Thursday, April 14, 2005

Left Unity and Other Practical Jokes

PCS, meet the Internet. The Internet, meet PCS, the Public and Commercial Services trade union. One of the most militant unions in responding to the government's neo-liberal attacks on the public sector, PCS is notable as much for its comical value as its belligerant, take-no-sh*t attitude. Their leader, Mark Serwotka, is a prominent supporter of the RESPECT Coalition and was one of the new generation of left-wing trade union leaders.

But PCS is by no means united.

You've got the Moderates, who'd rather quit than strike; the Democrats, who'd do the same but be terribly apologetic; Left Unity, which doesn't give a damn about left unity; the Socialist Caucus, an exact replica except they hate the Socialist Party; the Secret Left, who pretend not to be infected by revolutionitis; 4 The Members who want to solve political sectarianism with honest individual sectarianism. There are too many to list.

Now this post might sound a little negative, but quite frankly I take comfort in knowing all of this. Whether it's my British trait of glorifying mediocrity or not, I can't be certain. But when you consider that PCS has been at the forefront of those trade unions opposing the government's cuts, all the while having to deal with these groups, how can they not win in the end?

See, now there's optimism and positive thinking for you.

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