Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/947/25372

From The Socialist newspaper, 3 May 2017

NUS leadership: Blairites supported by establishment

Socialist Students marching for free education, 19.11.16, photo by James Ivens

Socialist Students marching for free education, 19.11.16, photo by James Ivens   (Click to enlarge)

Claire Laker-Mansfield, Socialist Students national organiser

Against the backdrop of an impending general election, the National Union of Students (NUS) met for its annual conference. Socialist Students argued for a fighting, democratic union and a strategy to escalate the struggle for free and accessible education for all.

Unfortunately, given the gravity of the situation faced by students and young people - increased fees and debt, housing crisis, internships and low pay, etc - the conference failed to measure up to the tasks.

Last year, the left took some substantial steps forward - including the election of Malia Bouattia, a more left-wing candidate, as president. This year the right, primarily based around the Blairite Labour Students organisation, had regrouped and were well organised to try and retake control.

They had drawn support based on many of the attacks and slurs that had been heaped on the NUS leadership over the last year, particularly in the right-wing media, but also from other sections of the establishment.

These attacks have been strongly linked to the onslaught on Jeremy Corbyn and the left more widely. In particular, they have focused on seeking to conflate legitimate criticism of Israeli state policies and support for the Palestinian national struggle with the serious charge of anti-Semitism.

Mistakes

This is sometimes made easier for them by the mistaken political position taken by some of the left on the national question in Israel-Palestine, as well as some ill-put or insensitive remarks that individuals have made.

In a striking illustration of the 'two parties in one' which currently exist in Labour under Corbyn - an anti-austerity party and a pro-cuts Blairite majority of MPs and councillors - the discussion on the election saw candidates aligned with Labour Students argue for an essentially non-political approach to the election.

When debating an emergency motion on the election, Shakira Martin, who went on to win the presidency on a right-wing platform, argued for a voter registration drive divorced from the political issues and 'strictly non-partisan'.

In many ways by far the most significant debate was one which took place as part of the 'annual general meeting' on NUS governance.

This included a raft of undemocratic measures which are designed to put the overwhelming majority of decisions in the hands of full-time NUS officers, and reduce even further the power of ordinary students.

These changes will now be taken to an extraordinary conference for approval - itself an undemocratic manoeuvre. Socialist Students will therefore be organising against this.

Mary Finch, from KCL Socialist Students, gave a fiery speech as part of her campaign for election to the national executive council of NUS. We await the result of the election.

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


In The Socialist 3 May 2017:


What we think

Race against time for May as Corbyn sets out anti-austerity case


Socialist Party news and analysis

Jeremy Corbyn's workers' charter

Corbyn pledges a million homes and landlord regulation

McDonnell promises reversal of Tories' tax cuts for the super-rich

Corbyn pledges end to uni fees and school cuts

Corbyn government would lift NHS pay cap

Support for socialist programme in Labour Liverpool rally


Social care in crisis

Beyond the crisis point: saving social care


International socialist news and analysis

Packed court laughs down cutter Joan Burton's comparison to Marxist James Connolly

Trump's policies hit a wall


Socialist Students

NUS leadership: Blairites supported by establishment


Workplace news and analysis

Unison health conference: fury over leadership's feet dragging

Union leadership and Labour right challenged at shop workers' conference

McDonald's forced to back down on zero-hours

PCS elections - vote Democracy Alliance

Transport union protests against driver-only operation outside parliament


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Rare opportunity to see Russian revolution lifted off the page


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Mersey metro-mayor TV debate

'Socialist Steve' takes on the robots

TUSC's south Wales challenge to pro-cuts parties


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Buy your ticket now for the political event of the year: Socialism 2017

Housing association workers' and tenants' alternative awards ceremony

Sheffield mental health campaigner: "austerity kills"


 

Home   |   The Socialist 3 May 2017   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Students:

triangleStudents unite and fight - free education now!

triangleSchool students in solitary: for full funding, not exclusion!

triangleExam factories, cuts and violence - Fight for our future!

triangleProtesting Trump's visit - action around the country

triangleSchool students: why we walked out against Trump

NUS:

triangleStudents protest as NUS restricts debate

triangleHow can students and young people fight the Tories?

triangleLiverpool John Moores Uni landslide for Socialist Students

triangleLively student demonstration for free education could have been much bigger

Election:

triangleSweden: left and far right gain as establishment parties falter

triangleTories in chaos - general election now!

triangleTrump ally prosecutions

Socialist Students:

triangle250,000-strong human tide sweeps London against visit of bigoted billionaire Donald Trump

triangleSchool students protest and walk out against Trump

Socialist:

triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: How would food production change under socialism?

Labour:

triangleLiverpool Socialist Party: Perspectives for Labour

Fees:

triangleStudent leaders claim one million on the streets against Brexit - fight for a workers' exit

Education:

triangleThe Socialist inbox

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

12/9/18

Students

Students unite and fight - free education now!

12/9/18

Merseyrail

Guards move closer to beating driver-only operation

12/9/18

TUC

TUC congress Brexit debate: unions must lead fight for a general election

12/9/18

Newcastle

Fight against billionaire Newcastle boss Mike Ashley continues

12/9/18

Worcester

EDL outnumbered and confronted in Worcester

12/9/18

Reading

Reading council plans privatisation - set a no-cuts budget instead!

12/9/18

Lewisham

Catford campaign against regeneration

12/9/18

Union

Workplace news in brief

12/9/18

Cardiff

Cardiff Uber Eats couriers strike back against bosses

12/9/18

NSSN

NSSN rally: militant trade unionists share ideas to win for workers

7/9/18

North London

Enfield North Labour Party votes 'no confidence' in its right-wing Labour MP

5/9/18

RMT

Guards continue fight against driver-only operation

5/9/18

Birmingham

Birmingham Socialist sales success

5/9/18

TUSC

Legal Costs Fund Appeal launched for former Derby TUSC election agent

5/9/18

PCS

PCS union: build the fight for a pay rise and against austerity - re-elect Chris Baugh

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


September 2018

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999