Turning Point UK, the fanatical right-wing student group, have failed for a third time in their attempt to become a YUSU-ratified society.
YUSU’s Societies Committee did not recommend that the proposed York branch of the group be allowed to ratify in their meeting on October 15.
The minutes for the meeting state that YUSU was concerned about “reputational damage” being incurred to the Union through the affiliation to the national Turning Point UK organisation.
The first two applications that Turning Point UK made to ratify were turned down because of concerns over the group’s social media and, again, the affiliation with the national organisation.
It wouldn’t be surprising if Turning Point style their rejection as a persecution of those with right-wing views. But in the Societies Committee minutes, it is noted that “discussing right-wing politics and capitalism is something which the Committee and YUSU are happy to encourage and facilitate”.
The Committee also cited the example of Stand Up to Racism Society’s attempts to get ratified in April which was turned down due to the group’s affiliation with the left-wing Socialist Workers’ Party.
The group is partially fronted by second-year Politics student Dominique Samuels who is a spokesperson for the group on a national level. Samuels has faced criticism for espousing transphobic views in a piece published by The New Briton earlier this year as well as for fatshaming a model in a Calvin Klein advertisement.
Turning Point UK launched in February as a spin-off of the American group Turning Point USA which is fronted by Charlie Kirk and Candance Owens.
Owens was heavily criticised after the launch of TPUK for suggesting that if Adolf Hitler had only focussed on “making Germany great” then it would’ve been “fine”, a comment she has stood by.
York Vision can exclusively reveal that the right-wing student group met with YUSU Activities Officer Ollie Martin to discuss a fourth attempt to become a society.
Analysis by Harry Clay
Turning Point are yet to become truly successful in the UK. Any national group with large donors can make sure they’re represented at Freshers’ Fairs across the country, but TPUK doesn’t seem to be going much further, and York is becoming the perfect microcosm to explain why.
Nationally, their social media was denied legitimacy from the get-go due to the huge numbers of thoroughly amusing parody accounts. Their launch wasn’t met with the warm approval of a silent majority of students as they likely expected, but staunch hostility at every level. If you search for ‘Turning Point UK’ in Google, you’ll find at least 2 articles describing in great detail the dark money funding this project, before you find their website, and, amusingly enough, their website appears to be down at the moment.
Despite their attempts to legitimise themselves in York by ratifying a society, they’re been prevented. No society over the last year has been rejected three times, and it is perhaps time that those trying to ratify to learn the lesson. No student populous wants Turning Point. York doesn’t want Turning Point. If you want a forum to discuss conservative politics, the York Tories exist, and if for whatever reason that doesn’t float your boat, it’s not difficult just to meet up and chat about why you all think Friedman is right.
It seems clear that if they tried to ratify outside the name, then they’d probably be successful. What Turning Point York organisers don’t seem to realize is that when you associate yourselves with an organisation promoting the likes of Candace Owens and her questionable takes on Hitler, or John Mappin, whose questionableness is so great it can’t be summed up in this article (check out the Hope Not Hate piece on him) then you’re going to run into trouble.
Hell, if it is toxic enough to make Tom Harwood back out of it then there’s probably a lesson to be learned. Whether or not that lesson will be learned in York is yet to be seen, but should Turning Point apply again, be sure to check out the latest edition of York Vision. We’ve probably made a joke about them failing again.
Featured image by Gage Skidmore. The headline of this was changed from “alt-right student group” to “right-wing student group” because of ambiguity around the term “alt-right”. Upon further reflection, we decided to stand by the original headline and changed it back before becoming aware of the term “alt-lite” which best describes Turning Point UK.