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Round & About

By Judas Iscariot

 What a difference a day makes – or not if your name is CHRIS BAUGH. It’s certainly been a funny old year for BOFFY. Twelve months ago LEON was looking forward to his fourth triumphant return to the AGS post he’s held for as long as anyone cares to remember. Then in May he was stabbed in the back by JANICE GODRICH and the rest of his one-time “comrades” at Falconcrest who rallied round her challenge for the AGS post and all the money and juicy perks that go along with it (see PFL passim).
JANICE was publicly endorsed by MARK SERWOTKA, whose minions told us MAREK could no longer contemplate working with LEON whom they described as useless, vain and untrustworthy and that there had to be a safe pair of hands to take over when the time comes for our great and glorious leader decides finally to step down. LEON even failed to get the wholehearted backing of his own SOCIALIST PARTY (prop: PETER TAAFFE). True they did say that Ms Godrich’s move was a "divisive step that threatens a split on the left, which can only aid opponents in the union and the Tories and the Blairites outside" and that Serwotka "has attacked Chris without publicly explaining any differences on industrial or political issues”. But they didn’t expel JANICE from their ranks – par for the course in the old MENDICANT days -- because they knew she was the favourite to win.

BOFF can’t have been too surprised when JANICE subsequently won the LEFT UNITY nomination in the beginning of December. He, more that most, knows what often goes on, or gets left behind during factional elections.

Predictably, the votes of three Left Unity geographical groups, who had all voted for BAUGH were ruled out because of 'clerical errors'. Most, but not all, had their votes restored – but only when it became clear that it would not affect the final outcome – which was a close but clear win for JANICE.

BOFF licked his wounds and told the meeting he would accept the result. But it was a welcome surprise for him to hear, the following day, that Ms GODRICH was withdrawing her candidature, and presumably retiring as president in May, on health grounds.

The ‘health grounds’ have an aura of secrecy and have not been divulged to the membership, but we wish her well in her recovery.

Under LUNITY rules BOFF should have been called up, as runner-up, to fill the vacancy, but the LUNITY grandees who run SOCIALIST VIEW have said that BOFF is still unacceptable and they’ve called for a rerun and put up one of their own, a tired old has-been/never was called STELLA DENNIS to stand in JANICE’S place.

Unfortunately, STELLA will have to fight her corner on her own because MAREK has come out in favour of a dark horse, our very own LYNN HENDERSON. The National Officer for Scotland & Ireland, was once a protégé of the late EDDIE REILLY, the icon of the high-caste’s old SECRET LEFT. A Labour Party activist and occasional writer for the MORNING STAR, she can count on what’s left of the PCS DEMOCRATS and the COMMISSARS – but that frankly counts for very little these days.

Why SERWOTKA has chosen to back her is another puzzle. Some say he loathes STELLA as much as he apparently loathes BOFF. Maybe he just doesn’t care anymore. Apparently, our glorious leader spends much of his time “working from home” in a new house he’s bought in Wales (he’s sold his Coulsdon, Surrey, Mansion and can afford to buy a large chunk of Ceredigion where he now resides). Some believe he’s already preparing for speedy retirement on health grounds (in his case fully justified given his heart transplant) or a quieter life as a member of the Welsh Assembly.

Meanwhile, the INDEPENDENT LEFT finally named another old hand as their candidate for the AGS race – JOHN MALONEY – to provide as they put it “a real choice between the status quo or radical change in the union”.

MORONEY will stand on a “worker’s wage” and will not accept the £90K that is on offer and he’s going to fight on pay for a better claim and a disaggregated ballot -- whatever that means, though it hardly matters as he’s not going to win, is he?

Well, that’s the question that BOFF and the other wannabees are pondering at the moment.

STELLA DENNIS is still the bookie’s favourite. MORONEY’S got form but he can no longer rely on an active right-wing to boost his chances (historically the right wing when they have no candidate themselves back an extremely left-wing candidate to prevent mainstream left-wing from gaining control. Everyone is horrified when the extremists gain control and when they’re comprehensively routed at the next year’s election and the right wing/centrists take back control). This theory was debunked when Serwotka got his hands on the reins but he is a maverick, not even the choice of Left Unity to run as GS in the first place and he is not in the pocket of LU. He is now a Labour Party member and a Corbynite.

Despite a professional campaign web-site and considerable prestige north of the border LYNN hasn’t got the faction-power needed to win this race. Whether BOFF can do it remains to be seen. He’s still got the SOCIALIST PARTY machine and he’s got every chance in this four-horse race.

We apologise for our abject failure to factor Brexit arguments into this Bulletin.

No matter how many men you kill, you can't kill your successor.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Roman philosopher
4 BC – 65 AD