This is Sean Wallis on the UCU Activists List:
My position is a matter of record.
I am alleged to have made the quote that you cite below on Tuesday 26 June at a fringe meeting. Instead of the person who claims to have heard me make this statement – in a room of other witnesses – asking me at the time what I meant by the alleged “quote”, they went behind my back and put their thoughts on-line.
I believe (but cannot recall) that the statement is a misquotation. I think that they likely misheard what I said. But this was already irrelevant by Monday 1 June, when I found out about this allegation. The pertinent point is simply this: they chose not to ask me about it until after publication. It is clear that the “reporter” could have spoken to me about their interpretation of my remarks at any time during Congress. All they had to do was contact Sally Hunt or one of the UCU staff and I could have been located. So they had opportunity.
I have to find that the failure to put the allegation to me given the opportunity to do so is evidence of motive that this was not an act of reportage but a deliberate attempt to discredit me personally by people with an ulterior motive – to discredit the UCU by association.
This motive is pretty explicit in the allegations reported in the Jerusalem Post, see http://tinyurl.com/ponmnn .
Since I deal with cases of bullying and harassment within the university sector I am very clear about what does and does not constitute evidence of motive in bullying cases. Failure to cease when asked to do so is constitutive of evidence of intent.
As I was speaking extempore I do not have a record of the words that I said, and by Monday last I could not recall the exact words that I used. So the position is that I cannot recall the words that I used.
Asking me to deny something I do not recall is a smokescreen for the fact that your colleague(s) did not put the allegation to me at the time. Therefore you are not entitled to (mis)quote me and make imputations about my beliefs.
It is that simple.
The rules of evidence are that the accuser must provide the evidence, not the defendant. The obligation is on those making an accusation to provide evidence, or immediately cease and desist in their repetition of the allegation.
Since there is no evidence, there is no story, and I must ask you to cease in this abuse.
Fortunately for me, I am well-known. My members attest to my character. No-one who knows me thinks there is any merit in the allegation. Consequently, your persistence in your persecution simply indicates to my colleagues your failure to acknowledge your own mistake. But I am lucky in this. Colleagues on the activist list have commented privately that they feel that this is an attempt to deliberately intimidate them into not speaking out.
I am not interested in debating the finer points of this. It is time for you to stop pretending that this story has any merit.
This is utter crap.
Sean Wallis was heard to claim, in a public meeting, that the campaign to boycott Israeli academics had been threatened by lawyers backed by those with “bank balances from Lehman Brothers that can’t be tracked down.” At best, this is merely a claim that rich and powerful Jews stand behind the hard working members of the union who oppose the SWP’s boycott campaign. At worst, it is an echoing of a neo Nazi canard about Jews squirrelling away money from Lehman Brothers, causing its collapse.
Three weeks on and Sean Wallis has changed his story. Now he claims that he can’t remember what he said. Why didn’t he say this before?
He doesn’t deny having said the words. Why do you think he takes this position? My guess is that he knows that others heard what he said.
So what is Sean Wallis’ reason for not explaining what he meant? Apparently, it is because he believes that it is improper to report the words of a speaker at a public political meeting without following certain court-ordained ‘rules of evidence’.
Where did Sean Wallis get this surreal idea from? My guess is that he has made it up, to avoid explaining his words.
Finally, Sean Wallis believes that it is a case of ‘bullying and harassment’ to report on the words of a seasoned political activist, a member of the extremist Socialist Workers Party, and to ask him questions about what he meant.
This is a man who has devoted the last five years to promoting an illegal and discriminatory boycott policy, which impacts not only on Israeli academics, but also on Jewish members of the UCU.
What a revolting man.