Sunday, 13 July 2014
Posted by Ian Manborde at 15:23
Wednesday, 9 July 2014
My dear sisters and brothers,
On behalf of many trade union students who have been and will be at Ruskin, and the UCU branch here, I extend a message of solidarity to all those hundreds of thousands of public sector workers on strike tomorrow.
I won't use this message to send a long, unnecessary message, other than to say, when Manny Ness visited Ruskin several weeks ago to launch his new book (http://tinyurl.com/m2ft9pc) he spoke distinctly about the importance of struggle/action/resistance as a key means by which workers build their experience of the value of collection organisation.
So, although the strike tomorrow is only one part of a long-term struggle for decent pay and social justice, it impact on those workers involved are immense, and help us build a mass movement for further, continued action.
The image below is taken from last general strike in India in 2012, a country which, I argue, sends a message of internal hope for the future of organised labour, as 100 million workers gathered over two days to send a powerful message to workers globally.
Posted by Ian Manborde at 02:49
Saturday, 28 June 2014
Some places are still available for the MA in international labour & trade union studies (ILTUS) at Ruskin College in Oxford.
|The current MA cohort: A fine example of scholar/activists in|
Ruskin's historical, radical tradition
others with the same profound interest in issues of social justice globally) with a unique opportunity to pinpoint the major, global challenges facing labour movements, and other, organisations which collectively represent the interests of workers, their families and the communities they are drawn from.
The MA affords learners with an opportunity to critically assess the capacity of such organisations to respond to the range of global challenges, examining the relative strengths and weaknesses of such strategy and action.
This analysis includes those mainstream responses of labour movements in Europe and North America around the theme of renewal and revitalisation strategy.
|With Sharan Burrow, centre (Gen Sec of the ITUC), and Tracy Walsh|
who heads the ILTUS programme at Ruskin at the start of the ITUC
Congress in Berlin in May, and the 9th Congress of the Global
Labour University (GLU) of which Ruskin is an associate.
You will have an opportunity to critically examine these responses, and perhaps create your own, through the MA dissertation.
This encourages learners to determine a scope an opportunity for the future of organised labour via research in two or more countries.
The dissertation is no dry, theoretical academic exercise. The MA's focus on praxis challenges learners to consider how they, and their research, can make a genuine, original contribution to the way in which the economic and social well-being, and security of workers can be secured internationally.
I welcome an opportunity to discuss any questions you may have about an application for the new course starting in October this year.
Ruskin College offers a distinctive, radical learning experience in an educational institution which still places excellence in the provision of working class education at the centre of its mission and ethos.
|On a recent visit to Ruskin Frances O'Grady, centre |
(Gen Sec of UK TUC) refers to Ruskin's role as the 'intellectual
hub of the working class'. Pictured (right) is Caroline Holmes who runs
the BA ILTUS at Ruskin
In the YouTube clip below you can hear directly from past and current MA students on their perspective on the Ruskin experience and of their study on the MA ILTUS.
Below is a detailed online prospectus (which can be downloaded via Issuu) which details practical and logistical issues regarding fees, study periods and the nature and context of the MA curriculum.
Some UK trade unions, and the UK TUC, provide some financial assistance to enrol the MA.I can provide support and guidance in approaching UK and international educational trusts to gain financial support. Although my contact details are in the prospectus and video they are:
|The MA ILTUS cohort 2010-12 graduate in August 2013: A|
day of pride and achievement.
Posted by Ian Manborde at 05:10
Wednesday, 4 June 2014
Posted by Ian Manborde at 11:21
Saturday, 31 May 2014
|Pete kicks off Mandela Day|
The event was the idea of, and organised by, my dear comrade and fellow tutor, Peter Dwyer, who has spent a formative period of his life in South Africa, and felt compelled to organise a reflective event following the death of Mandela earlier this year.
Given Pete's academic writing/focus on South Africa (http://www.ruskin.ac.uk/staff/profile/90) the day was never going to be a neutral, celebratory, affair.
Indeed the bulk of discussion centred around the neo-liberal economic legacy of successive ANC governments and the way in which the massacre of striking miners in August 2012 (items posted on this in 2012) at the Marikana mine generated profound concerns about the lives of poor, black workers under a majority black government.
Indeed, the day ended with Peter quoting Mandela's famous statement at the 1993 COSATU conference:
“If the ANC does to you what the Apartheid government did to you, then you must do to the ANC what you did to the Apartheid government.”
|Katherine & John|
Follow the link for some excellent YouTube clips of John and Katherine at the book launch and of Ronnie Kasrils at the 2012 Marxism event.
The event was kicked off by Anne Mobbs who, like John and Katherine, had spent time in Africa supporting the liberation movement in a varieties of ways outside of South Africa. Anne helped provide the context for the creation of the UK's anti-apartheid movement (AAM) moving on to talk about her joint role in creating the Oxford branch of the AAM.
I was particularly struck by the genuine sense expressed on the part of Katherine, John and Anne that their roles were minor in the liberation struggle and that the true heroes were those whose stories are yet to be told.
|Anne, Pete and myself with some |
of the pictures from the Ruskin
archive which help illustrate the
Anne had actually done a great job at describing many of the historical links and relationships I had wanted to, and so instead I focused on how the work of the AAM nationally, allied national movements, and the liberation struggle had helped generate a supportive academic and labour movement climate outside of the UK, which resulted in the generation of a wide range of scholarship initiatives which funded study at Ruskin.
|Lively, informed debate|
|Screening Miners Shot Down|
Invariably this perspective was sufficiently nuanced with a confident sense of the country's potential for radical change, and of course the discussion around the new Workers' Party was a feature of this balanced discussion.
|Contributions from South Africans help|
create a successful event
The consensus at the end of the discussions/debate was that Ruskin's first Mandela Day had been an overwhelming success, and that Ruskin should host a similar yearly event, taking as its focus a different African country for analysis. I think that this is now very likely to happen.
Posted by Ian Manborde at 14:48
Tuesday, 13 May 2014
Inequality within and among Nations: Causes, Effects, and Responses (IX Global Labour University Conference)
Just a brief(ish) post from Berlin at the start of the overlapping 9th Global Labour University conference and the 8th GLU Alumni Summer School. This yearly event - so long as it's held here in Berlin - is a major date in my calendar as it allows me to keep on top of not only the latest research and discussions in the broad field of labour studies, but examine/analyse also the phenomenal output of GLU students who have completed the sister MA to the programme I run at Ruskin.
As you'll see from a quick glance at the range/scope of both events, what is being discussed over the next few days are some of the most profound concerns affecting the status and conditions of workers globally.
From mega sports events to textile production in Bangladesh little will be missed in examining and exploring how organised labour addresses the major issues of concern to workers, their families and the communities they belong to.
Sign up to the periodic Global Labour Column as a way of staying abreast of the work of the GLU and of the research/thinking at the cutting edge of labour studies:
Posted by Ian Manborde at 07:43
Thursday, 8 May 2014
Can I encourage you to attend a forthcoming event (held yearly) which provides a focus on the oral history tradition and from the perspective of labour movements.
Before I promote the event however, can I give an appropriate plug for a new book by Selina Todd (St. Hilda's College, Oxford) on the British working class from 1910-2010 which draws on oral history testimonies from a wide variety of sources.
I have to admit that one of the real personal draws of mine towards this work (as there are already many on the subject) is that Todd herself comes from a working class background and the drive to write the book comes from an urgent desire to fill a vacuum in British social history. "I looked in vain for my family's story when I went to university to read history," relates Todd "and continued to search for it fruitlessly throughout the next decade.
Eventually I realised that I would have to write this history myself."
Selina will be at Ruskin College on 13th June (6.30pm) for a talk about her new book as part of the College's events linked to the 30th anniversary of the miners' strike - all are welcome.
So, to the oral labour histories event in London 17th May. The details are below and you can contact Linda Clarke at the University of Westminster to book a place: L.M.Clarke@westminster.ac.uk
Bishopsgate Institute, 230 Bishopsgate (nearest tube: Liverpool Street)
Posted by Ian Manborde at 09:32