Why it's time to ditch the NUS
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At this year’s NUS Annual Conference, the outgoing NUS President called the organisation the ‘world’s largest democratic student gathering.’ Given that she was elected by a few hundred delegates, who were in turn elected by a tiny proportion of their elected student bodies, it is difficult to understand how she could make such a claim.
Malia Bouattia, newly elected NUS PresidentThe NUS Annual Conference is about as democratic and narrow minded as the National Congress of the Communist Party of China. The NUS does not care about democracy or ensuring that every student’s voice is heard, they are only interested in furthering the warped ideology of its leaders. The Conference also further demonstrated just how out of touch the NUS has become. This year the delegates called to ban social media apps because some people were using them to say hurtful things. More disturbingly were the calls from some delegates to scrap Holocaust Memorial Day, as it is not inclusive. To top it all off, the delegates this year elected Malia Bouattia as their President – a woman who refused to condemn ISIS, but is more than happy to brand the University of Birmingham a ‘Zionist outpost.’ The fact that the NUS is now led by somebody who has expressed anti-Semitic views should come as no surprise. For the past few years, the NUS has been led by a coterie of out of touch, illiberal individuals who regard anyone who does not agree with them as a bigot. For example, in a bizarre move several months ago, the LGBT officer for the NUS, Fran Cowling, refused to attend a panel debate at Canterbury Christ Church University as Peter Tatchell was also going – a man whom she believes to be an enemy of the LGBT community.
Peter Tatchell (fourth from left) with members of the Gay Liberation Front at London School of EconomicsSo, what caused Fran Cowling to cast such aspersions upon Peter Tatchell’s character? It must surely have been unsparingly vile and bigoted to have deserved such odium from the LGBT officer of the NUS? Actually, the reason why Miss Cowling launched such a defamatory attack on Peter Tatchell was because he signed a letter. Tatchell, along with 130 others, signed a letter warning about “a worrying pattern of intimidation and silencing of individuals whose views are deemed ‘transphobic’.”
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