We hear from Daphne Anson’s blog that the BDS contagion has spread to Europe’s largest student union in London. According to the BDS Movement’s announcement, the ULU (which represents students at the colleges which comprise the University of London in the UK) has voted, apparently overwhelmingly at 10 – 1, to adopt a resolution in favour of BDS.
This should not be surprising, given the pattern of entryist activity which seems to feed BDS and to follow it around like a bad smell through student bodies in the UK and particularly in London, coupled with the glaring lack of presence of UK-based Israel or Jewish student unions at such debates, but the “overwhelming” vote of confidence in the motion merits much closer examination before we accept it without question:
My source tells me that this majority is in fact the result of block voting. It seems that the university Senate operates in a similar way to the UK Parliament, where the population elects MPs who in turn, make decisions informed by debates at meetings unless they are otherwise instructed by their students.
I would like to know whether this motion was fully debated in every institution and by what size majority the vote for BDS was carried and have asked my source to try to find out exactly how many individual students gave instructions to their representatives to vote for and how many against (so as to get a more accurate reading of whether there is indeed such overwhelming support for BDS) but am told that even the President elect of the ULU is in total ignorance of the statistics and has referred my source back to the ULU itself.
To suggest reasons for the ULU’s apparent BDS “success” we need only to refer to the history of the UK Labour party and its experience of the extreme Left’s use of block voting to carry its own agenda. The following snippet from a paper about Labour’s electoral nadir may begin the process:
"…. The 1979 Conference approved a proposal to examine the issue of re-selection and suggest a Constitutional amendment which would be placed before the 1980 Conference. At that conference, the amendment was passed by 3,798,000 votes for to 3,341,000 against (RACLP, 1980: 297).7 Under the new rules therefore, all MPs faced a larger degree of constraint and uncertainty in their actions, since any Member whose opinions differed from their local constituency activists now faced the prospect of losing their jobs, even if they were preferred by the majority of the constituency’s electorate. …
” ( 7 At this time, the high figures were due to the trade union ‘block votes’, which reflected the size of the unions, rather than the individual members of the Labour Party itself. Under the block voting system, trade unions controlled ninety per cent of votes at the Party Conference.) “
My emphasis is at footnote 7.
Note that the author says that the high voting figures are as a result of the trade union block votes and reflected the size of the unions rather than individual Labour Party members. The sentence following that may provide a clue as to why there seems to be apparently overwhelming support for BDS at ULU. Note also the reference to the power of activists in the following:
“… Under the new rules therefore, all MPs faced a larger degree of constraint and uncertainty in their actions, since any Member whose opinions differed from their local constituency activists now faced the prospect of losing their jobs, even if they were preferred by the majority of the constituency’s electorate..”
Using the same analogy, I ask readers to consider whether representatives who disagreed withBDS would be“deselected” in favour of those who would carry forward the motion? I am intrigued by the one brave soul who stood against it and the number of students he/she claimed to represent. As I noted above, I asked my source to try to get those “for” and “against” figures, in terms of numbers of students who were consulted or who voted, from the ULU.
Somehow I doubt that they will be forthcoming. If I receive them I shall update this article accordingly. In the meantime, I would suggest that we take the BDS Movement’s allegedly overwhelming victory with a huge pinch of salt.