National Union of Students Applauds Thatcher’s Death
Delegates to the the National Union of Students (NUS) conference, upon learning of the death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, applauded and cheered. One student from the University of York delegation commented: “None of the YUSU delegation cheered or jeered once the news hit conference. It’s quite alienating that a sizeable minority did though.”
The NUS Chief Returning Officer announced on stage: “This is a day I’ll never forget, and if you look at the news headlines you’ll know what I’m talking about.”
The NUS has released a statement condemning the cheering, and claims that a “small number” of students cheered. This contradicts the claims from a number of students on Twitter, who claim it was a “sizeable minority”.
Jamie Williams, a physics student at Manchester University, tweeted: “I refuse to be a member of the NUS as they’ve cheered Lady Thatcher’s death. I will be ending my membership…next week.”
This sort of rhetoric is not too much of a surprise. Over the past several years, control of the NUS has shifted to the far-Left student groups, who, along with a number of Islamist factions, have promoted extremist ideas.
In 2005, Luciana Berger, a national executive member and Union of Jewish Students (UJS) activist, accused the union of “apathy” towards anti-semitism. The union was accused of failing to immediately condemn and remove anti-Jewish leaflets from the conference and failing to respond to anti-semitic remarks made by a member of the national executive.
In 2011, NUS President Aaron Porter had to be escorted by police officers after a group of student demonstrators confronted him and chanted “Tory Jew”.
In 2012, the Union of Jewish Students’ stall was targeted in a disturbing act of discrimination and vandalism. Posters and banners were defaced with anti-Jewish stickers, deliberately plastered over Star of David emblems..
The NUS’s recent ‘anti-racism’ conference included Ken Livingstone as a speaker. Livingstone has repeatedly made anti-semitic remarks about the Jewish community and a Jewish newspaper reporter. Livingstone has publicly attacked campaigner Trevor Phillips, the renowned anti-racism spokesperson and head of the Commission for Racial Equality. Livingstone stated that Phillips would ‘soon be joining the BNP’, a revolting insult for a white politician to throw at a black man and one that exposes Livingstone’s anti-racist postures as nonsense. Furthermore, Livingstone used public money to finance his propaganda against Phillips.
The NUS works closely with the Federation for Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS), which is known for frequently providing platforms for hate preachers. FOSIS supports a boycott of the World’s only Jewish State, and condemns the “West’s blind and total support for their colonial offspring”. On three separate occasions in January, FOSIS’s Twitter account shared a video which voiced support for Shaker Aamer, described by a senior Al-Qaeda figure as an “extremely active” recruiter for the group, and as a weapons trained fighter by the campaigner Moazzam Begg.