The Burkean looks with considerable dismay at the recent Annual Congress of the Union of Students of Ireland.
While supposedly open to all, it’s a cliquey process, largely occurring without the notice of the student population of Ireland, despite being tethered to the USI by fixed contributions.
Voting is restricted to a miniscule proportion of the student population, with the agenda vacillating between lobbying for niche leftist issues and dividing up the loot in terms of positions for next year.
Readers should be well familiar with the routine with these organisations. A small vanguard of careerists and lefty entryists rule the roost within the USI, directing the organization to take up ever more asinine positions.
This is all made possible by a combination of financial parasitism and the indifference of students. The USI coasts by, using the slush funds provided to it by students to fund its ever more bizarre projects, able to do so thanks to the sheer indifference of the 350,000 students who it apparently represents.
This year’s conclave was no different. Even with the ongoing lockdown forcing the conference to occur online, operations continued as normal. Positions and prizes were dolled out, the envelope was pushed on more asinine leftist policies,and the ever looming spectre of fascism was denounced once again.
However, a small but salient shadow haunted the conference, stalking a variety of motions. Namely, the ghost of the recently disgraced Vice President Michelle Byrne, and the attitude of the Union towards views they view as politically verboten.
The embroilment of the national executive of the USI in a honeypot where they spoke openly of harassing conservative students damaged the organisation more than it cared to admit. The reporting of this publication and subsequent resignation of the Vice President of the USI no doubt influenced some of the motions on the table.
The chatter around the Congress was that moderates desired to tone down the more overt leftist faction who themselves wanted to strike an unrepentant note.
However, instead of reflecting on their past errors, and Stasi-like operations over the previous academic year, the USI doubled down. There were frequent denunciations of hate and fascism, with a number of motions being passed with the purpose of curtailing the ever-growing right on campus.
Some of the motions passed seemingly for this purpose include, but were not limited to:
- A commitment to a no platforming policy on views deemed bigoted or fascistic.
- The acceptance of intersectionality as being part of how the USI operates.
- The establishment of a fund to assist the gender transitions of students.
- That the USI would campaign in favour of decriminalising sex work.
- That the Union would not aim to cooperate with youth wings of all political parties for fear of de facto endorsing sexist, racist or reactionary views. One assumses they mean Fine Gael essentially.
- An endorsement of the data harvesting, anti-racist snitch tool iReport. Ironically this motion was supported by TCDSU President and PBP activist Laura Beston, who was embroiled in The Burkean’s investigation as being willing to assist in passing on details of students to antifascists.
The Congress was typified by the unopposed reelection of USI President Lorna Fitzpatrick with over 95% of the vote. It would appear that an electoral process that would be questioned by the UN in Bosnia, are commonplace within the USI.
In budgetary terms despite having an annual warchest of well over a million euro, the USI is surprisingly in the black, though some might say top-heavy with officials. Controversy has been voiced over the years at the extent to which the USI has blasted money away at abortion advocacy prior to the Repeal of the 8th Ammendent.
Before the conference, the USI could be said to have some degree of plausible deniability in regards to ideological corruption. The Marxists at the helm got out of hand but were to be reigned in.
However, after the organization voted to openly endorse deplatforming and disenfranchise an ever growing section of its membership, said deniability is no more . The organization has exposed itself as a cosy den of snakes, forever leeching off the pockets of Irish students.
As a business model however this will eventually exhaust itself.
Opt out referenda are coming, and there is a growing and vocal faction of students peeved at the trainwreck the organisation has become.
For the time being, the USI and SU circuit will continue to be a stalking ground for the hard left within this country. Student unions incentivise power hungry brats too fixate on issues most of the student population couldn’t care less about, at the expense of those very same students.
The past six months have revealed to the world how corrupt student institutions in Ireland are. How college communists, who think themselves Stasi operatives, will dedicate serious time and effort to further their own goals, all the while working to crush all dissent under an iron boot of social and physical retaliation.
However, as far as a piece of political infrastructure goes, the USI is more vulnerable than it thinks.
In case the message hasn’t gotten through to student officialdom, the era of plane sailing is over. The obnoxious channeling of student money into leftist politics and activists’ salaries is drawing to a close.
The actions of this Congress will precipitate an eventual crisis the USI won’t be able to worm itself out of. When this destined event occurs, The Burkean intends to use any measure within its remit to bring them to heel.