ROUND AND ABOUT
by Judas Iscariot - May 2001
While most of us are contemplating our summer holidays, the forthcoming election and the bumper pay rises we've won through the tireless work of our officials the faction bosses have been burning the midnight oil in darkened rooms.
Lord Undy, who has emerged unscathed from the Lanning fiasco, has been doing what he knows best - plotting. And he's got two major problems to solve.
The first is how to ensure that Me First retain the Presidency and the second is what to do about the General Secretaryship.
The Presidency is an easy one. DONELLAN retires under rule next year and the obvious Me Fist candidate is the delectable SARAH JONES.
Unfortunately for Nosferundy that's when the problems start. The Moderati are going to run PAULINE ABRAHAMS and her campaign has already begun even though there's almost a year to go. And it's equally clear that Left Unity will field JANICE GODRICH.
All have got a good chance in this three-horse race. ABRAHAMS will rely on the Moderati machine to troll out their constituency amongst the lower castes. GODRICH will count on the LUNITY bloc and the support of MAREK SERWOTKA to mobilise the Trots - who are slightly broader spread. JONES has to hope that the Undymen can get it right this time.
Dear Pauline has the edge at the moment. Though all three candidates are utterly useless ABRAHAMS is the most photogenic. She'll get the right-wing womens' vote as well as that of the black consciousness crowd.
SARAH hopes rest on the fact that the high grades will first of all be attracted by her election address (written by Herr Flick or one of his Underlings) and the belief that most of them will vote for her out of grade solidarity.
It is a fact the most of the high-castes - if they bother to vote at all - will vote for the most senior civil service candidate on the list (TROTS excepted). She will also get the racist vote - a silent minority which no-one talks about but sadly does exist - and the Albatross-like backing of the secret Reds in UNITY, whose influence is marginal outside Customs.
GODRICH will rely on the assorted Trots to drum up her votes hoping that MAREK doesn't put his foot in it and embarrass Messrs BAUGH & WILLIAMSON.
But UNDY has another problem - what to do when BARRY goes? The Great Scot finally departs next year. He's been busy lobbying to ensure that his retirement honours from a grateful Blair government will be substantially higher than the worthless gong given to SHELDON while eyeing up quangos or Scottish Parliament seats to keep his handicap up during the many years of ease he has before him.
Now as it stands MAREK becomes sole GS when RAMSBLADDER shuffles off and no challenge can come until his term expires two years later. Some Me Fist die-hards are already talking about the need to sack Marek soon after Barry buggers off - the same crows who wanted Reamsbottom dismissed on trumped up charges.
This is really a pipe-dream and UNDY doesn't think about it. Though a GS can be dismissed by simple majority of the NEC under the new rules there would have to a reason and at the moment the only complaint most members have about Marek is that he talks too much.
So UNDY is left with the prospect of mounting a challenge to SERWOTKA in the normal way and the only candidate he's got is HUGO LANNING. Unbelievable isn't it!
CHURCHYARD has made it clear that he's not interested. His wife earns more than him and he's likely to seek an early bath rather than run for re-election for his own office now. Me First's got no-one else and they know that looking outside the union is a non-starter even if they could find anyone outside daft enough to want to enter one of our GS stakes.
This leaves the Moderati with the initiative - if they can only decide how to use it. UNDY'S worst-case scenario is that the Mods don't run a candidate at all. This could happen if BOYLE was struck down with a heart attack OR opted for an easy ride with the Scottish Officer sinecure which he thinks he can get when he wants. If that happened then the Mods would publicly abstain while secretly swinging some votes for SERWOTKA to keep LANOLIN out.
But it's not going to be a Me First picnic if BOYLE stands anyway. Once again it will be a battle of the machines and MARTIN has every chance.
The Mods are, of course, not leaving everything to chance. They've been working on Inland Revenue, trying to woo the Mainstream crowd away from Me First and over to themselves.
This hasn't been easy given the eccentric nature of the former Mainstream bloc and nothing has been agreed. But there's still 11 months to go and everything to gain.
As usual, decisions affecting the lives of every member are being made by tiny cliques who have made the manipulation of votes their specialty.
Me First exists largely in the minds of Donnellan, Undy, Ms Jones and Priestley. Without the invention of the telephone they would have never emerged in the evolutionary ladder.
Though underhand lobbying and the offering of favours was the time-honoured practice of both left and right in the old high-grade society it's of limited use in the new union.
The Mods likewise are really only a senior full-timers faction - more so since MARION'S retirement - and all the key decisions are made by BOYLE and his Scottish mates.
No-one knows who really makes the decisions in UNITY now that NICK SHITE has gone. They do have occasional conferences - though needless to say nothing agreed there is ever carried out unless it meets with the approval of the shadowy band of ageing former NCPS officials which largely make up the membership of the Secret Left.
LUNITY does have regular conferences and so does its Trot rivals in the SOCIALIST CAUCUS. At them small sects battle it out to win control of the left machine and get their followers on the lists.
As for the one man who has no machine - MAREK himself - the options are clear. Mark has been doing the AGMs and using every chance he can get to reach out to the membership over the past few months. His shadowy sect - the Alliance for Workers' Liberty - probably has less than 20 members in the entire union. But Serwotka knows that LUNITY and the CAUCUS have no choice but to back him. They can't dump him - despite the gnashing of teeth by the ex-Militant supremos - and they can't control him. For the TROTS Serwotka really is the only game in town.
It's gonna be an interesting year.
How Falconcrest works
The staff at Falconcrest are keen that you should know about the efforts being made to continue to provide you with the services you all expect during the bleak times of industrial action by those nasty lefties who seek to inflict a safer rail system upon us, thereby reducing the "thrill" factor - spoilsports!
While we cannot expect HQ staff to actually join the picket lines to show solidarity, although I don't see why not - the instructions (er..Staff Briefing) issued by the Director of Personnel make no reference to the use of alternative PUBLIC transport.
It should not come as a surprise to note that on the day of the strike, Joan Easton was one of the casualties who failed to make it to work - probably too busy "vacillating" or "procrastinating" (Stansfield -v- Easton, ET August 2000. See SKIPPY GOES TO COURT