Socialist Students is celebrating an excellent result in the NUS ‘Block of 15’ elections. Further to last week’s report of the national conference, Edmund Schluessel has secured a place on the National Executive Council (NEC) by a comfortable margin.
The second Socialist Students candidate, Neil Moore, also received a very good vote, but was unfortunately not elected.
This success for Socialist Students comes despite the fact that, in general, this year’s NUS conference saw a shift towards the right.
As a whole, the left within NUS failed to secure an increase in its representation on the executive. But the clear politics put forward by our candidates, combined with their excellent campaigning record, was reflected in this result, which bucked the general trend.
Unlike Labour Students, who dominate the national executive, Socialist Students members do not see this position as one step on the ladder to a high flying career in capitalist politics.
Instead, we will use it to help support and organise mass action against the attacks raining down upon students and workers from the Con-Dem government.
During his election speech, Edmund promised that he would fight for an education system that was publicly owned, democratically run and universally free at all levels.
This is contrasted to the defeatism put forward by the leadership of NUS, who would rather spend a year organising surveys and producing long, technical reports, than use the collective strength of students and mobilise to defend education.
On the NEC we will act as a voice for ordinary students, and will put pressure on NUS’s leaders not to abandon the battle field at this crucial time. Our intervention will not be confined to NEC meetings.
We will be using this position and authority to help build and give leadership to a developing national movement against cuts, fees and privatisation and to fight for a socialist education system for the 99%.