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Live! - Opinion

This article is an opinion piece and should be taken as such. It is highly likely to be biased, but either the article itself or the ensuing discussion will probably be entertaining. Live! takes no editorial line on opinion pieces.

Anyone Fancy a Beer?

Feb 16 2003 16:35
Rob Park
Rob Park revives his former column and states that it is time for a constructive RANT!
Are we sitting comfortably?

If anyone saw our wonderful Deputy Prime Minister today speaking to Labour?s Spring Conference in Glasgow then please accept my deepest sympathy. I have never seen someone (aside from John Prescott previously) be able to read out a spin-doctored speech and not have the faintest idea what he was blabbering on about. ?Tony is so great??, ?Alan has saved our hospitals??, ?Gordon has fixed out economy??

Great one, John! So, what have you done? Failed the transport plan, screwed up the roads, suffocated the trains and dug up our green belts! Still, I suppose Tony is wise to keep you at his side so he can just make sure don?t finger anything else.

Good. I?ve got that off my chest.

The other day, I attended a ?Question Time?-style event in Bethnal Green & Bow, Oona King?s constituency (and therefore my MP). The panel also included Jeremy Vine (presenter), the Assistant General Secretary of the RMT Union, Charlotte Dawkins (ULU President), an American PhD student from the LSE and a couple of University lecturers.

It was very interesting and well done to the QMSU Politics Society for organising and running it. One thing, though, keeps sticking in my mind about that evening. Firstly the fact that when your try to get a question out of a journalist (Jeremy Vine) or out of a politician (Oona King) you get a very similar reaction: firstly evasion which is the followed by a question to the questioner, in the form of ?What do you expect from a University education? This Government has invested/reduced/increased/blah/blah*?. And in the case of Oona King, a full circular contradiction. If anyone knows of any treatment for this, please drop me a line!

Now I shall move onto something that most people have an opinion on. The NUS. Don?t all sigh at once ? and for the record, I am not anti a national union, just the current one which we have no say in and which is more wasteful than sending four elephants, two Des O?Connor LPs and a pineapple to Alpha Centauri! The National Council of the NUS (the rubber-stampy bit under Annual Conference which scrutinises the National Executive Committee) will be discussing a motion submitted by the President of the University of Westminster Students? Union which calls for the NUS to sell discount cards for £5 in an effort to raise funds for the NUS and for the local union. Indeed in the ?This Council Believes? section it actually says that the main benefit of NUS is to provide students with discounts?

Well, you can imagine the reaction around the table. Ten voting members just glanced around the room waiting for someone to start ranting. Rah! Ohhh, it was superb. We all really laid into the motion and also the NUS for failing itself and students time after time. It was taken to a vote (I think just for the amusement factor more than anything else) and FOR 0 : AGAINST 9. ?NUS is the weakest link?? followed by my interjection of a very sarcastic and hoarse ?Goodbye!?.

Oh, if only someone would take a motion to a general meeting or to referendum? we could then find out what students think £43,000 should be spent on! And certainly that would rule out any more jollies to Blackpool! It would, of course require a fair and balanced debate.

And as was iterated at that meeting, when a company offers a ?student discount? then that should be available to all students, regardless of whether they have an NUS card. At Queen Mary we don?t issue NUS cards (the logo is on the back of our College ID cards) and you couldn?t imagine how irritating it is when shopkeepers ask for the NUS card? well they always seem to be humbled after saying it to me. I believe Trading Standards are on our side here.

So, in short, my beer of the month is ?JHB? and I recommend it to you all with its very light and soft appearance it has a wonderful moreish taste; an ideal session beer at 3.8% abv.

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Discussion about “Anyone Fancy a Beer?”

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
Feb 16 2003 18:31

Four articles in a row... wow

2. Chris   
Feb 16 2003 21:46

Quote from Warner village Cinema in Fulham when asked why they don't accept ICU cards for student discount:

"Because you can buy an ISIC card from STA Travel for ?6"

It's not much use after you've bought your ticket from the Warner website which sells them as "Student" tickets.

Feb 17 2003 15:02

Chris, I agree entirely.

See the bit about discounts in my manifesto

Feb 17 2003 15:10

shouldn't live now include links to every one else's manifesto.

or has the election happened.

Feb 17 2003 15:11

It's not news, it's a discussion. Anyone can post a link to whatever they like in the context of their discussion.

There's a list of candidates (with links to their manifestos, here.


Feb 17 2003 15:12

...if it was an article (which only a few people can post) then that would be different.

You argument is tantamount to saying that if one candidate sends a letter to Felix, then the Editor shouldn't publish it because the other candidates have not taken up that opportunity.

Feb 17 2003 15:58

Mustafa. You are arrested for breaching the Election Rules and Ruglation No.2 Point 39.

Do you plead guilty?

Feb 17 2003 16:39

Not guilty. Since the facility is "equally available to all candidates" as required by the above reg.

Obviously, I'm playing no role in editing Live! for the duration of the election.

Feb 17 2003 16:51

Not fair.

I've just been reprimanded by the Live powers-that-be for posting something "vaguely connected to elections". In fact, they take down words that even sound like election, like "electrician" and "erection". Arrest that man.

10. Chris   
Feb 22 2003 14:55

Where's everyones manifesto? Most of them aren't uploaded yet but the elections in two days.

11. Sam   
Feb 22 2003 15:53

Candidates are under no obligation to use the webspace provided. It is simply another line of publicity available to them.

Not everyone posters/flyers/goes to hustings...

12. Chris   
Feb 22 2003 18:41

So how can I decide who to vote for? Could this be why Imperial is apathetic if only one presedent candidate has a manifesto?

13. Sam   
Feb 22 2003 18:44


You read the available information.

That includes stoic ,felix ,Live! and the elections website

If that's not enough information, you could always have come to hustings and asked any additional questions you liked.

14. Chris   
Feb 22 2003 19:44

stoic - 404 Not found errors on the site at the moment.

live - have been reading but Mustafa is the only person who is really mentioned

elections website - no more than one person per post has put anything up

felix - ok but its not in much depth

hustings - would have gone if I had known about them sooner

15. James   
Feb 22 2003 19:53

Apologies for the errors on the stoic site at present - this is due to DNS taking time to update. Should all be working again by tomorrow.

The following links you to our main election story, which includes a link to our special programme including interviews with the candidates:

click here for election coverage

James (stoic)

16. ...   
Feb 22 2003 20:16

There were manifestos for all candidates in Felix last week, in part explaining the bumper size of the issue. However, these manifestos appear not to have made it onto the Felix website, so it may be a case of finding a mate who has a copy so you can have a look.

Maybe the willingness of candidates to put information on the union website gives an indication of who actually cares about the post they are standing for, especially as use of it is optional and left up to candidates to sort out.

17. Chris   
Feb 22 2003 20:31

Thanks James

18. James   
Feb 22 2003 20:31

I've put a copy of the manifestos online in MS Word format:

If that doesn't work for you, try:

19. Chris   
Feb 22 2003 21:06

Thanks for that

Feb 22 2003 21:17

Live! has a history of not reporting on ICU election campaigns (until after voting has closed). I'm not entirely sure why.

21. Sunil   
Feb 23 2003 12:24

Well, it's good that there is no election coverage here until the results are out. Stories here should be newsworthy first and foremost. Hustings and poster campaigns tend not to be newsworthy; on the other hand, an opinion poll might well be.

Feb 23 2003 13:29

Hmmm well, "..." a few comments:

I managed to e-mail my Site to the powers that be so that is could be uploaded, but this hasn't happened yet.

As for your comment about websites being a sign of how much candidates want the post they are standing for, I?d like to point out that I?ve been too busy actually editing Felix (not election bits, obviously :-P) and doing college work (shock... horror?). I felt that getting Felix out now and making sure I get a degree were probably more important than putting up web pages for my campaign. The delay doesn?t represent my lack of desire for the job, but commitment to the current publication over anything else.

*rant over*

The site should be up soon, anyway.

23. James   
Feb 24 2003 19:18

Apologies if this plug is not welcome here, I just thought it would be the best place to ask...

stoic will be doing a live election special tomorrow evening from 7pm until the results are announced. We're currently looking for students to join us in the studio to give views on the elections and general union related stuff (it's a bit random! :) )

Anyway, if you're free at some point after 7pm this evening and up for appearing on live television, contact me now on .

Many thanks!


24. jason   
Dec 24 2004 18:20

Cheers & M.C.

Closed This discussion is closed.

Please contact the Live! Editor if you would like this discussion topic re-opened.


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