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By Judas Iscariot - August 2003

ere come summer, oh happy days! High-castes on leave pottering around the world looking at ancient wonders with their spouses in tow oblivious to the dangers of Islamic fundamentalists or a resurgence of SARS; high-flyers doing Tuscany or the Cote d’Azur; and other ranks escaping to the more modest delights of the Mediterranean or doing their best to keep our ailing seaside resorts alive. For most of us it’s a chance to put aside the cares of the day and the worries of the world. But for the faction bosses the only respite is the backward glance to see where the next dagger is coming from.

In the Lunity led Democracy Coalition the sense of satisfaction at trouncing the Mods masks the inner tensions within its ranks. The dominant bloc is loosely led by former members of the old Mendicant Tendency whose collapse is still reverberating in the corridors of power in Falconcrest. Some like JANICE and DANNY WILLIAMSON remain in Mendicant’s heirs – the Scottish Socialist Party or the obscure Socialist Party which operates south of the border. Others, like LEON BAUGH, have dropped out their ranks altogether, and their remaining commitment to the cause is now just the factional politics of LEFT UNITY in PCS. And the keyword is caution. They’ve worked for 17 years for this day and they don’t want the hotheads of the CAUCUS or their hidden enemies in JAMES WILSON-UNDY’s camp to jeopardise their current level of popular support.The Left majority will continue the campaign for a democratic rule-book, purging it of the last vestiges of Undyism, and back industrial action if there’s at least half a chance of victory. But the major focus, at least as far as McCREADIE is concerned, is consolidating their hold on the Falconcrest apparatus by filling full-time officer vacancies with their own followers.It’s an old tune – one played by the Moderati in their time and the high-caste SECRET LEFT when they had a stranglehold on the SOCIETY. But it’s one which will not please the CAUCUS nor is it likely to cut much ice with the membership as a whole. It is, afterall, how we got tossers like BONNER and SPENCE on the payroll back in 1987. Meanwhile it seems that JIM HANSON has been assuring anyone who cares to listen that all the Mods have to do is sit tight, wait for the Democracy Coalition to implode and be swept back on a tide of acclamation in next year's elections. Seasoned observers will of course be aware that the "keep your head down and don't scare the horses" approach has been BASIL's response to previous crises for the right-wing, with often disastrous results.During the heyday of the CHARLATAN slate in the old CPSA-DHSS section, BASIL played a key role, along with KOWALSKI, BOYLE and others in suppressing any independent political activity by BL'84 supporters of the anti-Trot coalition. The resulting SEC became complacent and lost touch with frightening rapidity, hastening the return of the TROTS.BASIL and BOYLE facilitated the wholesale takeover of the DIM LEFT by the Moderati, which resulted in the loss of the 4,000 vote margin commanded by the DIM LEFT slate and spelt the end of that bloc's capacity for independent thought and organisation. BASIL's heads-down strategy has been wrong so often, the miracle is even he continues to believe in it!The Moderati, or whatever they choose to call themselves these days, know in their hearts that it will take a miracle to reverse their fortunes in the less than a year to the next elections. But they think they’ve got more than half a chance at a stab at the DGS post when it comes up for grabs in 2004. That, of course, depends on the health of MARTIN BOYLE. BOIL, who collapsed in January with suspected kidney failure, has made a complete recovery. Apparently his condition was not as serious as first feared but he has been advised to go on a strict diet and cut back on his legendary drinking. Whether he will be fit enough to fight a ferocious campaign remains to be seen.SERWOTKA is known to favour the return of his old mate BATTLEMUCH but that too is in doubt. Though a DGS salary would more than compensate the loss of PRATTLEMUCH’s SEO salary MAREK will doubtless expect him to follow his own example and renounce all but the equivalent of the EO max. It will be interesting to see what happens.The UNDERLINGS will doubtless be hoping to field their usual no-hoper HUGH LANNING, with the support of the dregs of the SECRET LEFT who call themselves UNITY from time to time. LANNING has nothing to lose but his face but whether this utterly useless bureaucrat is up to another almost certainly humiliating defeat is another matter.The only dark horse is FRANK CAMPBELL, the onetime darling of BL’84 who still plods on in relative obscurity. Few people actually hate FRANK, which is more than can be said for BOYLE or LANNING. But on the other hand CAMPBELL is a man who has few real friends. The old CPSA BL’84 is no more apart from a tiny rump inside Left Unity and you’ve got to be pushing fifty to remember FRANK at all.Those that do point out that he could easily do the job – but so could anyone if CHURCHYARD or LANNING is anything to go by. They also argue that FRANK would be the ideal “compromise” candidate for the Assorted Trots and the Underlings to head off the BOYLE challenge.

That presupposes that there’s a problem in the first place. There’s no doubt that at the moment BATTLEMUCH or indeed anyone standing on the “Democracy” ticket would beat the Moddies in a two-horse race for the DGS. If the UNDERLINGS push LANNING then it’s wide-open again.

In a three-horse race all of them would be in the running but the other two alternatives would be very bad news for NOSEFERUNDY indeed. If BOYLE won LORD UNDY would get the blame and if PRATTLEMUCH won FLICK would be finished in the TROT camp. HERR FLICK has little to gain and a lot to lose by showing his hand so early in the game. Sharp eyed conference goers will already have noted that UNDY withdrew from the TUC delegation elections, rather than come last in the poll when he discovered that the unified concordat didn’t run to the block elections.

Roll on those crazy, hazy days of summer…