Because I’m mentally, spiritually and, increasingly, physically about 85 and therefore laughably out of touch, I hadn’t realised Shelly Asquith was already up for re-election as NUS Welfare Vice-President.
I first became aware of Shelly when she was president of the student union of the University of the Arts in London, and already one of the country’s most prominent radical young campaigners.
There, while still managing to be active in everything from Palestinian solidarity to LGBTIQ rights campaigns, she was at the forefront of the fight for free education, and against austerity’s devastating impact on our schools, colleges and universities.
Unsurprisingly, given her flabbergasting work ethic and popularity with students, she went on to be elected Welfare VP – where she’s launched offensives on rip-off landlords, cuts to already-threadbare mental health provision, and become one of the strongest voices against the absurdity of the government’s PREVENT agenda (basic premise, let’s stop the radicalisation of young British Muslims by victimising and alienating young British Muslims, while clamping down on any political or ideological resistance to the marauding neoliberal status quo). Continue reading