Liverpool John Moores University Socialist Students member David Hitchmough topped the poll for NUS conference delegates this week, winning 121 first preference votes ahead of two-dozen other candidates. David commented:
“It's fantastic to be elected as NUS delegate for the second time! To achieve the highest number of votes this year, a year which has seen the largest number of votes cast overall and 24 candidates running is a big achievement and shows that students are connecting with socialism.”
The next-nearest candidate polled 89 votes. This emphatic margin of victory for the socialist candidate shows the popularity of our ideas and is something we will build on strongly. We distributed hundreds of leaflets, put up dozens of posters, and were in this election as throughout the year, the only actively campaigning group on campus.
We had hoped the newly-formed Labour Students society at LJMU would support David, as they portray themselves as Corbyn supporters. We were willing to run a broader ‘left’ campaign alongside other groups and organisations, and when David proposed this to a meeting of Labour society members this was agreed. However, a Blairite clique within the society then stood a candidate against us anyway, and when manifestos were published another two candidates also declared themselves to be Labour Party members. The left in the Labour society should draw the appropriate conclusions.
David’s election slogans were: - “Bring back free education! Grants not fees! - Restore student grants, bring back bursaries - For affordable rents, end the rip-off - Defend medical students and the NHS; reverse the cuts; pay trainees a proper wage - Oppose ‘Prevent’ and oppose all discrimination, protect international students after Brexit - For rights at work & a £10 p/h minimum wage - Hold NUS to account”
The leaflet went on to quote David saying:
“Education should be free. All students should receive grants which are sufficient to live on. Students should not suffer crippling debts! I am running with the backing of the Socialist society. I stand for a democratic campaigning Student Union, which fights for all students. I stand for affordable rents for all students, including caps on what halls and landlords can charge."
"NUS must actively oppose all discrimination including the racist Prevent legislation, and defend international students after Brexit. NUS is YOUR Union, let’s make sure it acts for your interests and not just for the few."
"I support Jeremy Corbyn and I want to see him as prime minister. So NUS supports Corbyn and his policies, we need delegates from JMU who do. Elect me to support Jeremy Corbyn at NUS conference”.
LJMU Socialist Students will continue to campaign around these policies, and step up our stalls activity and recruitment. Next term we will be taking initiatives around the run-up to NUS conference and the policies David will be putting forward. We urge everyone who voted for David to get actively involved in the society and help us build a strong socialist force across the campuses.
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