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ROUND AND ABOUT
Less than a month ago PHIL PARDOE was a rising star in SOCIALIST WANKER's London universe now he's in the gutter following an incident on 11 th February at Kings Cross station that may be subject to a police inquiry. It appears that on returning from the DWP Branch Secs conference in Leeds , an altercation occurred with a former girl-friend, fellow-delegate and SOCIALIST CARCASE activist, SUE CATTEN.
What happened next is unclear as excessive alcohol consumption is believed to have been a contributing factor to the fracas. A version posted on the PCS Indie message board was withdrawn within hours by the webmaster but what is certain is that CATTEN ended up the ground and sustained an injury to her face. It's not clear whether this injury was sustained when she was struck or as a result of the subsequent fall. Kings Cross station is not the best place for this sort of thing. It bristles with CCTV cameras and it's crawling with cops on the look-out for terror bombers. PARDOE was rapidly detained and spent the night in the cells sobering up. He was released the next day without charge and has been off sick since then.
Though PARDOE is saying nothing CATTEN and her friends in the CARCASE were outraged and brought it to the attention of the LUNITY grandees, who've moved fast to kick him off the LUNITY slate while the SWP has suspended him from membership. LUNITY leader JANICE GODRICH has no doubts about the issue. "No-one who has admitted physical violence against a woman will be allowed to stand on a Left Unity slate" she declared last week using a carefully worked-out formula (note the words "admitted" and "woman") to avoid any comparison with BIFFA BRYANT, the LUNITY HEO who was disciplined by Management last year following a Christmas brawl with a fellow male H but is now back in favour with the grandees.
ROB BRYSON has been put in charge of the SWP London fraction pro-tem, presumably to prepare PARDOE's show-trial expulsion which will doubtless please MARTIN JOHN, who must be breaking out the champers now (non-alcoholic of course). CARCASITE STEVE LLOYD has been pushed up to replace PARDOE on the DWP GEC LUNITY slate while the SWP London fraction prepares to elect a new leader. DAVE OWENS is in the running but as he has no respect for RESPECT, the smart money is on ROB BRYSON to succeed.
Meanwhile JOHN FERRET, the "independent" Home Office Group President is off to pastures new having landed a juicy full-time officer post with PROSPECT which he naturally saw as infinitely more lucrative to being JAKE WILDE's no.2 in 4theMembers. He clearly told JAKE in advance which is more than WILDE did to most of the dupes on his list - the hapless HOWARD FULLER (DWP SW Thames) was as usual kept in the dark and was left to nominate himself at his London AGM. But the secret list circulated to the chosen few contains few surprises.
PRIESTLEY who is just running for the executive handed the reins over to JAKE, who is the faction front-runner and presidential hopeful. MOIRA CAMPBELL & JOE COX's former Moderati are well represented along with a number of Mods who been won over from the rump CURRIE bloc including BERNARD HARKINS and perennial loser DAMIAN CARR. This might mean that FAT BOY SLIM is finally throwing in the towel to concentrate on his new political career in the Scottish Liberal Democrats.
CURRIE's years in the Scottish Labour Party is not a problem for the LIB/DEMS which are largely a party of Tory and Labour defectors and turn-coats and STUART's dream of a Scottish parliamentary seat now appears more credible after the Dunfermline by-election though he will have to win his spurs on a LIB/DEM council for a couple of years for starters.
None of this will worry the grandees as LUNITY is set for another victory this year. Even if CURRIE's residual "National Moderate Group" vote all swings to 4TM (and that is debatable) it still won't make much of a dent on the BIG TENT. The 4TM group is still largely based on the MAD MONK's old IR bloc and it's still just a one-man band with no policies whatsoever apart from the stale anti-Trotskyism of the RAMSBLADDER era.
Back at Falconcrest the grandees have been considering an offer for the Falcon Road premises a more or less annual ritual given the feeding frenzy of the local developers and estate agents who hover like vultures over the entire borough. While it's true that the Chateau is too small to hold all the London offices currently in use the alternative - moving out of London for cheaper accommodation - may not be as attractive as some people think.
While Chateau Falconcrest would command a small fortune on the open market buying a similar or slightly larger office block in Leeds or Sheffield would not appear to present a substantial saving once relocation and redundancy costs are taken into account. That's why it never appealed to KEITH MILLS (CPSA National Treasurer in BARRY's day).
We doubtless can sleep easy in the knowledge that the question will be thoroughly explored by the capable hands of that renowned financial wizard, HUGH LANNING.
Quid rides?...De te fabula narratur.
What are you laughing at? The joke's on you.
Quintus Horatius Flaccus,
65 -- 8 BC