Jon Pike, one of the founders of Engage, elected to the University and College Union National Executive Committee on an anti-boycott ticket, has resigned his position. Read his open letter to the Secretary General, Sally Hunt.
“Both Congress in 2008 and 2009, and a senior committee of the union have rejected calls for a ballot of the membership. An amendment from my branch, to this year’s conference, calling for a ballot of the membership on this proposal was ruled out as a ‘wrecking amendment.’ It seems there is something incendiary about asking the members directly to express their views. The call for a ballot has been rejected in the knowledge that, and because, such a ballot would lead to the overwhelming defeat of the boycott proposals.”
When proposals for boycott of Israeli universities have been considered by branches of the union and its predecessors, they have been overwhelmingly rejected. Members at Reading, Open, Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial, Bath, Warwick, UCL, Strathclyde, Lancaster, Kingston, LSE, KCL, Birmingham, Bristol, UEA, Sussex, Cardiff, LSHTM, The Institute of Education, QMWL, Aberystwyth, Swansea, Southampton, and others, have voted, at branch meetings, to reject such proposals. Previous similar proposals have been repudiated by individual branches, and overwhelmingly rejected by branch ballots of their membership.
The resolutions in question have been rushed through, in a way that has actively prevented the membership from scrutinising them. Papers concerning the resolution have been distributed extremely late, with no explanation. Legal advice, paid for by the members concerning the resolution has been withheld from elected representatives, branch presidents, and the membership.”
And the consequences are dire. Read on.
It’s a splendid letter but the fact that it has been written strikes a chill.
Sometimes there’s nothing you can do but walk away. Thanks for standing up to the Socialist Worker Party for so long, Jon. What a gruesome job.