I believe that, as a former 4themembers candidate for the NEC, and 4TM member of the DWP GEC I have been fairly influential in persuading the majority of members of the group that standing a slate was counter productive. Andy says a lot of interesting things in his piece, but he fails to set out any kind of programme for an alternative leadership. A slate that cannot offer that simple thing is unworthy of support. 4TM cannot even say whether it supports the so called 'campaign' against austerity because it lacks the courage to openly say that it is pointless, and lacks any idea of a possible alternative.
Moreover John McInally proves the point that I have repeatedly made in private up until now. That 4TM provides the rubbish opposition that the so called 'Democracy Alliance' require to keep them in power. John reckons that the 're-branded Moderates' of 4TM provide the great threat to the Socialist Party's domination of PCS. Either he's not very bright, given that 6 or 7 candidates could not form a majority, or he is very keen to retain the rump 4TM as his ideal no hope opponents.
If I had my way,there would not have been a 4TM slate at all. John would not have been able to say what he has, and he would have to actually come up with something a bit better than having to ' to unite to defeat the right wing'. Personally I have never met a 'right wing' trade unionist, it is myth that serves John and his cronies well.
There is an alternative leadership political strategy available. That is to support the only possible alternative Government, i.e. the Labour Party. To their eternal shame, the so called 'PSC Democrats' consisting of (mainly) Labour Party members continue to give legitimacy to the 'Democracy Alliance' by joining with people who seek the destruction of the Labour Party. What price a seat on the NEC? Only your political principles it seems.
I have accepted nomination for the NEC myself this year, and stand as an independent. I only did this because I hoped to use it as a platform to back Lynda Priestley for the Assistant General Secretary post. That was not to be. I did consider submitting the lyrics of a Beatles song as my election address, simply to see how many votes it would attract, but changed my mind. I restricted my satire in the end to urging people not to vote for me, which will probably be a unique election strategy.
I believe that nature abhors a vacuum. The end of a pointless opposition (as 4TM had become) may encourage a strong branch based opposition group to emerge in PCS. I very much hope it encourages others to stop hiding behind opponents of the Labour Party, just to get elected.
PCS is dying. It will either collapse or be absorbed within UNITE. Something radical needs to happen if Trade Unionism is to survive in the Civil Service. Its isn't going to come from the banal rhetoric of either John McInally or the confused statements of the remnants of 4TM.
Jim Denhan has published a useful article on Unites view of the EEC, which differs (correctly in Howie's Corners view) from the narrow minded left nationalism pursued by PCS/Socialist Party leaders.