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Dawson of Bradford, will he opposed by Mr. Oliver Whitfield of Durham and Mr. Jack Jones of Croydon.
Mr. Jones, though he still thinks in left-wing categories. is a "Hungary apostate" from the Communist Party. This may be why he will be facing opposition from the well-known Communist head master, Charlie Darvill. whose previous election failure was such that union members did not expect hint to try again. Another leading Communist headmaster, Mr. Max Morris, will stand for the executive in the extra-Metropolitan area. Cornmunist influence is strong in Middlesex, and left-wingers there are disappointed in Mr. Watson, who, while taking a militant stand over salaries, has shown clear independence and supported the moderates on a number of points.
The Communists are after the moderates in a really determined drive. especially in Manchester and Liverpool. and also in Birmingham. where the Communist educational review, edited by Max Morris, is sold vigorously in the vicinity of union meetings. On the whole. the teachers of this country, with their built-in sense of responsibility and respect for authority, probably remain predominantly conservative in outlook, and many of them are much disturbed at finding themselves with Communists for their bedfellows.
There is, however, a strong wave of left-wing thinking in the training colleges and institutes of education, and probably a leftwards swing among young teachers generally.
Middle-aged teachers remember that when they started work they earned more than their fathers, who might have been, say, skilled industrial workers.
But the young teacher of today starts at £11 a week, as against a national industrial average of f15. His neighbours' wives are working. More than two-thirds of his salary goes on the rent for a oneroom flat or on indifferent board residence. He has a long way to go before a building society will look at him.
Communists are concentrating on the universities. The Labour Party's hest opening is in the training colleges. There it could work to direct the student's thought towards Labour rather than Socialist attitudes. Much of the thinking in the colleges-where political activity is at its zenithcentres on questions of nuclear disarmament.
The Tories have spotted the opportunity and are after the uncommitted, many of whom were shocked into militant attitudes by the government's wages policy.
Many teachers were angered when the NUT executive accepted the Minister's figure of £42,000.000 for salaries.
Many moderates have come to view the executive's acceptance of the Burnham award of £47,500,000 as a proper tactical move on the eve of the pay pause. and will also acknowledge that the executive's later acceptance of the Minister's figure at least averted his threat to impose negotiating machinery on the teachers by legislation and without consultation.
Equally right-minded teachers feel that the executive let them down badly. And no one will deny the depth and intensity of a general discontent which has so much justice in it.
But the moderation of the teaching profession appears from the NUT referendum which rejected the plan to use industrial as well. as political pressure in support of the salary claims. 'the Communists. incidentally, have been seeking to reverse this decision by having it referred to a special conference.
This is reminiscent of the ETU's rules revision conference in December which sought to transfer the executive's power to the Communist dominated national conference.
Against this background, many major issues lie ahead. Would family allowances mean discrimination against married men or men with larger families? Will the Chancellor's guiding light of two and half per cent create further anger and frustration? If local authorities find themselves less and less able to shoulder the schools burden, who will run our educational shortage? And few people yet realise just how bad the teacher shortage is.