All along the watch tower princes kept the view but all we can see are the illusory first hints of spring poking out of the mud in no-mans land. Still, the truce is holding and though our Observation Posts are still manned and the H&S scouts are on patrol, as usual most of us are looking forward to Easter Eggs, the summer hols and, of course, the elections.
Yes, it's AGM time and the giants of our great and glorious movement are limbering up for yet another titanic struggle for control of Falconcrest. Few, apart from the most naïve Moderati, doubt that it will be another grandee walkover. But perhaps not in the senior officers stakes. HUGH LANNING is having his usual panic attack at the prospect of campaigning to defend his juicy DGS seat even though his only challenger is the Independent Left's demented JOHN BALONEY while LEON BAUGH is in a run-off against 4TM calendar star ROB BRYSON, who surprisingly managed to crash through the nominations threshold with 20 branches in his pocket.
Sadly for ROB, DH London Health Branch is not one of them. There a more dramatic struggle has erupted. The somewhat out of touch ex-branch officers led by the mentally challenged, proud to be a strike breaker, LEO SYRON, threatens to lead a coup of this motley crew to reclaim the Branch from their hated Left Unity supporting usurpers at the next BEC meeting.
Strange logic, as back in December, following the wall of silence in response to the bizarre rants of the previous occupants to MAREK at Falconcrest, they could take no more and collectively resigned in a mass sulk informing members of their principled stand. This included the likes of D H (please gissa PCS job) PARKY, motor-mouth DANNY CLARK, and old man of the mountains MALO HARVEY, who had had enough of being ignored by the grandees. Surely the tedious parochial concerns of a few crazed mavericks must be more important than national campaigns.
But much to their disgust, full-time official BRIAN SHAW took over the role of Lord Protector of the London Branch and much to the despair of the abdicators their hated LU opponents were appointed to run the branch.
LEO SYRON is largely known for his bizarre and insane rants on the obscure INDY website under a multitude of aliases and for wearing white Rhodesian settler shorts and reeking of Kippers brandy at Conference. Tactics are not his forte but he certainly bears a grudge. They sent tedious reams of emails to the BEC as if they had never gone away banging on about the perceived injustices they had suffered. They began to plot their great comeback when they realised that their stunt had got them nowhere. Most members didn't give a flying fuck about their protest resignations and no-one missed them.
Ah, but the AGM beckoned and this would be the springboard for their messianic return and make members aware of their greatness. Things did not go quite as planned. Highlights included the hated NORTON winning the debate over the NEC nominations and getting the grandee DEMOCRACY ALLIANCE slate through. PARKY had put up a strange eclectic mix of candidates for the NEC list consisting of members of Trotsky's Independent Traders, 4TM, the late LES MORGAN and of course the great D H PARK himself. PARKY's strange reductionist reasoning for his odd slate was basically that his name was on it. at least he is still alive.
Meanwhile following many years of relative peace and tranquility in the MOD Group a new era now beckons which is turning this Sleepy Hollow into a battlefield. The headless horseman has been unleashed and the heads are about to roll. The Left Unity brigade has decided to target 'rouge' elements within the ranks of union activists and attempt to eliminate them from the scene. They are particularly keen to expunge those amongst their own ranks who they do not consider to be left wing enough or sufficiently subservient to the Trot cause, and uncontrollable non-Lunity maverick elements such as COLONEL HARDING. The LU High Command ,led by Group Secretary PAUL 'Yam-Yam' BARNSLEY and President CHRIS 'Dandini' DANDO have decreed that it is the duty of every true believer to implement Jihad on the unbelievers and consign them into limbo.
One of Lunity's main targets for the washing of the spears campaign is the West Of Scotland Branch wherein reside two LU activists whom the High Command are attempting to get debarred from holding union office for three years. This initiative is unlikely to upset the likes of Branch LU stooge DOUGIE BROWNNOSE but has infuriated Branch Secretary and ex Glasgow amateur boxing champion, IAN 'Sugar Ray' FRASER, who is not gifted with a pacifist disposition. Blood will flow my dears!
I see the fabled newlywed SUE CATTEN will be attending Conference again, as per the wishes of her East London DWP branch. But after all these years she still hasn't learned that a motion must include an instruction, so her censure rant (item 8 on their agenda) will end up on the cutting room floor. MARJORIE BROWNE needs to learn that motions that exceed a page, however worthy, are unlikely to be read or understood by anyone except her mum. If it does pass Standing Orders, I'll mark it as "Listen and Decide" rather than risk falling asleep halfway through reading it. They forgot to put election of Chair on the order paper so had to take it from the floor, but nobody dare stand against CATTEN, so it'll be business as usual. 42 attended out of a membership in excess of 1500. An "Emergency" Motion was heard from Sue Catten on the Jacqui Smith Affair, calling for Reform to Additional cost Allowance. That'll get the members tingling.
Highlight of the day was on Motion 5, "Attendance Management". As Sue CATTEN was moving this Motion, Marj BROWNE was in the chair. A member tried to move an amendment, deleting a few words, which would have strengthened the motion. Charlie McDONALD & Nigel PRENDERGAST got up on their hind legs & protested that amendments could not be moved from the floor and these would only waste time! Sue CATTEN tried to rule that the Motion was the property of the meeting & could be amended, until she was reminded that she was not in the Chair. NIGEL & CHARLIE succeeded in bullying the hapless Marj BROWNE into not accepting the amendment. Ironically, the amendment would have taken less time than the fuss!
Though we are led to assume that SUE leads a thoroughly militant branch that includes MOTORMOUTH CHARLIE, needless to say there was not a single call for industrial action. They'll be wanting to join 4TM next...
The CPSA pension fund trustees have formally protested to the NEC about not being consulted about the ongoing early severance scheme. They should have been informed and consulted in advance. Doubtless LANNING will issue a suitably groveling apology.
By the way, did any of you see BARRY REAMSBOTTOM on TERRY WOGAN's Channel 4 crappy Perfect Recall quiz programme on 31st January, coming third out of the four contestants and describing himself as a "personal assistant" in the House of Commons.
After correctly answering the year DOLLY THE SHEEP was cloned  RAMSBLADDER told WOGAN that he "knew Dolly". Ominously, the audience did not dissolve in fits of laughter as one might have imagined.
On his inevitable early departure Wogan asked him "do they call you Balding Barry from Balham?" to which the GREAT SCOT replied: "my secret is out - I am". Wogan then said "It's not going to be the same without you. You're one of my pseudonymous contributors to Wake Up With Wogan !" How the mighty are fallen!!
And what of BARRY's former sidekick Mick McCANN, I hear you ask? The wannabe MP is currently embroiled in a very strange case involving forged letters....
Finally farewell to EDDY SPENCE. We missed his farewell bash in January which was due to take place at some seedy dive near Falconcrest but it was flooded and was closed. SPENCE and a couple of mates arranged an alternative venue and failed to notify anyone else. Needless to say no-one turned up to the alternative venue.
Take pride in all things you do and at all times conduct yourself with the utmost professionalism
Group Captain F F "Dusty" Amroliwala OBE