What's this blog about?

As a result of a combination of factors, culminating in the shameful UCU boycott-in-waiting of Israel, I've grown alienated & silenced, working here in one of the UK's finest universities all the while feeling like a Boycotted British Academic, alone in facing some dilemmas of the moment. In this generally chilling environment, it's hard to speak out and be heard, and hear others...and I find myself writing this blog.

What's it about? At present, it seems to me like a rather tortured articulation of the state of being silenced & mute, beyond words; struggling for the right even to use them, for a voice which can still be heard. When it started, all those successive boycott motions ago, I'd hoped it would function as a blog forum of support & solidarity amongst academics similarly-situated to BBA, to help us break through the boycott movement's silencing strategies. That hope remains notwithstanding this silence... Perhaps it lives in trying to articulate beyond the filter of these coping mechanisms of old (denial, avoidance, withdrawal); by way of this labour of finding the words, this voice...
[A forum of sorts has also arisen in the blog's comments, in which others have adopted the BBA moniker in case of need (e.g.
and here exposing the racist hate speech which masquerades as UCU solidarity activism).]

Monday, 24 September 2007

UCU Members: Sign the Petition for a Ballot!

Jimmy Donaghey and Jon Pike, two excellent members of UCU, have initiated a petition which calls for a full ballot of members on the boycott motion. There's evidence that this ballot would go against the boycott & therefore the movement is apparently blocking it, in spite of the pledge by UCU's General Secretary (Sally Hunt) to put this to a ballot. Last time, AUT members overturned the motion within weeks by way of such a ballot, and the damage of that boycott was consequently short-lived, curtailed & mitigated.

I'd hoped this whole barmey business had gone away with this decisive result. Oh so misguided for now it has come back & worse! Worse precisely because this hasn't gone to a prompt ballot of all the UCU members...

So I hope MANY will sign, remembering the experience of the journalists who succeeded in stemming the boycott's damaging effects by rising up and allowing the voice of the rank & file to be heard when the elites of the union had stopped listening. And crucial to this process was a petition along these lines...


UCU Members for a Ballot ask that you please circulate amongst colleagues, on branch e-lists and pass on to people at other institutions. And please send any comments in support of a ballot to info@ucu-ballot.org

[hat tip: the wonderful Engage]


PS This is the first time I can actually say that I'm happy to be a member of the UCU! At least it's enabled me to add my name to a worthy petition...

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