News has circulated from Liverpool that the 2014 National Union of Students conference (NUS) has voted in favour of Amendment 101c – Opposition to Ukip.
The amendment states that ‘We [The NUS] should be alarmed by the electoral rise of a “respectable” nationalist right, including UKIP;’ and that it further believed ‘Withdrawal from the EU would not solve these problems but simply create a more independent neo-liberal UK in which nationalism runs riot.’
This controversial move seems to be an encroachment on the NUS’ mission statement, which claims to (3.1) “promote, defend and extend the rights of Students.”
It is difficult to measure the effect that this NUS policy will have on Ukip students: Milton believes that this could increase the party’s appeal amongst young members, and will provide more ammo for Ukip rhetoric as a party against an out of touch establishment.
Jack Duffin, Young Independence Chairman (Ukip youth wing) said: “I am very disappointed that NUS has voted to oppose UKIP on a national level at its conference.
‘This will alienate many students who are involved in UKIP but also people who hold a different view to the handful of students at NUS Conference.
‘This shows their disregard for democracy and disdain for alternative, mainstream political views. We as a movement do not believe NUS should not be marginalising thousands of students and societies across their campuses. This is bizarre, pathetic posturing once again demonstrates how the NUS lacks focus on the issue that students really care about: education.’
The harsh and drastic move from the Union has further installed awareness of its ability to discriminate against those with different views. Jack Matthews, a delegate from Oxford said: ‘Ukip are a political party whose youth wing comprises some of the membership of NUS, and I think it is wrong that the NUS is turning around and essentially opposing its own members.’