Quiz score: 61%
Council tickets: Left Action 4 Staff Strikes, Left Action 4 Climate Justice, Left Action against Racism
Represented by: Eddie Stephenson and Ella Haid
Socialist Alternative’s Eddie Stephenson and Ella Haid provided an unsurprisingly radical set of policy goals for an SRC, including an end to coal mining and student debt, and protesting systemic racism within the police. Achieving a competent quiz result, Left Action’s overwhelming political focus is mass activism.
Stephenson was keen to emphasise that Left Action is not synonymous with SAlt, however a number of key SAlt figures appear throughout the grouping’s tickets.
Left Action wants the SRC to focus wholly on activism, viewing service provision as a waste of time. Indeed, when questioned on whether they oppose initiatives such as the SRC x USU Foodhub, they answered in the affirmative.
“There’s a limited number of Office Bearers, there’s a limited amount of time you have as a student, what are you going to spend all your time doing?” Haid said.
Asked how they would respond to students struggling with hunger, the group argued that it is not the job of the SRC to compensate for government inaction.
“Look at fucking Sri Lanka right now, like those people are starving, because they’re in a cost of living crisis… Look at the UK, think they’re not starving in a cost of living crisis with inflation going to reach 18 per cent?” Haid said.
When pressed on criticisms surrounding Left Action, and Socialist Alternative’s unfriendliness to disabled activists, Stephenson and Haid dismissed these grievances as a “smear”.
As in previous years, Left Action is expressly opposed to collective autonomy. This is the longstanding custom that Office Bearer positions representing identity-based collectives, like ACAR and WoCo, should be chosen from the respective collectives. Stephenson argued that collective autonomy permits collectives to sidestep students’ democratic will, subverting democracy in the process.
Though an ever-present power on campus politics, being active in organising most education protests, Left Action and SAlt remains a polarising political presence.
Disclaimer: Zara Zadro was, until recently, a member of Switch. She was not involved in any of our election coverage.