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Derek McMillan

A new leader for teachers

Who would you vote for (not STV!)  

3 members have voted

  1. 1. Who would you vote for (not STV!)

    • John Bangs
      1
    • Ian Murch
      0
    • Martin Powell-Davies
      2
    • Steve Sinnott
      0


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Details of all the candidates have been circulated to NUT members.

There is a link to each candidate's website on http://wsta.tripod.com/gensec.htm

This is the first time I have organised a poll on here and there does not seem to be a facility for a single transferable vote :angry:

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I thought members might like to know something about the four candidates.

Martin Powell-Davies: He attended a Catholic comprehensive in Leatherhead before obtaining a first in natural sciences at King’s College, Cambridge. He has taught science in several comprehensives and is currently teaching at Catford Girls’ School. He is the only candidate who has had recent experience of the classroom. He is a long-standing member of the Socialist Party (formerly known as Militant). He is the rank outsider at 12-1 (William Hill) as he does not have the backing of any of NUT’s main factions. He supports Crystal Palace and will have to be satisfied with their promotion to the premier league (there is no evidence that Martin is Ian Dowie).

Ian Murch: Educated at a grammar school in Liverpool he read economics at Cambridge University. He taught history in Bradford before leaving the classroom in 1993. He has the backing of the Campaign for a Democratic and Fighting Union (CDFU) and the Socialist Teachers’ Alliance. In the past he has been seen as a Trotskyite. However, after his split with Powell-Davies, he has repositioned himself as Old Labour. He stood for the leadership in 1989 but was well beaten by Doug McAvoy. Is currently national treasurer on the NUT. William Hill quote him at 6-1.

Steve Sinnott: He studied social sciences at Middlesex Polytechnic before teaching economics and business studies in Liverpool. A former member of the Communist Party, he is now seen as a moderate (New Labour). He joined the national executive in 1986 and became president in 1994. He was elected deputy general secretary in 1995. A machine trade union official, he pays careful attention to presentation (described as “sharp-suited”). Has the backing of the soft-left and William Hill make him 5-4 second favourite.

John Bangs: Brought up in Brighton he attended the local secondary modern school before studying fine art at Reading University. He taught art in London (1972-1989). During this period he was considered to be an extreme left-winger and was an active member of the Socialist Alliance. He was suspended by the NUT in 1987 when he took unofficial action. Like all union leaders he moved to the right after leaving the classroom. He has been employed as a full-time union officer since 1989. He has the support of the present general secretary, Doug McAvoy, but is not the candidate of any of the different factions within the NUT. William Hill currently make him favourite at 5-6 favourite.

I am no longer a member of the NUT and so will not have the vote. If I did, I would be tempted to vote for Martin Powell-Davies. Not because of his politics – they do not appear to be very different from those of Ian Murch. My main reason for voting for him is that he has got current experience of the classroom. I also approve of his views on the wages of union officials. However, there is a danger that a vote for Powell-Davies would be wasted (in reality he has no chance of winning). Therefore, I would be tempted to vote for John Bangs as I think it is important to keep Steve Sinnott out of the post. I can think of nothing worse that an ex-Communist Party member who now embraces the values of New Labour.

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The NUT has a single transferrable vote system. Therefore you cannot "waste a vote".

It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want...and get it!

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I cannot vote for Martin Powell Davies despite the superficial appeal of some of his policies. Some of them are little more than gimmicks, for instance the pay me a schoolteacher's salary pledge. My main reason for not voting for him however is that he represents a Trotskyite group to whom I believe his first loyalty will always be. Many will remember this group under their former name of "Militant Tendency" and their committment to entryism. There is nothing I have seen that suggests this group has changed much other than in name. This therefore is not a political organisation I can trust to represent and further the interests of all teachers wedded as it is to anti democratic and outdated ideological dogma.

I have a similar concerns over the loyalties and ideology of Ian Murch and I share a similar distaste to John towards ex Communists in shiny suits pledging allegience to New Labour.

I have already voted for John Bangs as I have been happy with the direction the NUT has taken under both Fred Jarvis and latterly Doug McAvoy.

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