Conference, I have withdrawn

Today the Rod made its Presidential Speech at moments before the votes were cast at NUS National Conference.

Unfortunately, the speech had been times to 7 minutes and when it was discovered (on stage) that the time was in fact limited to 5 minutes, Sam decided to wing it and failed.

The full intended transcript is as follows:

Part one

Conference, I am appalled.

The Rod is proud of our movement, and proud of what we have achieved.

Now more than ever, we need to value the people who run our movement, and look to the

We need to be clear about where we come from and where we’re going.

We need to be future and clear about going to where and from.

Now movement and ever before are we proud achievements together being together.

There are those who will say clear future value people but let’s be clear: future.

Not just the next five years, but the next four thousand years – together with the Rod in positive serious fightback for serious together clear where we are going.

Now more than ever, in the streets comrades, in the streets, we must fight for in the streets because now more than ever we need a movement clear future streets, that in the streets now more proud achievement going.

The Rod will do the things that need doing for the people who need things to be done for them that the Rod can do.

To build the revolutionary army of students and workers we need to divert our excellent training efforts to the production of death cyborgs.

There are over 9 million students in the UK. That’s over 9 million Terminators­-in-­potentia.

The NUS needs to be going forwards not backwards. Upwards, not forwards. And always twirling. Twirling, twirling towards… improving the student experience through sharing best practice.

Part two

But conference, that’s only what the Rod will do.

Part three

The Inanimate Carbon Rod will not spend its time fighting for nothing but buzzwords.

The Inanimate Carbon Rod will not make repetitive, generic policy.

The Inanimate Carbon Rod will not make repetitive, generic policy.

The Inanimate Carbon Rod will not say good words to cover for reality.

It will not composite you.

The Rod will not sell out.

It will not “keep the cap”.

The Inanimate Carbon Rod will not ignore policies that you pass because it doesn’t like them.

It will not fold away your political agency into neat boxes marked ‘after the election’ and then wait for the election and do nothing anyway.

It will not demand that you get with its programme of doing nothing and then censure you if you don’t.

The rod is not angry, it is irate.

The rod does not pretend to be answerable to you. It thinks this is an insult.

The Inanimate Carbon Rod does not think that Kennington is a seat of power.

The Rod will not lead you to Zone Two in the rain to tell you what it doesn’t really think.

It is not access access access to cover its tracks,

It does not “need a lecturer’s strike like a hole in its head”.

The Inanimate Carbon Rod will not lose a vote and then do it anyway.

It will not write a corporate strategy document and ram it down your throat without a mandate.

The rod will not “surf the wave” of talent, or tell you to sit down and shut up while it writes neatly composed nonsense into laminated folders for the next choreographed festival of


The rod. has. no. lanyard.

The rod will not use a sabbatical year like a year in industry ­ like some kind of elected try-­out for its next big management consultancy gig.

The rod is not “employable”.

It is not neat. It does not come in a package. It comes in a box.

It will not look good on a CV. It will really not look good on my CV.

It will not wait for a “brighter tomorrow” sponsored by Endsleigh and 3 Mobile and paid in six figures.

The Inanimate Carbon Rod will not give you a discount on Spotify instead of a movement.

It will not get back its box.

The Inanimate Carbon Rod will not spend years telling you not to say anything too scary in case a New Labour minister refuses to put it onto a panel whose purpose is to carve up and smash up everything you hold dear. And then not get onto the panel anyway.

The Rod will not tell you that this is fine.

The Inanimate Carbon Rod does not want a hundred thousand pounds a year for its services.

The Rod does not think that the student movement is a service provided by service providers. To consumers. That buy things. As if fighting for the future of our society was a product that could be marketed.

It does not think that progress consists of “Being the Change”, “Riding the wave”, or “Educate. Employ. Empower”.

It is not a “relevant stakeholder”.

The Inanimate Carbon Rod does not think you are despicable.

It will not stand back when you are kettled through the night on Whitehall waiting for some uniformed thug to let you go to join its next lobby of parliamentarians so that they can sign your pledge, take your vote, and vote for fees anyway.

The Rod does not “do” glowstick vigils. It wants revenge.

It will not abandon the biggest wave of occupations in British history in order to pursue an exciting career in consultancy.

The Rod does not care more about broken windows than broken skulls.

It will not refuse when asked to give just a thousand pounds to the victims of police violence who cannot afford their legal costs in order to make a point that it does not have to.

The Inanimate Carbon Rod is not a joke candidate. It is a serious candidate for what has become a joke position.

It’s not a joke. It is serious. It is a product of a decade of stupidity, incompetence, irrelevance and personal opportunism.

It will never be offered a safe Labour seat. And it will never be NUS President.

Conference, I ran in this election to make a point, and I think I’ve made it. So I withdraw from this election. Because there are good people in NUS, and there are people who are

capable of making a student movement happen: students.

But for as long as NUS fails to fight, the Rod will be there. It won’t be “watching you”, because it’s an Inanimate fucking Carbon Rod. But they will be.

In Rod We Trust. See you next year.


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