Letter: Leading (or misleading) students

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The Independent Online
BY comparing a student union to the local library, Mat Davies, president of the University of Bristol's student union (Letters, 4 July), presents a rather misleading view of the functions of many student unions.

The student union I am compelled to belong to has a convicted IRA terrorist as an honorary life member and has also passed motions opposing the extradition of terrorists from the Republic of Ireland.

These are but two examples of the mentality of those who dominate the student union movement. Their activities and campaigns are funded by the taxpayer and often have the support of less than 1 per cent of the students.

I would be very surprised to see those who run my local library giving the terrorists who bomb and murder in our country such implied support. I would suggest that if the National Union of Students thinks student unions are so good then they have little to fear from the Government making membership of them voluntary.

Perhaps, however, they realise that the ordinary student will see through the facade of their new- found moderation and remember their Target 70 campaign of the last general election when they targeted, almost exclusively, Conservative-held marginal seats.

Fourteen years after coming to power, it appears the Government is at last going to end the closed shop and smash the extremism of the student union movement. It will not be a moment too soon.

Richard Bullick


The Queen's University of Belfast

Conservative Association