Unite Women’s Letter Takes Observer To Task Over Sexist Cohen Article

Last weekend, the Observer’s dreary Nick Cohen varied his usual anti-Corbyn bile by launching a misogynist attack against the Unite union’s Jennie Formby, who is one of two women on the final shortlist for the position of Labour Party General Secretary. The NEC will make its final decision when it meets on Monday between Ms Formby and the NUT’s Christine Blower.

Several senior Unite women were so outraged by Cohen’s article that they have written an excoriating letter to the Observer’s editor to challenge the Observer’s continuing platform for Cohen’s ‘backward’ views ‘limiting sexism’.

Will the Observer have the courage and decency to print their letter – let alone to eliminate such ‘backward prejudice’ from its pages?

“Dear Editor
Nick Cohen never misses an opportunity to take aim at the one civil society sector – the trade unions – that has stood firm to defend the working class from the decades of attacks rained upon them by the business and political classes (The Observer, 11 March, 2018)

Another edition, another run out for his prejudiced hobby-horse.

But last Sunday, he crossed the line – and he took the reputation of the Observer with him, climbing head first into the gutter by launching a sexist assault on Jennie Formby, our colleague.

A highly-respected trade union member of forty years, thirty of which have been spent representing workers, Jennie has devoted her life to the labour movement, to defending working people and to the return of a Labour government. For many women in our movement, she is an inspiration.

To dismiss her deserved and hard-fought achievements up to this date and in the future as resulting not from her own talent and endeavours but as a consequence of a relationship that ended over a quarter of a century ago is misogyny, plain and simple.

Women are able to achieve by means other than those envisaged by the limiting sexism of Mr Cohen.

Despite the hopes of International Women’s Day, Nick Cohen is a reminder that #everydaysexism is alive and well.

The bigger question remains, however: why have these backward views been given a prominent home on the pages of what was once a leading paper in this country?

Yours sincerely

Gail Cartmail, Assistant general secretary, Unite
Sharon Graham, Executive officer, Unite
Annmarie Kilkline, Regional secretary, East Midlands, Unite
Karen Reay, Regional secretary, North East & Yorkshire, Unite
On behalf of the women Executive members and officers of Unite the union”

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