Where is Amicus headed?
When Derek Simpson was elected General Secretary of Amicus many thought it would lead to greater democracy in the union, and make the union more critical towards the Labour government. There was a rational basis for such a belief. The two unions (MSF and AEEU) which had merged to form Amicus had both been under the thumb of a right wing, authoritarian leadership — Roger Lyons in MSF, and Ken Jackson in the AEEU. Both leaders were confirmed Blairites. Simpson, on the other hand, was backed by the Engineering Gazette (the Broad left in the AEEU) and by Left Unity (the Broad Left in the MSF). In taking on Jackson for the position of General Secretary of the merged union, Simpson’s platform included commitments to greater democracy in the union, and to less kow-towing to Blair. But the past 12 months have seen little or nothing to bear out those promises. 2004 began with golden handshakes for Amicus full-time officials and office staff. This was an expensive ruse by Simpson to get rid of i