News Column: NUS mania Special Edition
ARMIN SOLIMANI explains the schizophrenic identity crisis that is rocking Cambridge and threatening to blow CUSU apart
This week, 700 of the UK’s most promising young attention seekers, political fetishists and ego-maniacs gathered for the annual National Union of Students convention.
From abolishing Yik-Yak to banning commemoration of the Holocaust, it looked set to be a fairly standard, relatively tame gathering of our representative oddballs. However, the conference took an especially controversial turn, when Malia Bouattia, a woman accused of anti-Semitism and supporting extremist Islam, was given a massive thumbs up by the student representatives, and made President of the NUS.
Well, for anyone who thought week one of exam term would have something to do with exams, the fallout from the NUS trainwreck has shattered that naivety, dominating the bubble’s news cycle. The Cambridge political world as we know it is ending; sit back, relax, and enjoy weeks and weeks of self righteous fireworks and non-stop nonsense.
Let my people disaffiliate
Shockingly, Cambridge’s Jewish students did not take kindly to the election of Malia, whose history of railing against ‘the Zionist led media’ and disdain for the growing number of Jewish students has long been a source of controversy. The damning accusations made headlines last week, with an open letter from every single JSoc president in the country asking her, “Why do you see a large Jewish society as a problem?”.
As if that weren’t a ridiculous enough background for someone wanting to run an organisation that spends most of its time whinging about ‘minority liberation’, her cheerful acceptance of endorsements from extremist Muslim groups, and alleged ISIS apologism, has thrust the NUS’ bizarre priorities into the media spotlight.
The campaign to disaffiliate launched a popular Facebook group, NUS: Let Cambridge Decide, ratcheting up almost 500 likes in just a few days. The leader of the group, Jack May, former editor of the collapsing TCS and current Tabocrat, went on BBC News to demand CUSU hold the NUS accountable, later stating, ‘The election of Malia as NUS President is a horrifying message to Jewish students in the UK’. The #camxit campaign is supported by a number of BNOCs, including former union prez Oliver Mosley and incoming president Asia Lambert.
In what can only be described as a long overdue victory in the war on freedom of expression, the NUS passed a motion to censor Yik Yak and other forms of anonymous social media. As outgoing president Megan Dunn eloquently put it, “the rise of Yik Yak is a particular menace.” Numerous delegates supporting this motion claimed to have been victims of mean comments, which apparently often left them in tears, and the overwhelming support the motion received suggested the rest of the conference agreed.
Labour Club chairwoman uses social media, embarrasses self
Preparing for a long and fruitful career of idiotic social media faux pas, Labour club chairwoman and apparent intellectual heavyweight Elinor Clapson joined in the Camxit debate, offering a stinging rebuke to all the ‘middle class, white’ Jewish students calling for a referendum.
Despite being called out by noteworthy local Jew Adam Crafton, Clapson doubled down, insisting that these middle class white men ‘love discussing #freezepeach.’ Meanwhile, fellow CULC member Jonty Leibowitz only just this week published an open letter attacking Malia’s views.
Comrade Priscilla, our beloved president and NUS delegate, had initially appeared willing to support Malia in the election. Although voting for Megan Dunn eventually, Priscilla was the only Cambo delegate to tell the press she hadn’t made her mind up. Of course, this is all wild and unfounded speculation, but it seems at least a little likely that her NUS VP for Higher Education election campaign would not have been well served by publicly opposing the internally popular Malia.
On the lighter side, kudos to Olly Hudson for standing against some of the most extreme motions at conference. A shining beacon of hope in an otherwise gloomy and embarrasing political scene.
Back next week folks.