Politics on campus: Labour Students and Young Greens
Arthur Baker – Manchester Labour Students
With over 600 members, Manchester Labour Students is the largest Labour club in the country, and we are one of the most active student societies at the University of Manchester. We campaign in the Students’ Union and across the country, as well as holding stimulating speaker events and welcoming socials. MLS is affiliated to the Labour Party and we campaign for them in elections, but we’re an autonomous organisation with the ability to make our own policy and set our own priorities. Anyone who shares our values of equality, democracy and social justice will be at home in Manchester Labour Students.
We are the political organisation for students on the Left who want to get stuff done, and it’s never been more necessary than now. The Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats are implementing the most aggressive and unfair programme of public spending cuts in living memory; they’re targeting the poorest and most vulnerable along with young people and students, as well as privatising our NHS. In the face of these attacks we need to be active more than ever. Last year we linked up with Labour clubs from dozens of universities and campaigned hard in elections across the country to keep the Tories out. We went down to London to take part in the NUS and Trade Union Council demonstrations. Meanwhile, back in Manchester we were busy winning a ‘living wage’ for all employees of the University of Manchester. This year we’ll be back in London for more protests, fighting for the living wage at Manchester Metropolitan University, as well as campaigning to get students registered to vote. This is especially vital as the government is trying to stop students from voting by stopping university halls from registering them automatically.
With campaigns like these, it’s possible to make a real difference to the lives of people who’ve been targeted by this government. Whether it’s guaranteeing workers at the university (including students) a fair wage to help them out whilst fees are being raised and benefits cut, or ensuring local people have a strong Labour council to protect them from the worst of the government’s cuts.
As well as campaigns, we organise lively debates and discussions with great speakers. Last year we had shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna, as well as a host of other speakers. This year we’ll be having many more such events, as well as going to the fringe at the Labour Party Conference in October where we’ll be discussing a huge range of issues with top cabinet ministers, MPs, journalists and political commentators, and we’d love for you to join us.
Whether you’re a Blairite or a Bennite, if you want to do your bit to help keep the Tories out, to help make our Universities and communities fairer places, or if you’re just interested in political discussion, Manchester Labour Students is the place to be. It’s only a quid and you can join online at http://www.labourstudents.org.uk/
Clifford Flemming – Manchester Young Greens
Our society represents the student body of the Green Party at the University of Manchester, and we want to introduce ourselves; so a huge hello from us! At the Young Greens we campaign for a sustainable and fair society; our aim is to harness the energy and enthusiasm of students and represent the leftist ideas that have disappeared from mainstream politics. The Manchester Young Greens need your involvement to help create a sustainable future for everyone, and to ensure that the momentum behind the Green movement on campus keeps growing.
The Green Party are focused on creating a new, fairer economic system based on sustainability, free world-class education and investment in new, world-leading technologies. It’s important to look further ahead into our future, beyond the current economic climate. We need to act now in order to create a better society and environment for this country and the world. The short-sighted views of the current and previous governments have led to a generation facing unprecedented levels of unemployment, huge debts and the near impossibility of a secure future. The UK needs a new voice.
In the latest poll of voting intentions in the next general election, the Green Party were on 5% and we expect this to grow. We are rapidly growing in council members across the UK and have a solid presence in the European Parliament. The Green Party are now the third-largest party in London, and for a party that started in 1990, we’re doing very well. Last year we stood six members of the Manchester Young Greens in the Manchester council elections, coming second in places like Fallowfield, beating both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.
On Friday October 26th we plan to attend the national Young Greens convention, and to have our voice heard. There we will all work together on increasing the power and spread of our message. Later on in the term we plan to hold debates with other political parties, offer training sessions on campaigning and lobbying and support Manchester Green Party with their work in the local area. We will also be part of organising a talk on ‘Climate Emergency’ in advance of the Doha Climate Change Conference in November.
As one of the fastest growing societies on campus, we want you to be a part of our movement. It is really easy to get involved and we have lots of fun. It’s a great opportunity for anyone interested in politics or looking to meet like-minded people.
Email: [email protected]