Sunday, April 23, 2006

Group 81

The first newsletter of Group 81 produced at the end of the 1981 COHSE Conference.

Group 81 was effectively the very "broad based" broad left in COHSE.

Hector MacKenzie COHSE General Secretary stated later of Group 81 " We either employed them or they faded away"

Group 81 did play a part in shifting the union from it's right wing axcess to a more "progressive" "main stream" union especially in the areas of equal opportunities




Well comrades the farce that was the 1981 (so called) delegate conference is now over. As members go back to their normal routines the feelings of anger and frustration that were so apparent at conference recede. It is important that we stir those feelings again reminding delegates of the blatant control and manipulation that took place a Bridlington. We must also use these opportunities to inform people about the functions and aims of “ Group 81”. We must be seen as an “open conspiracy” willing to discuss our membership of Group 81 with anyone


1. To establish democratic delegate control of Conference

2. Accountability and democracy within COHSE

3. For a minimum wage of £100 pw linked to 35hr week

4. Eradication of all private medicine

5. full Employment

6. Increased public spending, in health Education and housing.

7. Unilateral Disarmament

8. Equality of all races, creeds, colours and sex

NEC Elections.

If any member is preparing to stand in N.E.C. elections could we suggest tat they do so on a group 81 platform. This would give an opportunity for policies to be discussed and an indication of the potential support we could have within the union, along with the obvious benefits of having a left inclined N.E.C.

September Regional Council

It is suggested that at every regional council in September the following resolution should be on the

"That this Regional Council supports the aims of" Group 81"." Again this would

be an ideal opportunity to discuss our policies and gauge potential support in

the regions. This tactic allows "Group 81" to be seen as an active and

functioning force within the union.


We in-bended to produce badges for the September Regional Council and a magazine around Christmas. Unfortunately these ventures will cost money and branches •which wish to sponsor "Group 81" should send cheques made payable to "Group 81", C/0 Peter Haworth, 55 Millmoor Crescent, Eynsham, Oxon. Bangour 906 and Oxford 645 branches have both contributed £50 to the above fund.


Any member wishing to contribute to a magazine could they please submit articles to myself by the first week in November, We hope to produce a good magazine which will be available for distribution at the January Regional Councils


Labour Party Deputy Leadership Election

Corades this is going to be our most important task over the next two months.

According to various calculations the Confederations votes at the Labour Party

Conference will be crucial in deciding the outcome of the deputy leadership

battle. The N.E.C. are due to meet on the 6th and 7th of August when they will

decide how the branches are to be consulted over the leadership question. We

must make sure that every branch which supports Tony Benn feeds this information back to Banstead. Hopefully the vast majority of apathetic branches who do not reply to Head Office circulars will maintain their normal consistency. For example to mount a campaign of support for Tony Benn would be counter-productive in Scotland but personal contact will work. Each member is asked to assess their region and use their own "judgment^ in maximising support for Benn.

This has been a very quickly drawn 'news letter to keep delegates .thinking

about "Group 81",Remember we will only survive by your activity.

Jim Devine

Branch Secretary

Bangour 906 COHSE Branch

Did Jim Devine get the name Group 81 from the 79 Group the left wing groupiing within the Scottish National Party (later expelled)