In this year’s elections Independent Left won three members to the NEC, three to the HMRC GEC and three to the DWP GEC. In addition we have GEC members in other groups. Whilst not pretending that in any way do we have power in the union, or that PCS will be greatly changed by these gains in seats, we do think these election results are significant.
Firstly Left unity’s monopoly on the NEC and GECs has been broken; they no longer decide who on the left gets elected. This despite the fact that for the NEC, Left Unity candidates were nominated by 7 to 8 more times branches than IL candidates – obviously this scale of nominations did not translate into votes; that is LU is not polling 7 to 8 times more than IL.
Secondly for the first time in a long time there will be principled sustained left opposition on the GECs and NECs. Now we acknowledge that occasionally some LU members on those committees have opposed the ‘line’ but such opposition, at least open opposition has been very muted. Which is strange in many ways as the SWP, at least accordingly to its formal politics, should be much opposed to the direction of the union over the years but this difference in politics has not translated into any real sustained opposition.
That will no longer be the case. We will be arguing that genuinely PCS be changed into a membership driven union, not the top down, ordinary union that PCS is, despite all the rhetoric.