Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/200/8457

From The Socialist newspaper, 6 April 2001

NUS Left must build campaigning opposition

AT THE National Union of Students (NUS) annual conference last week, New Labour and their allies retained their grip on the leadership. However, the next year will probably prove New Labour's dominant position in the student movement very fragile.

Keiran Roberts

The Left slate, United for Education, Free and Equal, won the position of Vice President - Further Education, on the national executive (NEC). However, they failed to win other full-time positions. This continued the trend of falling votes for Left candidates over the last three years.

Owain James, New Labour's favoured candidate, was re-elected with over 600 votes to 360 for Left-slate candidate Helen Aspell.

The NEC election results certainly don't reflect students' feelings in universities and colleges, where there's tremendous anger at New Labour's policies.

Unfortunately a section of conference delegates are far removed from the everyday realities of life for most students. New Labour relies on this layer of students union bureaucrats to support them and their policies at conference.

Often these bureaucrats place big obstacles in the way of ordinary students and socialist or free education activists who want to be conference delegates.

However, the Left groups that have controlled the Left slate in the NEC elections, mainly the Socialist Workers Party and Campaign for Free Education, must consider how the Left challenge to New Labour in NUS is organised.

Socialist Party members believe that the setback for the Left at conference shows the need to launch a permanent campaign aimed at winning the leadership of NUS. A broad campaign including the Left groups active in the student movement could more effectively mobilise students against New Labour.

Rather than just present students with a temporary electoral alliance at conference, it would be a fighting alternative all year round that campaigns on the ground against the government's attacks.

Such a campaign could attract rapidly increasing support. A recession will have a dramatic effect on students' outlook. Students will see the hard reality of what thousands of pounds of debt and a diminishing job market means.

A recession, alongside further attacks, possibly increased tuition fees, will bring many more students into collision with New Labour. Students fighting New Labour in government won't tolerate that same party's mis-leadership in NUS indefinitely.

A broad campaign amongst the Left in NUS, organised democratically, could help direct the movement along lines capable of unseating New Labour.

The potential for such an opposition was shown by the interest ordinary students showed in the Socialist Party and Socialist Students.

In part this was due to our conference delegates' impact, including excellent speeches by Zena Awad and Paul Hunt, Save Free Education candidates for the part-time executive, calling for a fighting NUS prepared to build a strategy of mass non-payment of tuition fees.

Socialist Party members also put the case for a fighting socialist alternative to New Labour in NUS and in society as a whole.

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


In The Socialist 6 April 2001:

It's Their Crisis - Make The Bosses Pay

End The Low Pay Scandal

George W reignites environmental anger

Tube strike shuts down London

NUS Left must build campaigning opposition

After the suits had gone....

Mexico: Zapatistas and the struggle for power

Socialist Party Wales prepare election challenge

Massive anti-nuclear protests in Germany


 

Home   |   The Socialist 6 April 2001   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

NUS:

triangleLiverpool John Moores Uni landslide for Socialist Students

triangleLively student demonstration for free education could have been much bigger

triangleFight for free education

triangleNUS leadership: Blairites supported by establishment

Students:

triangleBrighton victory

triangleUni market 'failure', two-year degrees - end cuts, scrap fees!

trianglePlans to launch no-cuts campaign at Kirklees College

triangleDemonstrations by uni students and staff greet Bath vice-chancellor resignation

Labour:

triangleThe Socialist's 2017 quiz

triangleTotnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangleLabour 'purge' furore really just democracy

Socialist:

triangle110 years ago: massacre at Santa Maria school in Chile - commemorate 21 December 1907

triangleTwo in five 'right to buy' homes now for let

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

14/12/17

Waltham Forest

Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

13/12/17

London

Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

13/12/17

Fracking

Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

13/12/17

Devon

Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

13/12/17

Miners

Tory plan to hold dinner at coal mining museum defeated

13/12/17

Bradford

Bradford campaign to save children's services launched

13/12/17

South London

South London health bosses' cover-up

13/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite day of action against blacklisting

13/12/17

Brighton

Brighton victory

13/12/17

Newham

Newham anti-academies strikes

13/12/17

Tamil Solidarity

Tamil Solidarity and Refugee Rights activists meeting

12/12/17

Woolwich

Support the Crossrail Woolwich walkout

7/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite protest against blacklisting

7/12/17

RMT

Anti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

6/12/17

Donald Trump

Mobilise to stop bigoted billionaire Donald Trump's state visit to Britain

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


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

triangle14 Dec Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

triangle13 Dec Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

triangle13 Dec Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

triangle13 Dec Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangle13 Dec Trump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian...

triangle13 Dec Labour 'purge' furore really just democracy

EU parliament, Strasbourg

triangle13 Dec Brexit deal no solution to Tory rifts

More ...

triangle18 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Religion and Socialism

triangle19 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas social

triangle21 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Socialists and the National Question

triangle6 Jan Socialist Party national women's meeting

More ...

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

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

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