As reported in Solidarity earlier this year there are likely to be three candidates in total vying to be the next Assistant General Secretary of PCS following incumbent Chris Baughs’ victory over senior union employee Stella Dennis for the nomination of the leadership faction, Left Unity.
Baugh’s victory has led to a bit of a fallout in the leadership camp. Strongly opposed by Mark Serwotka and the ‘grandees’ of the union’s leadership, including the acting President and majority of Vice-Presidents on the grounds of ‘conservatism, ‘defeatism’ and ‘opposition to union and Left Unity policy’ it was bound to be the case that either result would result in a schism.
In an email to all PCS Left Unity Members, the National Secretary of LU explained that ‘Since the election… a number of individual comrades and political tendencies [have stated] they are not willing to support Chris as AGS given his different position on pay and among other things.’
Equally disruptive was the position of the increasingly tiny PCS Democrats, a centrist faction separate to Left Unity but whom together make-up the apolitical, opportunistic electoral umbrella ‘The Democratic Alliance’. The PCS Democrats refuse to support Baugh as part of their umbrella slate for national elections and therefore to maintain the electoral lash-up the Left Unity National Committee have refused to include Baugh on any of their NEC literature. Putting out a separate, half-arsed leaflet asking for nomination for Baugh.
The SWP and other tendencies in LU have also, privately at least, said they will not be supporting Baugh. They are likely to support senior union employee, Lynn Henderson. As supposed Marxists who at least on paper stress the importance of a membership-led union, and full-timers on a workers-wage this is a serious act of hypocrisy and political opportunism.
As this navel-gazing carry-on continues, the only rank-and-file member of the union standing in the AGS election, John Moloney, continues his outward campaign to the membership. John has now launched his campaign proper with a full manifesto, members leaflet and a number of video’s relating to particular industrial and political issues. All which can be found at pcsindepdentleft.com
He has also publicly and directly challenged the other candidates to a face-to-face, recorded debate. So far only Lynn Henderson has formally accepted this and the first of these will likely be at the DEFRA South Eastern AGM in late February.
PCS members should attend their AGM’s and support Moloney and other Independent Left comrades standing in this year’s national elections.