Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Why I am supprting John Burgess for General Secretary

He is not standing to increase his party's profile or play gesture politics - he is standing to win.

I believe he is the best candidate for the job for good reasons: Firstly, he has lead an inspiring campaign against a viscous Tory council for years, sometimes winning battles against all the odds. His branch have repeatedly taken strike action against the privatisation agenda of Barnet council when the received wisdom in UNISON is this cannot be done.

When London Met University declared they intended to privatise the entire back office, our branch launched a campaign of action which modeled itself on the Barnet campaign against 'Easy Council'. We took advice from John in the now infamous 'Barnet bunker' and we declared a trade dispute around the 'identity of the employer'. 

We won our campaign after weeks and months of relentless campaigning which included a trade dispute and an approved official ballot for industrial action. It was thanks in no small part to the good advice of John Burgess and the help and support of Helen Davies who went on to get elected onto the NEC twice since. 

John is energetic, charismatic, and determined. He has the intelligence and leadership qualities we need to take on this government in this brave new world of Cameron and Osborne's reign.

John has grasped the nettle of privatisation and cuts with gusto and taken legal action as well as industrial action: he fights wiht all weapons at his disposal. 

John threw his weight into a political campaign in the local elections two years ago and the Tories in Barnet almost lost their majority. 

John's support for Jeremy Corbyn, as a Labour party member, has been unequivocal from the word go.

And as a campaigner, John has embraced social media - whether it is via Facebook and Twitter - evidence by his regular updates and growing army of followers. His imaginative songs on Youtube or cartoons and animations with Tim Sanders have truly inspired the rest of us whilst we try to play catch up. 

I believe others with their hat in the ring, whilst great candidates, know in their hearts john has the track record and a high profile 'candidate of struggle and they should quickly withdraw in his favour: we can then discuss how we can all can strengthen his campaign to ensure it become the kind of grass roots movement, with all aspects of the left on board, that Jeremy Corbyn has managed to lead.   

We need a new leadership, we need John's leadership.