Vote NO to the NUS

Toni Pearce, NUS President
Toni Pearce, NUS President

The NUS is the most undemocratic and absurd clique of budding politicians I have ever had the misfortune to come across.

The NUS does not and will not ever listen to the students it claims to represent.

I will start with the ridiculous undemocratic nature of the NUS and the NEC (National executive council which the NUS is a member of and decides policy). Personally, I think it is probably a good idea to know what the NEC decides in terms of policy during the year, but it is actually impossible to know. They have consistently failed to publish at least half of their minutes last year and I’m pretty sure they will continue to cunningly deceive the people they are supposed to represent.

If that’s not absurd enough, they constantly fail to discuss issues which affect students. There was even a motion put forward that we should re-nationalise the banks in the NUT conference by an NUS delegate in the affiliation debate hustings.

Looking back on the ex-presidents of the NUS, the vast majority have come on to become future Labour MPs. One example, Jim Murphy, even voted in favour of introducing tuition fees during the 13 years of Labour government. Hardly standing up for students at all. Now before I am attacked for being politically motivated in this piece in favour of the Conservative party or others who disagree with the NUS membership, I am a member of the Labour party and have been since I was 14. I just do not think that it is fair that students in York are represented by the Labour party, which is what is happening now. I’m pretty sure that there aren’t 15,000 members of UYLC in York, last I saw, there was about 30.

The NUS has consistently managed to make themselves a laughing stock of the whole country. Whether it was the shambles of the 2010 tuition fees march which managed to annihilate the credibility of students or the fact that the NUS conference cheered when they heard the news of Thatcher’s death, this ridiculous union should have no place in the lives of the students in York.

All of this I could forget if the NUS actually managed to help students in their day to day lives. However, they have managed to catastrophically fail in this department as well. YUSU pays the NUS just over £40,000 a year to be affiliated and what do we get in return? More expensive alcohol and limited discounts. The NUS chooses which alcohol YUSU sells at the student bars and charges a huge amount more than they would do if we left. Southampton Union sells a Bombay sapphire gin and tonic for £1.50, now that they have left the NUS. I would be paying almost double that in a YUSU bar and it wouldn’t be Bombay either. There is no denying that being a member of the NUS means that alcohol is much more pricey.

Moreover, in terms of discounts, the NUS chooses which companies which they are allowed to coerce with to give student discount. This means that we are losing out on reductions in hundreds of stores in York because some radical left wing students don’t see them as ethical enough. Surely give us the choice?

Leaving the NUS doesn’t mean you will lose out on discounts either. Southampton, Glasgow and Edinburgh have enjoyed a flurry of discounts in their city centre cashing in on the student market. It will happen here.

The fact that Universities such as Oxford, Southampton, Imperial, Edinburgh and Glasgow have left the NUS shows how out of touch they are with the student population. What is the point in staying in such an outrageously unaccountable and ignorant Union which makes FIFA look like a bastion of morality. Let’s leave this breeding ground of Labour students and make sure we can decide what is actually best for students in the University of York.

8 Comments

  1. a12@yahoo.com
    24 May 2014 - 17:38 GMT

    Completely agree with this article.

    However, gin and tonic is £2 at YUSU Bars. For more cheap deals go down to their event Coup D’etat v Marmite at the Courtyard tonight!!

  2. Interesting
    24 May 2014 - 19:22 GMT

    Really interesting, not something ive given thought to, Although that said im always abit of a sceptic when it comes to the phrase “They have done nothing for us” (queue monty python sketch). Because (although this may sound naive) they MUST have done something for us, right? Can someone provide the other side of the arguement? But to be honest I do agree that the NUS are probably abit crap, student politicians are usually just in it for the career not because they genuinly want to help their demographic (although not always). I probable would vote to leave the NUS, If the tuition fees have shown us one thing its that the student movement is fucked.

  3. L
    25 May 2014 - 12:37 GMT

    Poorly written with very few new or interesting arguments to contribute to the debate around the NUS as a whole. In fact, most of the arguments seem to have been paraphrased pretty obviously from this website: http://www.no2nus.co.uk/index2.html

    I have very little respect for an article where the longest paragraph/chunk of argument relates to alcohol. Not everyone cares about cheap alcohol, and to use cheap alcohol as an incentive to leave the NUS plays on stereotypes around students.

    Finally, grammatically, “National executive council which the NUS is a member of and decides policy” doesn’t make sense. Neither does “come on to become future Labour MPs.” Your writing style is melodramatic and detracts from your argument. I’m not persuaded.

  4. Commentator
    26 May 2014 - 15:50 GMT

    Bombay Sapphire is a vodka drinker’s gin. Learn to gin.

  5. Eric the almost eel
    28 May 2014 - 13:39 GMT

    L you are such an awful person. The writing style means absolutely nothing. I hate you and your entire family. I hope you die a horrible death. Preferably with a vat of acid.

  6. Sherlock
    29 May 2014 - 14:40 GMT

    Nice piece. Has my vote.

  7. Ben
    02 June 2014 - 11:57 GMT

    “I just do not think that it is fair that students in York are represented by the Labour party, which is what is happening now. I’m pretty sure that there aren’t 15,000 members of UYLC in York, last I saw, there was about 30.” << This article is utterly ridiculous. Last time I checked there weren't 60000000 members of the Conservative party in Britain – does that mean David Cameron shouldn't be prime minister? It's called an election.

  8. P
    02 June 2014 - 18:09 GMT

    To be fair, Ben, students in York aren’t represented by the Labour Party, we’re represented by Labour Students, that bastion of democracy and fairness (Sarcasm intended), who have no official representation in York at all now, thanks to UYLC seeing the light.

    The article is ridiculous, I agree, largely because the NUS, unlike LS, is showing signs it might actually listen to its constituent parts, so it’s worth staying in. But saying Labour Students has ever participated in an open election is equally hilarious. David Cameron doesn’t have block voters, he doesn’t restrict the electorate to his mates, and he doesn’t stand as an only candidate.

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