Trustee Board attempting to secretly sack me over Easter

Since my election as VP Education there has been an obsession by unelected senior managers and certain invertebrates in the union to not only prevent me from delivering my manifesto for a campaigning, democratic Guild, but also to remove me from office altogether.

In line with their campaign they have begun their second attempt to fire me on clearly political grounds without any consultation of the student body. In fact, they are now acting without any of the usual dressings of legitimacy and have simply called an emergency meeting of the Trustee Board for April 21st to vote on my removal.

This is a raw coup not just against me, but against all those in favour of a Guild truly being run by and for students. This follows the University expelling me from all committees, which along with my open letter to vice chancellor are amongst the reasons the Guild seek to remove me for.

Last September, with considerably more formalities, the Guild attempted a similar manoeuvre: suspending me for three months for taking part in peaceful protests and for attempting to re-energise the student rep system.

The Guild previously suspended me for three months without any democratic vote primarily for unfurling this banner.

My one regret from the suspension was that I conceded to their threats of more punishment if I spoke about the allegations being made against me. This time, despite the same threats I will not concede to any demands for secrecy. I am making all the allegations against me public so that those I truly work for, the student body, can decide for themselves whether I should be removed from office.

I believe that all the allegations made against me are of a political nature and therefore demand a public debate to allow for transparent and democratic decision-making (although it should be noted that me going public with the contents of my last disciplinary has been added to the latest list of charges, as apparently transparency “undermines” the Guild).

I’ve always stated that I will happily face a vote of no confidence at Guild Council or by referendum, and that should I lose such a vote I will resign from office without protest, confident that legitimate democratic processes have been fulfilled.

The full case of the Trustee Board is attached HERE please read for yourself the allegations made. I have also written a necessarily lengthy post in which I go through point by point rebutting their allegations.

The grounds for my removal

The grounds that the trustees bring against me include; the ‘Protest Against the Protest Ban’, my participation in the protests to defend students being disciplined for taking part in protests, the fact that the University have expelled me from their committees, criticizing the Guild for supporting the protest ban, going public with the truth about my previous suspension, and flying the Palestinian flag outside my office at the start of Israel Apartheid Week.  The full breakdown in the order presented against me is below, attached are the Guild’s letters to me.

“(i) The demonstration on 15 February 2012”

This is for my role in the protest against the “ban on protests”. The demonstration was organized by the University of Birmingham Defend Education Campaign, the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts and Defend The Right to Protest, and only a week before the protest took place was it finally gifted the Guild’s begrudging support.  However, the Guild, in a bizarre act, claimed the protest as solely their own, seemingly for the purposes of implicating me as the “sole organiser”. Their investigation recognises the other organisations who took part but fails to interview representatives of those organisations.

I had to scrape and claw to get the basic and minimal last minute support I did from the Guild (begrudging as it was). The demo was called months before the Guild came on board, which they only did a week before the event after Guild Council mandated them to do so.

The allegation is essentially that I “hijacked” “the Guild’s” demonstration by going a different route and that as such, I’m responsible for ‘putting students at risk’.

First, we need to start with the question of how the protest could be ‘hijacked’ against its will? What could cause hundreds of students in attendance to protest a certain way despite a multitude of Guild stewards and the rest of the Sabbatical Officer team attempting to physically block them and screaming at them not to leave the ‘official’ route? Those stating so loudly that the protest was ‘hijacked’ are essentially asserting that the entire protest ‘hijacked’ itself. They are suggesting that hundreds of students at our University are unable to think for themselves and instead hypnotically followed me, an allegation that is as ridiculous as it is insulting to the hundreds who attended.

They try and make it sound like I personally lead 200 people into a wall of oncoming traffic. The "ring road" which can be seen curling around the university in this picture is a quiet private campus road with a speed limit of 10mph.

The allegations that students were at risk are massively overstated: “On leaving the Guild the protest turned left onto the University ring road into head on traffic” –  this statement is completely ludicrous. The “road”, which can be seen circling the back of the Aston Webb building in the picture, is a private campus road, used for parking. There is next to no traffic and the traffic that is there is restricted both by speed limits and parked cars on either side of the road.  Campus road regulations specify strict rules that cars must travel at low speeds on campus.

The second allegation of “risk” to students involves the protest entering Chancellor’s Court and approaching hazardously close to a “dangerous drop”. Firstly, Chancellor’s Court was part of the Guild’s “official route”, so any risk here was in the Guild’s original plan anyway. Stewards and myself very quickly asked the two students who got onto the wall (near the drop) to get down for their own safety. This was a risk built into the original assessment that was easily managed. Thus to claim that the deviation put participators at risk is void, as their form of protest would also have done so.

The Guild’s investigation of these events attempts to conclude that only my actions have been called into question by the witnesses interviewed. The investigation, however, has been a farce. The interviewees do not represent a broad spectrum of students, instead the process relies on evidence from a handful of students heavily engaged in Guild politics most of whom who had already made repeated statements against me in public well before this event. The only other evidence is given by Guild of Students staff members and University security. Ridiculously, none of the organisers of the demonstration have had a chance to give evidence and only one actual participant in the demonstration was interviewed.

The e-mails included in the evidence against me show a senior Guild manager making deals with the university about what would be allowed at the demo without input from either myself or organisers of the demo, NCAFC, Defend Education or Defend the Right to Protest. The e-mails show the Guild manager and the university attempting to force the demo onto an ‘official’ route permitted by the University, a 3 minute walk from A to B. Is it any wonder then that when I was forced to read out the Guild’s statement on the route demanding they follow these orders from the university the students present many of whom had been involved in the organisation simply laughed and ignored the statement? For this complete institutional failure to maintain legitmacy by the Guild I am being given the sole blame.

“(ii) The occupation of Staff House on 15 February 2012”

After the demonstration, in an unofficial action which the Guild made it clear they did not support, around 100 students occupied the University’s corporate conference centre, demanding an end to the ban on protests and the disciplinary process against Simon Furse.

I accept my involvement in this sit-in, which was both peaceful and lawful. I defend my actions on the grounds that the right to protest and freedom of speech is under attack at the University of Birmingham (evidenced for example by the condemnation of the University by groups such as Amnesty Intl. etc). My actions were a proportionate response in defence of a long and proud history of student protest. As students working in the education system we can’t go on strike. Instead we take our equivalent of a strike: we do sit-ins and occupations – a form of protest that has been a key feature of UK student activism for generations. Indeed, at the University of Birmingham all the student representation we have on University committees was won in 1968, when 800 students occupied the Great Hall demanding a democratic voice.  Without these kinds of actions, the Guild as we know it would not exist.

“(iii) Disruption of the College Misconduct Committee hearing held in the Nuffield Building on 15 February 2012”

At Simon Furse’s disciplinary hearing, myself and a number of other students entered the room in which the hearing was taken place. We delivered speeches expressing our disgust at the entire process.  After this was complete we left and the disciplinary continued, although it was later adjourned. There was later a protest outside the room where the disciplinary hearing was taken place which I participated in, here is the video of it the Trustee Board’s report refers to in their allegations against me.

The disciplinary against Simon Furse is for his participation in a lawful and peaceful sit-in. He is part of a list of many student protesters being attacked for their defense of the public education system. It is right that we take action in solidarity to protect him from suspensions like those that a Cambridge student has recently suffered.

In response to the claim that I failed my VP(E) mandate by behaving in a manner inappropriate to my position as Simon’s representative, I would argue that throughout this year we have seen that official processes are not followed by the Guild or the University and that following these processes alone has no real effect. Rather, assertive action has proven to be necessary. Furthermore, given that I consider this to be an illegitimate disciplinary hearing, I do not believe my role was undermined by my actions, rather I feel I responded in an appropriate manner, as to conform to the disciplinary process would be to indicate my support for its legitimacy. Because I do not believe it to be legitimate, this would therefore have been the wrong action to take.

“(iv) Your suspension from all University Committees”

While it may sound obvious, it’s important to remember that the University and the Guild are, or at least are supposed to be, distinct and separate organisations. As a students union, the purpose of the Guild is to represent the interests of Birmingham students, even, and especially when those interests are in direct opposition to the wishes of the University as an institution (see £9,000 fees etc.). Therefore for the Guild to be effective in its role, clearly it’s vital that it stays separate from the University, and not sleepwalk into being an ineffective half of a two-headed beast, merely providing an illusionary sheen of student representation.

It’s hardly a stretch to argue that the expulsion of a democratically elected student representative from University committees is a political move by the University to shut out elected voices critical of their policies. Unfortunately instead of making a clear stand against this maneuver, the Guild has in fact complied with the University’s move and has sent different “acceptable” officers in my place. The Guild is essentially punishing me because the University is preventing me from doing the job I was elected to do.

As such, this allegation is unfortunately a sign of the Guild’s weakness: rather than remaining cohesive and strong, the Guild is allowing the University to essentially divide and conquer, or at least undermine the strength of the officers’ positions. Instead, the Guild should support me in opposing this move – because it has devalued the very core of what the Guild stands for.

“(v) A significant breakdown in working relationships with the other members of the Guild’s Sabbatical Team”

“It is alleged that there has been a significant deterioration in your working relationships with the other Sabbatical Officers”

Since several of the other officers:

  1. Suspended me for the entire Autumn term whilst attempting to remove me on highly dubious grounds
  2.  Imposed silence on me regarding this
  3. Then issued false statements about the reasons for my suspension
  4. Later publicly condemned me for releasing the true reasons for my suspension
  5. Isolated and slighted me once I was reinstated
  6. Gave evidence against a student to help get them disciplined then lied about this.
  7. Supported the ban on protests
  8. Demanded that I sign a letter to the student body containing false information regarding the protest injunction.
  9. Ignored democratic mandates to create an acceptable officer disciplinary policy
  10. Ignored democratic mandates to support the NUS week of action.

It should come as no surprise that there has been some breakdown in my working relationships with some Officers on the Sabbatical team. However, to claim that this is purely as a consequence of my actions is problematic at best.

“Non-attendance at meetings;”

This is a joke allegation surely? Three weekly meetings of the Sabbatical Officer Group regularly missed by many officers have been picked out as a reason to remove me. All these meetings I was either off ill or at another meeting.

Further, I’m alleged to have missed one meeting of the Trustee Board on March 27th, firstly they have the date wrong it was on the 26th. This was a meeting that I couldn’t attend at the request of lawyers representing the students under police investigation. This is only Trustee Board meeting I have missed, a fact that is particularly pertinent when one considers that attendance by Trustees is rarely over 2/3rds. Furthermore even if I wanted to attend this meeting it would have been extremely difficult for me to attend as it was called three working days in advance on a day I had already arranged to have off.

As to why I didn’t attend the SOG meeting on March 5th, the Trustee Board need not look any further than page 3 of their own appendices document: “The Vice President (Education) was requested to come in on the 5th & 6th March for interview. On both of these days the VPE notified the Guild that he would not be at work due to sickness. There, mystery solved.

These are pathetic points, clutching at straws in an attempt to present me as lazy or unprofessional. Considering that since I came into office last June that I have only taken 7 days off in annual leave, been sick for only four days and missed only these four meetings (out of dozens) all for good reasons, I can only laugh at this desperate allegation.

“Social media postings”

Even I am completely lost for words as to the nature of the postings that are considered a reason to remove me from office, especially as none appears to be given. The articles certain members of the Trustee Board are attempting to remove me for are below, all of which are factually correct. I believe this is simply an attempt to scare future officers into silence.

1.  My public letter to the VC David Eastwood in response to expelling me from all committees.

2. My article arguing for democracy in the Guild

3. My article publically explaining the reasons for my suspension, providing the facts to students

4. This post on twitter “@Guild_President I have just been found NOT GUILTY – due to there being “no evidence” against me, thanks for the punishment before trial.”

5. My post criticizing the Guild for supporting the “ban on protests”

“Acting unilaterally”

The attempted Vodafone occupation on 14 March 2012”

For the record, it wasn’t attempted, I did occupy it. This is because Vodafone has been involved in a tax avoidance scheme that has cost the country £6 billion whilst the government claims cuts to higher education are ‘inevitable’.  More importantly in terms of the allegation however although appendix 11 does include Redbrick’s coverage of the protest and occupation, it does not include any evidence of the Guild maintaining any damage to its reputation as a result. Furthermore this is the same NUS demonstration the Guild refused to support yet here they are implying that it was an official Guild event where it becomes convenient, and anyhow the Vodafone sit-in was a personal protest done after the NUS event not as part of it.

Watch this video to see the successful peaceful demonstration against the increasing privatisation of higher education.

“The prominent display of a Palestinian flag in your VPE office window”

see my article Why the Palestine Flag is Hanging from my Office Window” 

I did this modest action to draw attention to Israeli Apartheid Week (starting that day) and to the suffering of the Palestinian people living under Israeli occupation. It harmed nobody and if anti-Palestinian elements on campus being “offended” by this flag is justification to sack an elected officer without a democratic vote then I can think of far more ‘offensive’ things done by other officers…

This new attempt to remove me from office has been cleverly timed to start and finish during the Easter holidays whilst students are away from uni, not paying as much attention to Guild politics and unable to protest the undemocratic sacking of one of their elected officers. The allegations against me are clearly to do with my campaigning activity and reflect political disagreements between myself and those attempting to remove me. Thus the decision on whether or not I should be removed must be made by students at Guild Council or referendum not by a secret process of the unelected majority non-student Trustee Board that students were not supposed to know was even happening until after it was completed.

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39 Responses to Trustee Board attempting to secretly sack me over Easter

  1. Hey says:

    Why don’t you instead of complaining and writing these long things, get on with your job, for fucks sake you are boring, you will get nowhere in life and will continue to live in a squat, for fuck sake grow up, get a life, have a shower and just be normal. Waste of space

    • EB says:

      I’m trying do the job I was elected to do, that is the entire point.

      • SL says:

        Clearly not very well. Surely all those grounds and the tension around your position is a clear indication that you are not doing your job correctly.

        How have you added any value to the student body since you were elected? Protests clearly isn’t working, rising fees isn’t ideal, but has happened. In your position, you should ensure the quality of our education is at a high level, educational demands and resources is being met.

      • Nicolas says:

        Since there seems to be no “reply” button under SL’s post for some reason, I’ll reply here instead:

        First of all I’d like to say that the amount of “charges” against Edd doesn’t make them valid when they are not valid on their own. They could have added twenty more charges along the lines of “monkeys climb trees” and “I think purple is a pretty colour” and that wouldn’t have changed the validity of the disciplinary at all, and I think Edd has shown quite clearly why each individual charge is a farce.

        I would also like to add that the Guild has, for years, been an institution in which there have been next to no major, positive changes. Good sabbs have been few and far between, and the “value” they’ve added to the student body amount to slightly cheaper drinks in Joe’s. Rather than bettering the Guild, previous sabbs have simply handed power over to unelected officials so they could have a decently payed graduate job lined up for a year. Now, suppose someone comes in who not only does their job properly (putting those who don’t to shame) and actively and tries to undo the negative changes of years past. Do you think the sabbs are going to say “Oh well, I’d better start doing my job now”? No, they get annoyed and tension appears. Do you think the people profiteering from the Guild would say “Oh dear, someone seems to be pointing that we’re undermining the Guild’s power. Well, we don’t have a legitimate reason to get rid of him so we’d better get used to it”? Of course they wouldn’t. They’d try every trick in the book to get him out.

        As to the value Edd has added: He’s not only fought tooth and nail to “ensure the quality of our education is at a high level, educational demands and resources [are] being met” by opposing the closure of departments and cuts to budgets while campaigning for University management to not take the ridiculous pay rises that have been funded entirely by the closure of departments and budget cuts. He has also led by example in fighting these things, teaching students at the University the value of opposing oppression rather than rolling over and accepting it.

        As to protests: First of all let’s assume that you’re right, in saying “Protests clearly [aren’t] working”. Why does this mean we shouldn’t try? What other way do we have of peacefully bringing about positive change? Students have no political power nor the money to fund a viable way to bring about change, protesting and activism are all we have. Now as to whether protests are working or not: How did equality laws in the US get established? How did women gain the vote? What has been the major force behind the British LGBT equality movements? Protests.

      • SL says:

        Nicolas, bit weird how there isn’t a reply button, firstly thanks for your reply.

        There are quite a few points on his charges, some I agree with and some I don’t. For instance, meeting attendance although maybe a point by the playbook, I think its just a silly point.

        In any organisation where there is this much negative opinion against one person, it should really be looked into by a body i.e. Trustee board. To disregard all the points and say that Ed is definitely in the right for every case is also ridiculous. He’s part of team and should work with the team, compromises has to be made. Sometimes for an organisation to succeed, or for it to be better, it could mean that some people, or some great people has to leave the arena.

        In terms of adding value, I’ve seen the Sabbatical team delivering some good changes to the student body. Some officers may have under performed, but thats another debate. I enjoy your assumption that one comes in and “does their job properly and actively tries to undo the negative changes of the past years”, and your scenario where everyone is trying to get rid of him, because he’s doing his job properly is a little delusional.

        Ed certainly made positive impact however I think the negative outweighs it. I wouldn’t say I’m the most engaged student, but Ed really has put me off from getting involved with the Guild. Make no mistake, protests are great, I think they can be effective like your given examples and Ed should exercise his right of protest. However, the protests has clearly not worked. Theres been enough shouting and marching but no results nor things happening, I believe he could achieve some great things if he channeled that energy elsewhere.

        Putting this situation in a different non-profit organisation, he would be lucky to still be working as a VP.

      • Nicolas says:

        I don’t think the trustee board should be involved at all. If someone is doing their job properly and has been democratically elected into their position, it should be the decision of the electoral body to remove them, not the unelected officials who have time and time again shown that they have absolutely no love for the people for whom the organisation is run.

        On the subject of working as a team it seems that, in this case, the reason for Edd not working well with the team seems to be that they have a problem with him, not the other way around. I don’t think this makes a case for Edd’s dismissal at all but rather a case for disciplinary measures to be taken against those that tried to undermine him then lied about why they did it. It’s like firing a gay person for having homophobic workmates.

        As for my “disregarding” points, I think Edd argued his case well on every one, so I felt no need to reiterate them.

        In response to your insistence that the protests haven’t worked I would like to point out that protest movements typically tend to end when their goal is achieved. You cannot claim that they’re not working while they’re still in progress, as they almost always look that way until the very end. A good example of this is Apartheid in South Africa: The day before non-whites gained the right to vote anyone on the street would have told you that Apartheid was still going strong and that Mandella had achieved nothing. Just because the movements Edd is involved with haven’t made any visible progress doesn’t mean they haven’t made any. Also, to reiterate a point from my previous post, What other means for change do students have?

        Finally a few questions before I turn in for the night: You mentioned that Edd “could achieve some great things if he channeled that energy elsewhere.” Could you please elabourate on this point? Where else should he channel his energy?

        You referred to one of my points as “delusional”: I would like to know in which way it is so? You refuted it, but didn’t provide an alternative explanation.

        I would also like to know which negative changes Edd has made to the Guild or, if you were referring to the fact that he’s “has put [you] off from getting involved with the Guild” why do you feel this way?

        I look forward to your replies and rebuttals in the morning.

      • Nicolas says:

        Sorry, that last line should read: “I look forward to reading your replies and rebuttals in the morning.”

      • Nicolas says:

        Argh, sorry, one list point I’d like to mention before bed: If Edd was part of any other organisation that sacked him for these reasons, I think there would be a very ston unfair dismissal case in his favour, as there will be here if the Trustees go through with his dismissal

      • SL says:

        No problem mate on the reposts, I think the evenings getting (or got to) the best of us. First of all, Sorry for all those reading this, this thread is loooonnnng, so my bad – we’re all procrastinating…

        Doing his job properly. From my basic understanding, VPE’s job is to campaign for a better quality education (which I think is achieved), be a voice for the students and working with student reps. I’m a rep and have practically no exposure or support from Ed, and with voicing student’s opinion, yes he has done for fees, but what else? Has he spoken to people outside the circle of engaged students, as the majority of my friends have no idea what he does, though this doesn’t just apply to Ed.

        In this situation, although Ed has been elected in, and yes he can do whatever he can legally and within his power, but not everyone agrees in his methods. In a way, this is my version of protesting and saying; I don’t want this from my Guild.

        A body like the Trustee should absolutely be involved, sometimes getting an opinion from people who has no involvement can be extremely beneficial as they’re not clouded with the politics or emotion, and they are free to speak their logic.

        On the point of teamwork, from my understanding, Ed was initially a very valuable member of the team and did some great stuff on the post grad issue. However after reinstatement he became very difficult to work with. From a leadership perspective, if the majority of a team has that much negative opinion on one person, they must have spoken to him on a number of occasions before making this drastic move. If the team has that much conflict with Ed, why hasn’t this begun with other members of the organisation?

        Great point on Mandela, but equally, in fact there are more failed protests. Many of them we’d never hear of, but more recently the Wall Street Protests, how epically did that fail? I’d say they made progress, but not a lot, similar to this situation. I know it’s negative, but that’s how I see it. There must be other ways other than protests, and it’s part of his job to find out. I never asked for a protest.

        In terms of putting his efforts elsewhere I couldn’t give you specifics as I don’t have the access or the knowledge. However, I believe with Ed’s passion and strong beliefs, it can take him very far where it can be potentially be mutually beneficial for both the Guild, their students and the University. I know it’s easy to say, but if I get paid to do this, I’d better get the results.

        And the delusional thing? Sure, if he’s actually doing his job properly, working with the Guild to bringing positive change to the organisation and their student members, I could imagine a lot more people or even myself supporting him, but this is not the case. I can’t stress, no matter how smart you are or what your intentions are, you simply won’t fit into the ecosystem if you can’t work in the team that’s running it. He’s clearly done a number of things to upset a number of people. If he’s doing so well, I struggle to believe that not a group of people within the organisation is supporting him, because the people there aren’t weak.

        For me not being more involved. Ed was the face of the Guild for a long while, all for the wrong reasons. To me it just seemed that the Guild had nothing better to do but to protest, they don’t really do anything else but complain and offer no other viable solutions. I wasn’t proud to mention my Guild, for the situation that it has put itself in, which I believe the root cause is Ed, sparking up his initial arrest.

        Can you honestly say that Ed has created a better Guild, more open Guild, and a Guild that represents the majority of the student body? The transparency thing on blogs is a load of rubbish, having to read through all of that for transparency is like reading through the terms and conditions before you spread bet. I know a lot of people have went to the effort of spoiling their vote because of their impression of Ed.

    • Nicolas says:

      1: Not being “normal”, whatever that is, doesn’t make you bad at your job or mean what the university is doing is right. Neither does squatting, being “boring” (which I think is a bit of a stretch, haven’t Guild politics gotten a lot more interesting since Edd got involved?), being a “waste of space” or getting “nowhere in life” (although I would disagree with you on that as well, clearly someone with Edd’s balls will be able to do a LOT with their life). To sum up this point: Launching into a tirade of ad hominems doesn’t make you right.

      2: Edd was elected to fight for democracy and civil rights in the Guild and University, which he has been doing tirelessly and wholeheartedly as well as managing all the VPE duties the position requires of you (for example: Actually attending meetings unless he is ill or his presence is required elsewhere, something other sabbs seem to have trouple with even when they have the time and good health). I would say he is doing his job quite admirably.
      Back on the point of his election manifesto, “writing these long things” definitely qualifies as making the Guild more transparent, opening the way for a more democratic Guild. So essentially, this is part of his job.

      Basically, once we remove the ad hominems and take into account what Edd’s job entails, your argument boils down to “Why don’t you, instead of doing this part of your job, do your job?”

    • Ad hominem is quite a pathetic way to rebut to a well referenced and structured argument.

  2. CW says:

    Sounds like you are doing a good job of exposing the rank contradictions and blatant hypocrisy of the student union and university management, at least – even if the role you’ve been forced to play wasn’t the role you hoped for. I can’t believe the shit that’s going down, really, and I can’t believe what a scumbag Mark Harrop is. Well, actually I can. It’s all to believable.

    I hope you’re getting a lot of support from Birmingham students. Best –

  3. Hey Ed, solidarity. Three Qs. What can comrades in other campuses around the country do to support you? Have you got any allies on the trustee board that are ‘vertibrate’ and have backbone to help you? Can you have a MASSIVE AGM and change your consitution to make it democratic?

  4. Pingback: Name: Edd Bauer. Occupation: …soon to be none? « Guild Gossip

  5. I can’t be bothered to read this piece or to think about what you have said, or to think at all really. I just know that I’m right because I speak for the silent majority. All we care about is cheap drinks, banter and incoherently ranting about things we don’t care about. So fuck you stop thinking about things and start doing your job in the way I think you should do it, whatever that is.

  6. Weeping Student says:

    This whole string of charges, counterclaims, protests, committees and the politicisation of student issues (on both sides) has dominated the Guild for so long. It’s damaging for students and for the image of the University. I want to hear less about the ‘Bauer scandals’ and more about practical reforms for students, whether it is through the resignation or dismissal of relevant people, or through the sun reaching the end of its natural life, and irreprably destroying the earth’s ecology and indirectly all life upon it.

  7. Pingback: Defend Birmingham


    As a self-appointed representative of the vast majority of Birmingham students, I have a few communications to issue to this feculent minority who seem to support this dirty communist.

    Firstly, you can’t keep harping on about the fact that you were comprehensively backed by the student body when elected. We have recently discovered the supernatural capacity that you and your scraggy lefty chums have to induce mind-alteration using nothing but paint and cardboard: how else would students have elected Furse and Jones? (The only alternative is that students actually want a strong, campaigning Guild, and that’s just a stupid suggestion which THE MAJORITY REFUTES.) As such, democracy is no longer useful, because it has been compromised by magic.

    Secondly, the majority insists that you have done nothing useful with your time in office. As far as we can see, you’ve spent the year (when not suspended, and damn right, let’s have MORE SUSPENSIONS, they’re great) campaigning both locally and nationally against education cuts to courses, staff and students, and to raise awareness of and combat cost-centered obstacles to HE. I mean, need I say any more? What the fuck is that? You should have spent the year trying to get lower drinks prices in Joe’s, better club nights, and claiming credit for things that the University were going to do anyway. While you were at it, you probably should have undemocratically and furtively suspended a colleague on heinous political grounds, and testified against a student in a disciplinary. These are the kind of things that the MAJORITY want!

    Finally, I don’t like the way you dress. You should wear more Hollister, and the majority is angry that you expect to be taken seriously without doing such things.

    Viva la (bourgeois) revolution! xxx

  9. Pingback: “THE VOICE OF THE MAJORITYsays:” | Vice President Education & Access

  10. Ben Aylott says:

    If the charges made against Ed do merit him being removed from office then why not take this to the union council or remove him by referendum? Why do a group of people, many of whom are not even elected, have to meet and carry this out in secret?

    • SL says:

      don’t think it matters.. and this isn’t really a secret is it…

      • Tadhg says:

        How does it not matter that an elected representative is being removed undemocratically ? and by ‘in secret’ I think Ben means behind closed doors, we know it happened but it did not happen publicly.

  11. Mohammed says:

    As a British Muslim studying at the Uni I find this really funny, you people advance democracy to the whole world. As can be seen in egypt, tunisia, libya etc. But when it comes to bite you up the back side you say it has failed. What a load of BS, you guys just crack me up with your ridiculous incoherent stupid arguments.

    • SL says:

      i dont think you quite understand Mohammed. This is a case where democracy has been broken and therefore people are not happy… if you still dont understand whats going on im sure Ed will happily talk you through it.

      • Mohammed says:

        Correct me if I am wrong, do you mean to say that Ed was voted in democratically but has failed to serve his constituents adequately, hence democracy has been betrayed ie broken.

        If that is what you mean then I would say that he has not been given an opportunity to represent his constituents because of the constant problems he has faced. But that could be rebutted by saying that he would not have had the problems if he did not do what he did. But then why would students vote in Simon Furse who seems to stand up for most of the same principles and ideas as ed.

        I am not defending him or his actions, rather I would have gone about many different things in a different manner but come on he has been hard done 🙂

  12. A student says:

    Ed you are doing an excellent job, I only wish there were more people like you! The majority of students don’t care enough or are just ignorant, that is their problem. PS ‘Self-appointed representative of the vast majority’- bit contradictory eh?

    • jktklrlk says:

      I believe that was is called “sarcasm”.
      While I disagree with the way this vote is going about, I certainly do not think Ed is doing a good job. While his suspension and all this mess is speeding up the movements towards democratic reform, I fail to see what else he has accomplished.

      • A student says:

        Could be sarcasm but these things are hard to tell over the internet. I don’t know the exact description of Ed’s role but my personal opinion is that the only way to improve education is through democratic reform.. in which case he’s doing an excellent job but anyway my comment was aimed at Ed to say thanks, I’m not bothered whether people agree with what I think. Ed I’ve only had the pleasure of meeting you once but you are an inspiration and make me realise that we should never give up.

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  16. Bobsicles says:

    Any protest is an act of terrorism and you should face the repercussions of that. If you commit acts of terror, don’t expect people to roll over.

    If you believe your job is being unfairly treated, you are being unfairly treated in it, then use the legal system. That is what it is there for.

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