By Scott McNee
The National Union of Students have arrived, ladies and gentlemen! Don’t worry, if you weren’t sure how to feel about ISIS, the NUS will set your opinion straight. If you’re confused, let me explain. Asking NUS to make a public statement on ISIS is much like asking my dog to make a public statement about the State of the Union.
It’s just fucking stupid.
I’m not one to doubt the power of students – I’ve written about the importance of activism in this column before – but somewhere, around the point where a group of rich idiots meeting in London start telling the world that they speak for us, we’ve got to admit we look ridiculous. It’s time for students to accept that sometimes we’re just playing dress up. This isn’t a real newspaper, and the NUS don’t have anything interesting to say about ISIS. How could they? Half of them only learned about it on the Metro on the way in. Their thoughts on Iraq are heavily muddled with their memories of playing Prince of Persia on the PS2.
It’s the assumption that your opinion matters in a vast and complicated worldwide struggle that bothers me. In essence, it’s the same problem I had with religion – I refuse to believe a millennia-old cosmic entity cares about or is even aware of some whiny prayers grovelling in a distant suburb. That’s right kids. Uncle Scott is here again to remind you of how insignificant you are.
Take Kim Jong-un, for example. In theory, this is a man with power. It’s obvious he has to deal with political intrigue and vying rivals every so often, but theoretically this man-child has power over an army and a state. And Kim Jong-un is a laughing stock. Allied countries are embarrassed by him, enemy countries routinely bring him up for scant news articles to get some cheap laughs. When he vanished from the public eye, theories and conspiracies sprung up faster than Angelina Jolie in an orphanage. The people were deprived of their favourite clown, and damn it, they wanted him back.
Which brings us back to the NUS. The NUS are not Kim Jong-un. You could be forgiven for confusing the two after reading some of the pompous statements coming out of the debate – according to one Birmingham student present, “This rhetoric exacerbates the issue at hand and in essence is a further attack on those we aim to defend”. Okay then. You could have just said that the motion was problematic and backed it up with an example, but I suppose sounding like a sentient legal document could be a sound strategy.
It doesn’t matter what the NUS decides regarding its stance on ISIS because they don’t have any real power, in the same way that this column is somewhat mitigated by being amateur volunteer work written by a man sitting in a Batman onesie and drinking rum and coke at ten o’clock in the morning. We have to be realistic, Strathclyde. Most of us are just standing on the shoulders of our brothers and sisters, trying to fit into dad’s suit.