Submitted by AWL on 22 May, 2019 - 12:37
pcs demo

Left on PCS election

The victory in the PCS civil service union’s Assistant General Secretary (AGS) election for John Moloney, candidate of the Independent Left and a supporter of Workers’ Liberty, has met diverse responses from the left press.

Socialist Worker, which backed Lynn Henderson, was the first to respond. It emphasised the low turnout (it was low, but higher than last time) and claimed that “Moloney… is against the union’s national campaign for a 10 per cent pay rise”. Not true: John Moloney emphasised pay equality, but not at the expense of a general rise.

The Socialist Party, whose member Chris Baugh was the incumbent AGS, took longer to respond. Both they and the Henderson faction pushed the story that the votes for Moloney were, like their own votes, votes for change, against the status-quo leadership. The SP also, and contradictorily, argued that Baugh’s vote combined with Henderson’s represented a single “Left Unity” vote that shouldn’t have been split (“Left Unity” is the longstanding dominant faction in PCS, and until recently was itself dominated by the SP. Baugh was the “official” LU candidate, but many LU people backed Henderson).

Socialist Appeal backed Lynn Henderson, but headlined its response: “Baugh defeated by John Moloney”. Henderson’s score? No worries, she was “a relative newcomer”. She has been a prominent PCS full-time official for 15 years, and had the backing of Mark Serwotka, general secretary for 17 years. Mostly Socialist Appeal was pleased to see the SP discomfited.

“In the past, the SP activists had played an important role in defeating the right. But increasingly they have put their own prestige above the general interests of the movement.

“However much they put a gloss on things, they will not recover from this debacle”.

Gerry Bates, London

Peace demo at the Gaza border

My friends and I, who are active with Standing Together, came to Yad Mordechai junction near the Gaza border, and raised our voices in protest. We were there, both Jewish as well as Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel. We held signs and chanted in Hebrew and Arabic, and we were demanding a change to Netanyahu’s policy: Safeguarding the future of the Israeli citizens in the South of Israel — goes through negotiations and dialogue with the Palestinian leadership and advancing towards peace.

For us, it’s very clear, that without lifting the siege on Gaza and ending the Occupation — there can never be real security for any of us. Just a non-ending cycle of escalations and cease-fires. As we were standing there, some passing drivers honked in support. Others — in protest.

One driver, spotting our purple bilingual sign that read “Jews and Arabs Together” yelled at us: “If you like Arabs so much, go and live with them”. “Well, I am Arab”, answered the activist holding the sign — Ahmad Abu Mdighem, a fellow member in Standing Together.

We were a few dozen locals in this gathering, which took place far away from the hustle and bustle of the big cities of Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv. Our spirits were high, because our cause is right. The movement’s motto of Standing Together is “Where there is struggle — there is hope”. We won’t give up hope, and we will definitely keep on fighting. Together.

Mark Joffe, Kibbutz Kfar-Aza, near the Gaza Strip

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