Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/761/16517

From The Socialist newspaper, 17 April 2013

NUS conference votes against free education and EMA

Ronnie Smith, Sheffield Socialist Students

In 2012, the National Union of Students (NUS) conference mandated the union to call a national demo to launch the fightback against the government's attacks on education.

In 2013, free education and demands for the reinstatement of EMA were voted down. What happened to provoke such a U-turn?

The NUS leadership failed to properly build support for the national demo in 2012. The 2013 NUS conference was then led by the right-wing New Labour leadership who, through buzzwords and empty rhetoric, whipped up a defeatist attitude and anti-left sentiment on conference floor.

The NUS leaders claimed that "free education will prop up privilege". Neil Moore, Belfast Met Students Union president and Socialist Students FE Block of 15 candidate, responded: "I dare you to come down to my college and say that, where free education isn't an 'insult', it's a necessity for the poorest students to access education."

Neil also exposed the leadership's promises to "investigate a better alternative to EMA" as lowly attempts to avoid action.

There was no commitment to action, the focus being on the 2015 general election and how "we" - or rather the New Labour Students faction - were going to win them.

As if we'd forgotten that Labour introduced tuition fees! Socialist Students spoke about students demanding action now on the issues important to them: fees, cuts, privatisation, and EMA.

We demanded that the real issues students have to deal with be discussed, and spoke out demanding a vote of no confidence against the blatantly biased chair (multiple times!), supported by many delegates who felt similar frustration towards the abhorrent lack of democracy.

Socialists defend students

Socialist Students intervened successfully to ensure the NUS's attempt to quietly drop its opposition to unpaid internships was defeated, mandating NUS to demand proper terms and conditions for interns and apprentices, and also ensured NUS continues to oppose all mid-course fee hikes for international students.

Socialist Students also played a critical role in fighting against pro-privatisation and anti-immigrant motions.

Significantly, the conference did vote to campaign against privatisation. But the eight-week occupation at Sussex Uni opposing privatisation of support services, which has mobilised thousands, was hardly mentioned - except by Socialist Students members.

We intervened to stop the right-wing attacking the NUS democratic structures as the leadership tried to steal the little control ordinary students still have over NUS.

Unsurprisingly, the sentiment on conference floor was reflected in the election results. Not a single left-wing candidate was elected for president or vice-president positions.

But Socialist Students Block of 15 candidates Neil Moore and Edmund Schluessel got a good response, with the results due on 17 April.

26 people came to the Socialist Students 'Marx Was Right' fringe meeting.

NUS is currently an organisation run from the top by careerists, blocking the student movement rather than leading it.

Socialist Students will continue to fight to change NUS, building a democratic fighting student movement.

But students won't wait forever for the NUS leaders to act - as Sussex Uni has shown.

Students need to build campaigns on every campus where cuts and privatisation dare to raise their ugly head.

Socialist Students will look to bring these together nationally to build a mass movement to defend education.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 17 April 2013:


Socialist Party news and analysis

NUS conference votes against free education and EMA

Class survey diverts focus away from power of working class to change society

Widespread caste discrimination ignored in the UK


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Doncaster: fighting for a working class mayor on a workers' wage

Maltby pit closure: TUSC councillor speaks out

Ineffectual Ed visits South West

Warrington council rebel builds fight against cuts

Meeting and exhibition marking 30 years since the election of Liverpool's socialist council

Letters to The Socialist


Socialist Party feature

We can beat bedroom tax


Thatcher funeral

Thatcher's funeral costs: Insulting the lives she ruined

Thatcher... and us

Support the paper that beat Thatcher - twice!


Socialist Party NHS campaign

NHS cost-cutting is damaging patient care

New phase of campaign against Dewsbury NHS cuts

Welsh NHS cuts - no change of heart from Labour


Socialist Party workplace feature

Time to name the day for a 24-hour general strike

We say to the TUC: Time to fight back


International socialist news and analysis

Brutal Saudi regime supported by UK government


Socialist Party workplace news

Unison health conference: Time to fight back against attacks

Unison elections: Vote for Socialist Party and Reclaim the Union candidates

Thera workers on strike

In Brief


 

Home   |   The Socialist 17 April 2013   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

NUS:

triangleFight for free education

triangleNUS leadership: Blairites supported by establishment

Education:

triangleStriking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni

triangleSchools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

triangleNasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangleUniversity of Leeds workers walk out

EMA:

triangleCorbyn's alternative for young people

triangleJarrow March: an inspiring show of solidarity between workers and youth

triangleKnowsley: No A-level education on offer

Students:

triangleSocialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleCardiff Socialist Students confront 'Parasite' Jacob Rees-Mogg

Socialist Students:

triangleSupporting the general strike in Catalonia

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

19/10/17

Refugees

Hundreds of torture victims wrongly detained

18/10/17

Brexit

Tories torn - bin them now

18/10/17

What we saw

What we saw

18/10/17

Food

Obesity epidemic: end food market anarchy

18/10/17

NHS

Tories scrap the NHS pay cap: now fight for real-terms pay rises!

18/10/17

Debt

Young people being strangled by debts

13/10/17

Labour

The end of the Tories?

11/10/17

Tories

Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

11/10/17

Black history

The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against capitalist austerity

11/10/17

Housing

Housing crisis: Corbyn's positive measures blanked by Labour's right

11/10/17

Universal Credit

Major attacks 'Universal Credit', half a million more face poverty

11/10/17

Them & Us

Them & Us

11/10/17

NHS

NHS meltdown - fight the Tory cuts

11/10/17

IMF

IMF helps cause inequality it slams

4/10/17

NHS

Tories wreck our NHS

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

More ...

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

triangle25 Oct Swansea Socialist Party: Mother Jones - A US labour pioneer

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2