Sunday, 16 February 2014
PCS Elections: Fight for democracy!
The late entry of Lynda Priestley into the election for Assistant General Secretary caused more than just simple consternation amongst the supporters of Socialist Party incumbent Chris Baugh. They've panicked.
Word has reached me from more than one source that some activists are not only hell bent on getting their own nominations through ,but are allegedly trying to "block" nominations for Lynda. Frankly given the political shenanigans that go on inside the PCS union it should come as no surprise.
More to the point such tactics are born out of fear.
Fear of an open and democratic and election.
Last time Baugh stood he was opposed by the then virtually unknown Rob Bryson, a Branch Secretary in the DWP. He nearly lost. This time Baugh faces a much more well known and high profile opponent who has been Group President of the HMRC for the last three years with a record of beating off challenges by the far-left.
It is absolutely essential for the health of democracy in the PCS union that Lynda gets the required number of nominations to get on the ballot paper and I would appeal to all branches, especially the majority that never make nominations to put Lynda Priestley forward for the AGS post.
There needs to be a proper debate, through a proper election. The far-left have treated our union as their personal fiefdom for far too long.
At the same time I remain concerned that so many Labour Party members and supporters remain in alliance with the Left Unity organisation, which is used and abused by the Socialist Party for it's own ends.
The Socialist Party are anti-Labour. They want to break the link between the unions (in general) and the Labour Party. The SP even seek to stand candidates against Labour, dividing the movement against the Coalition Government.
The Socialist Party are the Tories best friends. Handing propaganda victories to the Government whenever and wherever they intervene.
The time has come for PCS politics to grow up.
Lynda Priestley is NOT a "right-wing" candidate as the Socialist Party/Left Unity imply. She is simply in the political mainstream, like most of our members.
Last weeks by-election shows the real "right-wing" (Tories, Lib Dems and UKIP) are divided. Labour can move forward and with the continued attacks on the trade union movement members can no longer afford the "luxury" of the political sectarianism pursued not just by the Socialist party, but also the General Secretary Mark Serwotka
These people have failed us for a decade or more. The time has come for a political renewal in PCS and in the trade union movement in general.
The various tin-pot campaigns that our subscription money is wasted on at a time when the union cannot provide for our political futures is a disgrace.
The time has come for a break with the antics of the charlatans within Left Unity and work towards the creation of a new alliance of Labour orientated activists in the union.
We can start by getting a fresh face at the top table and then work over the coming year as the General Election approaches to finally rid ourselves of this troublesome Tory Government.
The Socialist Party and their various far-left allies are a dangerous distraction.
Be part of the solution.
Nominate and vote for Lynda Priestley for Assistant General Secretary.