By Daniel Randall
In March 2004, the National Union of Students conference rejected Labour Students’ bid for the NUS presidency for the first time in more than 20 years. The beneficiary was Kat Fletcher, a former support of Solidarity and Workers’ Liberty, and still a self-proclaimed revolutionary socialist.
Over the past 11 months, however, Kat has proved anything but revolutionary in office.
In fact, she has been a more effective right-wing NUS president than any Labour Student would have been, not only failing to radicalise the national union but marginalising and attacking the left as only a renegade knows how.
So the former “socialist feminist” NUS Women’s Officer, who paid for an Afghan women’s activist to come to Britain to speak, now defends the European Social Forum’s promotion of Islamists like Tariq Ramadan.
The former defender of union democracy spearheads a victory for the longstanding leadership project of cutting back NUS conference, personally taking speeches when it looked like a particular measure might fail.
The former Campaign for Free Education co-chair not only fails to build a powerful national movement about education funding, but holds the annual NUS demonstration in Cardiff so that hardly anyone turns up.
In the face of a situation where the majority of vice-chancellors are planning to charge the maximum possible top-up fee, with market pressures creating an apparently inexorable movement towards an unregulated system of multi-tier, neo-liberal education, students desperately need what they don’t currently have: a national union that fights.
To help provide this fighting national union, at the upcoming NUS conference (5–7 April) the “Education Not for Sale” network will be standing two candidates for the NUS National Executive.
I will be standing for Vice President (Further Education Union Development) and Robin Sivapalan will be standing for Vice President (Education).
Robin and I are strong campaigners for free education, and committed socialists.
We urge all education campaigners, global justice activists, and socialists to come to NUS conference to challenge the NUS leadership in the name of a student movement that can win for students.
Come to NUS conference and help build a fighting NUS.
- More details: 07796 690874.