Author Archives: Zoe OConnell

Federal Conference Committee report

Photo by Jon BallFederal Conference Committee (FCC) met on Saturday to decide which of the 52 motions submitted by members should be debated when we go to Bournemouth later this year. I’m sure many of you will be scrolling down to the end of this post to find out the good news, but for those who are new to the party or two FCC machinations, I shall quickly explain what FCC does and how it arrived at it’s decision.

The full FCC meets six times a year, three per conference. The first meeting in the cycle is general business, discussing topics such as future venues, stewarding and security needs, design of speakers cards, overall allocation of time between policy/speeches/Q&As, registration rates and so on. Before anyone asks, I should point out that the location of future conferences is a closely guarded secret until officially announced as we don’t want commercial companies block-booking accommodation in advance, as this puts the price up for ordinary members.

Posted in News | 60 Comments

Opinion: The Burchill controversy – a mixed blessing for the trans community

I have followed recent mainstream media events unfolding around the transgender community with a mixture of excitement, anxiety and sadness.

Excitement, because it is rare that trans issues get coverage that isn’t designed to portray us as perpetrators of some hideous evil. Even though the stories started with biased coverage in the Guardian about a doctor under investigation by the General Medical Council, it turned into something more positive when the #TransDocFail hashtag lead to LibDem Councillor Sarah Brown discussing the issue on BBC Radio. Even the continuation of bad reporting had a silver lining, when Julie Burchill’s

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 2 Comments

Opinion: The Four Boxes – why the student occupation should be denounced

There is a rather American saying which runs along the lines of “We have four boxes with which to defend our freedom: the soap box, the ballot box, the jury
box
, and the ammo box. In that order”.

It becomes a good way of putting Wednesday’s violence in context, particularly for those that are trying to argue some similarity between the suffragette movement and student fees. That movement had no choice but to resort to violent occupation because the very thing its members were campaigning for was access to the ballot box.

But rather than the entire NUS executive distancing themselves …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 120 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarSimon Arnold 1st Aug - 2:05am
    I see no problem with this issue, it's a natural event, that needs to happen, and, has been happening for many hundreds of years. It...
  • User AvatarJamie Stewart 31st Jul - 11:21pm
    Totally agree that breastfeeding is important, but wondering what the result of the debate was? Opposition to breastfeeding is stupid, and hope that will be...
  • User AvatarTim13 31st Jul - 11:16pm
    Like Allan Brame, I have always struggled with the meaning of "Op-Ed". I assume it stands for "Opinion - Editorial", but am certainly not sure,...
  • User AvatarRuth Bright 31st Jul - 10:33pm
    Frank - We have a lot to thank Julia Drown for and also Duncan Hames for being the first MP to take a baby through...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 31st Jul - 10:21pm
    The Liberal Democrat - Labour coalition in Scotland did that for councils. Perhaps Wales should as well.
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 31st Jul - 10:19pm
    Someone should advise about new members, recruitment and retention.