In yesterday’s Observer, Henry Porter wrote about the government’s latest restructuring of the democratic process to make it a little more amenable to their requirements. The name of the minister charged with piloting the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (aka. “We’ll do what we want” Bill) is Jim Murphy. It rang bells, mainly because I’ve recently been flicking through a pile of old student magazines. A quick Google confirms that Murphy was NUS President around my own time at university; I’m pretty sure there was an interview with him in which doubtless he railed against the Tory government of the day and promised radical action to fight for student rights; the usual spiel that, I’m sure, was as effective as as it ever was coming from the NUS.
Today, Murphy the MP is described as an “eager beaver clumsy super-loyalist” by the Guardian. If you’re currently a student, poring over the wise words of the current NUS incumbent, bear in mind how quickly and easily they go from radical young firebrands to limpid Labour lickspittles.
Interestingly, Murphy, along with his immediate predecessors Stephen Twigg and Lorna Fitzsimmons, voted with the government to end grants and introduce tuition fees in 2001.