Racial Equalities candidate denies UKIP connections

Racial Equalities Officer candidate Sam Westrop has denied any connection with the UK Independence Party, despite claims from party members.

Several photographs and videos on the internet show Westrop socialising at party events with major UKIP figures, including Nigel Farage, founding member and current leader of UKIP. One photograph shows Westrop at the 2008 UKIP conference, a trip that he was sponsored to attend.

Speaking to Nouse, Westrop said: “I only agree with their decision to pull out of the EU. I firmly condemn their policies on immigration.”

When asked about Westrop’s involvement with the party, the UKIP Press Office told Nouse: “We’re not sure if he’s a member of the party, but he is a party sympathiser. He keeps in close contact with a lot of party members.”

The UK Independence Party advocates very strict regulations on legal immigration, going as far as to call for a “five year moratorium” on immigration in their latest manifesto. Previous manifesto documents have claimed that “The first responsibility of a British Government is to its own population, not to those who would like to settle here”, and that human rights laws must be different for people entering the country.

westrop2Westrop is the current chair of the York Freedom Society, which invited UKIP MEP Geoffrey Bloom to speak at their event on May 12. A statement on the Freedom Society website claims that the talk, on the need to withdraw from the European Union, was “warmly received”.

When asked about Westrop’s suitability for the role, YUSU Academic and Welfare Officer Charlie Leyland said: “I hope that all candidates have been upfront about their political views in order for the student population to make an informed vote. We ask all candidates for this reason to declare any affiliations to any political party.”

At the pre campaign hustings meeting on Wednesday, Westrop stated that if elected to the role of Racial Equalities Officer, he would serve to “eliminate all forms of positive discrimination” from campus.

Photo used under Creative Commons agreement by The Freedom Association.

54 comments

  1. I wonder if Nouse got the copyright holder’s permission before reproducing these photographs?

    As long as he’s not a party member he’s done nothing wrong. This article only serves to infer wrongdoing and connections that simply cannot be verified and are denied by the candidate.

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  2. 22 May ’09 at 7:27 pm

    George Papadofragakis

    Even if Sam is officially a UKIP member, which he claims he isn’t, then his only real ‘crime’ would be that he did not clearly state that in his nomination form. On the other hand, whether he actually sympathizes with UKIP is completely irrelevant – it is his right to and he has no obligation to inform us about it.

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  3. Same as the above two: most people that are allied to UKIP instead of the BNP do so because they see the EU as ineffective whereas most BNP supporters are keen on the whole race/etc. malarky.

    But it could easily bother some people so it’s worth noting and if he is a member then he has broken election rules by not including it on his form. I’m not certain how UKIP is “not sure” whether he is or not though. Surely it would be on record somewhere?

    The biggest thing people should be focussing on is what he has done as Freedom Society Chair, etc., and what his policies are. This includes hosting a UKIP MEP and opposing positive discrimination. If people support that, that’s their right. If people oppose that, that’s their right. I’m not certain that there’s a difference. Either way, I would suggest from Sam’s own words about freedom that he would be opposed to the EU because of its affect on sovereignty – and I don’t think it has much bearing on his position as Racial Equality Officer. It’s up to the voters to decide, though.

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  4. 22 May ’09 at 7:56 pm

    Something Good 2009

    Why does Jason Rose have to comment on everything? Now he’s commenting on a story regarding a potential SU colleague. There’s a reason you don’t see Charlie, Rory and any of the non-sab officers commenting on Nouse articles! It’s because they have a little professionalism and adhere to the conventions – not to mention communications rules – which govern how YUSU officers comment/act toward the media and in public.

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  5. Something Good 2009: “There’s a reason you don’t see Charlie, Rory and any of the non-sab officers commenting on Nouse articles!”

    Nouse article: “When asked about Westrop’s suitability for the role, YUSU Academic and Welfare Officer Charlie Leyland said: I hope that all candidates have been upfront about their political views in order for the student population to make an informed vote. We ask all candidates for this reason to declare any affiliations to any political party.”

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  6. Find communications rules that state I can’t comment on here – I’m dying to read them!

    Unless you’re referring to the Media Charter, which I have a copy of.

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  7. If he is a member but hasn’t declared it on his nomination form, that is a clear breach of rules. At the same time, this whole event has given him an unfair advantage in terms of publicity – this article didn’t even mention the other candidates. In my opinion, this constitutes a serious issue that any disciplinary action short of disqualifiation will not be able to adress.

    Westrop also made several comments at hustings that demonstrated a profound lack of knowledge of the role – he did not know there was a welfare committe (Equality, Diversity & Welfare Committee) and stated that YUSU have a no-platform policy (which it does not – NUS does, but it does not apply to individual SUs)

    Finally, it’s Godfrey Bloom, not Geoffrey Bloom

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  8. The videos for the racial equality candidates who attended hustings are now online on the YSTV website and in the original article.

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  9. “Westrop stated that if elected to the role of Racial Equalities Officer, he would serve to “eliminate all forms of positive discrimination” from campus.”

    That sounds like equality in action to me.

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  10. 23 May ’09 at 12:38 am

    Gawain Towler

    Just a little heads up,

    Came across this quite discussion late on a Friday, but was mildly aware of the issue.

    Sam Westrop is not a member of UKIP. I checked.

    He is a member of the Freedom Associaton, and it was wearing that hat that he was invited to the UKIP conference last year. (Along with representatives from the Tax Payers Alliance, the Humanist Society and others).

    I, (as a press officer for UKIP) amdelighted that he is a suporter of UKIP’s key aim for our country to regain democratic control of our destiny, but we cannot claim him as a member.

    Thus I suspect he does not breach YUSU rules.

    Hell, I was elected L&G officer at York as a Tory, and though I annoyed those who felt it was a sinecure post for thepolitically driven left, nobody from the L&G community (as it was called at the time) I do not think that anybody felt that I was unable to do the job, indeed that I failed in any way to do the job.

    I doubt that anybody energised enough to vote is unaware of Sam’s philosophical perspective. Freedom without coercion.

    No rule has been broken,

    Yours sincerely

    Gawain Towler

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  11. where can a copy of the media charter be viewed/obtained?

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  12. 23 May ’09 at 1:39 am

    Simon Franzen

    As the individual to the far left of the picture I feel I can explain in what context it was taken.

    The picture was taken during a “Freedom in the City” event organised by the Freedom Association, and those of us went down to see him speak were there as representatives of the York branch of the Freedom Association, and are in no way affiliated with UKIP.

    Although I do agree with the UKIP on the EU, I find UKIPs immigration policy abhorrent, and did confront Farage after his speech. To say that his answers were weak would be to put it mildy, and I will not vote for them in the coming European elections.

    This article seems like nothing more than a smear job to taint Sam with the UKIP stamp, a party he is not a member of.

    A link to the event can be found on the Freedom in the City website, here: http://www.tfa.net/freedominthecity/2009/05/120-guests-pack-city-lecture-theatre-to-hear-nigel-farage-mep.html

    A question about the picture, did nouse ask the Freedom Association for permission before using it?

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  13. I can’t verify that nobody in that photo with Nigel Farage is in UKIP… in fact most of them disagree beyond strongly with UKIP. Being in the same room with someone does not mean that you support them. Listening to someone speak does not mean you agree with them. Nouse need to get their facts right before they write articles.

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  14. that is meant to say *can verify, as opposed to ‘can’t.’

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  15. http://www.democracyforum.co.uk/ukip-general-issues/61677-anyone-know-sam-westrop.html

    Seems news travels fast these days.

    Also the line “despite claims from party members” makes it seem as if the party are saying he’s a UKIP member, which as we’ve seen he’s not. Surely someone can attend events with political speakers without having to share the same views as them?

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  16. 23 May ’09 at 3:32 am

    Richard Strange

    If the authors of this piece had any legitimate evidence of Westrop being a UKIP member, then surely it would have been published in place of this unwise and overreaching article? Which by the way, never mentions these apparent ‘claims by party members’ outside of the first sentence. The publication of these ‘claims’ or an adequate explanation of why they were not published, is surely central to the underlying premise of this article? Without this, it is left bereft of any integrity and ultimately any point whatsoever.

    Yellow journalism or politically motivated slander? Either way, an utter waste of the authors’ time and a disservice to both the Nouse and to Sam Westrop, who is surely owed an apology.

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  17. This is a classic journalistic case of adding two and two together to make five.

    As Director of The Freedom Association, I first met Sam Westrop last summer. He made it very clear to me then that, though he supported the UK Independence Party’s principal policy of leaving the corrupt, costly and anti-democratic European Union, he had grave misgivings about the party’s immigration policies.

    I feel that Nouse’s piece attempts to create guilt by association. I also attend UKIP party conferences (as well as Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour ones) and have shared a drink or two with Nigel Farage MEP. That doesn’t make me a UKIP Member. The same is true for Sam Westrop. In fact, Sam has gone to considerable lengths to involve members of various political parties in the University of York Freedom Society and has had speakers from the Liberal Democrat, Liberal and Conservative parties at Freedom Society meetings.

    It’s not for me to comment on a YUSU election, but I can say that I consider Sam Westrop to be a person of ability and integrity, with a very genuine concern for individual freedom.

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  18. This story is simply a non-starter and actually a very serious breach of the media-charter, more particularly, rules regarding publishing certain stories about individual candidates once a campaign has started.

    Sam is *not* a member of UKIP. That is that. Anyone can pull photos off Facebook and draw tenuous and untrue links. That is what has been done here by a politically motivated article. Cut the sensationalist untruths and take it down.

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  19. “We’re not sure if he’s a member of the party…”

    So UKIP don’t keep up-to-date membership lists? That’s pretty poor form.

    Would there be such an uproar if this guy was a member of the Labour party- a party that has done more than any other government in the history of our country to bring the democratic system into disrepute? I actually find that an awful lot worse than someone being accused by a politically motivated newspaper of meeting up with a UKIP MEP at an a-political event.

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  20. For once I am going to agree with Dan. During the last set of elections Nouse were reprimanded for publishing election based articles focussing on individual candidates so it is surprising that they are doing it again.

    In by-elections, candidates don’t get the same level of ‘campus attention’ that they do in the main elections. An article like this raises the profile of Sam without any mention of the other candidates.

    Also, I’m not quite sure what the point of the story actually is. They are making the massive jump from Sam being seen with UKIP members (big deal…) to him having strong anti-immigration views. I have met UKIP members and even been photographed with them but anyone who has ever had talked to me about politics will know that I a) dislike UKIP and b) have quite liberal views towards immigration and the EU. Sort it out Nouse.

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  21. 23 May ’09 at 2:27 pm

    Paul Giannaros

    Do Nouse publish apologies? This article is high in insinuation and low in substantive facts. Westrop has made it clear that he is not a member of UKIP — implying that he was deceptive on his form is clearly poor journalism.

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  22. “Racial Equalities Officer candidate Sam Westrop has denied any connection with the UK Independence Party, despite claims from party members… the UKIP Press Office told Nouse: “…He keeps in close contact with a lot of party members.” ”

    The first sentence suggests that he has a connection with UKIP. It later says that he is in contact with members. He has admitted that he agrees with UKIP’s main policy on the EU.

    To sum up: the article is correct.

    At the same time, he disagrees with their immigration policies, etc., and it is therefore, essentially, an irrelevant issue.

    “Anyone can pull photos off Facebook and draw tenuous and untrue links.”

    Wasn’t that what happened with Andrew Collingwood, Dan?

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  23. 23 May ’09 at 3:45 pm

    Gareth Liptrot

    I don’t even understand why this article is still about. Nouse made a ridiculous claim based on some photographs, Sam Westrop has denied them, UKIP has denied them as well. Which “party members” have claimed him as a member? The Press Office said he keeps in contact with people. The basis for this article is he has been seen in photographs with UKIP members, so therefore he must be one? That’s like saying if I hang around with tall people, I’ll get taller. This is just a sad attempt at guilt by association.

    This is shallow, unsubstantiated and ridiculous piece that has set out with the intention of peddling gossip. To be honest, it seems like the writers have just gone through his Facebook profile for “incriminating” photos. And what was the point of the little video at the bottom?

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  24. 23 May ’09 at 4:20 pm

    Hysteria much?

    Do not see the point in this article. I don’t know Sam and have never met him but this seems very, very unfair to me. Every time his name is now searched on Google; this will pop up.

    The only thing he may have done wrong is not state his UKIP affiliations on a nominations form: and yet, it appears from the above that he isn’t even a member either.

    Supporting UKIP is not a crime and shouldn’t be smeared upon. They’re not like the far-right, nasty British National Party. Their emphasis is on withdrawl from the European Union. Their party attracts supporters, members and candidates from a whole range of classes, ethnic backgrounds and so on.

    One of their West Midlands Candidate in EU Elections is transgender. Ashwinkumar Tanna was a UKIP candidate in a recent by-election and campaigned for British withdrawl from the EU and “fairer treatment for immigrants”.

    Supporting UKIP does not mean you cannot represent Equality on campus.

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  25. I think this article represents a complete lack of perspective from the author and the editor.

    Nouse as a campus paper regularly provides some genuinely good journalism; both at a university level and of larger issues from a student perspective.

    With this piece, however, Nouse has shown immaturity and an extreme absence of responsibility.

    Why not Google Sam Westrop’s name today:
    http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q=sam+westrop&btnG=Google+Search&meta=&aq=f&oq=
    …and see him appear in the first page of results as a reported UKIP member.

    Or perhaps even just Google “UKIP”
    http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q=UkIP&btnG=Search&meta=
    …where today’s news features this article as a leader.

    Yes, Nouse can play a useful role in holding our campus ‘politicians’ to account; but I would be interested to find out if the author really thinks that while careers officers are advising students to self-moderate things like their facebook and twitter accounts, it’s fair to publish and archive this flimsy article on the internet for all to see.

    UKIP member, UKIP sympathiser, Freedom Association – to be honest, I don’t really care. There are systems in place to hold our union folk to account if they are not doing a job that is representative of their manifesto and mandate.

    But how are we holding our “campus press” to account, when their influence is far from restricted to campus?

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  26. EVEN ME THINKS THIS ARTICLE IS UNFAIR AND SILLY.

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  27. http://www.nouse.co.uk/2008/11/12/ukip-%e2%80%93-an-insight-into-one-of-the-fastest-growing-parties-in-the-uk/

    Interestingly, people could just have a look at the piece he personally wrote about UKIP for Nouse:

    ” five-year freeze seems like unmanageable and impractical solution, and raises some serious questions: What of the Iraqi translators who risked their own lives and those of their families in order to help their country and the coalition? What of the brave Ghurkhas? Does this include asylum? Mehdi Kazemi was an Iranian homosexual student whose partner had been murdered back in Iran by the state. What of him?

    One does fear that, as the economy worsens, a real resentment against immigrants will manifest itself and could actually benefit UKIP.”

    And in the piece you can also see the reason that he supports UKIP: “UKIP has emerged as the only major libertarian party in the current lie of the land” and obviously he has a pro-libertarian stance.

    On the other hand, libertarianism could easily be a bad thing. Removing positive discrimination (i.e. targets for number of BME or international students) may well end up with York being even more white than previously and liberatrianism itself often advocates allowing people to be racist as it’s “their choice” – if Sam wants to make points on these then I would be interested to hear what he has to say and it might well affect my vote.

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  28. “Removing positive discrimination (i.e. targets for number of BME or international students) may well end up with York being even more white than previously”

    I completely agree, although the racial equality officer has no real power over those things anyway. It is the university (following government regulations) that makes these decisions and it is highly unlikely that any opposition campaign would be successful.

    To clarify the role and responsibilities of this position:

    5.11. Racial Equality Officer(s)
    5.11.1. The Racial Equality Officer(s) is primarily responsible for the representation of ethnic minority communities and shall:
    a) be a part-time officer(s) for a term of office of twelve months unless instructed otherwise by a UGM
    b) co-ordinate campaigns around ethnic minority issues, promoting black liberation and anti-racism
    c) encourage the combating of racism at all levels
    d) take up individual welfare cases of ethnic minority students with assistance from the Academic and Welfare Officer
    e) promote anti-racist and awareness-raising activities
    f) raise awareness of rights of enfranchisement amongst people of different cultures
    g) liaise and work closely with the International Students Association in the pursuit of furthering racial equality within the Union and the University
    h) in conjunction with the Union Officers, liaise and work closely with Societies, Clubs and student groups in the pursuit of furthering racial equality within the Union and the University
    i) in conjunction with the Welfare Officer, liaise and work closely with the University comparable institutions, regional National Union of Students, the National Union of Students and any appropriate legislative or regulatory bodies in the pursuit of furthering racial equality within the Union and the University

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  29. Any proof that UKIP and racial equality don’t go together?

    It seems like Nouse are attacking both Mr Westrop and UKIP without any reason at all.

    RE officer isn’t anything to do with immigration, student visas are a seperate issue to the immigration system as a whole. Even if he was a UKIP member, why does this merit this kind of attack?
    If an ISA officer is a member of UKIP, perhaps it’s notable because they have a strict position on student migrants from the EU (ie: under UKIP EU students may well have to pay international students costs).
    But the RE officer’s job is to deal with racism and deal with welfare cases for those who have experienced it. Why can’t a UKIP member do this?

    If we’re going to attack people who want an immigration limit, why not harangue labour supporters over the Gurkhas and the britishness test and the points system? All parties advocate controlled immigration – this is nothing to do with student union officerships.

    Nouse clearly has an agenda here against UKIP and Mr. Westrop.

    Why do Nouse not attack officers who are members of labour for bankrolling a warmongering party and supporting the party which has wrecked the ability of new graduates to get on the housing ladder.

    While an election is on, why is the campus media allowed to print material which is clearly biased against one particular candidate, especially when there aren’t the same hustings and on-the-ground campaigns in a by-election. For many of us, these articles will be the only insight we have into candidates – and this one candidate has gained more publicity, positive or negative, because of this unsubstantiated article.

    A talksport presenter was sacked during the london mayor elections for supporting boris johnson on air. Impartiality in the media at election time is important, and this is why, unfortunately, we need a media charter. The party political snipe is also a shame, given our SU elections sensibly aren’t fought on party lines.

    The issue at hand is who can do a good job at promoting racial equality at the University of York. Nothing else.

    Clean up your act Nouse.

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  30. Can you please explain why someone who is a member of UKIP could not act as a Racial Equality Office anyway? This has already been highlighted above.

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  31. 24 May ’09 at 8:14 pm

    Simon Whitten

    If he were a member of UKIP it would be an issue because that would mean he has lied on his candidacy form. Students have a right to take political affiliation into consideration when casting our votes.

    Stop trying to stir shit up and make it look like Nouse is part of an organised conspiracy against one of the candidates, your making fools of yourselves.

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  32. I do not know whether Westrop will make a good officer, and I will not pass judgement on his connections to UKIP.
    What I can say however is that the remaining candidates ought to know what they are talking about. Many of them mentioned the ISA in their speeches or nomination forms, when it is obvious that they really do not know what the ISA is. “I will change the name of International Week”… International Week is organised by the ISA, not the equality officer! If you are to run for a position, please get your facts straight first.
    A.

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  33. 25 May ’09 at 1:01 pm

    York Black Block

    UKIP says:
    May 24, 2009 at 7:05 pm
    Can you please explain why someone who is a member of UKIP could not act as a Racial Equality Office anyway? This has already been highlighted above.

    Because UKIP are a Racist organisation, covered by the idea of “no platform for fascists”

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  34. “Because UKIP are a Racist organisation, covered by the idea of “no platform for fascists”

    Wow, more than a little close to libel there aren’t we….

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  35. “Because UKIP are a Racist organisation, covered by the idea of “no platform for fascists””

    I am not a supporter of UKIP, but your argument doesn’t really hold up. If they were opposed to immigration for racial and not economic reasons you might have a point. It also seems unlikely that a racist party would field ethnic minority candidates in the European election http://www.ukip.org/content/features/999-your-2009-euro-election-candidates

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  36. RE: York Black Block.

    YUSU doesn’t have a no-platform policy for fascists…yet.

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  37. Simon Whitten is making a making a fool himself. It’s “you’re” not “your”. He should take some English classes.

    York Black Block should name the UKIP members who he thinks he are fascists or shut up.

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  38. Kenny – if the only part of Simon’s argument you can attack is his grammar, that suggests he has a point with his main argument – that if Westrop had been a member of UKIP, he would have broken the rules by not disclosing it on his form; and that Nouse was not part of any conspiracy, but simply reporting, based on an apparently reliable tip-off, that the rules had potentially been broken. That would indeed be excusable on Nouse’s part.

    That said, Nouse really should have waited to run this story – it wouldn’t have hurt to take a bit more time to gather information (and confirm its accuracy), and it would perhaps have then discovered that its sources were dodgy – in which case they wouldn’t have had to print, and so would have avoided this backlash.

    Also, correct me if I’m wrong – I believe the MEP mentioned in the article is *Godfrey* Bloom, not (as the article states) *Geoffrey* Bloom. Could someone from Nouse please either confirm they are using the correct name or make the necessary edit?

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  39. 25 May ’09 at 4:22 pm

    Gareth Liptrot

    To the latest Anon,

    The whole point is that Nouse should have waited or never have run the article in the first place. In the article, is there any indication of a “reliable tip off”? Or is it just the lazy cop out of guilty until proven innocent?

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  40. I think that the points are going round in circles now: surely what is important is verifying whether or not he is a member of UKIP and then, if he isn’t, leave him alone or, if he is, bar him from the election. He mentioned Freedom Society several times so anyone had the opportunity to see where his affiliation lay outside of, potentially, UKIP… and it doesn’t hold any bearing beyond the constitutional requirement mentioned before.

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  41. I can’t believe people take YUSU politics so seriously – it’s a ramshackle body of ineffectual egomaniacs.

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  42. I would disagree. I would suggest that, whilst some individuals are egomaniacs, most are in their position to help serve others in the way that they see most fit. Whether they were upset at the inequalities they saw in academic circles, felt that the condoms weren’t of a sufficient quality, thought that they would be better than the previous lot at organising Roses, wanted to represent student opinion on a higher platform, decided that the university wasn’t pulling its weight in specific areas, enjoyed organising volunteer work at a college level and wanted to expand or felt that they had enough experience and drive to improve recycling tenfold; YUSU is usually made of people who want to improve things, feel that they can deliver and regard themselves as a good enough choice. It is then up to the voter to decide if they are the best candidate or not – and to say that each person running is egotistical is to give no credit to the things that they do.

    Without YUSU, you’d have ineffective sports teams, few condoms, one less shop, lower quality bars, more expensive bus services, less academic provisions, less welfare provisions, less counselling services, less volunteer work available, less money raised for charities…

    I would suggest, rather, that those who try to get involved in YUSU but *don’t* take it seriously are those who are more likely to be egotistical as the reason they’d get involved is more likely to be their CV or personal glory, even if some really just do it for a laugh.

    And I take personal offense at the suggestion that anyone involved in YUSU politics is an egomaniac. I post on here with my name because I don’t want my comments to be anonymous. I ran for committee positions so that I could try and change the world around me. I spent a weekend in McQs so that other people could vote. I don’t do things for my personal benefit unless I feel I am being mistreated – and I would gladly put others before me on campaigns issues in the roles (which I believe is unlikely to be something that an egoist does). Likewise I could argue that, for example, Charlie Leyland’s results in the last year on a number of key issues is fantastic and that the last few years have really transformed student life at this university for the better. Ineffectual isn’t the word – considering the amount of funding that YUSU receives, it really does quite well.

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  43. What exactly is an ineffective sports team? Without YUSU I would have “few condoms”? Maybe YUSU should keep out of people’s personal lives and leave sexual health to the NHS, instead of throwing condoms at students at every opportunity. Adverts abound for welfare drop-ins where you can pick up a cup of tea and a condom – if YUSU is so concerned about the sexual health of the student populace, maybe it should stop shouting ‘sex, sex, sex,’ and promulgating the idea that sex is fine and what students should be doing with every free minute as long as they use a condom picked up from Nightline. Furthermore, I really take issue with the implication that the welfare provision at the university is any good – the welfare tutor for my accommodation has done next to nothing about numerous complaints from numerous students about noise, theft and safety hazards. Whilst there are certain YUSU officers who could justifiably be defined as ‘egomaniacs’, I do acknowledge that many are simply interested in being involved in the student community, in an arena in which the debates and issues raised are fairly tame. However, my argument is that some people are far too concerned with student political issues of little significance, such as the one detailed in this article. UKIP is not a racist party and to say that it is is highly irresponsible, so even the possibility of membership of it should not affect the holding of the position of ‘Racial Equalities Officer’. Finally, I do believe that an ‘egomaniac’ differs from an ‘egotist’, and my dictionary confirms it.

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  44. Have to agree with Jason that there are several *exceptional* YUSU sabbs / committee members so we shouldn’t brush them all under the carpet as inneffectual egomaniacs…

    As for the story, I don’t know about the media charter but as long as it’s not complete hear-say (and you can argue having your photo taken with UKIP members and being described by the UKIP press office as having UKIP sympathies isn’t complete hear say) then broadly speaking the media has a role in a democracy to inform the masses not just of absolute fact but also to ask questions like this. In some ways Sam could benefit – its raised his profile and he has been able to refute the claims clearly.

    Whether Nouse is treading too close to the line or being unfair in their focus on Sam I couldn’t say, I’m not a lawyer. I am guessing with the media charter’s issues about covering election candidates that they might be in some potential hot water especially if they have prejudiced the election.

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  45. 27 May ’09 at 11:51 am

    Gareth Liptrot

    Richard O’Neill,

    I’m sorry to be the same person posting again and again, but to say that this isn’t based on hearsay is ridiculous.

    “(and you can argue having your photo taken with UKIP members and being described by the UKIP press office as having UKIP sympathies isn’t complete hear say)”

    Yes, it is. The Press Office said: “We’re not sure if he’s a member of the party”. Simple. There was no proof, apart some photos of him with people. Photos of him do not indicate he is part of the party.

    How has this benefited him? The whole article is saying he is part of a party that is often viewed as a party of intolerance (see above posts), without any conclusive proof. Its focus is entirely unfair, and has no basis in fact.

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  46. No need to beat about the George W. – this article implies that Sam Westrop has some dodgy connections which make him unsuitable for the racial equality job.

    Smears 2 people at once. It suggests UKIP doesn’t take racial equality seriously, ergo Sam Westrop doesn’t. There’s no evidence at all that UKIP and racial equality are incompatible. If there’s evidence of racist party leaders, holocaust deniers, hooligans or any racist material in their manifesto or website then fair enough. But there isn’t. Actually if you look at UKIPs candidates for local elections you’ll see several ‘non white’ faces. Racist party?

    I’ll doubt i’ll vote UKIP at all, but any suggestion they don’t take racism seriously is a completely fabricated one by people who want to tar the entire right with the BNP brush.

    It’s quite clear the author of this piece, or nouse as a whole don’t want this man elected.

    Any coverage of the other candidates btw? I havn’t heard a thing about any of them. Is Westrop the only person running?

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  47. 27 May ’09 at 12:32 pm

    No use for Nouse

    More rubbish from Nouse.

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  48. * Any coverage of the other candidates btw? I havn’t heard a thing about any of them. Is Westrop the only person running?

    A. Politican – I suggest you check out the article covering Hustings. It appears below this one on the news page and the related posts section at the side. It includes video speeches from the 3 candidates who attended hustings.

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  49. @Chris Northwood – Found it! Cheers.

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  50. I think that the few facts that we need to take from this prolonged discussion are as follows:

    1. Sam is NOT a member of UKIP.
    2. He clearly wrote an article staing clear CONCERNS with UKIP’s immigartion policy.
    3. If you have met someone in a political party, and had a drink with them, that DOES NOT mean that you support them.
    4. Nouse is No Use, if you want facts.
    5. Sam is awesome.

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  51. I’m not certain that #5 is necessarily accurate – and also #3 should read “if you have met someone in a political party, it does not *necessarily* mean that you support them”. There’s no doubt that Sam supports UKIP’s EU policies and there’s no doubt that Sam opposes UKIP’s immigration policies.

    It’s irrelevant anyway now because the results are announced in an hour.

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  52. UKIP’s idea of a 5 year moratorium on immigration is vital. From time to time I work with asylum seekers, and I regret to say that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has no time for them and wants them out of the country, as there is no room for them any more due to the massive influx of new EU members. The Joseph Rowntree organisation last year had a meeting in Leeds which highlighted the story of an Iranian who had not been granted asylum, even though he had escaped from Iran with his brother at an hour’s notice of likely arrest and execution for the two of them. Eventually, almost destitute here, one of the brothers took up the FCO’s offer of a free flight to Tehran. A couple of weeks later his parents were invited to collect his mutilated body from prison. The FCO then offered to pay for the remaining brother to return as well…… Mind boggling. UKIP wants the UK to maintain its former proud tradition of offering asylum to those in genuine need.

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  53. Actually, Sam is awesome.

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