Inaya Folarin Iman: Labour and the Unions have given up on workers

'The fact that workers can no longer rely on their union nor the Labour party for solidarity... only further epitomises our descent into tribalism and denial of reality'

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The Labour party and the Unions have given up on workers.

Last week, I spoke about the campaign of intimidation that has been launched against feminist Professor Kathleen Stock at the University of Sussex, because she maintains that biological sex is binary, meaningful and its recognition is important for women’s rights and freedoms.

Posters had been put up around the University of Sussex campus calling for her to be sacked.

Members of an online campaign said that she would “die alone” and called her “one of this wretched island’s most prominent transphobes”.

The University of Sussex, thankfully, took a firm stance in defence of Kathleen Stock and in support of academic freedom.

However, the UCU which stands for University and College Union, the trade union which represents thousands of academics, did not criticise attacks on Kathleen Stock.

Instead, it published a statement of support for trans and non-binary communities and condemned the university’s vice-chancellor for not having done the same.

The UCU’s Sussex branch said that Professor Adam Tickell, the head of the university, had not upheld the dignity and respect of trans students and staff last week when he issued a statement supporting Stock and defending freedom of speech.

Stock took to Twitter to state that her “former union branch @sussexucu has just effectively ended my career at Sussex University”.

The Labour party, sadly but unsurprisingly, did not come out in defence of academic freedom, freedom of speech and women’s rights, but in fact, Taiwo Owatemi, Labour’s shadow equalities minister stated that she was “greatly concerned by [Stock’s] work as a trustee for the LGB Alliance group".

To top all of this off, The Telegraph reported this week that Cambridge Universities Student Union had published a guide to “TERF-spotting” which stands for "trans-exclusionary radical feminist" - the guide advises students to 'keep an eye out' for those who think biological sex is binary.

The fact that workers can no longer rely on their union nor the Labour party for solidarity, to defend their freedom of speech and freedom of conscience only further epitomises our descent into tribalism and denial of reality.