GEC elections: vote Agenda for Change!

Submitted by martin on 11 January, 2004 - 5:44

By a TGWU member

At present, the GEC is narrowly controlled by a bureaucratic clique grouped around John Aitkin. This group claims to be on the left, but its record is one of inertia and nepotism. If they retain their hold, Woodley will be isolated and unable to enact the many positive proposals he championed during his successful campaign for the General Secretary's position.

The genuine Broad Left within the TGWU is therefore calling on branches to nominate those candidates who support the Woodley 'Agenda for Change'.

  • Region 1: (Inner: 2 seats) John Murphy and Leonie Snell; (Outer: 1 seat) Tom Cashman; Women's seat: Teresa MacKay
  • Region 2: Bob Purkiss and Brenda Pleasance
  • Region 3: Jim Kelly
  • Region 5: Division A Sam Chapman; Division B Adrian Ross; Women's Seat: Monica Taylor
  • Region 6: Sue Jopson and Tony Woodhouse; Women's seat: Brenda Sanders
  • Region 7: West: Scott McCabe (preferred candidate); East: Richard Whyte (preferred candidate); Women's Seat Linlay Park (preferred candidate)
  • Region 8: Allyson Daykin; Dave Mathieson (preferred candidate); Women's Seat: Paulene Robson
    Passenger Services: Martin Mayer; RTC: Tony Cooper; Docks and Waterways: Danny Maher; Food Drink & Tobacco: Barrie Roberts; Rural Agricultural and Allied Workers: Ivan Monckton; Vehicle Building and Automotive: John Boughton; Textiles: Graham Randle; Power & Engineering: Mick Murphy; Chemical Oil & Rubber: Chris Epson; Public Services: Dawn Stuart; Administrative, Clerical, Technical and Supervisory: Pat Stuart; Building and Construction: John Sheridan; General Workers: Dave Ritchie; National Women's Representative: Sally Keegan

Why Dromey won

The victory of 'moderate' Jack Dromey in the TGWU Deputy General Secretary election (defeating Tony Woodley supporter Graham Stevenson and the fake-left Barry Camfield), makes it essential that Woodley supporters gain a majority in the forthcoming General Executive Council elections. Below a TGWU member analyses the Dromey victory.

Dromey's victory is very disappointing for the left. It clearly demonstrates the damage that was done by the Aitkin/Camfield camp in persisting in running with Camfield in the Deputy General Secretary election, in spite of his poor showing in the General Secretary election. Overtures were made, and rejected, for unity around Graham Stevenson; indeed we know that many within the Aitkin camp argued strongly for uniting around Graham but were ignored. The result of a two-horse race - Graham versus Jack - might have been very different, where a clear left candidate could have been easily identified.

However it's true that we badly underestimated Jack's strength in this election. He came second in the General Secretary election to Tony and second to Bill Morris in the previous GS election. His public profile and media image made him easily the best known of the three candidates and it is clear that gives him a huge personal vote. ("He's the only one I've heard of").

But it is also true that all three candidates were at pains to express their support for our new left-wing General Secretary and his programme for change. I am told there were a number of spoilt papers with things like "they're all left-wing candidates" scrawled across them, presumably by disgruntled right wingers. Certainly Jack's and Barry's biographical details showed that they'd learnt lessons from the GS race where Tony Woodley's marked him out as the clear and only left-winger. The result of all this was that the choice was more confusing than in the GS election - with Jack as the only really high-profile candidate. Even Barry benefited from a better known name than Graham's, which might explain why his vote did not collapse as we'd expected.

But it has to be said that Jack's strong showing also arises because there were odd positions taken by some left-wingers who'd fought hard to get Tony Woodley elected. A readiness to accept a 'balanced ticket' to 'heal the wounds', a resignation that Jack was too strong to beat and that he was okay really. A reluctance to fight for Graham for undefined personal reasons. Maybe we could not have stopped Jack after all, but his strong victory will greatly encourage the right wing forces in our union who would otherwise have been marginalised by a victory for Graham. Those right wing forces are a lot nastier than Jack himself!

A victory for Graham would also have created a real roll for a left slate in the GEC elections. No matter what some left people thought about the DGS election, there must be unity now in pulling for a left majority on the Executive. An Executive that supports Tony and, just in case we do encounter problems with Jack, strong enough to deal with that.

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