YUSU President blasts UKIP after society is ratified

YUSU President Sam Maguire has slammed UKIP in a recent post on the YUSU website.

The blog post comes after UKIP Association of York was recently ratified by YUSU as an official society.

Maguire began his post by acknowledging that many students may be concerned by this development, before the reassurance that “I and YUSU have a commitment to equality of opportunity at the University of York.”

“We are committed to ensuring that the diversity of our membership is recognised, and that every student has equal access to our services, to those of the University and to their course.”

“I, personally, don’t believe that UKIP, the national political party, shares these values.”

“It is a near-weekly occurrence to see one of their representatives caught in a political quagmire after a racist or homophobic remark.”

“I cannot, in good conscience, as President of a Union that represents thousands of students from many diverse backgrounds, be seen not to decry any party who so oppose the very freedom and opportunities that so many of our students and I hold dear.”

Maguire went on to acknowledge the duty of YUSU and the University to uphold students’ right to freedom of speech.

“I can’t and shouldn’t try to oppose the right of student supporters of UKIP to assemble on campus, to form a society or access support or funding from YUSU for it.”

“The right to freedom of speech, however, is not to be confused with the right not to be disagreed with, and I can and shall take the opportunities I get to speak out against any views I see proposed by any member that compromise the values of equality that are at the core of our Union.”

When asked for comment by Vision, Michael Hollins, Secretary to the UKIP Association of York said “It is regrettable that the President of YUSU feels the need to display the same kind of prejudice that he attributes to certain members of UKIP.”

“He assumes, without justification, that by virtue of our political affiliation we threaten to “compromise the values of equality” thus revealing his own prejudgements.”

“By way of assurance, let me make clear that any member of UKIP that openly displays any kind of racism, homophobia etc. is thrown out the party and members of racist organisations such as the BNP are completely banned from entry.”

“Last year we had Amjad Bashir on campus who is an MEP for the Yorkshire and Humber region, chosen by UKIP members, and is a British-Pakistani Muslim.”

“I would welcome an open debate with Sam about UKIP’s policies, or alternatively he could ask our Chairman, Niko, who himself is an EU student.”

11 Comments

  1. Rebecca Light
    28 November 2014 - 11:11 BST

    Should the YUSU President really be making such opinions know to the student body? Whilst he does have the right of speech like every citizen, I think Sam’s comments are naive and frankly inappropriate for a YUSU President to be making. Whatever his personal views which he, of course, is entirely to hold there are constraints on the office he holds. He appears to be demonising and vilifying a group of students he is elected to represent and is endanger of comprising their safety on campus. His arguments about UKIP are naively constructured. Although I am not saying I disagree with what he has said entirely, this is not something I expected from someone who is meant to lead the student body not divide them. A YUSU President should not be making controversial, unjustified attacks on the character of students without good cause.

  2. D Double
    28 November 2014 - 12:32 BST

    Surely it’s prejudice if he didn’t ratify the UKIP Society? But no, he ratifies them but doesn’t agree with them – so, he’s prejudice.

  3. Lorraine
    28 November 2014 - 13:52 BST

    Michael Hollins, you are a credit to UKIP and the University of York, well done. I hope you gain ever more support.

  4. Amused Observer
    28 November 2014 - 14:52 BST

    Really enjoy the UKIP response of “I’ve got loads of immigrant friends.”

    Parodying yourselves with tokenism saves everyone else the effort.

  5. Lorraine
    28 November 2014 - 16:11 BST

    Amused Observer, I’m white British and support UKIP and my mixed race niece is not a product of tokenism. When I mention her, it is because she is a loved and valued member of my family whom I’m proud to speak of as much as my own teenage daughter. Nor was it tokenism that gave shelter to my daughter’s Nigerian friend when she came to live with us, to escape an abusive mother, until she could support herself. Nor is it the reason I enjoy the company of my immigrant friends. Your comment just reveals your own prejudice and discrimination…you would do better to believe UKIP supporters have close relationships and genuine friendships, with those you seem to think we shouldn’t. Your attitude is perhaps the reason we UKIP supporters mention them. By the way my niece and daughter’s friend (more a part of the family now) support UKIP too.

  6. Student
    28 November 2014 - 18:26 BST

    About time too, I was almost on the verge of trying to form a UKIP society myself; fantastic news! The rise of UKIP has really shown the (for want of a better description) PC establishment minded student progressives in all their true colors; repressive, smearing, hateful, and contemptuous of a current in British politics that has been growing organically for a good few years now. They know that the kind of politics they hate is, in reality, the grassroots mainstream of opinion among a large proportion of ordinary people in England especially; it just takes someone to tap into it. This is happening and the result will be that Labour, as well as the student left, will be relegated to the political smelly corner. Bring on 2015!

  7. Libby
    29 November 2014 - 00:34 BST

    “By way of assurance, let me make clear that any member of UKIP that openly displays any kind of racism, homophobia etc. is thrown out the party”

    With both myself and certain friends’ having had a few run-ins with campus UKIP in the past, must say that the assertion that homophobia within the ranks results in expulsion is absolutely laughable.

    The society’s got members who hold some singularly repulsive views on gay rights, and have been seen spouting off like homophobic foghorns at union-affiliated society-run events in the past by plenty of witnesses.

    They have serious problems. Little wonder that the campus political scene views them as little short of toxic- they reap exactly what they sow.

  8. Lorraine
    30 November 2014 - 17:48 BST

    It says a lot about the people that vote my comment down where I mention my mixed race niece and that my relationship with immigrants isn’t tokenism…they really don’t want it to be true so that they can continue believing UKIP is full of racist members instead of being the all inclusive party it is.

  9. Ex-Yorkie
    31 December 2014 - 21:12 BST

    It’s shameful that York has a UKIP society.

    Don’t think many other Unis have students willing to stoop so low.

Comments are closed.