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
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
Scottish students really demonstrated that we could win and that New Labour is
for five years, I have been fighting against that legacy – with the commitment
and fighting spirit - I learnt from students and students’ officers of
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.
Year I promised - to fight to abolish the Visitor System – I have delivered
– students will now have a fairer and a faster complaint system
promised - postgraduate students will be at heart of NUS – for very first time
our Priority Campaign involved them and fought for them
I have secured the first ever Student Satisfaction Survey –ensuring
independent advice for future generation of students.
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
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lose faith in NUS, - because of its in fighting, - its outdated structures and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.
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.
am the candidate who will put students first, give you ownership of our
campaigns and national union that reflects its membership
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
will be a President with a vision: -
vision to make a difference and to MAKE NUS strong and relevant to the lives of
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
is what this election is about – those
this is what I am about – fighting
for those students.
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