Victoria University Students Association President, Nick Kelly has been defeated in his attempt at a second term, by a Labour man and he’s not happy.
Here are excerpts from Nicks latest Presidential column in Salient
Hat Tip David Farrar
Year seven into this Labour-led government, fees are the highest they have ever been, less students receive allowances than ever before, the Manaaki Tauira for Maori students got cut this year, government funding to institutions has failed to keep pace with the rate of inflation, and generally the people are getting shat on.
Young Labour’s reaction to this has been to make sure they have significant control and influence over student organizations like VUWSA, so that student collective strength isn’t used to expose and fight back against their chosen career advancement route, the yuppie capitalist administration machine misnamed the “Labour Party”. On Monday October the 2nd, Labour made serious in-roads to their national strategy of controlling students’ associations by winning the presidency of one of the largest students’ associations in New Zealand, VUWSA.
Just as Labour have done nationally, in this year’s VUWSA elections Vic Labour ran a dirty campaign full of personal attacks, spin, and manipulated issues from the 2006 VUWSA exec to their advantage. They ran a campaign in which they didn’t stand for anything except negativity and running down the work of people in 2006. And with the support of the National and Act party members and other reactionary forces on campus the president of Vic Labour won the VUWSA presidency. It truly does show that when the chips are down the capitalist forces will always pack together, despite whatever phoney posturing they may make in parliament or elsewhere.
Students and workers have had their expectations lowered by this government. The policy to write-off interest for student loans is now seen by many as being as good as it gets. Yet it was only a few years ago when free education and universal allowances were the immediate demands of even pretty conservative student politicians. In the present climate, it’s much easier for bureaucratic games to work with the absence of a mass student movement.
As Lee Patton said in his campaign for General exec in 2003: “revolution is the solution”. I am unashamedly a socialist and a member of the Workers Party. We stand to help re-build the revolutionary left in NZ. We currently have a campaign to sign up 500 members so we can stand in the 2008 election on a genuinely socialist platform. This isn’t because we believe change can come through parliament, but so we can build a revolutionary movement.
I intend to spend 2007 and beyond building this socialist movement. If you want to get involved, come down to the bucket fountain on Cuba Street at 10am this Saturday. Let’s build a revolutionary movement that can end student and worker oppression.
If Nick is serious about committing himself to the socialist revolution, he’d better learn to lose more gracefully than this.
But then, I suppose he’ll get plenty of practice.