FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Marxist students push NUS to back Corbyn
18 April 2016, Brighton
At the National Union of Students (NUS) conference in Brighton on 19-21 April 2016 a group of students affiliated to the Marxist Student Federation will move a motion demanding that the NUS support the mandatory re-selection of Labour MPs. The motion calls for the NUS to support Jeremy Corbyn’s pledge to re-introduce free education and grants for students. It notes that to achieve this, right-wing Labour MPs in the Parliamentary Party must be subject to reselection procedures by constituency Labour parties.
Joe Attard, chair of the Kings College London Marxist Society and delegate to the NUS conference from Kings College London Student Union, will speak in favour of the motion. He will say:
“Jeremy Corbyn has once again made politics relevant to young people. Education that is free and accessible to all is central to his appeal. But there are right-wing Labour MPs, many of whom have voted for the introduction and trebling of tuition fees in the past, who are trying to sabotage Corbyn’s leadership and policy. The NUS must stand up for students and young people against these attacks. We must join Momentum and the left of the Labour party in defending Corbyn. That way we can make free education and socialist ideas a reality.”
See below for full text of the motion. Alternatively see p.32, motion 210 of the Final Proposals document for the NUS conference: http://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/nusdigital/document/documents/23606/CD10_final_proposals_v8.1_-_Copy.pdf
About the Marxist Student Federation
The Marxist Student Federation coordinates Marxist societies and discussion groups in 25 universities, colleges and schools around the UK. The aim is to educate students of all ages in the ideas of Marxism and campaign for socialist ideas in the student movement. The slogan of the organisation is “For International Socialist Revolution”.
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Full text of policy motion
Motion 210 | For Free Education: support Jeremy Corbyn’s National Education Service proposal
Submitted by: King’s College London Students’ Union and Belfast Metropolitan College
Speech for: Belfast Metropolitan College
Speech Against: free
Summation: King’s College London
Students’ Union Conference Believes
- Jeremy Corbyn has pledged to scrap tuition fees and establish a publicly funded National Education Service funded by a 7% rise in national insurance for those earning over £50,000 a year and a 2.5% increase in corporation tax. The latter would constitute a “lifelong learning service” running “from cradle to grave.”
- The groundswell of support for Jeremy Corbyn during the Labour leadership contest came on the back of a huge enthusiasm for anti-austerity politics and a deep desire for a break with the cosy right-wing consensus that had dominated in Westminster for years
- In particular, his clear demand for free education and the re-introduction of grants clearly resonated with students and young voters
Conference Further Believes
- Conference notes that Corbyn‘s pledge for a free, fair and inclusive education system enjoyed an enormous surge of support from students.
- That while Jeremy has taken a principled position on free education throughout his career, he is surrounded in the Parliamentary Labour Party by a majority of MPs who are deeply hostile to his leadership, and many of whom voted to introduce and then triple fees under the last Labour government
- Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters still face a major battle if they are to see Labour adopt support for free education and the re-introduction of grants as a policy and central pledge
- That the student movement should be attempting to intervene in this situation – organising to try and prevent any retreat on Corbyn’s important pledge and to fight right-wing pro-fees MPs
- Conference endorses Jeremy Corbyn’s pledge to provide free education, i.e. the establishment of a National Education Service and an end to tuition fees, funded through progressive taxation on top earners and an increase in corporation tax.
- To incorporate the demand for the Labour party to fight for free education into our campaigning
- To lobby Labour MPs to support the demand for free education and the re-introduction of grants
- To support the democratic demand raised by many for mandatory re-selection of Labour candidates, giving Labour members and trade unions a genuine say in who represents them at elections