Conservative Diary


31 Aug 2007 07:07:00

Sam Rozati: There's never been a better time to get involved in the NUS

Conhomepic In March 2007, Former CF NME Sam Rozati was elected to the National Executive of the National Union of Students. Here, Sam argues that Top-Up Fees have made students ready to ditch the socialist answers of old, for Conservative answers to the problems modern students face.

Everyone knows that the  NUS is a body for unemployable, unwashed, idealistic, class-jealous “students” who do little studious activity and concentrate instead on trying to save the world from capitalism, George Bush and the evil menace of KitKat Chunky bars.

Everyone also knows that NUS National Conferences – much like Trade Union conferences – are simply a convention for 1000-odd “students” to congregate and fight over who is better “Gordon Brown or George Galloway”.

And yet, the last NUS Conference elected me – a Conservative – on to its National Executive. And despite no campaign budget or outside support, I was just 5 votes away from being elected National Treasurer against a candidate supported by all the Labour Party-backed NUS “factions”. That same conference booed when people stood up to bash David Cameron and booed again when the RESPECT Party tried to promote their political agenda.

So what changed? Quite simply – the introduction of Top-Up Fees. 

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1 May 2007 13:28:10

Aftermath of the NUS conference 07

NusQuick, belated, note on the recent NUS conference.

The CF exec decided this year to not get involved in the NUS other than pay for a stall at its conference. There was still a small group of Tories at the conference though, described by one hack as having "morphed into an unrecognisable (except for the accent) clump of anti-faction".

Sam Rozati (well known as a Conservative, but standing independently) was a handful of votes away from being elected the next NUS Treasurer, but he did get onto the block of twelve.

Footage of the conference is online. For a hugely detailed description of it, from a Conservative perspective, read Edward Keene's report (copied below).

Update: The NUS are running a survey on what kind of things they should be campaigning on, it'd be worth having your say!

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29 Nov 2006 15:03:00

Shane Greer: The Battle for Student Government


Shane (blog) is a member of the Conservative Party, and is currently interning at the Leadership Institute in Arlington, Virginia. In this article, the second in a trilogy, he looks at what lessons we can learn from student campaigning in the US.

It almost seems redundant to highlight the dominance leftists enjoy in student government up and down the United Kingdom.  However just as it is important to remind ourselves how privileged we are to have running water, something we often take for granted, so too is it important to remind ourselves of the travesty it is to have as the status quo a state of leftist absolutism in our university student governments. 

The sad truth is that on the vast majority of university campuses, the choice in student government elections is between different shades of the left; between Coke and Pepsi.  The net result of this of course is something each of us, in our own universities, is far too familiar with.  This being so, and without wishing to take the soft drink analogy too far, I humbly submit it is our job to ensure that lemonade is also on offer; and most importantly of all, made the drink of choice.  The question of course is how do we achieve this? 

As indicated in the first article in this series, it is my belief that victory in the battle for student government will only be achieved if young conservatives are trained in the political technology necessary to ensure victory.  It is to this technology that we now turn.

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16 Aug 2006 06:06:00

Gareth Knight argues against NUS involvement

Gareth_campaigning Gareth Knight is the head of Projecting Politics, the country's leading provider of political resources for schools and producer of the Untangled Web series of publications. He is a former Chairman of the University of York Conservative & Unionist Association, a former branch YC Chairman and Area YC Vice Chairman. Gareth stood in Finchley at the local elections in May, and worked for 5 years as a Conservative Party Agent.

Recent attempts to formally involve Conservative Future in NUS are utterly meaningless and a desperate attempt to give CF a purpose.

It is frequently stated that the party does not care about Conservative Future, that it is seen as at best irrelevant and at worst a destructive embarrassment to the party as whole. Formal involvement in NUS is a clear sign of this irrelevance.

Most of what CF now does is flogging a dead horse and that includes NUS more than anything. CF election candidates (almost unanimously) proudly state that they want more active participation in NUS as if its one of the few things left that a CF Exec member can have any influence over.

The arguments surrounding involvement in NUS seem to stem from three areas:

  • the need to reform NUS (by the time any reforms go thro ugh everyone has graduated and ceases to care)
  • the desire to give Conservative students a party platform at NUS conference (gives a CF Exec member the chance to act as ‘party leader’ and ‘chief whip’, other than that, pointless)
  • the desire to counter the much-quoted ‘leftie’ bias of NUS (Socialist Workers always have and always will be strong, get over it, you’d miss them if they were suddenly gone)

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15 Aug 2006 15:02:41

To NUS or not?

Kat_fletcher The extent to which CF engages with the National Union of Students tends to be a thorny issue. Whilst I support getting involved in it in a perhaps idealistic attempt to influence it, many members don't think we should waste any time on it in an organised way.

No-one thinks much of the NUS' campaigns and corporate policies (outgoing President Kat Fletcher is pictured) , the question is - is it possible to do something about them? If so, would the required effort worth it?

 Within the next couple of days I'm going to publish a pro-NUS and anti-NUS article, and then we'll have a little poll to see what the consensus is.

15 Aug 2006 01:50:00

Tim Aker: The University Challenge

Tim_aker Tim Aker is former President of Nottingham University CF

When I ran for Education Officer in the Nottingham University Students Union elections a number of things came to me. Firstly, the dominance of left-leaning institutions and societies like the numerous equality and diversity organisations, the LGBT, the Peace society and groups for global justice (italicised to emphasise it is their concept of social justice, one bound to the state, within the state and of the state). However well meaning these groups are, their radical agendas spread beyond their remit to, now, campaign for ultimately anti-conservative ends.

Secondly these groups took action, won places on elected Students Union committees and run for National Union of Students elections, to which those delegates select the national leaders of the Students Movement. The previous NUS President was endorsed by the ‘Broad Student Left’; the current national president is a Labour Party member, although she ran as an independent. Thirdly, this explains why we keep losing.

So you can see the problems for Conservatives, although we have no right to complain unless we do something about it. We constantly send candidates to the slaughter at NUS conferences because we think that’s the way to get change. But clearly it’s not. With Labour/Liberal sympathising organisations controlling the University’s own Unions they therefore cut off the oxygen flow to any potential Conservative election victory in the NUS.

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