Friday, 10 May 2013

Hugh Lanning returns like Lazarus in... Napo?

It's only a few weeks since Hugh Lanning the former Deputy General Secretary of the PCS union quit retired from his post in an apparent fit of pique over the antics of the Socialist Party in the union. Having more than a few mates in the Unite union poor old Hugh was incensed by the attacks on Len McCluskey (the Unite General Secretary) over his pro Labour Party stance since the Socialist Party Grandees favour their own tiny Trade Union and Socialist Coalition.

For full details see:

Given he must have a reasonable package from PCS, you'd think he'd go for the quiet life pottering in his garden and having his annual holidays as the guest of his Stalinist mates in Cuba or at the Hamas hotel in Gaza. Not so it would seem. He's standing for the post of General Secretary in the National Association of Probation Officers (Napo).

One of the interesting things about his candidature are his two sponsors who he lovingly quotes in his election statement:

My two supporting referees are Mark Serwotka, General Secretary of PCS, and Judy McKnight, former General Secretary of Napo.

Is there more to this than meets the eye? Judy McNight is also a former PCS Grandee of sorts.

Lanning makes much of his time in PCS:

I want to be part of this fight.  I bring experience of dealing regularly with senior ministers of this and the previous administration.  I have extensive contacts within the labour and trade union movement – key allies if Napo is to win.

I wonder which allies he is talking about?

The main thing most of us remember of Lanning is that he spent much of his time abroad in Cuba, Venezuela and gallivanting around Gaza with...Hamas with whom he has in particular built connections as a result of his also being Chair of the so-called Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

He wasn't nicknamed Hugh "passport" Lanning for no reason.

Lanning's "extra-curricular" activities always seemed to take a priority over the interests of ordinary PCS members.

Napo members should be aware that this man contributed to the PCS union becoming weaker and more isolated in the trade union movement over the decade or so that he was Deputy GS.

As for being "recommended" by the Marxist windbag that is Mark Serwotka it should actually serve as a further warning that his connections and motives for standing are highly debatable.

If Napo members want to keep their organisation as a proper trade union then Hugh Lanning is not the man for the job.

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