Sunday, 8 June 2014

Socialist Party Carry On Regardless with takeover by Unite!

The vexed question of the proposed takeover of the PCS union by Unite is raising its ugly head once again as the Socialist Party "fixer" John McInally writes at length in the latest issue of The Socialist:

One of the main debates at PCS annual conference in May was on a possible merger with Unite the Union.

Conference showed that PCS activists and members need information, clarity and assurances that it would be in the best interests of both unions' members.

Members will expect the PCS leadership to leave no stone unturned in fighting for their interests.

Over the last 13 years PCS's left leadership has taken a serious approach to representing its members, including fighting government attacks.

This would be the same leadership that has left the main civil service union in such a mess that PCS is now in a weaker position that either it or its' predecessors have ever been in?

Both membership numbers and participation in the internal life of the union are in decline, not all due to cuts. Members have been slowly drifting away and the leadership has hidden the departure of a whole group (SOCA) from the wider membership for a year.

PCS's so-called left leadership has been anything but serious about representing the membership. Their whole project has been to create an activists based union. 

They don't want a representative union not just because they might find members are not the fanatics that activists tend to be, but they wouldn't be able to use the union for their own nefarious agendas. 

The activists of PCS are mainly Trotskyists, but old fashioned Stalinists and even wild eyed Anarchists are to be found inhabiting the corridors of power and "smoke filled rooms" where decisions are made.

Of course the most powerful of these organisations within PCS is McInally's Socialist Party (of England & Wales),  SPEW for short. They do take the political gravy train they are on very seriously indeed. 

We have been assured by the highly paid Assistant General Secretary Chris Baugh that the unions finances are in order despite reports of shortfalls in the unions pension scheme for our own staff. McInally repeats that assurance in his lengthy rant stating:

PCS, like other organisations, has been negatively affected by the financial crisis in respect of pensions but the union is financially viable even if it is does not merge with Unite.

Finance has never been a driver in this process. Despite actually seeing an increase in its union density in the civil service, PCS has lost membership as a result of an anti-public sector austerity programme.

Really...... must be political self interest then. We are informed that:

Under its left leadership PCS will continue to exert an influence - but it would be a bigger voice in a merged union.

Translate that into plain English and you get the Socialist Party will exert greater influence....


That the Socialist Party and its hangers on are continuing to push for the merger is clearly spelled out:

Neither Left Unity nor the Socialist Party have a fixed position on the merger (bollocks - Ed) other than the necessity of engaging in talks and then conducting a democratic debate and allow members to decide. But we see the possibilities of a merger......

For themselves

That is why we believe the formal talks should begin.

Meanwhile Janice Godrich assured reps there will be a democratic debate. How is not known. The PCS "In house" publications will be the usual one sided rants and the face Book page only has 600 members, so the definition of "democratic" will need to be discussed itself.

Especially as the future of our union is at stake!

I am not alone in having concerns. The Independent Left grouping says:

What we think will happen is that the talks will begin (though there are rumours that Unite is rapidly cooling on the idea of a transfer of PCS members), there will be little in the way of reports and that a ‘deal’ will be announced. This will not guarantee our democratic structures (though we assume there will be transitional arrangements) nor our independent political voice. Then a special conference will be held but it will be limited in what it will be allowed to do – for example it will be banned from giving a recommendation in a ballot to members and there will be a members ballot on the transfer which will have a ‘yes’ recommendation. Therefore branches and activists have to prepare themselves now for those manoeuvres.

...but for now the key message is that the SP intend to plough ahead with the merger.

The Grandees will "Carry on Regardless".

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