PCS Members will be receiving a ballot paper for their union elections around now. Many members organised into groups (departments) will receive two ballot papers, the second for their group executive committee. My group is the DWP so I receive the following two:
I support the Left Unity group. There are, of course, other people standing. There is a group that says that the current Left Unity leadership is not hardline enough. There are others that say that it is too hardline! The “Independent Left” group bases itself on members who are impatient and aren’t prepared for the less militant layers to catch up. I suspect that an IL leadership would be very militant on paper, but in practice, would lead very few struggles because the bulk of members would not follow them. They tend, as a group, to come in third in these elections. In my view they should throw in their lot with Left Unity, both groups want to fight back against what this Government are doing, and the differences are mainly over tactics, something that could be resolved.
The group who have been coming in second are the so-called “4TheMembers” group. In my view they should be called 4TheManagement. One of their leading lights has tried to undermine every action our union has taken over the last few years, circulating stuff criticising the union, with the tacit support of management. Their view is that members don’t really want to fight back, and that the union should do its best to negotiate what little it can. The problem with that is, management won’t give us anything. We have to take action to get any gains or concessions at all!
When 4TM are saying that, as a union, we are too militant, and IL are saying that we are not militant enough, I tend to conclude that Left Unity has got it about right. It’s not about taking action as a knee jerk reaction, nor is it about rolling over and playing dead. It’s about a leadership that picks and chooses our battles wisely, and in a way that takes members as far as they are willing to go, in order to get the best agreements possible.
It’s a hard struggle. Vote for these candidates for a union that continues to fight for your interests!
Back home from Malta, had a great weekend. Got a few songs in at the Karaoke and a huge applause for my first ever attempt at “Here Comes The Night”. And after the long Easter Weekend returned refreshed to work on 2nd April. Had a quite easy, stress-free day at work which is unusual after such an absence, but still managed to wake up sick the following morning. I had all this around June last year, one thing after another, and here it was again. I felt better on Sunday but by Monday it was back to square one. Monday the 8th April 2013. A day that started badly until ….
Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead
I was chatting on line to a friend when she told me that Thatcher had died. I had to start checking every news source, and they were all confirming it. The woman that had led a huge change in British Society, where our communities had been replaced with individual greed, the whole culture of “I’m all right Jack, sod everyone else” had started. It had shamefully continued under the government of Tony Blair PM. An anagram of Tony Blair PM is “I’m Tory Plan B”. And so it proved. Monetarism, privatisation, attacking the conditions of workers, putting people out of work, whilst all the time transferring huge amounts of money from the poor to the rich, it had all started with Thatcher.
I woke up Friday 1st March feeling very tired and groggy – I wasn’t breathing properly, and decided to phone in sick. To be fair I thought I’d be back on Monday, and by the end of the day I was feeling much better. I even joined in the Karaoke at my local – a first! I had never been in there before, the place is supposed to be dead rough and nothing but trouble. But appearances can be deceptive. OK one bloke fell over drunk whilst trying to leave the pub, but actual trouble? Nope. OK the people there weren’t exactly fashion victims, but then neither am I. The only thing that really bothered me is that, when I sang “Handbags and Gladrags” there was a slight feeling of discomfort in my throat.