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

Thursday, June 29, 2006

A fight for free education

Looks like the North West is gearing up for a fight over free education! At a regional NUS event of all places we seem to have worked out a reasonable strategy for building up to the National demonstration on the 29th of October. Local demos, regional actions and reasonable buy in from Student Unions – I’m simply shocked.

The background to this is the NUS’ priority campaign over coalition 2010 (an alliance of Teaching Unions, MPs and NUS over not lifting the Cap on Fees.) The upshot of this is that the student movement actually has something to rally around to put our vision of education on the map and a chance to revitalise our movement. The need to broaden out the campaign to the question of what higher education should be about is undeniable as are the limitations of 2010 but here is what we have agreed:

Wednesday 27th September – NW regional demo in Manchester to end at the Labour Party conference. A chance at the start of term to mobilize the North West against a tangible target. Also an opportunity to draw in support from local Unions and political figures.

Wednesday 13th October – NW mass lobbies of local MP’s. A half way point to the national demo drawing together activists and win support for our action.

Sunday 29th October – National Demonstration in London.

All that is left is to organise the events and get as much buy in as is possible. Approaching FE’s, tying in with the national Anti War demo (in Manchester) on the 23rd September and blitzing our own students when they get back.


At 2:09 PM, Blogger A soft socialist said...

Do we absolutely have to tie it in with the war?

Some people might be against top up fees but want the war.

At 1:07 AM, Blogger El Tom said...

Not really anti-war though is it? it's more 'anti-US'. a war takes at least two sides.

Oh, by the way, might be an idea dropping the placards and actually talking to tony lloyd... he heads the TU group of MPs, sure he'd like to be able to say that he was forced by students to take action for free education.

At 11:52 AM, Blogger A soft socialist said...

Mmm. Lloydie is pretty anti top up fees. You shouldn't let any sectarianism get in the way of getting students a fairly funded education.

I know that if we hadn't gone to war there would be more money to spend on education. But we've got to start getting serious and drop some of the old cliches if we are going to win this fight.

At 6:32 PM, Blogger ragged trousered pessimist said...

we've got to start getting serious and drop some of the old cliches if we are going to win this fight

nope, you and your mates need to stop kissing blair's arse, and reaslise that it's the anti-war movement that is smashing new labour and its neo-liberal measures. the best way to turn back the tide against fees etc is to humiliate the government by forcing them to pull the troops out of iraq.

incidentally, being anti-war is not a cliche. it's about being upset that 150,000 people have been killed in iraq in the name of us imperialism, and this country's government is complicit in it. so how's about you get your head out of your arse, and get yourself on the demo on september 23?

At 7:25 PM, Blogger DJN said...

Over here in Canada the only way to build large anti-tuition and other education-related actions (demos, sit-ins, occupations) is through the anti-war movement. Simply put, more people can be mobilized on the anti-war issue than any other. Slogans like "Money for jobs and education, not for war and occupation" and so on are concrete and build the movement quite effectively.

The fact that Canadian military spending has increased so much in the last couple of years (highest increase since the Korean War) while tuition and student debt continue upwards makes the two issues intimately related.

And last I heard, free education and proper working conditions at universities and schools doesn't result in 150,000 deaths.

At 10:25 PM, Blogger A soft socialist said...

Bloody hell, I can't win, I've just been called too pro Palestine!

Thats right mate pull the troops out of Iraq, let the country be gripped by sectarian violence. Kill new labour, let the tories in, good one that.

Oh and as for kissing blair ass, really, what the fact I constantly criticise the Government over the fact that top up fees is undermining their aim to widen participation means I'm kissing ass.

Oh and just to remind you that new labour has delievered more for working people that the SWP ever will. I could go through our achievements in power; but you would find some way to belittle them, so I shan't bother.

Head out of arse. Well I will deffo be on the education demo, because I believe in it.

What I don't believe in is this rampant anti-americanism.

I will always criticise the Govnt when I know they are wrong, far from kissing their arse.

At 11:25 AM, Blogger Derek Wall said...

'Thats right mate pull the troops out of Iraq, let the country be gripped by sectarian violence. Kill new labour, let the tories in, good one that.'

I think a nerve may have been hit here, say Tony Blair brought in ID cards, built a dozen new nuclear power stations, called for a new generation of nuclear weapons, 'new labour' foot solidiers would still say 'Kill new labour, let the tories in, good one that'

Say Gordon Brown threatened to remove the whip from MPs like Alan Simpson 'Kill new labour, let the tories in, good one that'

Say New Labour had us all microchipped and imprisoned asylum seekers, the refrain would go, 'Kill new labour, let the tories in, good one that'

Suppose Tony Blair's key ally was a neo-Fascist leader, who promised cabinet posts to the likes of Mussolini's daughter....frankly you could not make it up.. Kill new labour, let the tories in, good one that'

Saddam was supported by the US and Britain, the idea of an ethical foreign policy or free education are alien to new labour, a politics based on tabloid preferences is astonishingly dangerous, rank and file New Labour activists have accelerated the growth of the present the US is gearing up to topple Venezuelan president Chavez, it would be nice to see a more opposition to this from Labour activists.

Still can't complain, criticism might benefit David Cameron

At 1:57 PM, Blogger A soft socialist said...

Alan Simpson shouldn't have the whip withdrawn, he was just quite foolish. Although it was Jaqui Smith not Gordon Brown that wanted to withdraw the whip from him.

I don't actually agree with everything new labour does or else why would I be involved with the fight for a free education?

Rank and file labour activists have accelerated the growth of the BNP. What a pile of absolute crap. At the local elections labour activists joined the UAF campaign against the BNP. Attacked the BNP in their own leaflets. Worked with Searchlight to combat the BNP. Criticise Margaret Hodge; but don't extend that to activists that deplore racism and have worked to combat it.

I know many labour activists that are part of Venezuelan solidarity have been working with them through trade unions, promoting them at union conferences and will be working for them at labour party conference.

At 9:20 AM, Blogger Cliffite said...

Tom we will be lobbying MP's and asking those who sympathise to march with us. We will later be targetting those whyo don't for some attention in the following weeks. The difference is that instead of simply taking a few students down to lobby we are attempting to build a campaign based on mass inolvement and re-engagement of students in the fight for free education. More students will march against the war a few days before and a key task has to be convincing these radical students that the issues are linked and they should actively engage in our education campaign.

On a side note I do agree that it is unreasonable to single out the Labour rank and file when looking for someone to blame for the rise of the Nazis. The role of the Labour party in deserting working class issues is clearly key but the role of the Labour rank and file in both defending the indefensible and challenging the BNP has to be recognised as contradictory.

At 12:15 PM, Blogger A soft socialist said...

Defending the indefensible??

At 12:22 PM, Blogger Cliffite said...

Blair, Prescot, attacks on education, sell off of council housing, attacks on civil liberties, ASBOs, John Reed, Pension "reform", shot to kill policy, "choice" agenda in health and education, immigration law changes, errosion of the European convention on human rights, Trident replacement, Iraq, depolyment of more troops to Afghanistan.... (Iraq should probably be mentioned again.)

At 11:02 PM, Blogger A soft socialist said...

Um, could well agree with you on education and Iraq. Tho, at least more people are going to uni now. When I come back in September, I'm expecting a full plan on how we are going to campaign for this free education!

I'll infuriate you, if I write a long reply on the good work that ASBOs are doing in Manchester and sticking up for the law abiding majority.

ASBOs are misrepresented because they are not used as a stand alone. More facilities are built and activities done with young people so that they don't commit crimes in the 1st place.

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