Presidential election for 1970-71 session: the manifestos

Today is voting day in the elections for President and Deputy President for the next session, 1970-71.  These are the candidates’ manifestos:

Michael S Dodgson

We, the members of this Guild, have some of the best facilities in Britain, if not in Europe. For some time now, these have been abused by some of those around us. It is my aim to see that this stops.

We are a large club whose activities are many and varied. Amongst our pursuits should certainly be an interest in politics; but this must not be allowed to continue its domination of Guild life to the detriment of other aspects.

ADMINISTRATION

The events of this Term have proven that a Mass Meeting system is not representative in the long run. This reinforces the Referendum decision of last November, favouring the representative Council system. The following measures will increase the efficiency of Guild Council by bringing its work into greater contact with the students it represents:

  1. Re-arrangement of schedules to allow councillors time to consult their ‘A’ Societies on the  important issues likely to arise.
  2. Widespread publication on Students’ Union, Departmental and Hall of Residence Noticeboards of Motions to be debated.
  3. Requesting of advance written notification of question.s to enable complete and satisfactory answers to be given at all times.
  4. Posting of important Council decisions on noticeboards as soon after the meeting as possible.

Between Guild Council meetings, rapid vertical communication can be improved by greater contact between ‘A’ Society Presidents and the two sabbatical Officers.

UNIVERSITY

With a proposed expansion to 10,000 students by 1975, it is vital that undergraduates,  post-graduates and the non-professional staff are represented on Senate and, more importantly, its Committees. The approach of the Senate representatives on the “Structure Commission” to the principle of student participation has made it evident that the University realises its need to hear student opinion BEFORE decisions are taken. Skilful negotiation next year can ensure that we have the influence in decision-making which our role in the academic community demands.

INTERNAL SERVICES

Consultation with the Vice-President for Internal Affairs must ensure that all established facilities in the Students’ Union are working efficiently. The plans for the extension of the Sphinx Bar and the Cloakrooms have been drawn up; they must now be acted upon.

The Stanley Theatre is already used to the full, so there is an urgent need for at least one rehearsal room and also for a control room at the back of the Theatre.

The needs of the ‘B’ Societies for more medium-sized meeting rooms can only be met by a first floor extension between the Abercromby Room and the Large Committee Room. This is the only area where a vertical addition to the building is structurally possible.

WELFARE SERVICES

Less than 40% of students are registered with the Health Service. It must, therefore, be made more effective in meeting the needs of the other 60%. A permanent doctor would be able to co-operate fully with the Student Counsellor. Creche facilities can be made available by the beginning of next year, supplementing the already successful Playgroup.

Accommodation is an ever increasing problem and the University must be encouraged to meet its responsibilities by increasing the accommodation available and reducing the pressure on the Student Welfare Department.

In a stable environment, there is much to be achieved. I cannot guarantee stability, but I can assure you that I shall do everything possible to maintain it if elected.

Proposer’s statement

Aged twenty-two, Michael Dodgson is a fifth year Medic who has no illusions about recent events in Guild or the difficulties which lie ahead. Certain elements in Guild, hell-bent on precipitating a crisis, have achieved nothing save the short-term loss of our autonomy from which many Society activities have suffered.

Michael Dodgson knows where the interests of Guild lie and this is why I am proposing him. This year he has gained valuable experience of working on the Executive where most latterly he has served as vice-president for Financial affairs, earning a reputation for reliability.

What we demand of a new President is the guts to stand up to the unruly political opportunists who have prevented the operation of Constitutional Government in Guild. We demand that the present situation be stabilised so that necessary improvements we expected in the Student Health Service, for example, will become a reality during the next Presidency. I am confident Michael will fulfil these expectations.

Above all, however, we demand a competent Executive.  Only Michael Dodgson is capable of attracting such support. The is no choice. Lend him your support, too!
T W Shuttleworth, (Law), Proposer
E Bowie (Miss), Science (Maths)
A J K Purves, Science (Chemistry).
A B Charlwood, Arts (Politics).

Paul Thompson

SALISBURY AND RACIALISM

We believe that a supporter of racialist and apartheid regimes should not be Chancellor of this University. Salisbury does not support these regimes merely because he does not like black people. He does so because Vorster, Smith & Co protect his business interests; racialism and capitalism are thus interrelated.

Racialism is one of the means by which capitalism defends itself; its manifestations are many and equally ugly, whether they be Enoch Powell, Hitler, Paisley or Lord Salisbury.

THE UNIVERSITY AND BIG BUSINESS

The controversy over the opening of the files of Warwick University has served to emphasise that universities are the academic representatives of big business. Don’t think Warwick is an isolated example; the Senate of Liverpool University is drawn exclusively from leading industrialists, bankers and the like. There is even a director of the Economic League, the intellectual blackshirts of free enterprise. Because big business is in such a strong and controlling position they are able to dictate their policies to the supposedly ‘disinterested’ academics.

INVESTMENTS

Capitalism manifests itself in other ways in the University. There are £3,000,000 worth of assets invested in various segments of industry although the University will not admit where. The Guild itself is also connected; £28,000 worth of investments, many related to Southern Africa thus helping to prop up apartheid.

CHEMICAL & BIOLOGICAL WARFARE

Details have recently come to light which shows that the University is involved in government military contracts which are researching into methods of Chemical and Biological Warfare. The University must disclose the facts of this situation. It is inconceivable that an educational establishment should be complicit in contracts of this kind.

THE UNION AND THE GUILD

We believe that the Students Union should not merely be a social club. It should, but that it must represent and press the demands of its members. It should press for better facilities and accommodation, and grants which are tied to the cost of living index, thus allowing for perpetual rises. Another disgraceful situation exists in the relationship between the Union and its staff. The Union, i.e. the students employ there people; porters and canteen staff, and pays them lower wages than the Social Security ‘subsistence’ level. As students we must also press for greater involvement and participation in all the University apparatus, thus ensuring that the voice of the students will be constantly heard.

WE WANT:

  1. A University run by the people not by big business.
  2. An end to all military contracts – education not decimation!
  3. Open the files to all students.
  4. The resignation of Lord Salisbury and the election of a new Chancellor by mass franchise.
  5. A Union that:  a) Pays a decent living wage to all its staff;  b) Fights racialism not invests in it; c) Presses for better accommodation and realistic grants for all students.
  6. Greater student participation at all levels.
  7. The overthrow of capitalism starting with its servants in the University.

Short term reforms and demands can be fought and won, but in the long term our demands and struggles must be linked with the struggles of the working class to destroy capitalism and build a socialist state.

Proposer’s statement

Paul Thompson is 19. he was born and educated in Liverpool but so what. There are better reasons why we are proposing Paul Thompson for President. We are not really concerned whether he has the nicest smile or whether he is a “good chap”. We believe he should be judged by the policies he puts forward, not how many offficial positions he has held and made a fool of himself or lost his credibility.

He will not take lunch with Lord Derby in his mansion or dress up in ridiculous robes. His orders will come from the Students not from allies in high places. A President is there to press the demands of the Students and carry out the policies in his manifesto. This he will do with the best of his ability.

Ian Williams, Arts. Proposer.
John Williams, Science.
John Wyn Evans, Science.

Jackie Munton

It is my intention to ascertain the wishes of the majority and act upon them. I am prepared to attend “A” Society and Hall General Meetings frequently, to be questioned on my policies and work.

GOVERNMENT

I favour the administration of the Guild by a representative Council. I am sure that the referendum in November 1969 was a definite indication that the majority of students also believe in a Council system. Councillors must become aware of their responsibilities. They must report back to the A’ Societies regularly in order to hear opinion and seek guidance. They must be prepared to be mandated on important iss~ues. Council will function efficiently with shorter, more frequent meetings.

FACILITIES

  • Extend Sphinx Bar and cloakroom into the unallocated basement area. This is both practicable and cheap.
  • Provide coffee bars in poorly-served areas of the campus.
  • Redecorate the Liver Bar.
  • Ticket Office: should sell tickets for city entertainments
  • Explore the possibility of equipping a Car Bay, to enable students to overhaul and service their cars.
  • Provide Self-service Petrol Pumps on the Campus.

SOCIETIES

The Athletics Union and “B” Societies deserve a higher proportion of the Guild income. Dead and duplicate societies must not continue to waste money which should go to active societies. The efficiency of the Athletics Union would be improved by a greater degree of autonomy.

ACCOMMODATION

  • More first-year men deserve the opportunity of a place in Hall.
  • The suggestion of a register of suitable flat accommodation must be acted upon.
  • Custom-built or converted student flats must be provided in the immediate area of the University.

HEALTH AND WELFARE

The Student Health Service is at present inadequate. There must be permanent doctors who can hold evening surgeries, both in the Health Centre and at Carnatic Sick-Bay. This will augment the present system of day-time surgeries.

The continued success of the Playgroup can be ensured by its extension to include day-nursery facilities for children under the age of three.

I believe all these policies to be practical. I promise that if I am elected, I will do my best to guarantee their success through efficient team-work.

Proposer’s statement

We ask you to vote for Jackie because we believe she has the qualities which a deputy President needs in the present Guild situation. Jackie already understands the workings of Guild, and its shortcomings. Earlier this session she worked in the Guild Affairs office, and later in Financial Affairs, gaining valuable knowledge and experience in both.

Those who know Jackie realise that she resigned when it became clear to her that Executive was no longer working together and she could no longer continue her valuable work as an ordinary member. She does have ideas, practical ideas, and is not interested in beating a political drum. She believes that the Guild is abused by mere political gamesmanship and that now the time has come for a period of construction and constructive progress.

Jackie has ability. Elected as a member of her departmental staff-student committee, she was re-elected this year. An ex-writer for Guild Gazette, her second story appeared in a national daily newspaper. Ideas, administrative experience, ability and, above all, reliability are Jackie’s qualities and these should be the qualities of next year’s Deputy President.

I Dexter, Esq. Arts

J N Johnson, Esq. Medicine

M A Kear, (Miss) Arts

RD Greenfield, Esq. Eng. Science

Pamela Rose

A porter employed by this Union takes home eleven pounds a week to support himself, a wife and two children! The canteen staff get even less!

So, what does this show? lt shows that this Guild, this University, are far from being the isolated academic community some people talk about. It shows that they are an integral part of this society, and show the same traits as all other big employers – to get as much work as possible for as little money as possible from their employees. If we continue further we will find what side the universities are on in this “free enterprise” society. The Guild has £27,000 invested, some of it in South Africa, from which every year we draw dividends – dividends extorted from sweated labour.

The University’s assets run into millions of pounds invested – but it won’t even disclose where!

In the running of this ”academic community”, the staff and students have no say; no say in the appointment of a Chancellor, like Salisbury, no say in how or when examinations are set, no say in whether or not anyone is expelled or sacked; where the assets are invested; whether or not files should be opened (remember Warwick!), and no say on whether the University should have accepted the Chemical and Biological Warfare research contracts we have from the Ministry of Defence.

These decisions are left to the University Council, a group of men whose list of directorships reads like the financial pages of The Times; whose honours include the cob-webby feudal relics of centuries – Lord-Lieutenants of Lancashire, Cheshire, etc, etc ad nauseam. The Council is virginally pure of any besmirch of working-class, even middle-class representation – let alone students!

There are no representatives of the people of Merseyside whose labour built the University, nor representatives of the students who study here; of the lecturers who teach here, of the porters and maintenance men who hold the place together.

This situation is not an anomaly, a product of “academic” tradition special to universities. It is a reflection, a part of, in fact, the system outside the university where 5% of the population own 80% of the wealth of the country; where these 5% control the economic and political power of the nation. In such a society it is only “fitting” that the bosses of industry should control the university. I firmly believe that this state of affairs can only be rectified by the overthrow of this system.

But we must not just wait for this, doing nothing. We must change the Students’ Union from an organisation providing free booze-ups and £70 dress allowance for bureaucrats to one which represents, and presses for, the demands of the students.

WE WANT:

  1. A university run by the people not by big business.
  2. An end to all military contracts – education not decimation.
  3. Open the files to all students.
  4. The resignation of Lord Salisbury and the election of a new Chancellor by mass franchise.
  5. A Union that:  a) Pays a decent living wage to all its staff;  b) Fights racialism not invests in it; c) Presses for better accommodation and realistic grants for all students.
  6. Greater student participation at all levels.

Proposer’s statement

Why am I proposing Pamela Rose? Because Pam has never, and I am sure, will never, play the bureaucrat, will not pay overmuch attention to technicalities and tradition when something needs doing, nor will she spend her time defending her “power” against others -she will not indulge in the degrading in-fighting that characterised last year’s executive, and, if the other candidates are elected, seem likely to characterise next year’s as well!

I am sure that Pam realises that the only real power, the only worthwhile power, is that given by the full support of a large body of students.

Her tasks as Deputy President will not be to tell people what to do, but to do what people tell her.

Pamela, as a first year, has not held any official position, which can only be to her credit. For no one who has held office in recent years is untainted by the hurly-burlies, the fiascos and the incompetence of one executive after another.

That is why I am asking for, why I am confident of, your support for Pam Rose.

Phil Cohen, Arts, Proposer

Allun Pelleschi, Science

John Mortimer, Arts

Daphne Keen, Arts

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Author: Gerry

Retired college teacher living in Liverpool, UK.

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