The National Executive of the National Union of Students has rejected calls for solidarity with the Kurds. The following motion was rejected by the comrades of the usual anti-imperialist brigades, that is most of the student left.
Proposed: Daniel Cooper
Seconded: Shreya Paudel, Clifford Fleming
NUS NEC notes
1. The ongoing humanitarian crisis and sectarian polarisation in Iraq
- which has resulted in thousands of Yazidi Kurds being massacred.
NUS NEC believes
1. That the people of Iraq have suffered for years under the sectarian
and brutally repressive dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, the US/UK
invasion and occupation, the current sectarian regime linked to both
the US and Iran, and now the barbaric repression of the “Islamic
2. That rape and other forms of sexual violence are being used as
weapons against women in IS-occupied areas, while minorities are being
NUS NEC resolves
1. To work with the International Students' Campaign to support Iraqi,
Syrian and other international students in the UK affected by this
2. To campaign in solidarity with the Iraqi people and in particular
support the hard-pressed student, workers' and women's organisations
against all the competing nationalist and religious-right forces.
3. To support Iraqis trying to bridge the Sunni-Shia divide to fight
for equality and democracy, including defence of the rights of the
Christian and Yazidi-Kurd minorities.
4. To condemn the IS and support the Kurdish forces fighting against
it, while expressing no confidence or trust in the US military
5. Encourage students to boycott anyone found to be funding the IS or
supplying them with goods, training, travel or soldiers.
6. To make contact with Iraqi and Kurdish organisations, in Iraq and
in the UK, in order to build solidarity and to support refugees.
7. To issue a statement on the above basis.
Whilst not entirely agreeing with all the points made in the motion, I would have though most of those on the left would have found it innocuous enough to support given the genocidal nature of ISIS and the very real threat to Kurdish and Christian lives but no, the NUS rejected it.
According to a report on the National Campaign against Fees and Cuts website the motion attracted ire:
As a result of the apparently truncated debate most NEC members voted against or abstained (the latter being very cowardly in my opinion).
The NCAFC continues:
However there is a rather telling comment towards the end which shows the bankruptcy of the politics conducted by the majority of the left these days:
...perhaps because people see or claim to see debate on the Middle East as something that the BSO should somehow have veto power over, regardless of the issues and the arguments made.
Thoroughly disturbing thought. Frankly quite Stalinist and a threat in itself to the vitality of debate not just in the students movement but elsewhere too.
People need to learn to challenge, to think for themselves, to stand up for what they beleive in which is what I always thought higher education was for.
Sadly not in the National Union of Students.
If that's political correctness these days you can stuff it where the sun doesn't shine.
Hat/Tip: David T.