Carney “expecting to be given campaigning ban”

Goodricke College on Heslington East Photo credit: Philippa Grafton

Goodricke College on Heslington East Photo credit: Philippa Grafton

Presidential candidate James Carney has declared that he is “expecting to be given a campaigning ban in the near future” following a breach of YUSU election rules.

On February 22nd at 16:00 an email was sent to over 400 individual addresses on the Goodricke JCRC mailing list. The email contained overt endorsement of James Carney’s bid, declaring “vote for James Carney” and outlining of his main policies.

The person responsible for sending the email is currently unknown. In an email, sent by Carney to Nouse, he stated: “The email was not sent out by any members of my campaign team and I certainly knew nothing about it.”

An email was sent out immediately after by the Returning Officer for the elections apologising to those who had received the email.

Despite declaring he was not responsible for the email itself, Carney stated: “When we nominate ourselves for the elections, we agree that we are responsible for the actions of those acting on our behalf.” He went on to add he is therefore expecting to receive a campaign ban.

Carney expressed his disappointment with what had happened, emphasising how it is particularly damaging given his pledge to run fairer elections.

Carney also stated that it is likely the email was sent as a result of “a breach of trust within the Goodricke College JCRC or an incident of incompetency, leaving the information freely available.”

One Goodricke student stated: “All the students that received the email and don’t acknowledge it was a clear violation may vote for him anyway because they don’t know who else to vote for. A friend of mine also suggests it’s only made Carney more popular because now everyone in Goodricke is talking about him and even though he broke the rules people want to vote for someone a little bit different.”

Emily Niamh Miller, Goodricke JCRC Chair, commented on the incident: “[The] Goodricke JCRC use a variety of tools, including Facebook and mailing lists, to keep Goodricke students informed about all the activities and campaigns being run by our Committee. I’m very disappointed that someone has taken it upon themselves to abuse these facilities for their own ends, and I’d like to apologise once more to all the Goodricke students who received the messages in question.

“We are very careful about who has access to our mailing lists, and as soon as the abuse was reported, we restricted access even further to prevent any further problems. YUSU and the University are investigating the incidents, and as soon as they inform us of who was responsible, we can decide what action to take.”

A formal apology was posted by Goodricke College on its Facebook page following the incident: “We are at present investigating how unauthorised access to our account has been gained”.

The post went on to state: “Please do not feel pressurised into voting for any particular YUSU candidate as a result of this communication.”

The issue calls in to question the safety and privacy of those on the Goodricke JCRC mailing list.

UPDATE: Carney has been issued with an online campaigning ban from midnight on the 27th February to the end of the voting period on Thursday 1st March.

Speaking to Nouse, Carney explained that he had received an email from Carys Jones, Deputy Returning Officer.

The email stipulated that Carney, or anybody on his behalf, will not be permitted to campaign, “by any online means” from midnight on Monday 27th February, to “the end of the voting period”.

Entailed in the online ban is, “the removal of all social media campaigning sites and accounts including Facebook, Twitter and any mailing lists gathered”. It also imposes a ban on the sending of “any electronic messages by James or his team”.

Carney has since described the ban as “very harsh” and “highly disappointing”.

It is particularly damaging given Carney’s dependency on online campaigning and his intention to not create “an intrusive presence on campus”.


  1. Whats concerning here is the fact that 400 email addresses have been easily accessed, emails that the JCRC is responsible for. Regardless who sent them if there is no proof of theft or hacking involved it is the responsibility of the JCRC to explain this incident.

  2. Sending out a rule-breaking email and then saying “it wasn’t me” – that’s some hardcore campaigning. Classic Carney.

  3. Who is Carney?

  4. Fix Up Vote Sharp

  5. Carney has outlined the incompetency of JCRCs throughout his campaign and has called for greater accountability on their part. This further highlights those points so will probably only boost his campaign. With the committees being separate of the University they are the ones responsible for this information. 400 people is not an entire college so it is unlikely it was a full college mailing list that was accessed.

  6. Vote Carney. The rest of the candidates are boring.

  7. He’s a cheat. The Chris Etheridge of the 2012 campaign.

  8. James Carney – the Julian Assange of York

  9. 27 Feb ’12 at 12:40 am

    Chris Etheridge

    Chapped, I know you and several others on this website and York Vision like to jump on the “Chris Etheridge is a cheat” bandwagon.

    However, I can assure you that on the occasion that an email endorsement was sent out on my behalf during my campaign in 2010, I was asleep and only found out about it in the morning. The culprit was Sam Westrop, who later sent out an apology admitting his mistake. At no time was he involved in my campaign or part of the campaign team.

    I expect James Carney has fallen foul of a similar circumstance here, and I think something needs to be changed in the YUSU election rules to recognise how difficult it is to police unofficial supporters.

  10. Are you referring to the misuse of a charity Facebook group to promote your campaign in 2010, Chris? :p

    Carney obviously did this and had to go out his way to get ahold of the mailing list. It’s not something that could have been done by mistake by himself or someone campaigning for him.

    The investigation will hopefully produce the evidence needed to prove Carney’s guilt. If he can’t own up to his actions and just passes the buck, I wouldn’t want him as a YUSU president anyway.

  11. 27 Feb ’12 at 1:22 pm

    Chris Etheridge

    Oliver, I did not use that charity group to promote my campaign. The email you refer to was sent out a while after the YUSU elections were over. I think you should check your facts before writing comments.

  12. 27 Feb ’12 at 1:28 pm

    Chris Etheridge

    Furthermore, you have no first hand experience of running campaigns in YUSU elections. If you had, you would realise how easy it is for supporters who are not officially campaigners to break election rules, without you being made aware of it until it is too late.

    For a start, it is impossible for candidates to brief unofficial supporters with regards to the ins and outs of YUSU election rules. If someone wants to help you but does not tell you/get involved in your campaign, how can you be expected to police their actions?

  13. Okay. Carney has an email sent out to over 400 students endorsing his campaign, gets very favourable press off the back of it, probably gets a campaigning ban for a day (he’s hardly canvassing through the day anyway), puts the Goodricke JCRC in a very difficult situation (a committee he has a vendetta against) AND does nothing illegal or against University rules in the process. It’s a massive WIN situation for him and very VERY underhand.

  14. 27 Feb ’12 at 3:25 pm

    Campus Junkie

    Funny how the vast majority of candidates don’t manage to break those rules isn’t it Chris…

  15. 27 Feb ’12 at 3:28 pm

    Dan (mostly moved on) Walker

    “Furthermore, you have no first hand experience of running campaigns in YUSU elections.”

    Is that referring to Oli Chris?

    Because he helped run my campaign.

    On an unrelated note:
    Good luck to everyone running this year! Keep it clean!

  16. 27 Feb ’12 at 3:53 pm

    Chris Etheridge

    Just Saying: if you look at the coverage of the 2010 elections, most candidates were banned at some point for breaking campaign rules in one way or another unintentionally. It was definitely not just me.

    Dan Walker: That’s very interesting indeed. If that is the case, I don’t understand why he finds it so difficult to see how easily candidates can fall foul of well-meaning but ill-advised supporters.

  17. 27 Feb ’12 at 3:53 pm

    Chris Etheridge

    Correction, the first part of the previous comment was in response to ‘Campus Junkie’.

  18. 27 Feb ’12 at 3:59 pm

    Campus Junkie

    Dan Walker owns Chris Etheridge?

    Must be elections time.

  19. 27 Feb ’12 at 4:08 pm

    Chris Etheridge

    Campus Junkie: When Dan won in 2010 he was a worthy winner and I said so at the time.

    However, perhaps one thing it taught me (and which candidates should bear in mind in years to come) is that you should never underestimate the power of the Goodricke block vote.

    Since I never associated myself with a college, it was always going to be hard to counter it.

    Anyhow, Dan, I hope life in London is treating you well:).

  20. @ Chris Etheridge

    Facebook can be misused by uninformed campaigners, I don’t disagree, but a JCRC mailing list? Seriously? It is not as easy to get ahold of and Carney is making out.

    He’s a like man who has stolen a laptop then blamed the theft on the shop for not fitting a good enough security device.

  21. @Oliver I would be very careful with what you accuse people of on a public forum

  22. 27 Feb ’12 at 4:47 pm

    Chris Etheridge


    Glad we agree on the subject of uninformed campaigners.

    However, for the purpose of other readers, perhaps we should end this debate now. As with Dan, I hope you are doing well!

  23. 27 Feb ’12 at 4:49 pm

    Chris Etheridge

    @Just Saying

    I’ve been accused of virtually everything on Nouse and York Vision in the last 5 years. Rebutting comments is actually quite enjoyable and highly addictive.

  24. 27 Feb ’12 at 4:55 pm

    Dan (mostly moved on) Walker

    Chris, if you’d of took the Goodricke vote out of the count I still would have won showing no one should ever overestimate the power of one college alone.

    Maybe it was a totally clean campaign that helped with that? Maybe that’s also how Oli knows that you can run a clean campaign, despite ‘over eager supporters’. No need for anyone to resort to the Shaggy defence eh?

    Old Sabbs and officers commenting and bitching (I’m guilty as charged this time) on Nouse because they’re bored at work gives Student politics an incredibly bad name and as such I’m disappearing back into the realms of the real world once again. Maybe you should do the same?

    See you later alligators.

  25. Rumour is Carney has been banned from all online campaigning until results night.

  26. Oh, very funny… NOT.

    That Hitler video is the oldest, most over used thing in the Internet, and it’s highly disrespectful for Carney to call the staff he’s hoping to work with ‘jobsworths’.

    He really is the most dangerous joke candidate around.

  27. 28 Feb ’12 at 9:18 am

    JCRC problems

    This is all very convenient for the JCRC, as all the talk is about Carney’s ban, rather than their flagrant abuse of the DPA.

  28. the video is not Carney’s. i’ve read the video description. he has an online ban.


    So a JCRC allowed someone access to an entire mailing list… well thats clearly a well run JCR letting anyone have access to their mailing list and not being able to identify the person in question.

    Secondly, a blackout ban on all online campaigning when the returning officers know full well that Carney has opted for a significant online presence rather than litter campus with tacky cardboard posters which make campus look a mess. Every year candidates get campaign bans in YUSU elections, whats new is that our student union has basically taken the step of censoring a campaign… great firewall of China anyone – more like the great firewall of YUSU!

    Lastly, look at the general election in the UK, the whole point of it is to win, if it means pointing out where the other parties are going wrong then its acceptable… when was the last time the Tories got a campaign ban? Get me some proof it was from Carneys campaign team and then issue a campaign ban… innocent until proven guilty, unless you are YUSU!

  30. I’m not talking about the video, I’m talking about the comment he’s left on the video…

  31. Whoever made that video, I love you.

    While Carney’s ban is massively harsh, I’d like to express delight that – unlike like previous years – the returning officer is external to YUSU (from the NUS I believe) and that the deputy returning officer is a member of YUSU staff. Having a sabb as the returning officer always seemed a bit farcical.

  32. @Dan – if you like it, share it. let YUSU see what the average student thinks of their election their rules and their candidates.

  33. I’m surprised nobody has mentioned this already but there is someone on facebook called Joel Hughes, who does nothing but advertise for James Carney. Yesterday, I noticed I was friends with him, which was odd as I don’t know anyone called Joel Hughes and definitely did not accept a request from him. So I looked into it and realised his page used to be called “York Uni” and had been active since December. It had gathered over 1000 friends from people like me assuming it was an official group of the Uni that would supply information on campus events and suchlike.

    All this account does now is spread the Hitler video around different facebook groups and nouse and vision. It has tagged >150 people individually into that Hitler video too. I would be very surprised if it wasn’t Carney behind this account. I refuse to believe anyone else would have the foresight to make an account in December in prep for an election more than 2 months away. This account should be banned.

  34. How is Mr Carney posting on sites such as the Yorker in a way that states his policy aims not campaigning online?

  35. Carney is a cheat.

    Pure and simple.

  36. @D

    I’m not asking people to vote for me in that post, and by now I think what I said is fairly well known. Let’s all grow up and stop trolling the internet for minor offences.

  37. @Anon

    Yes, I too had noticed this. I reported the ‘York Uni’ page to yusu, but nothing could be done as I could not prove it was James Carney. I too had been invited to an event by a Joel Hughes, and realised it was actually the ‘York Uni’ page, which had an extreme amount of advertising James Carney’s campaign. This page should definitely get banned. I have tried reporting it a number of times, but as I say, the Returning Officer informed me there was nothing they could do. It is a fake account. No doubt about it. Proving it is James Carney is a tricky situation, but yet so obvious.

  38. If he had a chance of doing well, he’d have been banned already. If he flukes a win, students will rise up and no-confidence him before he starts. But since he doesn’t even want to win and just wants attention, he’s succeeding in his aims. He won’t come last, and it’s pathetic… I hope he does. I would recommend anyone who thinks that he has cheated emailing Nouse, Vision and The Yorker. If anyone thinks that posting ‘anonymously’ on the internet is really that anonymous then they’re an idiot, and that most definitely includes Carney. Admins can see who it is (shared IPs, false identities etc) and the example above regarding York Uni page is just taking stupidity to a new level.

    Comment has been moderated

  39. He won’t win but if he did there wouldn’t be a no confidence by a majority. Maybe you’re forgetting it takes a majority of votes to win an election in the first place…

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