Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Voluntary Labor Sell-Outism

I predicted a while ago that Labor's policy change would ultimately be the best VSU solution - take away the union stigma and still charge a compulsory student services fee. I'm sure this won't be good enough for Dr N(o)elson though, even if it is good enough for the ALP, the Nationals, the NUS, AVCC and other various acronyms.

It says a lot that Joyce and other National dissenters are only interested in protecting the sporting clubs and campus services, conveniently neglecting the student political organisations, clubs and societies. I seem to remember the Adelaide University Rowing and Rugby clubs receiving a disproportionately huge slice of the union fee cake, even when such clubs were mostly comprised of over-privileged private school twats (I should know, I went to school with them) whose parents could have alone kept such clubs afloat just by pooling their spare change. But maybe I'm twitter and bisted because I was always involved in the clubs at unis, stretching the queer collective on a few hundred bucks and a second-hand kettle in the queer space. By the time I reached the steamy sauna of student politics I could pronounce "under-funded" in 17 different languages.

Cute to see the NUS still defending Labor and getting a few kicks into the Coalition when clearly it is Labor here that is selling out years of pro-student union ideology, again all in the same of keeping up with the increasingly far-right Liberal Joneses. The Libs have at least been consistent all this time - they're threatened by tertiary student solidarity so they've set out to destroy it, and VSU is just another ejaculation in the conservative cum-fest that is We Control the Senate so Shut Up Muthafuckas '05-'07.

If conservative students and pollies can defend compulsory HECS fees on the basis that we should contribute to our education, then logically they really cannot oppose compulsory student fees, especially when the freedom of association issue is extinguished. But let's watch them oppose it anyway, just for a chuckle.


At 24/8/05 5:15 pm, Blogger Nic White said...

"The Libs have at least been consistent all this time - they're threatened by tertiary student solidarity so they've set out to destroy it..."

All this stuff about student unions being dangerous and threatening to government power is really just exagerated self-importantism from student hacks who want to save the world. Student unions really dont have that much powerto do anything to the government, or to change policy.

The reality is that VSU is going to get through, so the best the ALP can do is try to water it down a bit, which is what they and others are doing. There is a way around the disastrous ramification of VSU and it will be found.

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At 24/8/05 7:32 pm, Blogger Sam said...

It's a shame you hold student unions in such low regard Nic. And for future reference, I think the word you're looking for is "importance" :-)

Student politics is a breeding ground for the Labor pollies of tomorrow, that is where conservative politicians see the threat and why they work so hard to bring it down.

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At 25/8/05 11:46 am, Blogger Splat Guy said...

As a supporter of VSU, I can assure you it's not some effort to silence students or destroy Labor party breeding grounds.

It's about telling the radicals who tend to control student unions, "If you want to do protests and marches and print stupid flyers, go for it - but use your own damn money."

It's about saying people who want to do expensive extra-curricular activities like skiing, or attending overseas meetings, that they should pay for it themselves, rather than forcing often poorer students to subsidise their trip.

It's about saying we live in a country where your access to facilities while at uni should not be dependent upon funding a partisan organisation that you most probably do not agree with.

It's about not allowing unions to use student money to fund unused vanity projects while ignoring those services that more students genuinely want.

It's about asserting that we live in a free country, damn it, and we should have the right to decide what associations we join!

At 25/8/05 12:38 pm, Blogger Sam said...

Splat: VSU is, among other things, definitely about silencing students and destroying Labor party breeding grounds. I was involved in student politics long enough to know that this is an inescapable reality. And I was never a member of the ALP during my time at uni nor am I now so I have no bias towards them.

However, as I've argued, once the word union is removed from the equation, as is likely to happen here, opposing any compulsory student service fee on the basis of freedom of association or being tied to a partisan political organisation is moot.

Personally, I was always much more frustrated by the knowledge that I would enter the workforce with a massive HECS debt hanging over my head (a debt Kemp, Vanstone and Nelson have never had to worry about, by the way) than having to shell out a couple of hundred bucks each year so that some semblance of non-academic university life and culture could be maintained.


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