The bickering, backstabbing and pseudo-intellectual debate of student socialism.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Pav declares for President

Pav (current NUS Black Students Officer and Student Broad Left Ally) has announced that he is standing for NUS president. The background he stands against is one of years of Labour Party domination broken by the left group Campaign for Free Education’s candidate Kat Fletcher only 2 years ago who has proudly carried the flame for the err Labour Party ever since. After leaving CfE Kat has steadily taken NUS in a steadily a-political direction under the banner of “reform” cutting democracy and blunting the education campaign. As a result the NUS is less connected with its members then ever and its campaigns have largely disappeared from view (with the exception of a pointless and very expensive “launch.”) The NUS has infact degenerated so much it is trialling a two tier membership, one paid for with perks and one for democracy only, in the North West.

The question is what would Pav do to NUS and how should the left treat his candidacy? Would he take the Union in a progressive direction reconnecting the membership through mass campaigns and standing up to the government or give us more of the same. As an activist Pav has a very good record in terms of supporting progressive campaigns and has quietly stood up against the reform agenda. But when it comes to the crunch about what politics he will stand on it all becomes a bit hazy. To the outside observer Pav seems to move between Labour Students Proper and the politically much better Student Broad Left with out ever coming down clearly with one or the other. If Mel Ward (National Organisation of Labour Students) stands it will become more clear cut but if a deal is struck with NOLS it could throw everything up into the air. Personally I’m a fan of Pav’s but the personal isn’t always the political.

I write to let you know that I will be standing to be the next NationalPresident of NUS at Annual Conference in March. I hope you will support me. NUS must be a powerful voice defending students' interests nationally, supporting students' unions to represent their members locally, and shapingthe world in which students live, work and study.

As NUS President, I will give a lead on strengthening student representation in FE colleges, universities and to the government. Only by increasing theinvolvement of all sections of our membership will we create successful NUS campaigns and build a relevant movement that will help to secure NUS'long-term stability.

I want to see an influential NUS. Whether campaigning to prevent further fee increases and for free education; for more resources for local students'unions or joining demands for trade justice, peace and equality that many students support, we are most effective when we are an active, inclusive and visible movement. The breadth of my experiences as NUS Black Student's Officer, and previously as students' union president of Cambridge University and Runshaw FE College, ensure that I will act on the diverse needs students' unions have from NUS.

I have shown that improving student's experiences of NUS is possible. In the past two years, I have led a transformation in the NUS BlackStudents' Campaign, creating a highly successful movement by dramaticallyincreasing participation, building powerful links within the student movement and with external organisations, and raising tens of thousands of pounds through initiatives like the NUS Black Students' handbook. I believe that I am best placed to deliver the kind of NUS that students need.


At 4:43 PM, Anonymous K said...

I agree that personality isn't the same as politics. That's why though I don't like either Paz or Dan, I will vote Dan first and Paz second (unless another candidate pops up).
Dan is a revolutionary Marxist (no matter how much I disagree with him) and that means I must support him first before I give support to the more liberal and reformist candidate.
Both are better than Fletcher but that's only a sign of how bad the current President is.

At 12:14 PM, Blogger Cliffite said...

Thats a daft argument, you don't have to support someone who self declares themselves a Marxist when another candidate will put forwards far more of your agenda. Dan would be a rubbish president as he is cut off from the radicalism springing up on campuses (best shown by the anti-war movement.) He would also be crap at defending Muslim students against a racist backlash post 9/11 and the London bombings.

To rebuild NUS we need to connect to that radicalism not dismiss it so we can revitalise the education campaign and the NUS democratic structures. Pav might do that depending on the politics he stands on, Dan is a sectarian and won't.

At 7:02 PM, Anonymous SWPGirl said...

I'm no fan of ENS/AWL but Dan is a far better candidate than Pav - I can't believe you think Pav is better connected to grassroots radicalism than Dan whose been up and down the country visiting unions and getting involved with student campaigns instead of sitting in NUS HQ talking the talk!

Fault him on his politics, maybe, but you can't fault him for action. Surely it's more sectarian not to vote socialist on the basis that you don't agree with AWL on everything? Can you back up the claim Dan is sectarian with anything?

At least we'll get some good speeches this year.

At 1:38 AM, Anonymous adam sheehan said...

i can't belive that someone would actually consider for even one second voting for one of those awl trolls. i would rather see a student respect comrade standing but, as part of our deal with student board left we're only standing three canidates instead of the full six! i guess what im trying to say is that without false modiesty student respect will be the best group at conference to bring the radicalism we have all seen on the streets to the conference.
however we are supporting pav who seems the best out of a bad bunch.

At 8:52 PM, Blogger El Tom said...

So pav is more of a socialist than the AWL? handbags...

At 12:37 AM, Blogger old major said...

and the gladrags...


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