2/15/2007

USI need to get real

I see that the 32 county student movement, USI, are to enter the fray of party politics. Now they are not standing in elections but they are moving there LGBT campaign into that arena.

It seems USI are going to do an audit of TDs’ votes For/Against the Civil Unions Bill when voting takes place in the Dáil next Wednesday.



USI have said that they will note precisely which TDs try to block the legislation in the Second Stage vote.

Now I am speaking as someone who supports the Civil Unions Bill but USI are coming out with some extremely rash statements. According to USI the “overwhelming majority” of the public support Civil Union legislation.

Now apart from the fact that they have no evidence to back this up it wouldn't matter as this is not a populous piece of legislation. It is above improving equality between all couples be they homosexual or heterosexual.

I do however disagree 100% with USI LGBT officer Steve Conlon when he argues that "USI continues to seek justice for same-sex couples who should have the right to marry in this State"

USI President Colm Hamrogue is a sound bloke, even if he is from Donegal, but he must be very careful about the direction in which he brings the student movement. Colm has political affiliations the same as the rest of us but he knows as well as I do that USI is not a body of independently minded students.

It is made up of factions off all the political parties, be it Sinn Féin, PD's, Fine Gael or even heaven forbid, Fianna Fail.

To suggest that USI will have any sway at all over the way students vote is absurd, the ice cream man down the street has more sway over peoples political voting habits.

Colm and USI, if they are to obtain a fair innings for students, must remain realistic in their methods. These kind of foolish statements will hardly make the Dept of Education listen to them more.

By all means, support the Civil Union bill but don't open yourselves up to the charge of being naive to the point of being ridiculous!

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