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Live! - News

Pre-Conference Bickering Heats Up

Mar 29 2008 12:12
Ashley Brown
The rhetoric preceding next week's NUS conference is heating up, with bickering on the pages of the Guardian.
A recreation of the pre-conference discussions. See original.

With next week's NUS conference looking to reform the organisation to meet the needs of the 21st century, those fighting for and against the governance review have resorted to letters in the Guardian slagging each other off.

Those opposing the review kicked off the very public argument on Tuesday, with a letter to the Guardian accusing "the leadership" of wanting to return the NUS back to the 1950s. According to the authors of the letter, back then the NUS was a "network of rightwing students associated with the CIA".

This letter triggered a response from the National Executive Committee, claiming only a "small but vocal group of Socialist Worker supporters" were against the reforms, before explaining why reforms were necessary in a fairly agitated tone.

Those opposed to reforms are crying foul, as the chair of the conference session discussing the reforms will be Kat Stark, a pro-reform member of the NEC. It is claimed that she will have arranged with the NEC to ensure the "correct" people from both sides are called, in order strengthen the pro-reform viewpoint. An anti-reform meeting has been banished to a nearby bar, while a pro-reform meeting is being held inside the conference venue itself. Both sides look set to use every trick they can to gain an advantage.

The public bitch-fight is unlikely to show the wider public that NUS is a sensible, united organisation, but rather highlights the deep divisions caused by the "revolutionary" elements. Quite how it helps normal students in general is lost on this reporter.

In other news, the two failed ICU presidential candidates have shirked their responsibilities, with ACC Chair Luke Taylor dropping out at the last minute due to project commitments, following Jon Matthews withdrawal shortly after results were announced.

We know many Live! readers have no time for the NUS, but this conference promises to provide some entertaining stories (but probably in the same sense that a car crash is "entertaining" to rubber-neckers).

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Discussion about “Pre-Conference Bickering Heats Up”

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
Mar 29 2008 18:37

Brilliant last paragraph.

annoyingly i can't come, club commitment.

Mar 31 2008 09:57

Were you supposed to come in the first place?

Mar 31 2008 10:24

I presume Mark was asked when Jon Matthews/Luke Taylor dropped out...

Mar 31 2008 14:15

Final delegation for those people who couldn?t keep up:

  • Ashley Brown
  • Stephen Brown
  • Victoria Gibbs
  • Elizabeth Hyde
  • Jen Morgan
  • Kirsty Patterson
  • Camilla Royle

With the addition of:

  • Alex Grisman
  • Jess Marley
Mar 31 2008 20:16

Down with Mugabe and the oppressors of Tibet

6. Woo!!   
Mar 31 2008 21:57

Go girl power!! Very representative of imperial!!

Mar 31 2008 23:37

Great, the weather in Blackpool is going to be cold, wet and windy.

Thank god we're inside for most of the three days.

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