The Association of Moderate Students

The Association of Moderate Students came to prominence with the protest which it organised outside Senate House on the first afternoon of the occupation. But it appears to have been active as early as the beginning of February, issuing the following leaflet immediately after the collapse of Guild government following the vote of no confidence on 9 February:

ASSOCIATION OF MODERATE STUDENTS, RIGHT ASSOCIATION, CONSERVATIVE ASSOCIATION:
JOINT STATEMENT WITH THE ‘SILENT MAJORITY’

Last night saw the fourth successive meeting of Guild Council end in sheer chaos – once again broken up by Soc.Soc and allied friends. As usual, they were led by DAVE ROBERTSON – you all know Dave (so do the Labour Exchange), Dave, the “professional revolutionary Socialist”.

They (SocSoc) decided to talk about South African investments and Lord Salisbury, and changed Council agenda to do this. As usual they picked on a worthwhile cause, fermented support for it, then used and twisted that support to their own ends.

Having decided to give all our investments, some £28,000 to Socialist South African Freedom Fighters (we’ll see what the courts have to say about that), they proceeded to attack Executive.

Ever since they were so decisively beaten in the Referendum (1951-690), they have tried to get at Executive – the SYSTEM, not the PERSONALITIES.

Meeting after meeting, the same old faces propose votes of censure and no confidence in Executive for whatever reason best fits the occasion. They say the referendum result was unrepresentative as only the votes of ‘thinking people’ should count. DO YOU THINK?  This time the Salisbury sit-in was the centrepiece; it could have been anything.  “Why did you invite the 76 year old Chancellor of the University to Guild Ball?” they asked. “Why did you send Lady Salisbury flowers?”.

“We have no confidence in you” they said. Since the referendum, Politics Society have insisted that they have 67 reps on Guild Council. They have constantly disrupted Council. Council last night was led yet again into a state of confusion, passed the motion upon which Mr Macmillan, Miss Farmer, Mr Brown, Mr Lewis, Mr Charlwood and Mr Coker resigned.

There followed an occupation of the President’s office, where they caused an unholy mess – the other offices were immediately locked. They chanted, ”The revolution has come”. They are hoping to elect an interim Executive. This is illegal – WE MUST STOP THEM. Come to a meeting of the Association of Moderate Students at 4.30 pm TONIGHT in the CROSBY ROOM, then adjourn to the Mountford Hall at 5.15 pm.

Stop £28,000 of your money being milked away. They talk of evading the law. Once and for all, the majority must say what it thinks.

PETTY POLITICS IS ONE THING: £28,000 IS ANOTHER!

Don’t demand; don’t occupy!

On 2 March, the Association distributed the following leaflet in advance of that day’s Mass Meeting at which the first proposal to occupy Senate House was to be made.  It was a response to the Socialist Society leaflet advocating occupation:

Yesterday, Soc Soc, produced a sheet giving a number of reasons – many of them coloured by emotions and others with factual errors – for occupying Senate.

Six weeks of term have gone during which a number of demands have been sent to Senate. A demand is of essence not respectful in its approach, and not conducive to an attitude of goodwill in the people concerned. The phrasing of the demands concerned with apartheid could in fact be termed inflammatory in tone.

How can Senate answer a question – biological warfare – when the people they are answering would in all probability classify any virus research as if it could be used for germ warfare?

The Salisbury issue was raised largely by extreme left majorities in just-quorate mass meetings. South Africa happened to be convenient. No attempt has been made to understand the white South-African fears after the Congo, and at present Kenya attitudes to whites . These people are scared of the blacks over-reacting to a slight release of the thumb, although, we all agree, the situation is abominable.

But look all round the world at racialism, religion, political beliefs etc. Any large firm which is a sound investment has almost invariably got investments in South Africa amongst many international commitments. Withdrawing these investments could be economically crippling to the firms, and to the country.

South Africa could carry on running the capital equipment left behind without any outside help.

The University has done its best to steer clear of any interference with the autonomy of the Union, and has clearly stated the position, However, resignation of Guild Council (pressurised by strong left-wing political viewpoints) meant that the bank – NOT the University – refuses to cash cheques from Guild since they cannot be legal. Hence, to keep the Union open, the University must lend money to pay staff and running costs. If this was not done, the Union would close. This ‘serious infringment of autonomy’ is essential.

The Vice-Chancellor was in all probability not asked in a polite manner to speak. In addition, we are all aware that certain Union members would make it near impossible for the man to speak owing to their ill-mannered interruptions, and lack of understanding of any point of view differing from their own.

If it were not for industrial investment in the universities, there would be a retardation in research progress, and hence in university development in Britain.

It is unlikely that the University has political files on students. Private files with each tutor and department are necessary for a reference before leaving University. Any interference with University files will reveal University affairs and commitments (financial, appointment of staff, salaries etc.) which no student has the right to know. These are necessary for administration, and of necessity are confidential.

WE DO NOT WANT A “POLICE CAMPUS” WITH A STUDENT MINORITY TAKING THE ROLE OF  “POLICE”.

Any gaps in communication are more likely to be caused by lack of tact in approaching Senate , and by militants in a student minority than by absolute unwillingness to speak on the part of Senate.

What are we here for? To be educated. We are not here to spend all our time engaged in political backchat. Those who are conceited enough to think their ideals are better than others, and who consider they can both run the University and get a degree must not be allowed to overrule the majority viewpoint.

The protest on the first day of the occupation

The next time the Association of Moderate Students manifested itself was in the march to Senate House on the afternoon of 9 March shortly after the occupation had begun. This action was marked by a violent attempt by some of the ‘moderates’ to break into Senate House.

This leaflet was circulated by the Association on March 10, the second day of the occupation:

Guild of Undergraduates Association of Moderate Students

Yesterday, SocSoc produced a sheet giving a number of reasons – many of coloured by emotions and others with factual errors – for occupying Senate.

Six weeks of term have gone during which a number of demands have been sent to Senate. A demand is of essence not respectful in its approach, and not conducive to an attitude of goodwill in the people concerned. The phrasing of the demands concerned with apartheid could in fact be termed inflammatory in tone.

How can Senate answer a question – biological warfare – when the people they are answering would in all probability classify any virus research as if it could be for germ warfare?

The Salisbury issue was raised largely by extreme left majorities in just-quorate mass meetings. South Africa happened to be convenient. No attempt has been made to understand the white South-African fears after the Congo, and, at present, Kenyan attitudes to whites. These people are scared of the blacks over-reacting to a slight release of the thumb, although, we all agree, the situation is abominable. But look all round the world at racialism, religion, political beliefs etc.

Any large firm which is a sound investment has almost invariably got investments in South Africa, amongst many international commitments.  Withdrawing investments could be economically crippling to the firms, and to the country. South Africa could carry on running the capital equipment left behind without any outside help.

The University has done its best to steer clear of any interference with the autonomy of the Union, and has clearly stated the position. However, resignation of Guild Council (pressurised by strong left-wing political viewpoints) meant that the bank – NOT the University – refuses to cash cheques from Guild since they cannot be legal. Hence, to keep the Union open, the University must lend money to pay staff and running costs. If this was not done, the Union would close. This ‘serious infringement of autonomy’ is essential.

The Vice Chancellor was in all probability not asked in a polite manner to speak. In addition, we are all aware that certain Union members would make it near impossible for the man to speak owing to their ill-mannered interruptions, and lack of understanding of any point of view differing from the ir own.

If it were not for industrial investment in the Universities, there would be a retardation in research progress, and hence in University development in Britain.

It is unlikely that the University has political files on students.  Private  files with each tutor and department are necessary for reference before leaving University. Any interference with University files will reveal University affairs and commitments (financial, appointment of staff, salaries etc.) which no student has the right to know. These are necessary for administration, and of necessity are confidential.

WE DO NOT WANT A ”POLICE CAMPUS” WITH A STUDENT MINORITY TAKING THE ROLE OF “POLICE”

Any gaps in communication are more likely to be caused by lack of tact in approaching Senate, and by militants in a student minority than by absolute unwillingness to speak on the part of Senate.

What are we here for? To be educated. We are not here to spend all our time engaged in political backchat. Those who are conceited enough to think their ideals are better than others, and who consider they can both run the University and get a degree must not be allowed to overrule the majority viewpoint.

After a sham vote in a meeting 1,500 strong, 300 students have seen fit to throw representative democracy to the winds and to sit-in in the name of the students of the University of Liverpool.

We, representing the majority view of the Guild of Undergraduates, as shown in the vote taken after the end of the Vice-Chancellor’s Meeting in the Students’ Union, strongly and unconditionally disassociate ourselves from any militant action.

We are emphatic in condemning this action of a minority group which is totally unrepresentative of the Guild.

Therefore, we demand that the militants remove themselves immediately from the administrative building of the University and end their childish and irresponsible action.

We have no political axe to grind, neither are we racialist, as the militants might suggest. But we cannot allow this small minority to blacken the name of the responsible and intelligent students of Liverpool University.

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