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Gongs overlook union service

Governments use the honours system to send signals to citizens about who they value and respect.

In your report about the latest awards, there were examples of college principals being given honours - principals who had been involved in vigorous conflicts with teacher representatives - but there was no mention of any activists from the lecturers' union Natfhe being invited to the Palace ("Thorn in the side gets an honour", FE Focus, June 17).

During the two or so decades I worked as a further education lecturer, some of the individuals who did the most to promote the welfare of others - often putting their own career prospects at risk - were members of Natfhe .

Apparently, the Labour Government continues to be so anxious to distance itself from its Old Labour past that the only way a lecturer stands a chance of receiving a gong is to move into management and call it a day as far as active union involvement is concerned.

Ivor Morgan

26 May Crescent


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