• Borton

    What a load of crap – just another right-wing student ranting about how his feelings are hurt because delegates voted against things he believes in. Conference didn’t ban anything, voted for loads of liberal centrist policy. Get over yourself.

    • Robert Neve

      Well that was clearly a well reasoned answer. Oh wait. If you’re going to call it crap how about you show what the NUS is doing for students?

  • Ambriorix_Le_Belge

    NUS was and is little more than a conveyor belt for career-politician-wannabes making their way to the LibLabCon.

  • David McNeilage

    Could the same not be said for most Trade Unions?

  • BoredAlready

    Dear, dear, dear. It seems you have a little itch that you are unable to scratch when it comes to NUS. Firstly – check out the definition of ‘Marxist’in the OED and then look back at the NUS NEC, there have only been a tiny number over the last decade and certainly have never been in a position to influence national policy probably since the 1970′s. There has however, been of a number of successful Conservatives on the NUS NEC over the years, they were mainly liberal and level-headed and therefore played an important role in debate, formulating policy and in some instances – deciding elections. I am deeply interested in your views on elected officers of student unions, you hint that they are unrepresentative of their constituents and also unaccountable. Let us explore this theme a little more shall we? SU officers (national or local) are re-elected every year often by the single transferable vote or something similar, often have reserved places for minority groups such as BME, LGBT, women, mature students or similar to ensure greater diversity. The elections are open – anyone can stand, they campaign on local issues, meet their grassroots constiuents on a daily basis and are subject to rules on censure including no-confidence votes by their electorate. Now lets turn to three other institutions, the House of Parliament, the Conservative Party and the London Mayor.
    Parliament – mainly white, largely male, elected by the hugely undemocratic first-past-the-post method, with a huge number of safe seats, no right of censure for the electorate, heavily whipped, unrepresentative (how many genuinely disabled people will lose their non-work related disability living allowance because of conservative MPs who they probably didn’t vote for? How many blind people who are currently on a ‘for life’ DLA award will suddenly be able to see as a result of these so-called reforms?). The majority of MPs spend little time in their constituencies, have shocking attendance records, ignore mass campaigning because they think 5,000 letters have little meaning compared to the whip and are purely lobby fodder.
    The Conservative Party – mainly white, mainly rich (the new Culture Secretary earned £20m by the time he was 25), candidates are hand-picked by central office and presented to local associations, leaders are elected by an arcane system of voting with no real interaction with ordinary members whilst the power, influence and capacity of the whips is fabled. Furthermore it could be argued that the Tory party is in-hock to the press having been dragged kicking and screaming to regulate and even now churning is out uninformed, unevidenced policies to satiate the latest fluctuations of the Mail et al.
    The London Mayor – elected by a tiny fraction of the total London electorate who wibbles, wobbles and wiff-waff’s his way through a series of policy messes and almost spontaneously pronounces on a wide range of policies from foreign affairs to defence and everything in between none of which(by your rule of thumb outlined above) is relevant to his day job as Mayor of London. Interestingly, a number of strike votes by Trade Unions have secured a greater comparative
    level of engagement then actually voted for Boris (or a huge number of MPs for that matter).
    And no, I am not left-wing, I do not belong to any political party and I do vote – according to the manifestos presented at each election. Unfortunately for you and your fellow commentators I have this annoying habit of checking out facts and doing a little bit of analysis rather than producing rip-roaring tirades of ill-reserached and unsubstantiated idealogical cant like your shockingly assembled article.

  • Ben

    The lack of research in this article is astounding!

  • Magnetic

    As someone without a history of attending university in the traditional manner. I read this article with some interest. As someone who studied part-time alongside a full time job my exposure to, and experience of NUS was limited. I therefore wanted to be informed as to why and how they particularly were a “failure”. Unfortunately that isn’t what your article did, rather it pointed to a failure in politics in general and apathy amongst electorates in all too many of their guises.

    Claiming you speak for the people who elect you is universal amongst those
    elected isn’t it? I’m not sure how NUS differs.

    There were many that would have, and many did, disagree with Labour’s decisions
    to go to war. Yet they did so in the name of this country and its inhabitants
    whether they agreed with them or not and regardless of the way they voted in
    the previous general election. Isn’t that what ‘leaders’ do?

    You also suggest that a populist policy (in this case spending money on gin) is
    somehow unique within student politics. I’m sure that as people mature
    what are willing to be bribed by changes but if people want to vote for free
    gin who are you to decide that they should not do so? I’m not clear if
    this was an NUS candidate or a candidate in a local students’ union election, though I suspect the latter. If so how does this reflect on NUS and are you suggesting they should have stopped such a thing happening? Which would be somewhat at odds with your general thrust.

    The “failure” of relevance does not appear to supported by the facts
    if we take engagement of the various constituencies in politics as a
    measure. They would appear to be just as relevant to theirs as ‘normal’
    politics is to the vast majority of this nation. Because people do not find
    things interesting or engaging does not make them irrelevant surely?

    You obviously have a distain for NUS and that is clear in the way the article
    was constructed. As someone who started to read with a willingness to be
    informed I found it to be a piece searching for a reason to be annoyed and as
    such whilst not irrelevant to me it ended up being neither interesting nor engaging. You’d be hoist with your own petard but sadly for all of us that pitard was poorly directed and too ill placed to be harmful in the first instance.

    I guess you made me respond though; so well done you. Perhaps you do have a future as a journalist after all.