The Socialist

The Socialist 13 January 2021

Our health and livelihoods before their profits

The Socialist issue 1116

Our health and livelihoods before their profits

Londoners suffer and Khan piles on pressure

Bosses earn workers' annual wage in three days


NHS Emergency - Fight for a fully funded, publicly owned, socialist NHS

Dispatches from the front - health workers speak out

NHS pandemic warnings ignored - renationalise our NHS


Schools: Act together to oppose unsafe numbers and rising workload


Global capitalism at most dangerous conjuncture since the 1930s


Fully resource the vaccination programme now

Covid vaccine nationalism threatens pandemic response


How should socialists respond to the 6 January attacks on Capitol Hill?


Lockdown 3.0 - fight to make our shops safe!

Ryan Aldred: Why I'm standing for Usdaw's EC


Unison get sec election shows left can win NEC

Royal mail management forced to make concessions

British Gas workers strike against 'fire and rehire' plans

Get stuck in to build a fighting, democratic PCS union


Refund student rent and fees - fight for free education and make the 1% pay

Exams scrapped again - young people need a future with jobs and free education


Help us fund the fight for Socialism

TUSC to hold local elections conference in February


Book Review: Humankind - Dispelling the myth that humans are too selfish for socialism

 
 
 
 
 

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Hugo Pierre, speaking at Socialism 2020, 21st November 2020

Hugo Pierre, speaking at Socialism 2020, 21st November 2020

Unison general secretary election shows left can win NEC

Socialist Party members in Unison

The result of the Unison general secretary election shows the mood for change in the biggest public sector union. While Christina McAnea, the candidate supported by outgoing general secretary Dave Prentis, has won, the potential has been shown for the union's right wing to be defeated. This must be the message ahead of the NEC elections, which are due to begin at the start of February.

The election has lifted the lid on the anger and frustration that many members feel at years of retreats by the union leadership against the cuts of successive Tory, ConDem and New Labour governments.

The catastrophic effects of this offensive of austerity and privatisation have been revealed during the Covid pandemic, which has seen the NHS pushed to, and even beyond, its limits.

Last summer, we also saw health workers demonstrating with their masks and PPE for a 15% pay rise to make up for a decade of pay cuts and freezes. But Unison's presence on these protests was through ordinary reps and members because of the total absence of the union officially.

McAnea was the national health officer at the time of the massive 2011 public sector pensions strike. Infamously, after the Prentis leadership, along with the TUC, broke the strike unity by accepting Tory terms, McAnea justified the retreat: "...we always knew this would be a damage-limitation exercise."

However, the combined vote of the three other candidates, who stood against McAnea from the left could have beaten her. Standing for the first time, Socialist Party member and Unison NEC member for the male black members' seat, Hugo Pierre, won a very good vote of over 10,000.

This shows that there was an audience for his fighting, left, industrial and political programme, including demanding that Labour councils refuse to pass on Tory cuts.

Hugo was the only candidate to question the union handing over millions of pounds to Starmer's Labour Party. Given Starmer's refusal to back last week's call of education unions, including Unison, to close schools, and what his Labour leadership has done to Corbyn, many Unison members will increasingly see this as the correct position and will see the need for a real political alternative that fights for workers.

Hugo was the only left candidate to actively propose reaching agreement for a single candidate to oppose the Prentis bloc; and both the others, Roger McKenzie and Paul Holmes - supported by Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell respectively - refused to even engage with the discussion that was clearly necessary.

But the lessons must be learned for the forthcoming NEC election, which affords members the opportunity to confront McAnea's leadership with a fighting, national, lay leadership, armed with the militant programme that is particularly necessary now, including leading the fight against the Tory public sector pay freeze.

It is therefore very concerning that there are reports that Holmes' supporters are considering standing against existing Socialist Party NEC members, risking a split in the left vote and thereby strengthening the hand of the right. The Socialist Party calls on the wider left to immediately discuss how a left slate can be put together on the fighting policies that are needed.

Christina McAnea 63,900 (47.7%)

Paul Holmes 45,220 (33.76%)

Roger McKenzie 14,450 (10.79%)

Hugo Pierre 10,382 (7.75%)


This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 11 January 2021 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.


In this issue


News

Our health and livelihoods before their profits

Londoners suffer and Khan piles on pressure

Bosses earn workers' annual wage in three days


NHS

NHS Emergency - Fight for a fully funded, publicly owned, socialist NHS

Dispatches from the front - health workers speak out

NHS pandemic warnings ignored - renationalise our NHS


Schools

Schools: Act together to oppose unsafe numbers and rising workload


Economy

Global capitalism at most dangerous conjuncture since the 1930s


Vaccines

Fully resource the vaccination programme now

Covid vaccine nationalism threatens pandemic response


International news

How should socialists respond to the 6 January attacks on Capitol Hill?


Retail

Lockdown 3.0 - fight to make our shops safe!

Ryan Aldred: Why I'm standing for Usdaw's EC


Workplace news

Unison get sec election shows left can win NEC

Royal mail management forced to make concessions

British Gas workers strike against 'fire and rehire' plans

Get stuck in to build a fighting, democratic PCS union


Youth and students

Refund student rent and fees - fight for free education and make the 1% pay

Exams scrapped again - young people need a future with jobs and free education


Campaigns and party news

Help us fund the fight for Socialism

TUSC to hold local elections conference in February


Review

Book Review: Humankind - Dispelling the myth that humans are too selfish for socialism


 

Home   |   The Socialist 13 January 2021   |   Join the Socialist Party

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