27 March 2007

After A Long Pause

The first 2 minutes or so of this clip from US drama Boston Legal is quite good:

03 March 2007

Was Bryn Landy Cheated?

Short answer: No, but the situation could've been handled better... And those who support Bryn should stop attacking Sally.

The winner, Sally Pearman

[Confused? Click here for background on this post]

Bryn has admitted that he spent over £45 (the campaign budget limit)... in fact he spent (according to sources) several hundred pounds. He should have been disqualified from the race, but it's unfortunate that the manner in which it happened (just 20 minutes before the result was announced) has led to some questions about the motives of those who did it.

There's also been some ugly sniping at Sally, with (unproven) accusations that she went over the campaign budget limit, which she definitely didn't - her budget was checked and approved by the election officials. It was just fortunate that she already owned some materials* before the close of nominations, which have caused Bryn's team to cry foul.

But anyway, in closing, here is possibly the best reason not to have voted for Bryn. This video was taken anonymously at 3am at Childs Hall last week:

* A tent, if you must know. She was also lent a crocodile costume by a friend.

RUSU Election Results and a Disqualification

That great annual popularity contest, the RUSU* elections, came to a bizarre end last night, with the disqualification of one candidate, but the election of my favourite, Sally, as President and my friend Pete also getting in. Here are the full results, before I move on to more about the disqualification:
RUSU President: Sally Pearman

Vice President Education: Pete Jeffreys

Vice President Student Activities: Jess Mobbs**

Vice President Democracy & Campaigns: Julia Horne

Vice President Student Rights & Diversity: Dave Campbell

Student Trustees: Nathalie Horner, Tom Holdstock & Matt Robinson

NUS National Conference: Emily Beardsmore, Pete Jeffreys, Nick Smith, Ryan Bird, Dave Campbell, Mike Hance & Gemma Rowan
Except what I've already said, there's not much more to say about those elected. It's a bit odd that at least three of the people elected to NUS Conference won't actually be at Reading next year, but then nobody stood against them.

And now for that bizarre disqualification:
"An Announcement from the Returning Officer, NUS South Officer, Scott Farmer, made on the evening...

Before the commencement of the result for President you are made aware that I have withdrawn Bryn Landy from the election. All of Bryn’s preferences were automatically transferred to the next preferred candidate."
Bryn Landy, he of the funny campaign video, was informed of this just 20 minutes before the results were announced, leaving no time for an appeal, nor even a full hearing of the facts. Now the results have been announced, it's going to look like sour grapes on Bryn's part if he contests the election, a la Al Gore.

The facts, as far as they can be ascertained, are that he is accused of overspending on his campaign budget - and RUSU's belief is that this overspend was on his campaign t-shirts. RUSU don't appear to have offered any proof of this as yet, so they could still be right.

Some on Bryn's campaign team are alleging that this was done to prevent Bryn becoming President in favour of someone slightly more pro-Union, except the position went to Sally, who fought her election partly on an anti-union platform, and you would've thought that if they were trying to squeeze in someone more pro-Union they would've gone for ex-Chair of Student Council and current VP Development, Emily Beardsmore.

I've joined this Facebook group, as there are certainty a lot of unanswered questions, such as:
  • What proof do they have?
  • Why was the announcement made just minutes before the election results?
  • What would the election result have been if Bryn hadn't been disqualified?
* Reading University Students' Union
** Is it wrong that I keep reading her last name as "moobs"?

02 March 2007

No Red Noses in Westminster

No, really and it's all thanks to the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act:

Click here to find out how to avoid arrest on Red Nose Day

Banned Photo of David Cameron

I'm not kidding, this photo has actually been banned. From BBC News:
"News media have been prevented from showing a photo of David Cameron with fellow Oxford dining club members. The image of the Tory leader, which shows him in about 1986 dressed in the uniform of the elite Bullingdon Club, has appeared in several newspapers.

It is thought Labour was planning to use the picture on an election poster. But the photographers who have withdrawn it say they acted for commercial reasons and have had no contact with the Conservative Party."
In other news, Goldman Sachs has donated all profits from the 2006 - 07 tax year to the Communist Party.

Thanks to Rafael Behr for having the iron balls to run the pic.