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

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Can't complain

Thursday saw the election results come out for the UMSU executive. By what must be one of the narrowest margins ever we have a left dominated executive and a socialist general Secretary! Our Exec is:

Full Timers

Gen Sec - Rob Owen (SWP/student RESPECT)
Academic Affairs - Mohammad Yakman Khair (I-Soc)
Student Activities - Elliott Woods (3rd Eye)
Welfare - Mina Mo (student RESPECT/Independent)
Campaigns - Patrick Smith (student RESPECT/3rd eye)
Student Direct (Newspaper) - Sajid Rafiq (Independent)
Communications – Maadh Alhadithi (I-Soc)
Women's - Karla Jayne Thomas (3rd eye)

Part Timers

Int Officer - Karolina Kopiec (Book & Beer Coalition)
Postgrad Officer- Wajid Usman (Pakistani Student Association)
Humanities Officer - Rumanna Habeeb (I-Soc)
Life Sciences Officer - Corrinne Broomfield (Independent)
Engineering Officer - Ejaz (I-Soc)
Medical - Farrah Rana (I-Soc)

We won the General Secretary position by 1283 to 1279 (the first count had a 1279 -1279 draw) against the current Welfare Officer. The most satisfying part was that the BNP Youth leader got a miserable 100 odd votes and looked close to tears when we won with a real Bethnal Green moment. Most other positions were less close with the Labour Student lead “Book and Beer coalition” facing a backlash against their negative campaigning/ red baiting. The tides seem to be turning from when softer left candidates a few years ago lost lower profile elections with similar slate support. SOAS also elected a Socialist President and Respect is going into NUS conference with over 60 delegates. What a change from last year where we were wiped out in Manchester and only got a place on NUS “block of 12” through transfers from other groups. Next year we should actually be in a position where Socialists can show how we would run the student movement.

But it gets better last week a Union meeting of 450 discussed our “Another Education is Possible” motion to twin with Nablus and the Bolivarian Uni Of Venezuela. We lost a few early votes that gutted the motion (thanks to a very well organised opposition) but started to consistently win key votes about the nature of Israel on the floor. By the end we had enough influence to call for and win a position to vote down our own gutted and inverted motion. It is hard to explain what a victory it felt like having won a majority of fair trade activists to a pro-Palestinian position.

All that is left is to show that the left can run the Union in a principled and political way while bringing in more Union activists.


At 1:35 AM, Anonymous adam sheehan said...

fucking A! this is yet another brillant result that shows just how far student respect has really gone over the pass year. we have 2/3 sabbs in soas as well so this is pretty damm good go for us nationaly. i only wish our elections at kingston went as well, next year for sure!

roll on nus conference

At 11:19 PM, Blogger DanS said...

Woo, I've congratulated everyone already, but it's nice to see it written down. Onwards and Upwards Comrades!

At 11:47 AM, Anonymous Tom Copping said...

It's good to see there is a site devoted to the politics at our union. It would be interesting as to what you make of the current exec. In my own opinion, gathered from those around, although we only have 1 member of student Respect in our exec this year, by many accounts we have turned a corner in our membership's perception of the union. Is it only Socialists who can change the movement?

Again it really is good to see people within the membership taking such involvement. cheers for now.

Tom Copping
current Gen Sec

At 8:59 PM, Anonymous adam sheehan said...

no it's not just socialists who can change the movement but we make it a better movement ;).
seriously bravo mancester! we lesser mortals can only bask in your glory.
forward to victory comrades!

At 11:15 PM, Blogger A soft socialist said...

Well done 2 everyone, the fun starts now!

Reconciling all those different sets of interests will b hard work.

Up 2 you guys 2 show us, another union is possible. An even better one than we've got now.

At 11:17 PM, Blogger Hanif Leylabi said...

He he, Brilliant!

It's going to be a bloody Brilliant Union next year with such a leftist and antiwar Exec.

Particularly good to see Rob Owen leading the Union. I hope to see a Red Flag flying next time I'm on the wrong side of t'Pennines!

At 11:39 PM, Anonymous adam sheehan said...

All together now...
"we'll keep the red flag flying here..."
you all know the words!

At 1:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The people's flag is deepest red
It shrouded oft our martyred dead
And 'ere their limbs grew stiff and cold
Their hearts' blood dyed its every fold.

So raise the scarlet standard high
Beneath its shade we'll live or die
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer
We'll keep the red flag flying here.

It waved above our infant might
When all ahead seemed dark as night
It witnessed many a deed and vow
We must not change its colour now.


It well recalls the triumphs past
It gives the hope of peace at last
The banner bright, the symbol plain
Of human right and human gain.


With heads uncovered swear we all
To bear it onward till we fall
Come dungeon dark or gallows grim
This song shall be our parting hymn.


At 12:04 AM, Blogger Meaders said...

The people's flag is deepest red
It shrouded oft our martyred dead...

It says a lot about the British labour movement that these should be the opening bloody lines to its anthem. Another glorious defeat, comrades!

At 2:14 PM, Blogger bat020 said...

Book and Beer? What the buggery is that meant to mean?

At 4:58 PM, Anonymous adam said...

A piss up at the su bar?

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

bloody menisvieks!

At 11:44 AM, Blogger El Tom said...

thanks for your comment on my blog, I have relied.

Good luck to the current exec, it will be testing.

At 8:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...









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