by Judas Iscariot 5th June 2002
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One General Secretary sacked and the other accused of launching a coup. Both reaching for their lawyers and an angry mob outside Falconcrest. Just like the good old CPSA days! But not quite...

In those long-forgotten times the Moderati always came up on top whatever the reason. If a ballot was re-run they won it, naturally. If they went to the courts our Learned Friends always found in their favour. If they went crawling to Fleet Street - and it was Fleet St then - they always found a sympathetic column or even a feature or two in the gutter press soon after.

Well nothing's certain now though why it came as a surprise nobody knows. BARRY'S coup was long in the waiting. The Great Scot never accepted his early bath. He told his followers he was forced out and he bided his time. Of course he accepted the golden handshake because he couldn't bank on a Mod victory at the 2002 elections. But once the results were declared the die was cast. The infamous Economist article spelt it out for those with eyes to see. He said it himself at Brighton - front-paged by the PFL to boot. But the obvious conclusion - that there could be only one General Secretary after 3rd June didn't sink into the left until the eve of the fateful NEC.

But there can be more than one - as the court has ruled in stopping the clock until the hearing in a fortnight's time. And RAMSBLADDER may not have bargained for that.

Though Barry stacked the cards on the NEC buying off most of the Revenue Me Fisters with who knows what - perhaps a veep for EWERS - in the knowledge that PRIESTLEY was on holiday and so was DONNELLAN, it hasn't gone all to plan.

First of all, and for the first time for many moons, the Mods have not received an entirely favourable press. Sure they got what they wanted from The Sun - but that part of the Murdoch empire doesn't not have much influence amongst the membership. The Daily Mirror and The Times reports are neutral while those in The Independent and The Guardian have been positively pro-SERWOTKA.

Secondly all's not well in the Moderati camp. Only the chosen few knew what was coming and even fewer in the Revenue were let into the secret. Some feel that BARRY is doing this cos he's got nothing to lose and everything to gain - not quite the full story but that's how it seems. Others worry about a backlash that will hit them in future elections. True none have jumped ship apart from an expendable Revenue Me Firster but it's early days yet.

A lot depends on the courts and even BARRY must wonder about the outcome. RAMSBLADDER has a case but it's clearly flawed because he did accept his pay-off. His argument rests on an undeclared "principle" --- that he who wins the last election can negate the decisions of previous ones. The judge's ruling will be interesting to say the least. And RAMSBLADDER does have something to lose. If it goes against him BARRY may have to stump up the costs, not to mention the considerably loss of face with his supposed mates in the Labour Government.

SERWOTKA and Madame GODRICH have played their cards well so far but they've no grounds for complacency. They could lose in court. BARRY certainly thinks they will and if that happens then the Great Scot will get his two years.

GODRICH does have one other card. She's already mentioned the fact that the election rules appear to have been breached by the "mysterious" pro-Moderati e-mailings. There would appear to be a prima facie case for re-running the NEC elections or ordering fresh elections to take place. Whether the President has the power - or the votes - to ensure that such a ruling gets through is another matter. But new elections - at this time - would clearly favour LUNITY and the non-Revenue Me Firsters who are still led by James Undy (who as we all know hates RAMSBLADDER).

Of course none of this would have happened if we'd had a democratic rule book and not the travesty devised by the Moderati and the Undymen during their honeymoon period.

The question of the rule changes passed at Conference, and the agreed rules revision conference will have to be put to members' vote come what may. In Brighton the Mods were confident they'd get all rules questions defeated at the referendums. That was then, this is now…

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