A sad state of affairs…

It was Henry Kissinger who wrote “The reason why student politics is so nasty is because so little is at stake” and this has been more than clearly highlighted in our recent student elections. At present as I’m sure we’ve mentioned on the blog before, our Guild (student union) is currently going through it’s executive elections and this has been one of the nastiest elections the University has ever seen. Candidates banners have been repeatedly ripped down, posters have been defaced and bitterness has ensued throughout, but the culmination was over the past week, when some of the actual candidates were being harrassed by other campaign teams (including a brick being thrown through someones front window). The harrassment got to such an extreme level that the Police have had to become involved (and due to the seriousness we will not be publishing any names as of yet).

It is so pathetic that some people take such campaigns so seriously that they sink to the levels of common criminals, the point of any election is to provide, us the voters with a fair choice and this only works if the candidates actually treat each other with the respect and decency that they deserve. This campaign however went far far beyond the pettyness of negative campaigning, I am personally disgusted at the level that this election sunk to especially considering how ineffective our Guild has been at doing anything for students. I genuinely cannot perceive how someone could sink to such levels for such little gains.

I am very glad to acknowledge however that those responsible for such actions are in the process of being severely disciplined, including being disqualified from the election and potentially barred from our student union.

 More details will be available in tomorrow’s Redbrick


19 thoughts on “A sad state of affairs…

  1. I completely agree that the levels sunk to are completely disgusting.
    However, the ‘showing respect’ thing isn’t just at this level- Obama and Clinton are going through one of the bigger slanging matches at the moment over in the US.

  2. I think you have put everyone involved under one umbrella. This isn’t fair because it is a fact that there are a number of different unrealted groups involved. This article is out of order and just brings attention to those involved.

    Get a life


  3. Some extremely intelligent comments there Dom! I think if you’d taken the time to read my blog more carefully you might be able to see that the word ‘some’ was used. I am by no means saying all candidates were equally as involved in the mess that became these Guild elections. However I don’t think anyone can dispute how messy it got and this seems to be an increasing year on year trend.. You also might like to bear in mind that at the time this Blog was written the matter was still being dealt with, so publishing specific names would not have been a wise idea, which seems to me what you’re implying should have happened.

    For the sake of our already stagnant and over-bureaucratic guild I hope someone as oversensitive and rash as you have not become part of the new exec.

  4. Dom I cannot understand your point. You criticse Theo for not being specific and naming people, yet you don’t even give your full name.

    Theo clearly states: ‘It is so pathetic that some people take such campaigns so seriously’

    I think Theo is extremely clear in what he says here, and it wouldn’t have been put up on the blog if it wasn’t.

    The article is far from ‘out of order’, we are not big in Guild Politics on this website, as well quite frankly there are more pressing issues in the world.

    Thanks for using the blog to air your point of view, if you would like to submit a guestblog which you can do annonymously if you like, then please let us know and we would be more than happy to accomdate it.

  5. I never said that you should have stated the names. Typical Tories. I was just saying that it was wrong to lump everyone under the same category when there were different groups involved. What do you want me to write my guest blog on Mr. Editor?

  6. Right, let me get this straight Dom, I wrote a blog on the state of this year’s guild election, I specifcially highlighted that it was only “some people”, which is as far as I’m aware a plural phrase which implies that the events that occured were from different people. The most repsponsible thing that I could have done would be to avoid placing names due to the sensitive nature (and despite you saying you weren’t calling for that it sounds like that’s what you wanted) and though the severity of certain people’s harrassment may have been at different levels there is not one point where I state that it was some sort of organised mafia which seems to be what your implying. I’m sorry that I didn’t manage to fit your strict rules of writing a (let me you remind you non-guild) blog, which seem to have an air of the guild’s very own brand of bureaucracy.

    Out of interest, seeing as you’re trying to defend those who played a part in the negative campaigning in the latest election, would it be wrong of me to assume you were one of such candidates…

  7. You say that all of those involved are in the process of being dicsiplined. How do you know this is the case? I have only heard of one group of people handing themselves in.

  8. “we are not big in Guild Politics “

    Why do you only get involved when theres a chance to slag something off, rather than doing something positive?

  9. At the time of writing the blog, we had been told that a series of complaints were being looked into, we had also been told that a number of people had been reported and that all complaints were being followed up..

    My sentiments exactly Alex!!

  10. Jacko,

    The point you make is nonsense. Why should the CF or any group belonging to the Guild do something “positive” in order to acquire the right to hold the Guild agents to account?

    It is the case that some campaigners behaved inappropriately during the election, and every student has the right to condemn this, regardless of whether or not they engage in day to day Guild politics.


    You are also wrong. To suggest that Theo’s wholly justified comments are the reason why people don’t get involved is way off base.

    The central reason why the vast majority of students at the University do not “get involved” in Guild politics is because they have other hobbies and interests with which to occupy their time. In fact statistically it is highly unusual for students to participate in student politics, and far more usual for them not to. Further, the kind of behaviour displayed by some campaigners certainly doesn’t help to encourage participation.

    The Chairman of the CF, like any other student, was perfectly within his rights to comment on Guild events.

  11. Intentionally or not, most people would surely agree this article implies that only one group of people were involved in all of the disgraceful behaviour during the elections, especially as you say that those responsible have been caught and are in the process of being disciplined. Using the word ‘some’ once does not change this.

    Only one group of people have handed themselves in, meaning that there are still people out there who’s terrible behaviour is currently going unpunished.

    Before anyone had been caught, everyone was sceaming for a full external investigation and a zero tollerence approach to such actions. Now everyone seems content to let the group that actually realised what they had done and came forward to take the blame for everything that happened, at least unofficially.

    So while some people are severely punished for their part, others must be rubbing their hands together thinking that they have got away with it. You say that you “will not be publishing any names as of yet.” I would recommend that you dont do so at all, unless you have the full facts about what happened, and a name for every crime, otherwise it will be assumed that the named individuals are responsible for all of the incidents that took place. Far too much has already been written that is based on rumours or exaggerations of the truth. Lets get it right before condemning people for things that they may not have done.

  12. No this article doesn’t imply that, I’m sorry my wording doesn’t meet your pedantic standards enzo. The point of this blog, which you would have realised if you’d taken the time to read it properly, was just to note how petty and pathetic the whole situation had got and to note the extremity of it all. If people want the in depth news about the actual elections then they, as the blog referred to, were and still are able to read about it in Redbrick. This blog has a wider audience than just Birmingham University.

    I find it quite laughable that so many guild hacks are screaming blue-murder over an off the cuff piece on my distaste for guild politics. But I am pleasantly happy in the fact that such hacks take our little blog so seriously.

  13. Sorry, Philis. What?
    Are you serious?
    The lowest voter turnout for Guild elections in 20 or so years? The president being elected by little under 1500 votes? Is this meant to be representative of the 28000 people at the uni? I’m unwilling to accept that is true democracy in all honesty. I cannot accept that anyone would speak as a representative of the people with only 1500 people voting.

  14. I can see both points of view here. With Wimbledon fortnight nearly upon us, it seems fitting to use the analogy of a score draw. Talking of Wimbledon, do you think Billie Jean King stands a chance this year? I was thinking of having fifty pence on him winning the whole thing. To think, I could have mounted a serious challenge this year myself if it wasn’t for those pesky kids. Thank the Lord for the DHSS, they’ll sort out the mess.

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