The Corner

Re: Oxford Union Meltdown

Jonah, don’t be too worried. This sort of thing happens regularly. The Union acts as a training ground in factional politics, which is the reason why it has produced five British Prime Ministers and a whole host of cabinet ministers. Any sign of weakness will be exploited, and, as the article suggests, it appears this termcard was more than usually fictitious (I have Michael Gove’s termcard in the office somewhere and I’m sure if I looked back I’d be able to find one or two speakers who didn’t appear, but this strikes me as unusual). One other thing to bear in mind is that media bias starts at a very young age. The Oxford student newspaper Cherwell has hated the Union since the seventies, regarding it editorially as an evil bastion of privilege. So its reporters have always written up internal union disputes as if it were the final collapse of capitalism. Same goes for the Conservative Association. I think I read the headline “OUCA Falls Aprt” three times in the 80s alone .  . .  In any event, unless the disciplinary committee is made up of the Union equivalent of strict constructionists (like I was), given precedent the most likely outcome is a slap on the wrist and a statement along the lines of, “You leave this tribunal without a stain on your character. But don’t do it again.”

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