Eric Hobsbawm would not have supported University of London boycott | Letter

Richard J Evans on why an event to launch his book about the Marxist historian went ahead despite a call from the IWGB union for it to be called off

The event referred to in your report (Talk about Marxist historian under fire for breaching workers’ rights boycott, theguardian.com, 7 February) was held to launch my book Eric Hobsbawm: A Life in History. I don’t think Eric Hobsbawm would have approved of the boycott.

This was not an official union picket line but was staged by the International Workers of Great Britain, which is not affiliated with the TUC. Eric Hobsbawm always despised leftwing sectarianism. The fact that the IWGB union split away from Unison and Unite to operate independently would have struck him as undermining the trade union movement.

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