THE FIGHT for the leadership of Britain's biggest union will be between a candidate wanting to cosy up to the government and a socialist standing against the attacks from New Labour. The election is a result of current UNISON leader Rodney Bickerstaffe's decision to stand down.
Dave Prentis is hoping to succeed Bickerstaffe. His platform is a continuation of Bickerstaffe's policy of damping down real resistance to the attacks UNISON members face. Roger Bannister, a member of the union's national executive, is standing as a socialist opposition to all this.
Prentis has won the support of 277 union branches, but Bannister is winning wider support than previous left wing challenges. Activists need to get local campaigns set up and start to get the arguments out into the rank and file membership. The union's 1.3 million members will vote between 21 January and 18 February.