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Vote Brooks Duke for NUS National President

 

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Brooks' Speech in Scotland

Date: 10 April    City: Glasgow

  Good evening Scotland.

Thank you - for giving me the opportunity - to tell you why - I am the best and only - candidate who can secure a successful, and vibrant future for our NATIONAL UNION.

I REMEMBER My very first visit - to Scotland back in 1999 –supporting the march for the implementation of the Cubie report.

That day was a memorable one for me, mainly because of the large number of Scottish citizens that joined the march – parents and their children – the very SAME people who were bearing the cost of the Labour ‘s legacy of tuition fees and the scrapping of the grants.

And, Scottish students really demonstrated that we could win and that New Labour is not invincible.

And for five years, I have been fighting against that legacy – with the commitment and fighting spirit - I learnt from students and students’ officers of Scotland.

And these are not empty words – AS VP Education – I organised the biggest sets of regional actions with over 10,000 students - the biggest ever student e-mail campaign and - the most high profile national demo for a generation – AND along the way co-ordinating the most successful lobby of Parliament - with over 100 students’ unions - representing - nearly a million students – securing the support of the trade unions, - the PTAs – the  UUK and the Mirror Newspaper to give our campaign the credibility and the recognition its deserves.

This is how I have been winning for students – through actions and intense lobbying  - and today - we are so close to winning back grants across the UK.

And

Last Year I promised - to fight to abolish the Visitor System – I have delivered – students will now have a fairer and a faster complaint system

I promised - postgraduate students will be at heart of NUS – for very first time our Priority Campaign involved them and fought for them

And, I have secured the first ever Student Satisfaction Survey –ensuring independent advice for future generation of students.

And I will be a Campaigning President who will stop until we win on funding and defeat the threat of commercial loans. - But the role of President - goes beyond campaigning

NUS faces a battle of its own – a battle for survival. Year after year - officers lose faith in NUS, - because of its in fighting, - its outdated structures and -its unresponsive & an accountable culture.

And At a time when many student associations are having to make cuts – You deserve an NUS that supports you – and I will deliver that  national union that can justify your affiliation fees.

 Crucially I want our democracy to be the best example in action – your national officers – to be the best the movement can offer, not of those - who have pledged their allegiance to political factions. People say that will never happen – Well I tell it will NEVER happen - if either of my opponents are elected.

STOP

I am the candidate who will put students first, give you ownership of our campaigns and national union that reflects its membership

I am the candidate who will ensure NUS practices what it preaches – building an inclusive national union for all students, not least the 60% our members in the further education sector.  My experience in Further Education, is what led me to get involved in NUS.

But

It is not the lonely task of the VP FEUD, or Deputy President here in Scotland, to deal with FE. It about time National President paid more than lip service or a pat on the back. Other will say the same, but I stand on my proud track record of delivering for FEs.

And for Scotland - I am offering partnership – partnership based on respect for devolution and your autonomy – not abandoning or disenfranchising – but supporting your priorities and ensuring you are deriving the full benefit of NUS UK.

Most importantly though – I will not dumb the problems of NUS UK on to you. If NUS is facing financial problems, our special regions will not be hit hardest with budget allocation, and just because NUS UK is too centrally focused, does not mean that our campaigns should revolve around London.

 So Scotland

I am the candidate you should vote for next week. I have the proven track record of fighting and winning for students. I am an experienced and committed campaigner – from fighting hardship to defending equality and quality.

I will be a President with a vision: -

A vision to make a difference and to MAKE NUS strong and relevant to the lives of our students.

The students you represent Today – they deserve a President that will stand by them in their everyday battles - of balancing study and work, - putting a meal on the table or finding child care - so they do not have to drop out of their courses.

That is what this election is about – those students

And this is what I am about  fighting for those students.

 

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Last modified: April 12, 2002