Letter to Chair, Executive Board, University of East London

18th November, 2020

Dear Ms Ajufo,

I write to protest about the deeply disturbing news that UEL is disproportionately targeting lecturers and professors who are leaders of the University and College Union. I have read your statement that:  

“We are focusing on our ten-year Vision to become the UK’s leading careers-intensive University. I look forward to working with the Board of Governors, the University Executive Board and the wider University of East London community in the coming weeks and months to pursue this goal and put the University in a strong position to compete, flourish and thrive.”

Despite the Alternative Business Plan produced by UEL staff that would address financial shortfalls while retaining staff and meeting student needs, you have ploughed ahead with ‘voluntary’ redundancies and are now lining up 12 further staff members for compulsory redundancy. 

To make matters worse Social Science professors have been disproportionately targeted, posing a severe risk to world-leading research in the Centre for Cultural Studies, Centre for Migration, Refugees and Belonging and Centre for Narrative Research.

Turning your back on global social developments to end colonial perspectives and enable working class students and Women and People of Colour equal access to a university education will not “put the University in a strong position to compete, flourish and thrive.” 

I implore you to go back to the negotiating table and find a way forward before discarding these outstanding lecturers and professors who have contributed so much to build the reputation of UEL. 

Sincerely,

Diane Langford, writer/journalist

New Low for The Guardian

Dear Guardian Letter Editor,

Why on earth would the Guardian see fit to publish an almost full-page obituary of Peter Sutcliffe (Saturday, 14 November)? Do we not know enough already about this vicious misogynist mass murderer from the copious and adequate reportage on other pages? What do you consider justifies your providing readers with a swathe of autobiographical details, anecdotes about his time in prison, clothing, appearance, etc, and yet another photograph? 

While it may be fascinating for some to learn that he became ‘a keen reader’ who ‘showed an interest in ceramics,’ I suggest it would behove your editorial policy to consider the potential effects on the survivors of his attacks, the families of the deceased women and all the other women he terrorised, and the wider question of how such information, juxtaposed with obituaries of deceased politicians e.g., legitimises this women-hating criminal in a way he does not deserve. Naming the victims of heinous crimes while minimising publicity to the perpetrators is now accepted as good practice and I cannot be the only one incredulous to find the Guardian not having the awareness to follow this principle. How about an apology in your Corrections and clarifications column?

Yours sincerely
Frankie Green