The ‘impartial education’ idea has its source in a very ‘partial’ quarter, and so long as the control of education comes from that quarter, the working-class movement will be poisoned and drained . The Plebs’ Magazine, 1909.
On the 21st November the NUS March took place in London. The NUS leadership called on all students to organise amongst themselves and bring their messages to parliament on the 21st.
“In a year in which there are no votes in parliament and no legislation coming before politicians, it’s about time we started setting the agenda.”
The route however, did not end at parliament, but in South London. Students came on the march enraged that their elected body, much like their elected politicians were making such stupid decisions. One can only imagine what brought the NUS to this decision. If you were a optimist you might say that it was the closest to parliament they could get the police to agree on and if you were a pessimist that Liam Burns was demonstrating to future employers that he was able to make tough decisions in a time of crisis. Either way you look at it, students that hope to see England with affordable university fees that don’t enslave us in debt for life can be sure that the NUS in it’s current form will not lead the way.
NEWSFLASH – A small group of elected officials do not represent the will of the majority. Maybe we can get over that now. The question Students have to ask themselves is this; Can the NUS be reformed to be a more representative body or do they need to create a new institution which is more representative of the views of English students. Both could be done, but complaining on Facebook will most certainly not help the cause. It seems that in today’s apathetic world complaining has become our sole political act. If they wish to see a better more democratic world we need to lead the way with action.
For what it’s worth I hope students experiment more with forms of direct democracy that are sweeping the globe at the moment. While it may not be possible to reach this Utopian dream, heading towards it with reservations may in fact bring about more democratic institutions than exist right now.
On a brighter note, UCL students and residents of Carpenters Estate are occupying a room at the UCL campus to protest the decision to press ahead with yet more gentrification in London. I haven’t been down yet, but I’m confident that there will be some of that wavy hand craziness going on.
NUS failures highlight old truths.