Joe Miles Week 1: What you didn’t miss this NUS conference season

In the first instalment of his weekly column, JOE MILES considers whether there are any perks to the NUS beyond the free hamburgers

nus UKIP

It’s that time of year when the most inept union since the NUM tries to pretend that it is influential. Having realised that their attempts to vandalise any vaguely Toryish parts of London in order to get free money have failed, the NUS have resorted to making irrelevant statements in an attempt to look important.

Over the vac they saw to the condemnation of UKIP at their annual conference, on the grounds of being more right-wing than the SWP. Given that neither I nor a single student that I know has any intention of voting for UKIP, this has fuck-all relevance.

Were the perks of membership really worth it?

However, there are definitely more ludicrous proposals on paper: take the idea to put the banks under democratic control and use their money to fund higher education. I can all but guarantee the thought process behind that motion went like this.

  1. Banks have lots of money.
  2. We, the students, want some of that money.
  3. ????
  4. Take over the banks so hopefully the government will give us some sweet dollar.

Going back, the condemnation of UKIP however is not just misguided but also futile.  If I stood as a UKIP councillor, there would be absolutely nothing the NUS could do. Granted, if I were a senior executive in NUS I’d have to resign, although this isn’t very likely to happen as the point of being an NUS executive appears solely to get a safe Labour seat later on in life.

Basically what’s happened here is that students that do not like UKIP have gone through a process to declare that they do not like UKIP.

This is why I like seeing the far Left do well at Conference. Whereas the Labour-affiliated elite of the NUS tend to demonstrate their socialist credentials simply by passing motions condemning things that seem vaguely Toryish, it was the actual Left that pushed through the motion to endorse free higher education against the wishes of the NUS establishment.

I may think that the hard Left is wrong about pretty much everything, but at least they’re putting their collectivised means of production where their mouth is and ensuring motions are endorsed that are genuinely radical. Not only is this good for the integrity of the NUS, it also means I get to read hilariously impractical proposals for years to come.

I can’t wait.