Sunday, 14 November 2010

NUS Decapitation Plan Flawed (In So Many Ways)

If you're looking to express all your anti-Coalition anger at Lib Dem MPs sometime in the next few years, then the NUS Decapitation plan could (almost) be called sensible. Revenge is a dish served cold they say, and it'll be freezing by the time this succeeds.

If however you're looking to fight the cuts now and trying to avoid a rise in tuition fees then you're pretty much buggered if you'd set your sights on the leadership of the NUS.

Firstly their plan to use the right to recall, which is still not even available for use right now, is flawed in that the right of recall is for use in cases of serious Phil Woolas type breaches of trust between an MP and their constituents (if not it makes the idea of a representative democracy sort of defunct, and we head into delegate territory). It's not going to be useful for getting every politician who votes a different way to the one promised during the election, otherwise every single politician will need to be recalled (and regularly).

Secondly, what does this plan achieve?

i) it's not going to stop the rise in tuition fees from going through. Only lobbying and building as broad a, dare I say it, coalition as possible MIGHT achieve that.
ii) it's unlikely to succeed, as the stringent requirements for a recall will probably not be met
iii) if it did succeed and the Lib Dem MP was removed, what's the best scenario? A Tory MP who will happily screw over students or a New Labour MP who will not care either way, it'll just depend on which way the political wind blows at the time. This progresses the cause of students, how?

Thirdly, it spells out to every sensible person that the NUS isn't interested in students or tuition fees (it's policy on a graduate tax is less progressive than what most students actually want!) but is acting as an offshoot of the Labour party. It risks losing the support of the sympathetic non-student population, like my Mum, who dislikes the Coalition, hates tuition fees BUT who remains firmly unconvinced about Labour following the last 13 years.

For the sake of the fight against tuition fees, the NUS needs to make a stand now fighting against EVERYONE in Parliament who has allowed this policy to exist be they Labour, Tory or Lib Dem. Otherwise it's about as useful as a chocolate teapot.

Don't be fooled AGAIN students.

If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist

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