Thursday, 1 January 2015

2015: The challenges ahead

As the calender turns to a New Year there are questions and decisions to be made. Some sooner, others a little later, but important on both a personal and a political level.

The first and most pressing (for me at least) is the question of what to do about the current and ever escalating crisis in the PCS union of which I have been both a member and Branch representative since it was established following a merger of two other unions.

The news that the National Executive Committee had astonishingly, if not sneakily decided to cancel internal elections at an extra-ordinary meeting the day before everyone went off for the seasons holidays has brought the question of how bad the situation really is inside PCS to the fore.

Over the last year the far-left leadership under Mark Serwotka and the Socialist Party has tried to allow Unite to literally takeover PCS. It was never any kind of merger on the table, just handing the keys over to Len McCluskey.

Rumours about the true state of the unions finances were denied, though the pensions deficit could not be hidden. Then during the summer without any kind of consultation planning permission was sought and obtained for the unions headquarters building in preparation for it's sale. Members only found out by chance and the leadership certainly were not going to tell us.

Secretiveness to the extreme. Why?

The claims that the "political attacks" on the union were the cause of all this just doesn't entirely ring true. The end of "check off" has been on the horizon for about two years now.

Hardly surprising after Serwotka gave the bosses an excuse on a plate with his ridiculous threat of a strike the day before the Olympics started on a ballot in which less than 11% of the members  in the Border Agency had voted.

So no more HQ building. Falcon Road has now been sold. No elections. They cost too much.

And they wonder why the members are not in a hurry to sign up for direct debit.

Under Serwotka PCS has lurched so far to the left that it not only has ended up being more or less a "fringe" organisation in the image of those who control the union, it has also managed to alienate other unions and more importantly a large section of it's own membership.

Political causes before members has been the central call of PCS's leaders. Serwotka seeking to build a new political party hopping around with failed alliances with George Galloway's misnamed Respect Party, the Socialist Workers Party and now the minute Trade Union and Socialist Coalition.

Even as the financial crisis grew or rather came to light the comrades still debated standing candidates at the next General Election.

That says it all for me.

This brings us to the second matter of concern for the New Year. The General Election.

If the opinion polls are to be believed the only thing we are guaranteed is an interesting nights viewing on the television to see how the pundits claims actually turn out.

Neither Labour nor the Conservatives seem set to win the election outright. The reason?

Petty nationalism.

Two competing groups of nationalists, the little Englanders of UKIP and their Scottish equivalents in the SNP may hold the balance of of power between them.

The backward thinking of both groups of nationalists fly in the face of the reality of the modern world. Smaller countries are weaker nations. 

Isolation from the European Community a desire for both the far-left and the far right isn't going to help anybody.

We as a nation need to move forward, not backwards.

Nationalism and Marxism represent an age of dictators that I had hoped the world could now put behind itself.

But no. Their fanatical adherents continue to divide and damage.

The need for a modernised social democracy has never been greater. Labour does not have all the answers and will be far from perfect. But then what party does have a magic wand.

Certainly not UKIP, the SNP or the TUSC.

I want the coalition removed from power. This year.

If we don't, it's not just PCS that will fall. Outside the EU the unions will all find themselves emasculated.

The fall of PCS is a warning of the folly of cultish politics. They have committed collective suicide under the comrades yolk.

So one decision is made. Vote Labour. That was easy.

The other, which is whether to remain in PCS or join another union remains. Not an easy decision to make, but one that does to be made.

There are other unions.

Those of us who remain in the former union known as PCS will have to make a decision sooner rather than later.


  1. Frankly, the decision re whether to remain a member of PCS should be made for you by the union as they should expel you for promoting a rival scab union.

    1. Easy to hide behind Pusedo names Dev and no photos. Keboard Warriors nothing more.

      The day freedom of speech seems almost gone in PCS with the latest savings on our old friend democratic elections. However until Freedom of speech and expression have truly gone I suggest Howie keeps up his good work.