NUS Women’s Officer elections: Questions for Kelley Temple

Kelley Temple is standing against incumbent Estelle Hart for NUS Women’s Officer. We are writing to Kelley, as the more left-wing of the two candidates and as the challenger, to ask her some questions about where she stands.

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Dear Kelley,

The last fourteenth months have seen some of the most important and most inspiring student struggles in Britain for more than two decades. The same period has seen a revival of feminist discussion and activism among many thousands of women, and of a broad, diffuse hostility to the capitalist system in whose name the Tories are attacking workers, students and women.

Unfortunately NUS Women’s Campaign, under the leadership of Estelle Hart and Labour Students, has played very little role in any of this. Despite Estelle’s left-wing rhetoric, the campaign has continued to represent very little in the real world, let alone do anything radical.

You will be standing for NUS Women’s Officer against Estelle at this year’s NUS Women’s Conference. NCAFC Women would therefore appreciate it if you can answer some questions. We want to publish your replies and use them as a basis to discuss whether to support your candidacy and campaign.

1. Cuts

Where do you stand on cuts? Do you accept that there need to be any cuts to jobs and services at all? If so, why? What do you think of the Labour Party leadership’s support for slower and smaller, but still very big and very fast, cuts? Do you think that Labour councils should refuse to implement the cuts?

2. Student struggles

Were you involved in the student struggles of November 2010 – January 2011, and if so how? What do you think of NUS’s role in and response to those struggles? Did you attend the NCAFC demonstration in London on 9 November 2011? Do you support the demand for an NUS demonstration in the first term next year?

3. The left in NUS

There have been a number of clashes between the leadership and the left on NUS national executive since winter 2010. What has been your role in these clashes? Are there any issues, arguments or votes you particularly want to mention? What, in general, do you think of the current NUS leadership?

4. Student-worker solidarity

What was your attitude to the June 30 and November 30 strikes to defend pensions? What do you think about Unison and other unions calling the campaign off? What do you think about supporting strikes in general? Do you support UCU’s campaign in defence of pensions, including a possible marking and assessment boycott?

5. Free education

Do you support free education for all, like the NCAFC and on paper at least NUS Women’s Campaign, or a graduate tax, like the NUS leadership, or what? Do you support a universal, non-means-tested maintenance grant? Do you agree we need to oppose all private providers in HE and demand 100% publicly-owned and funded universities?

6. School education

What is your attitude to academies, grammar schools and religious schools? Would you support the demand to scrap all these and replace them with a single system of comprehensive community schools for all? What is your attitude to school students being allowed to form student unions and affiliate to NUS?

7. Our jobs and services

Do you support the demand for heavily increased taxation of the rich and business to expand public services? What about the demand to genuinely and permanently nationalise the banks, sack their bosses and merge them to create a single public bank providing a decent savings, pensions and mortgage service for all?

With the cuts to long-term care services more women will end up taking this, affecting their engagement in work and education – this is likely to be one of the biggest consequences of the cuts. Who do you think this will hit the most? What policies would you advocate to deal with it?

8. Sex work

What is your attitude to demands for decriminalisation of sex work and to sex workers’ unions?

10. Transgender liberation

What is your stance on trans rights/liberation?

11. You and your record

What in your record as a student and feminist activist and as NUS Scotland Women’s Officer are you most proud of? What mistakes do you think you’ve learned from?

You describe yourself as a socialist feminist. What do you mean by that?

How would you approach acting on policy with was not in accordance with your own personal beliefs?

12. NUS Women’s Campaign

What do you think is wrong with NUS Women’s Campaign at present, and could be improved/changed? What do you think of our claim that at present the Campaign exists mainly on paper and has little campaigning presence in the real world? What do you think of the state of democracy and involvement in the campaign? What would be your main campaigning priorities as NUS Women’s Officer?

Thanks! We would look forward to hearing from you.

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These questions aim to relate to issues that are important to women and activists in the NCAFC and add to information in Kelley’s manifesto. To read Kelley’s manifesto and learn more about her campaign take a look at her Facebook and election website . We’ll post Kelley’s answers to the questions here as soon as we have them.

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