Thursday, 5 March 2015

Socialist Party undermines fight against Tories

Socialist Party logo 

Not content with helping wreck the largest of the civil service unions, the Socialist Party is now using its position in PCS to promote itself above the need to remove the current Conservative Government.

In a self congratulatory bulletin to union members they argue that  "The Tory attack on unions must be resisted" yet turning to the second page they promote the Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition that got precisely nowhere at the last general election. They write about the forthcoming

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) was set up in 2010 by the Socialist Party, Bob Crow, the RMT and other socialist groups. Its aim is to stand candidates who are pledged to vote against austerity in the council chamber or in parliament. In the 2014 General Election, TUSC is aiming to stand 1,000 council candidates and is guaranteed to stand 100 parliamentary candidates. We would like all trade union members – particularly PCS members – to think about standing!

I think they mean the 2015 General Election, but the comrades obviously know best.

This is not an organisation with a good track record. Besides the fact the Socialist Party are a bunch of bureaucratic control freaks the only two times they have had their  hands on any kind of "power" it's ended up in disaster.

They bankrupted Liverpool Council back in the eighties sending out taxi's to deliver redundancy notices to the workers... and in 2015 are about to send out redundancy notices to half the staff that work for PCS because they have the union in such a mess there have to be cuts.

Fine example these opponents of austerity set eh?

Yet PCS members will be pleased to know that despite the inevitable reduction in the services available to them the Socialist Party has ensured:

Working with General Secretary Mark Serwotka and Assistant General Secretary Chris Baugh, the NEC has put in place a three year plan designed to get the union back on an even keel without sacrificing the union’s campaign priorities.

Ah, Campaign priorities.  Wonder what these will be?

The Socialist PCS Bulletin  advises:

The Socialist Party calls on PCS members to consider standing under the TUSC banner, and mobilise the rank and file to get out and campaign for these candidates, particularly where there are local issues to take up, such as the closure of child care centres in some civil service offices.

Would someone like to remind us about the closure of the creche at PCS which happened long before the current financial crisis happened.

The Socialist Party and their supporters don't have a (political) leg to stand on when it comes to opposing cuts and proposing an alternative as their own incompetence over the years has demonstrated.

Then there's the question of selling the family silver in the form of Falcon Road, the purpose built union headquarters building in Clapham Junction. We had been told that the NEC "had authorised the sale" and was to use the money to cover the £7.5 Million pensions deficit that PCS has run up.

That's fallen through according to the latest news on one PCS related website:

The cash-strapped union, facing a short-fall due to the black hole of the staff pension fund and the check-off crisis, had found a buyer who not only generously gives us a year’s grace to help us cope with relocation problems but says it’s going to replace Falconcrest with another office complex which would meet local pressure group demands for continued job opportunities in the locality – a point upheld by PCS in the past. And to cap it all the grandees were going around telling all and sundry that the buyer had paid PCS an advance of £3 million – which may have paid for essential and long overdue repairs at Falconcrest like the new light fittings and the renovated heating on the top floor.

Now we’re told the deal’s off. A PCS statement on 3rd February says:

“We have previously reported to branches that the NEC had agreed the sale of the Clapham Junction building and that discussions with a major developer were at an advanced stage.
There have been recent developments in the process of consultation over the route of Crossrail 2, a major infrastructure project involving tunnelled rail connections across the capital.

This has introduced additional uncertainty both for the current developer, who planned to knock down the building and rebuild, and for PCS, as it is also clear that the value of the building could increase significantly if the Crossrail 2 project goes ahead.

We do not now intend to proceed immediately with the sale but will take further advice, including advice on realising the potential value of the union's building in Victoria, which is currently rented to tenants, as part of our longer term planning.

The question is what are the “recent developments” over the route of Crossrail 2 and why would Brockton Capital pull out of a deal which could give them even more money in the longer term?

One question remains on this:

Why Brockton Capital pulled out doesn’t directly concern us. There may be all sorts of financial reasons behind it but we do need to know if they really did pay us £3 million in advance and whether that has now been forfeited or whether PCS will eventually have to repay it.

I'm sure the unions members would like an answer to that!

Meanwhile the internal squabbling continues as the Socialist Party and their lickspittles in Left Unity try to justify the cuts and have ensured that they will not be accountable in the immediate period by cancelling the internal elections this year.

Members will not have a say in any of this until it's too late.

Socialist democracy for you!

Meanwhile the need for trade unionists to ensure the removal of the Tory threat to the very survival of unions by backing Labour has never been more urgent.

The Socialist Party and it's puppet union PCS are part of the problem, not the solution.

No wonder people are turning to other alternatives in ever growing numbers.

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