Dear Jeremy and Sadiq,
Firstly, congratulations on both of you having been elected to your current roles on landslide votes that rejected bigotry, racism, and the politics of the gutter.
Given you both have very strong connections to what is now London Met University – both of you having studied here and with its largest campus being in Jeremy’s Islington North constituency, we hope you will each take the time to read this and respond.
As you will both know, London Met Uni, is the most ethnically diverse and most working class of ALL UK universities. It has the largest percentage of women returners, and (outside of the Open University and specialist Post-graduate institutions) the largest percentage of mature students, and a large number of students with disability support needs.
You will also know, London Met staff and students have been under sustained attack for many years from both without (Tory attacks on international students, support grants, loans, HE Green Paper, …) and within (massive job cuts, casualisation and zero-hour contracts, forced campus closures of our renowned CASS faculty of art, design and architecture, and now trade union victimisations).
Our question is therefore a simple one. Will each of you now pledge to use your position of influence: Leader of the opposition; London Mayor to step in and support us?
We believe London Met’s students and workers should be considered as one with all the millions of workers, young, and vulnerable, that have borne unending austerity since the banks were bailed out, and who need those in positions of influence to speak out on their behalf and support them when they stand up and resist.
Jeremy, we know we have always had your unstinting support in the past, and you’ve been on all of our demonstrations, attended all of our rallies, raised parliamentary questions and EDMs on our behalf, stood with us outside the Home Office when they attacked our international students, and stood shoulder-to-shoulder with campus unions when we’ve been forced to take strike action to defend our members and students interests. We now need your public support once more.
Sadiq, we know we are Labour’s ‘natural supporters’, and, as ‘activists’, are but one part of those that live and work in London. Yet, we rightly stood (and voted) for you against bigotry, prejudice, and outright racism and Islamaphobia, even though we have seen very little of you over these last years. Will you now stand with us and those London-wide constituents of yours who are yet again under attack? We need you to reach beyond to do what’s right.
To support our current campaign against yet more job cuts and trade union victimisations, and in defence of our students you can sign and promote our petition at:
Mark Campbell, London Met University UCU (Chair) on behalf of London Met UCU