Friday 27 February 2009

Last chance to vote for change at UCU

If you're a member of the University and College Union, you've only got a few days left in which to register your vote in the election for members of the National Executive Committee. Once again, if you want to end the dominance of the pro-boycott far left, and see genuine representation of the membership in the formation of policy, then please give your support to the candidates recommended here.

If you're in the South, you might want to consider voting for Dennis Hayes, founder of Academics for Academic Freedom, campaigner for free expression and outspoken opponent of the proposed boycott of Israeli universities. Dennis has also written about the 'therapeutic turn' in education, which I discussed here.

Any doubts about the need for a change in direction at UCU can be laid to rest by visiting its campaigns page. Naturally, there are some worthy and uncontentious names among the organisations supported by the union. But supporters of academic freedom might wonder how a higher education union, which ought to be fighting for freedom and pluralism in education, can endorse the pro-Castro Cuba Solidarity Campaign, or Hands Off Venezuela, which gives 'full support' to the Bolivarian revolution of demagogue Hugo Chavez. The UCU is also affiliated to the mis-named Stop the War Coalition, which recently sent a delegate to a pro-Hezbollah 'anti-imperialist' conference in Beirut.

To borrow a phrase: not in my name.

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