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Re: VSU delayed but anti-VSU academic sacked for supporting students

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  • lfom5608
    Hi Norman, Can I ask, in your opinion is the market ( voting with your feet ) the best way to ensure accountability? You seem to think so with student unions,
    Message 1 of 12 , Nov 1, 2005
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      Hi Norman,

      Can I ask, in your opinion is the market ('voting with your feet')
      the best way to ensure accountability? You seem to think so with
      student unions, does this extend to other spheres of social life -
      education, health, etc?

      Luke




      --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, •Ñ¤®måñ•
      <AdelaideGentleman@h...> wrote:
      >
      > I never said I wanted to eliminate Conservative dominated Student
      > Unions that is your choice, I said I didn't want to be forced to
      pay
      > for it. You seem to want to paint me as undemocratic and
      restrictive,
      > yet it is the Student Unions who fear openness and choice, they
      seem
      > genuinely terrified that they may have to answer to their members
      for
      > the way their dues are spent. If Student Unions aren't wasting
      members
      > fees they shouldn't have to worry about students deciding to vote
      with
      > their feet under Voluntary Unionism should they?
      >
      > Voluntary Unionism, just because you don't like it doesn't mean it
      is
      > undemocratic.
      >
      >
      >
      > Norman
      >
      >
    • •Ñ¤®måñ•
      No, I don t think that market forces are the best way of dealing with anything. The Compulsory Students Services Fee, which I previously stated I thought was a
      Message 2 of 12 , Nov 1, 2005
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        No, I don't think that market forces are the best way of dealing with
        anything. The Compulsory Students Services Fee, which I previously
        stated I thought was a good idea, certainly isn't free market. I also
        don't think you can compare essential services like Health and
        Education with a Student Union, but it doesn't surprise me that a
        Student Union would have the delusions of grandeur to see itself as
        comparable to essential services. Public spending on Health and
        Education is monitored, scrutinized and challenged by the opposition,
        independents, unions, pressure groups, the media and the public at
        large. Compulsory Student Unions reject any input from any of these
        groups, as clearly demonstrated by some of the irrational responses I
        have received describing my questioning of Compulsory Student Unionism
        as undemocratic, homophobic, against free speech. When, as is the
        current case, Compulsory Student Unions spend members fees for
        purposes other than what they were collected for, and refuse to be
        accountable to anyone, then I say take away their power to compel
        others to fund them. If they didn't have a history of wasting money
        and denying any criticism of that wastage I wouldn't have a problem
        with them.

        I think it is interesting that Compulsory Student Unions assume that
        given a choice most students wouldn't give them any money. What does
        that say about the accountability to members that Student Unions are
        currently under?



        Norman

        --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "lfom5608"
        <lfom5608@y...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi Norman,
        >
        > Can I ask, in your opinion is the market ('voting with your feet')
        > the best way to ensure accountability? You seem to think so with
        > student unions, does this extend to other spheres of social life -
        > education, health, etc?
        >
        > Luke
        [snip]
      • lfom5608
        Hi Norman, You reject the analogy with health and education (which I shall return to) on two bases: that these are essential while student unions are not,
        Message 3 of 12 , Nov 1, 2005
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          Hi Norman,

          You reject the analogy with health and education (which I shall
          return to) on two bases: that these are 'essential' while student
          unions are not, and that there is public scrutiny of these where
          there is not with student unions.

          On the first of these I guess we will have to agree to disagree. I
          think that the welfare services provided by student organisations,
          the resources they provide to students to organise and example they
          provide of non-market organisation is essential.

          On the second, I can only conclude that you have never actually been
          a member of a student organisation. I have been a member of two and
          witnessed the elections of others. In EVERY case the control of
          these organisations has been highly and visably contested. Usually
          there are two axis around which electioneering happens - general
          political direction and funding priorities. While financial openess
          varies, all incorporated associations (the majority of them) are
          required by law to give members yearly copies of audited accounts.
          The criticism I would make is that debate around funding issues is
          frequently more 'political' (about who is in control) than factual.
          This would be solved by a more energetic reporting of student
          association issues by student media.

          As for your comments about the "irrational" responses to your
          emails, I have to disagree. While some of the responses may be
          wrong, they have not been illogical. For example, you referred to
          the student newspaper at Flinders somewhat hysterically as a "guide
          on how to be gay" and then later as "porn". People drew the
          conclusion that you were homophobic. This, to me, does not seem an
          unresonable conclusion.

          Finally, the "assumption" that students would not voluntarily join
          student organisations is not a rhetorical device pulled from the
          air, but an analysis based on the experience of VSU in WA in the
          1990s.

          Having said all that, you have not really answered the substance of
          my question. All your arguments could equally be applied to
          education. Why should people be forced to send their kids to public
          schools? Shouldn't they be able to 'vote with their feet' if they
          don't like them?

          Luke








          --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, •Ñ¤®måñ•
          <AdelaideGentleman@h...> wrote:
          >
          > No, I don't think that market forces are the best way of dealing
          with
          > anything. The Compulsory Students Services Fee, which I previously
          > stated I thought was a good idea, certainly isn't free market. I
          also
          > don't think you can compare essential services like Health and
          > Education with a Student Union, but it doesn't surprise me that a
          > Student Union would have the delusions of grandeur to see itself as
          > comparable to essential services. Public spending on Health and
          > Education is monitored, scrutinized and challenged by the
          opposition,
          > independents, unions, pressure groups, the media and the public at
          > large. Compulsory Student Unions reject any input from any of these
          > groups, as clearly demonstrated by some of the irrational
          responses I
          > have received describing my questioning of Compulsory Student
          Unionism
          > as undemocratic, homophobic, against free speech. When, as is the
          > current case, Compulsory Student Unions spend members fees for
          > purposes other than what they were collected for, and refuse to be
          > accountable to anyone, then I say take away their power to compel
          > others to fund them. If they didn't have a history of wasting money
          > and denying any criticism of that wastage I wouldn't have a problem
          > with them.
          >
          > I think it is interesting that Compulsory Student Unions assume
          that
          > given a choice most students wouldn't give them any money. What
          does
          > that say about the accountability to members that Student Unions
          are
          > currently under?
          >
          >
          >
          > Norman
          >
        • Nick Fredman
          ... Norman, your arguments are highly illogical and inconsistent. You ve said you support a compulsory fee, and oppose compulsory membership. This is the exact
          Message 4 of 12 , Nov 1, 2005
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            Norman:

            >I support freedom of speech. Please don't make up lies about me.

            Norman, your arguments are highly illogical and inconsistent. You've
            said you support a compulsory fee, and oppose compulsory membership.
            This is the exact opposite of democracy and free speech. The
            Americans fought a revolutionary war against taxation without
            representation 230 years ago you know.

            You argue in abstract principles with no reference to what the
            government's actually doing and why. You've got no answers to the
            links I previously made between VSU and the other attacks by the
            government on free speech and freedom of association.

            If you think it's fair that an academic is sacked (and yes he was
            sacked, he held a permanent position but was on probabtion, and not a
            casual worker, so it's not a simple question of a non-renewal of
            contract), for merely rescheduling a class, which academics do all
            the time, you're as utterly reactionary as the government about the
            rights of students *and* workers to organise, and it's hard to see
            why you're on a left-wing discussion list.

            I'm about to go to a meeting of the executive of my branch of the
            National Tertiary Education Union, to work out what we're going to do
            about the university cutting off access to all university facilities
            from the staff unions, email, meeting rooms, everything, an attack
            which results from government blackmail (tying funding to
            univiersities adopting their IR policies) so I've got no more
            patience for your bullshit about where denial of free speech is
            coming from.

            --
            ***********************************

            Nick Fredman
            Student Rights Advocate
            Southern Cross University (Lismore)
            Student Representative Council

            Shop 9 Plaza, SCU Lismore

            Available Mon-Thur 9am-5pm
            Ph: 02 6626 9346, freecall 1800 223 044
            Email: srcsra@...
            web: http://www.lismoresrc.org.au/

            *********************************
          • •Ñ¤®måñ•
            I have already answered as to the free market. And it would seem we hold substantially different views as to what constitutes essential services. Plus, it
            Message 5 of 12 , Nov 2, 2005
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              I have already answered as to the free market. And it would seem we
              hold substantially different views as to what constitutes essential
              services. Plus, it would seem that our views on accountability differ
              wildly, you seem to feel it is sufficient to have accurate records of
              when Student Union Fees are misspent, where as I believe there needs
              to be clear corrective measures taken for accountability to exist. If
              newspaper editors are publishing pornography or "Thieving Manuals"
              they should be sacked and forced to repay the money wasted on their
              publications, and if Union officials are found donating members fees
              to political groups they should be removed from office and forced to
              repay the money. Since we cannot agree as to what constitutes neither
              essential services nor accountability it would seem that further
              discussion on VSU is pointless and I therefore intend to drop the matter.





              Norman




              --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "lfom5608"
              <lfom5608@y...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi Norman,
              >
              > You reject the analogy with health and education (which I shall
              > return to) on two bases: that these are 'essential' while student
              > unions are not, and that there is public scrutiny of these where
              > there is not with student unions.
              >
              > On the first of these I guess we will have to agree to disagree. I
              > think that the welfare services provided by student organisations,
              > the resources they provide to students to organise and example they
              > provide of non-market organisation is essential.
              >
              > On the second, I can only conclude that you have never actually been
              > a member of a student organisation. I have been a member of two and
              > witnessed the elections of others. In EVERY case the control of
              > these organisations has been highly and visably contested. Usually
              > there are two axis around which electioneering happens - general
              > political direction and funding priorities. While financial openess
              > varies, all incorporated associations (the majority of them) are
              > required by law to give members yearly copies of audited accounts.
              > The criticism I would make is that debate around funding issues is
              > frequently more 'political' (about who is in control) than factual.
              > This would be solved by a more energetic reporting of student
              > association issues by student media.
              >
              > As for your comments about the "irrational" responses to your
              > emails, I have to disagree. While some of the responses may be
              > wrong, they have not been illogical. For example, you referred to
              > the student newspaper at Flinders somewhat hysterically as a "guide
              > on how to be gay" and then later as "porn". People drew the
              > conclusion that you were homophobic. This, to me, does not seem an
              > unresonable conclusion.
              >
              > Finally, the "assumption" that students would not voluntarily join
              > student organisations is not a rhetorical device pulled from the
              > air, but an analysis based on the experience of VSU in WA in the
              > 1990s.
              >
              > Having said all that, you have not really answered the substance of
              > my question. All your arguments could equally be applied to
              > education. Why should people be forced to send their kids to public
              > schools? Shouldn't they be able to 'vote with their feet' if they
              > don't like them?
              >
              > Luke
              [snip]
            • •Ñ¤®måñ•
              My responses are below in amoungst the previous post. ... Democracy and Free Speech are not the same thing, it is incredible to me that you would think they
              Message 6 of 12 , Nov 2, 2005
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                My responses are below in amoungst the previous post.


                --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, Nick Fredman
                <srcsra@s...> wrote:
                >
                > Norman:
                >
                > >I support freedom of speech. Please don't make up lies about me.
                >
                > Norman, your arguments are highly illogical and inconsistent. You've
                > said you support a compulsory fee, and oppose compulsory membership.
                > This is the exact opposite of democracy and free speech.




                Democracy and Free Speech are not the same thing, it is incredible to
                me that you would think they are the same thing. Australia is a
                democracy yet take note of the new Antiterrorism Laws especially those
                dealing with sedition.




                > Americans fought a revolutionary war against taxation without
                > representation 230 years ago you know.


                Yes I did know, I have a minor in American Studies, and yet I still
                don't regard you as a revolutionary



                >
                > You argue in abstract principles with no reference to what the
                > government's actually doing and why. You've got no answers to the
                > links I previously made between VSU and the other attacks by the
                > government on free speech and freedom of association.


                I haven't answered those links because I reject them completely, the
                fact that the government may do a billion and one other wrong things
                in no way effects the merits of what they have planned for you.





                >
                > If you think it's fair that an academic is sacked (and yes he was



                That is a big if since I never said anything of the sort.



                > sacked, he held a permanent position but was on probabtion, and not a
                > casual worker, so it's not a simple question of a non-renewal of
                > contract), for merely rescheduling a class, which academics do all
                > the time, you're as utterly reactionary as the government about the
                > rights of students *and* workers to organise, and it's hard to see


                And you still haven't explained why he didn't teach his regular class
                and put on another for union activists, but then of course you
                wouldn't want a little thing like consideration for ALL students to
                get in the way of anointing your new martyr.





                > why you're on a left-wing discussion list.


                So I can have intellectual discussions with charming individuals such
                as yourself





                >
                > I'm about to go to a meeting of the executive of my branch of the
                > National Tertiary Education Union, to work out what we're going to do
                > about the university cutting off access to all university facilities
                > from the staff unions, email, meeting rooms, everything, an attack
                > which results from government blackmail (tying funding to
                > univiersities adopting their IR policies) so I've got no more
                > patience for your bullshit about where denial of free speech is
                > coming from.



                Denial of free speech? I truly cannot follow what it is you are trying
                to communicate, your ramblings and convoluted associations make little
                if any sense, I would suggest you try less time on the picket line and
                more in the class room. It is clear that communication between us is
                not going to improve so I intened to drop this matter.


                Norman
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