Thursday, 11 November 2010

Pressure Mounts on NUS President Aaron Porter

This letter landed in TB's inbox this morning and he is sure that the ringleader of yesterday's fun and games - the President of the National Union of Students - Aaron Porter a) did not sleep well last night, and b) will face the wrath of those students who wanted to protest peacefully.

Aaron Porter's appalling planning of yesterday's protest has left the already bruised reputation of the NUS in tatters and to suggest that Mr Porter could be allowed to oversee another such demonstration is laughable.

He was in charge, and as soon as it went wrong he did a runner, sending a mere tweet, spinning that it was just a
couple of bad eggs
. The truth is there were thousands of students he could not control.

It was immediately clear that he could not, and had not, properly briefed the police with exactly who he had invited, and in many cases bussed in, to his big day.
Aaron Porter
President of the National Union of Students
4th Floor 184-192
Drummond Street
London NW1 3HP

Andre Walker
████ █, ██ ████████ ██████
████ ███

10th November 2010

Dear Mr Porter,

I want to bitterly complain about the behaviour of yourself and your staff. I attended today’s protest as a civil servant and a Birkbeck College student. My efforts to join you were met with abuse and threats of violence. I think the level of violence and intimidation is well known to you so I will not elaborate further.

In my view, you should resign as you failed to properly control your event. I am appalled by the fact that you left the scene and spent time conducting media interviews while you should have been taking responsibility for the violence and hatred you unleashed. It was also sad to see that your cowardice in this matter was followed by your stewards, all of whom had retreated when the risk to the public was greatest.

I think that in this difficult period real leadership is best displayed by having the decency to admit you were wrong and accept the consequences. Can you imagine the NUS limping on with you in charge?

Should you wish to discuss this with me personally my number is 07███ ███ ███.

Yours in sadness,

Andre Walker
Birkbeck College Student
Postgraduate Journalism
TB feels it could be a tricky day for Mr President, he spoke to him briefly yesterday in the Sky News studios and Mr Porter was adamant he was not going to blame the police. If that is the case then who else could possibly be responsible for such a spectacular cock-up? The police say they were not warned. Why not Aaron?

Can Aaron Porter be sure that no NUS hacks were involved in the destruction of Millbank Tower and 30 Millbank?


Right Friendly

Greg Hands tweeted yesterday that Aaron Porter is a Labour party politician and graduated over four years ago, so Porter's attempts to distance himself and his Union/members from what happened is looking increasingly dubious.

As we know, this is how Labour always operate, aided by their good buddies in the Unions, so the picture that is gradually emerging gives an ever stronger impression that it was intended.

It was observed that a number of "peaceful" demonstrators had brought paint spray cans with them; and the wording on their placards was a good indicator of their nature. Porter's level of language on TV just a week earlier (described elsewhere as "extreme") also gives us a further clue; and there are more, far too many to list here (as this comment is starting to get a bit long, I notice).

Anonymous said...

"Can Aaron Porter be sure that no NUS hacks were involved in the destruction of Millbank Tower and 30 Millbank?"

Well he sat next to Clare Solomon, President of ULU last night on Newsnight when she admitted being involved (as she had done earlier in the day on News 24, and apparently this morning on BBC Breakfast).


It just goes to show that TB has never been on a demonstration. Let me give you an example.

On Oct 3rd the Right To Work rally marched the streets of Brum in protest of the cuts that Osborne (then in the conference centre for the Tory conference) was planning. The West Midlands police created a "security zone" around the ICC to keep the protesters away. This "security zone" was nothing to do with terrorism, it was about the march. I know this because after the march finished I walked back to New Street station through the security zone and there were no police at that time because almost all the marchers had come by coach which were parked at the end of the march and so it was only a few of us who had to get other transport.

There was a collection of anarchists on that march. Everyone was shunning them because they were extremely abusive, and because it was intimidating that they all had their faces covered. (I noticed from the TV coverage of yesterday that many of the people in 30 Millbank had their faces covered.) Such people attach themselves to any march. It happens, there is nothing that the organisers can do because - and here's the clue for you - people are *free* to protest and *free* to join a march.

When I saw the anarchists I moved away from them towards the front of the march. When I walked back to the railway station after the march I found out what had happened to them. They had tried to break away from the prescribed route (recognise that?) and so the West Midlands police had "kettled" them. There was a ring of police officers around the anarchists and police dogs were brought in.

Clearly the Met could and should have done this. It was quite clear to the police that there would be flashpoints and Millbank Tower was an obvious one. We have to find out why they didn't do this. I would suggest that the Home Secretary's slashing of police budgets has a lot to do with it. (Hint to Theresa May: when you are planning to be the most unpopular government in a generation, the last thing you should cut is the very people who are there to protect you.)

Anonymous said...

People need to trawl through the photos and identify students and ring leaders, id focus on the ULU leadership first, followed by Goldsmiths and UCLU, time to ruin their lives.

Anonymous said...

This Birckbeck student likes to wantonly split infinitives.



Anonymous said...

"I would suggest that the Home Secretary's slashing of police budgets has a lot to do with it"
so therefore the police are stupid and in breach of the faith we as the public put in them to serve us! and you are just serving the lie that this is just a 'tiny minority' not the hundreds as seen on film have you looked at the N.U.S posters 'demolition' 'we will riot' ? very middle ground and freindly.
I know where my propaganda comes from! where does yours? .

Anonymous said...

In the interest of full disclosure, shouldn't Mr Walker have also admitted that he is a Tory activist and on the payroll of a Tory MP, not to mention, by the looks of it, a pretty unpleasant piece of work:

Why is there a silence from CF? When their party HQ is trashed by an organisation they want to work closer with you'd have thought they'd issue a strong, angry condemnation.

Is the CF leadership really that weak?

Steve Jones said...

From The Guardian

"The Metropolitan police, who had been briefing reporters on the eve of the march to expect "nothing out of the ordinary" from the demonstration, had clearly been overwhelmed. The scale of the demonstration became apparent hours earlier, when tens of thousands gathered near Trafalgar Square at midday for a march intended to take them along the Embankment, past Westminster to Millbank, where they were told to gather for speeches.

The Met had been told to expect 15,000 protesters, and briefed journalists the night before that the National Union of Students, which co-organised the march with the University and College Union, may have inflated their numbers.

At it turned out, the figures were an underestimate."

Hardly Aeron's fault.


Is Andre Walker saying he wanted to protest against his own party?

The government really is in trouble if their own hacks are turning against them.

Anonymous said...

Someone needs to next Thursday 1-2 at the LSE weekly Union General meeting and whenever the SOAS equivalent is.

Anonymous said...

Someone needs to next Thursday 1-2 at the LSE weekly Union General meeting and whenever the SOAS equivalent is. Thats bound to weed some of them out.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Clair Soloman a member of the SWP? She now is heavily involved in Counterfire.

Googling Clare Solomon produced the following.

Googling Counterfire produces further interesting lines to pursue.

Anonymous said...

Clare Solomon has indeed made a name for herself and taken so much attention from other, more sensible and less militant campaigners including Aaron Porter, who previously had the sympathy of many members of the public. However, I believe that her comments, as well as her manner, will lose considerable public support for those students whom she purports to care about.
The damage to property and the terror felt by many of those present at the riots, as well as those people who did not actually attend the demonstration/s, who had previously felt sympathy for the students' cause and who oppose encouraging and/or carrying out destruction and violence, revolts many people who although not students themselves, oppose the Liberal Democrats' decision to break their election promises.
There is no justification whatsoever for the disgraceful behaviour which took place at Millbank and the National Union of Students has lost so much public support, as well as the credibility of all its members and officials. I believe that Clare Solomon's failure to condemn such violence and destruction does her no credit and unfortunately it reflects with discredit upon everyone involved, regardless of whether or not they indulged in criminal behaviour.
Incidently, I didn't see Clare Solomon wearing a poppy during her early morning BBC interview on November 11 when she had so much to say and I wondered whether or not she was wearing one. It could of course be that I missed sight of it, due to my poor eyesight, but it led me to wonder whether or not she was wearing a poppy in memory of all those who gave their lives in order that that she and her ilk could enjoy freedom of speech, no matter how discordant, dangerous, or inflamatory, her words might be interpreted or considered by others.

Anonymous said...

You know the NUS is not militant, Porter had bugger all control over what went on at Milbank. Whatever your views, and they need not saying. Please stop conflating the agitation with the scummy NUS. At least allow the Militants to take the credit for what they did, it was in defiance of the NUS. The NUS are on your side.

Anonymous said...

At uni in 1968/9 when Straw an NUS top dog. Master Porter's profile and characteristics assure his future.

Mark said...

Seems a little odd that the first time the police lose control of a march in London for years is outside Tory HQ three months after the govt announced a big cut in police numbers.

If I were a Tory minister, I wouldn't phone 999 any time soon.

Anonymous said...

Howlett must resign over this, his "NUS Partnership" has bought disgrace upon himself and the Party.

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