GENERAL SECRETARY ELECTION
We live in interesting times. Can I begin by thanking all those who campaigned for me in the election? It was both an honour and a privilege to have the support of such fine people.
I won't name individuals because I don't think that would be egalitarian or in the spirit of a collective campaign. But those who did campaign for me were people I am proud to be associated with.
I also thank those who voted for me. The turnout was 14%. That was the problem. To win we had to increase the turnout. It was too near the general election. Things will change enormously over the forthcoming period and the union will need to be transformed to face the challenge.
It will be interesting to see how many ''leaders'' leave the movement over the next 12 months and how they are replaced by those who want to fight.
We have no choice but to fight and re-learn the lessons of old.
The Tories haven't changed and neither has the struggle. Some comfortable Labour MP's and trade union officials may think that the class struggle is over but those reared on the playing fields of Eton are returning to try and put us in our place.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the election campaign. It was uplifting to meet so many committed activists, who are a credit to the union. I have been invigorated by visiting branches who are doing such good work.
My faith and confidence in socialist ideas has been strengthened during the campaign. Our members are the 'lifeblood' of this union. Our aim should be to represent members not control them. The gratitude and warmth of someone you represent is worth ten times as much as material gain or political intrigues.
Once again thanks for your support. To quote the immortal Shelley;
'Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number -
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you -
Ye are many - they are few.'
Or to quote the Man from North Gawber;
'I learnt my socialism on the end of a shovel'.