If you're looking for todays actual post on female prisoners - and a very interesting one too - please look before. This piece here is breaking news!
Yes, the proposed NUS reforms that NUS has been pushing all year round have failed to get the required 2/3 majority for them to pass.
What does this mean?
As one Socialist Student member at the conference told me 'NUS is likely to implode'. Several student unions that had previously attempted to disaffiliate and had been stopped, or had been considering it have leant their weight to the governance review process. The process was being pushed mostly by 'independents' a combination or right-wingers and local student union bureaucrats (by bureaucrat i mean those whose main concern is the smooth functioning of a student union, rather than it's use as a campaigning body). Given that this project has now failed it is possible that many of these will try to disaffiliate from NUS.
The other problem is the nature of the vote - despite it falling a majority of votes cast were on the side of the current NUS ruling clique. This means that despite the apparent 'victory' this does not signify a turn towards the left of NUS, rather a defeat of the right (in a kind of opposite way to Chavez in last years December referendum). The left in NUS is currently divided, this vote doesn't change that either. The only way to build a viable left is to build it on the campuses in a campaigning manner, not through voting pacts at NUS Conference. This is why the conference called by Portsmouth Students Union for April 12th will be crucial.
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