Saturday, 5 October 2013

Student Union Turns It's Back On Armed Forces

Guest article by Charlotte Woods

Charlotte is Chairman of Manchester Conservative Future and an Intern for the growing and innovative think tank Peel Policy Forum. Both can be found on Twitter @charlywoodsy & @peelpolicyforum

I've been a student at the University of Manchester for 13 months now. That’s 13 months I've had to put up with the extreme left that, like the extreme left do, sit in their hierarchical positions dictating what the students of Manchester university apparently ‘want to hear’. As a students union (SU), University of Manchester Students Union (UoMSU) should, in my eyes, be politically neutral and represent all voices on campus to the highest extent they can. Usually, I can grit my teeth and put up with the ridiculously bias and unrepresentative Student Union’s motions, but something happened last week that made me want to kick out and alert people of what the University of Manchester Student’s Union is really like.

Last week, UoMSU took it upon themselves to remove the Manchester University Royal Navy Unit away from the SU building during welcome week – whilst continuing to allow a Socialist propaganda stall to stand outside hurling abuse at me and my peers of a right-wing nature (“Tory Scum”, “Go Home Tories” etc – I’d like to point out I’m a young 19 year old girl who has never been involved in a physical fight, works hard in the education system, has had a job since the age of 15 and has been involved in lots of charity work in my 19 years – I’m not sure which part of me is ‘scum’ but that’s a different issue.) Now this is a problem for two reasons. The first issue with this is, the Armed Forces do an absolutely amazing job in and for this country. To dismiss them as an unimportant and irrelevant to students is disgusting and disturbing. The armed forces are relevant in everybody’s lives. The society had also paid £300 prior to occupy the space from the council – therefore making it the councils business to decide whether the Royal Navy’s presence was appropriate and not the Student’s Union.

The second issue with this, is it is simply another example of the Student’s Union bullying ways, constantly pushing around those that it’s extreme left-leaning leaders don’t agree with, but ignoring what the wider student body thinks. Just this week, the Student’s Union had the chance to decide whether its new policies needed 500 votes in favour of new motions in order for them to be passed. Just 500 students out of 40,000 is just over 1% of students – hardly representative or even a large number, but the Student’s Union blocked this motion, keeping voter numbers even smaller and ensuring that a small number of students, usually those working for the SU or their friends, could vote on motions and pass motions that the SU wanted and not the whole student body. On the same day The Sun was banned on campus due to the small presence of the Ban Page 3 rearing its head in the executive.

By kicking the Armed Forces off campus, the Student’s Union is flexing its left wing muscles and crushing the freedom of speech for others. If you want to see UoMSU apologizing and reinstating the Armed Forces on campus, please sign our online petition. We've got the Student’s Union to apologies before and we can do it again.

To Get involved and support the campaign to defend our armed forces please sign the campaign's petition here:

Photo by Mikey (Flickr) - used under creative commons license


  1. I'm not usually one for online petitions, but you have my signature on this one. People on the left forget that there have been people who have fought and died for this country, to protect their freedoms of speech.

  2. The wording is incredibly vague r.e. "remove...from the SU building". Does this mean they had a stall slightly outside? This is the case at my current university, where the Navy unit are outside, but actually, in a more prominent position because of it. I worry that this may be kicking up a fuss about a change that's not really been looked into, though I'm more than happy for Miss. Woods to tell me why I'm wrong on that front.

    Also, r.e. the banning of the Sun...I would argue it's a good thing surely? I'd have it closely followed by the Daily Mail...

    That being said, I completely agree with her regarding the representation of students, it's woefully inadequate, seemingly at universities across the country, and has a horrendously left wing bias, very often not representing the vast majority of the student population.

  3. The University I used to attend at didn't even have armed forces/services stalls/stands, so I don't see this as a problem. A University isn't a recruitment centre, and it should never be as such, people seeking such careers advice should go to the relevant recruitment office/careers centre itself.

    People aren't stupid, they can seek out such things by themselves if they want it. Besides this presents 'double-standards' when it comes to the massive redundancies presented by a conservative lead government in the armed forces, it's a fuss over nothing, and just for a quick 'look at me' grab for those that oppose such a decision.