United we stand 2

May 18, 2007

Robert Lockie rails against the Socialist Workers Party in the University and College Union.

He should ask himself why those who know us vote for us. In my case, I got the second-highest vote in the higher education section of the ballot for the UCU national executive committee. My manifesto was anti-war and anti-privatisation, pro-academic freedom and pro-education and research. I bet he does not know who the new Labourites are in the UCU; they do not list their membership of the pro-war Labour Party in their union manifestos.

Many of Unite Against Fascism's supporters are Labour Party members but, as a united front, Unite does not adopt a party-political stance, whereas other anti-fascist organisations called for a vote for Labour.

Nevertheless, all campaigning anti-fascist organisations can take some credit for the relatively poor performance of the BNP in the recent local elections.

Unlike Lockie, I am also bound to my union by voluntary membership of an organisation fighting to defend the jobs and conditions of my fellow workers and by the democratic decisions of that organisation. As such, I am proud to be a member of the UCU, alongside Labour Party colleagues and members of no party. Sectarianism is not the way to defend higher education and to stop the advance of the fascists.

Unity, on the other hand, can deliver - as it did at Bath University, where a joint campaign comprising Unite, students and the unions forced the cancellation of an on-campus meeting of the BNP.

Malcolm Povey
Leeds University

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