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 Avatarpaul barker 1st Sep - 6:50pm
    Of course a trial would have been better but how would US forces have captured him without an airborne invasion ? Bin Ladens HQ was...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 1st Sep - 6:49pm
    @Stephen. - Completely right. I have despaired at the Cameronlite version of liberalism over the lady give years and had hoped lessons had been learned.Apparently...
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 1st Sep - 6:48pm
    Just to clarify: one reason we hold human rights and the Geneva Convention so highly is because we want others to treat us how we...
  • User AvatarCllr Mark Wright 1st Sep - 6:45pm
    @David Raw - The point is that Bin Laden is a miliary leader and a legal target under the laws of war. Or are you...
  • User AvatarCllr Mark Wright 1st Sep - 6:42pm
    Thanks for the comments, people. @Steve - Paddy is a great liberal but he is not perfect and neither is his judgement. He was wrong...
  • User AvatarStephen Campbell 1st Sep - 6:23pm
    Maybe we should have, after Germany surrendered in 1945, just put all the captured Nazis who were responsible for genocide up against a wall and...