Posts Tagged ‘Conference’

So this blog, on request of my birth giver, is about Osborne’s latest idea that has come straight out of his ‘Crazy Idea Machine’.

It is conference season and the Conservative conference 2013 is in full swing, and if my humble opinion is anything to value, it’s in the shadow of a gleaming bright and hope giving Labour conference – but then what does an unemployed, postgrad student who has been demonised by the current government actually know?

George Osborne has announced the new scheme of “unpaid work for benefits” and, as expected, it received a resounding round of applause at the conference.

Firstly, let’s start by stating the obvious – “unpaid work for benefits” … why not just pay them!? I mean come on, I’m no economist and I’m certainly not as suave as Osborne but even he could have thought of that one. Why not show the advantages of paid work by giving people paid work? We’re going to put them in private sector jobs, working for free (because it’s not just litter picking they’d be expected to do) and increase private sector profits… WITHOUT PAY!? It’s disgusting.

Alas, with the death of the ‘Big Society’ they had to find other ways to get jobs done without paying for them whilst at the same time still having the ability to demonise an entire demographic on benefits, continuing to feed a moral panic with a lack of evidence, and still failing to target the crimes that cost this country the most money: White Collar Crime (something that many Conservative MP’s are guilty of might I add!).

Yet again, those on benefits are being targeted as free loaders and it is the same old discourse coming from the Conservatives, and their blind followers, that victimise millions of people who are on benefits for various reasons. All of this happening while hundreds of corperations do not pay tax appropriately, the majority of those in top earning positions are avoiding tax – BECAUSE IT IS STILL LEGAL – and those that cost this country very little in comparison are targeted. It’s a fallacy and nothing more than a moral panic.

However, let’s be fair. There are some good aspects to this proposal. Offering those that need an opportunity to change illiteracy and other issues. That’s a positive thing. Well… let’s look at that…

How can you trust a Government to provide training and education to those that need it when they have already marginalised education, attacked the sector, and successfully blocked those that could have gone into further and higher education? I don’t know about you, but those good aspects seem a little too good to be true. I’m sure they’ll be an unannounced loop hole in that entire policy, just like there’s already loop holes announced in the freezing of Fuel Duty (but that’s for another blogger to discuss).

The most sinister aspect of this entire policy, in my opinion, is the way in which those that breach the rules will lose four weeks of benefit, whilst a second offence will be three months. EVERYONE knows how easy it is for there to be errors and miscommunication which lead into someone “breaching the rules”. Are we seriously going to support a government that will take away a month, or three months, worth of benefits? Whilst at the same time use those in that situation to increase the profits of private companies without offering them pay?
The implications of that are catastrophic. That’s a month – potentially three – that someone is not going to be able to eat and will be worried sick about money and therefore negatively effecting mental health. This seems very right wing indeed, especially when those that avoid tax or even illegally dodge paying tax, get a slap on the wrist and a fine that is well within their means to pay.

So this idea that it is “fair for those who need it and fair for those who pay for it” is – dare I say it – bullshit.

Quite frankly, I’m bored of the same old Tory discourse. Bashing the poor, demonising single and unmarried parents, ostracizing those on benefits and looking down on anyone that is unemployed.

We are at a time when, more than ever, we need social cohesion and an integrating society. We have an increase of immigration (A GOOD THING!), varying cultures finding their place in UK Society, an increase (we’re not there yet) in equality and a flux of people out of work because there are not enough jobs to give.

We need a government that ceases to suggest policies such as this with an undertone of elitism and disdain. We need a government that targets corporations that avoid paying their way. We need a government that’s not in the back pocket of bankers and other individuals that have a lot of money. We need a government that is willing to listen to the majority of the people, and not the top 2% of those with wealth.

Let’s see this latest proposal for what it really is. A proposal that promises nothing tangible, will create more inequality, continue with a class divide and fan the flame of the stigma of those in that situation.

This proposal is nothing more than an attack. So make sure you attack back at the next General Election.

Advertisements

The annual conference for the National Union of Students (NUS) this year had a motion which quickly became more controversial than it should have been. The motion being asked to pass into policy of NUS was about gender balancing.

The motion was turned down at NUS Conference, but only narrowly. It was a heavily debated motion and it wasn’t given the time it deserved because of how some of the factions in NUS acted the day before with an incessant amount of procedural motions every time a motion they supported was turned down. However, the fight for fair representation does not stop because of a narrowly defeated motion at Conference. It’s time to change it in our local Students’ Unions.

If the motion had passed it would have meant that all NUS delegations would be balanced between numbers of male and female.

I’m going to be putting a motion through to UCLan Students’ Union Council next month that will ask them to make this Students’ Union gender balanced for NUS Delegates, Representative Committees and Trustee Board when possible.

UCLan Students’ Union takes 8 delegates to conference, 1 of those places is reserved for the President the other 7 are elected separately. The motion would mean that the Students’ Union would reserve four places four places for women.

This will give us at least a 50/50 split and enable us to take fairer representation to NUS conference.

I believe that this is the right move for UCLan Students’ Union and we need to make sure that we fight for fair representation at all levels. We are still seeing a constant disparity between the amounts of women that are elected to positions in our Students’ Unions across the country compared to the amount of women in the Higher Education sector. There are more women in Higher Education than there are men but the majority of Students’ Union Officers and NUS Delegates are men.

This ultimately leads to unequal representation of women. Let’s change this and take on this quota.

I’m calling on UCLan Students’ Union, as your President, to stand with me in the bid for fair representation and support this motion.

Feel free to debate it, leave comments below or email me on supresident@uclan.ac.uk.

Edd Graham-Hyde
President,
UCLan Students’ Union