond me...
Which reminds me of JIM HANSON who returned home drunk as usual for a predictable bollocking from his long-suffering wife. His excuse this time was "tiredness" due to the colossal amount of work he now does working three days a week for his old chum the hon. MICK McCANN MP, late of our union and one of the old JOCKOCRACY, now in the House of Commons as the MP for East Kilbride. BASIL had f orgotten that he had originally told the Missus he worked full-time. When asked what he actually did or the other two days JIM beat a hasty retreat and the happy couple are once again not speaking to each other.
There is no act of treachery or meanness of which a political party is not capable; for in politics there is no honour.
Kim Jong-un to mate with Crested Shelduck
The international community breathed a collective sigh of relief to discover thai the recent military posturing by North Korea was all part of an elaborate courtship ritual. Despite his marriage to Ri Soi-ju last year, the Supreme Leader has been participating in an elaborate avian breeding programme.
On Friday. North Korean state broadcasters announced in a uniform manner: "Worried that the Crested Shelduck will die out, our beloved leader has taken it upon himself to repopulate the species". U.N. observers have suggested that it will also allow Kim Jong-un to sate his own fetish for being tickled with a feather.
Feared at one stage to be extinct, the female Crested Shelduck will only respond to excessive aggression. In turn, the male of the species is renowned for its enormous sex organs; spiralling often the length of its entire body. "Given the duck's amorous demands," explained a North Korean spokeswoman with a fixed grin. "Only one man has the vigour and girth to cope with such a bird.”
On 7 March 2013, North Korea threatened the United States with a "pre-emptive nuclear attack" but it is now understood that this was an attempt to lure the female ducks to their mountainous breeding ground. Further short-range missiles tests, were simply a method of inducing a sexual frenzy in the green-tufted creature.It has been rumoured that Kim Jong-un has received plastic surgery in order to mimic the male Crested Sheldrake. State television reports that his previous meeting with ex-NBA star Dennis Rodman, who is famed for his colourful plumage, was an unsuccessful attempt to "simulate the mating ritual....but all North Koreans are confident in our Leaders future success. Long Live General Kim Jong-un, the Shining Sun! Death to the capitalist pig. Bill Oddie!"
Car park successfully destroyed under new integrated terrorist scheme
The Government's innovative integrated terrorist plan had been hailed a success following the total destruction of a condemned concrete multi storey car park in Wolverhampton by an alleged jihadist sympathiser.
Designed to allow terrorists to represent their cause explosively, whilst having the targets selected for them, the new scheme has been described as a ‘win, win scenario' by Home Secretary, Teresa May.
‘For some time we've been looking to find a way of channelling the destructive urges of potential terrorists to the good of society and we're pretty sure that getting them to rid us of ugly municipal monstrosities is the way forward.'
The first ‘attack' took place at precisely 11.03 yesterday morning, when Imran Huk, wearing a hard hat, hi-viz jacket and safety goggles, carefully pushed a button which set off the charges to raze the sixties eyesore to the ground.
Although full Health and Safety regulations were observed, an element of surprise was permitted with Imran being allowed to choose the exact moment of detonating the high explosive provided that it occurred between 11:00 and 11:05. In future, it is thought that old time IRA sympathisers will be allowed to phone a warning before initiating the blast.
'I enjoyed that,' said Imran, 57, once the dust had settled, ‘I appreciate it wasn't exactly a suicide attack, but then I'm not exactly a terrorist. To be honest, the only attack I've ever been involved in was an asthma attack last spring.'
Hak had been selected for demolition duties following his arrest for shaking his fist and shouting in Urdu at a young shoplifter in his convenience store, which was mistaken for being a terrorist threat. Police have accepted Hak's innocence and have confirmed that no further charges will be brought.