Labour and Co-operative Member of Parliament for Kemptown and Peacehaven

Education Not for Sale – Campaigning on what matters.

by Lloyd on 08.06.08
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At the first committee meeting of the new ENS we discussed things that actually matter. ENS was reinvigorated at its “Reclaim the Campus” Conference held last month at Birkbeck College the conference defended in to factional infighting, leading to me calling for us to save the left before we reclaim the campus (see previous NUS entries).
This meeting however got to the point, not only that I was left feeling with a sense of direction, enthusiasm and passion. The committee meeting which was billed as an open meeting had most committee member plus about 5 others who where not elected to the committee but wanted to see some action. I went as I was in Brighton and hadn’t made it back to Bradford the night before due to a headache. Making the most of this detour to my plans I thought that I would get stuck in.
The meeting was first of all held in an atmosphere of open and pleasant debate. There where people from different backgrounds attending from trots to anarchists and the others in between. I ended up being duped in to becoming the Treasurer! I always love becoming the money man, and seeing that at the moment I’m doing it for three organisations, why not add another to my bow!
More importantly this meeting convinced me it was something that I want to be involved with. I think that the left needs to be organised and united in the student moment but have been so unhappy in the past when its has seemed to be dominated by political groups.
I may be a labour party member and believe the labour needs to organisations but I’m by no means bounded by any party, I think that my students must come first. That is why I’m convinced that ENS is the body to lead the left forwards. I’m not saying that they (I should say we now I guess), should take on the forces such as SWP/Respect but that we should be the bridge between them and the unorganised left.
The meeting discussed the importance of a conference to gather a plan for action, it talked about direct action and protest and it most of all talked about the need to work with others. We must play a role, a facilitating role and sometimes take a second seat to the larger groups but we must unite everyone to fight fees.
I’m convinced that not only students but pupils, young people and children must also take a stand. We must build a coalitions of young people who will be effected by fees as well as those presently paying them.
The meetings not perfect and we probably talked to much on some issues and could have been better on others, but we are getting there. We will work our way and achieve victory – we have been reclaimed!.. …nor now.

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Labour and Co-operative Member of Parliament for Kemptown and Peacehaven

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