Saturday, 13 October 2007

Power talking

UCU is becoming every day more and more ingrained within the discourse of Internationalisation/Globalisation of education.

Hunt is becoming also more fluent with the language used in such discourse. In UCU you can hear languages familiar to few people and which likely only eminent members of the public and the government can understand and not university workers. They are busy with slides and lessons; who is putting the form through the process of application for funding and who instead is getting the sack by this or that Dean who proudly exihibits his professorship while failing be part of the rank of the doctors. Eminent members of the public and the UK government instead understand easily what UCU is able to say with just a few words. Actually the speeches and written texts are becoming so succinct and short that minimalism would be an exaggeration as the movement under which they could be labelled.

Perhaps everybody is so busy that even the most needed words are superficial. Just two words are implicit in all this discourse; "money" and "economy". If Brown is giving the latest speech, Hunt is busy releasing the latest news for her support towards him on the UCU web-site. Others are busy, writing to the base or on university workers' blogs to put this or that action in place. One really struck me; Hunt has recently written on a blog encouraging the workers of a university to shout their anger whilst on strike. We can find sometimes small nuggets within the myriads of disasters made by a general secretary who was voted-in by such an impressively small percentage of union members.

Hunt is putting in place a soft approach of praise and complacency whilst talking to the government and members of the elite caste. To all others she maintains a hard-line appearance. She really doesn't want to lose the hard-line base she desperately needs in order to look more normal; more like a real general secretary of a union with more than 100,000 members. With the government instead, Hunt knows what to release. She speaks the elite caste language. She is fluent: a little bit messenger of a dissenting union base of workers by calming their tones and falsely interpreting their gestures from one side; a little bit entrepreneur of a company with a decent round of business from the other. A language to be condemned without reason. It is the language of the elite caste; of those who exercise economic power.

She is - within the discourse of internationalisation of education - exercising her ability to ensure that her ideas dominate, so that power is not merely political. Her desire for a compliant base is a desire for power in such a complex society. Her power is also in the ability to secure compliance with her purges - members should conform and be like all the other individuals with whom they are in association. UCU is coercing the base to comply with the governmental agenda. As such, she will be able to share the control of the state and its economic power over the base. That base, which is so distant from the dominant elite caste, is left without equal access and resource distribution.

Will Kline really stand for another election after leaving all this happening to his base?

What a lust for the new elite caste of union leaders.

No comments: