Average Students Don’t Want Celebration

31 May 2013

The passing of a motion by Students’ Council that “celebrates [Margaret Thatcher’s] death unreservedly” was disrespectful to Margaret Thatcher, her family, and her friends in their time of grieving.

One should deal with political differences by attacking the ideas, not the person. At the very least, Thatcher’s critics should be respectful enough to let her rest in peace.

The motion also asserted a series of factual errors, such as claiming that Thatcher supported apartheid in South Africa, and many other unsettled topics of debate. UMSU should not be celebrating deaths or spreading political lies.

Elected by a tiny minority of just 3,379 students, Students’ Council is unrepresentative of the entire student population. I have no doubt that the average student has no interest in celebrating the death of a former British Prime Minister and would find this motion reprehensible.

This issue relates to the larger problem of compulsory student unionism. The compulsory payment of the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) forces all students to be members and represented by UMSU. Students should be able to choose whether they pay for and thus receive union services and representation, not be forced to be a member of a body that sits so far outside of the mainstream.

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