It’s cold, it’s dark, you’ve got too much to do and, no matter your year, some special strain of freshers’ ‘flu. Let’s see if we can’t persuade you out of bed anyway: VERSA is here to offer you an overview of the crème de la crème of Oxford politics.

1st week:

MonLord Alan Sugar comes to the Union. His Twitter nemesis Piers Morgan put on a good show last term – unless he’s on form, Shuggsy might get fired.

Thurs – Michaelmas’s traditional curtain raiser ‘This House has No Confidence in Her Majesty’s Government’ debate will see the infamous alumnus and ex-pushy-fresher Jacob Rees-Mogg MP return to Oxford. Joining him on the opposition will be Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills. Sir Vince Cable, whom we hope has recovered from his unseating, and Rupa Huq MP will argue against the Government.

2nd week:

MonNorman Baker, former Home Office minister and long-time human rights campaigner, discusses animal testing with Oxford University Liberal Democrats. If it all goes to pot, maybe he can crack out the tunes with his band, The Reform Club.

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Norman Baker…bursting into song?

 

ThursShami Chakrabarti and David Davis MP propose the motion that ‘This House Believes the UK Has Surrendered Too Much Liberty in Pursuit of Greater Security’ at the Union. George W. Bush’s speechwriter, David Frum, and Telegraph columnist Dan Hodges will oppose.

SatYanis Varoufakis, star of this summer’s Greek drama who resigned from the Greek government in July, will make what promises to be a fascinating speech to the Union on the back of a recent epic performance on #BBCQT.

SunNoam Chomsky, one of the 21st century’s most divisive sociologists, talks at the Union. A fierce defender of free speech, Chomsky, VERSA is definitely looking forward to this one.

3rd week:

TuesCharles Moore from the Spectator comes to speak to OUCA; he will be signing his second volume of Lady Thatcher’s biography. Charles Moore has been Editor of The Daily Telegraph and Spectator, and this press veteran was chosen by Lady Thatcher herself to write her biography.

4th week:

Sun – A head-to-head debate on the BDS movement against Israel at the Union. The term card suggests this is going to be just a bit controversial: “Due to the sensitive nature of these speakers’ security arrangements, we will be releasing the details of this event nearer to the time.” Expect protests and liberation movements galore.

TuesLen McCluskey, General Secretary of Unite the Union, comes to speak to Oxford University Labour Club. After some friction between former leading light of OULC last year, maybe Len can give the club some lessons in unity.

Thurs- Union debate on wearing the red poppy, Harry Leslie Smith, former RAF serviceman turned political commentator , and Rachel Shabi will argue against the red poppy. Dan Jarvis MP and Colonel Tim Collins will defend the traditional remembrance symbol.

5th week:

Mon– OUCA ex-president and BBC veteran Nick Robinson comes to the Union. Placards not advised, Nick has been known to snap them in half in the past. Scots beware too, we all know about his infamous clash with Alex Salmond.

Thurs – ‘This House Would Break Up Media Empires in Defence of Democracy’ at the Union. Louise Mensch returns to the Union where she was almost tribbed back in 1991. Thankfully, the Union has clearly decided to drop the charges. She will be joined by James Delingpole, one of Cameron’s friends at Oxford who recently described the halcyon days of smoking in Peck Quad of Christchurch in the early 1980s. Alan Rusbridger, former editor-in-chief of the Guardian and current Principal of LMH and Evan Harris are the proposition.

6th week:

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Hopefully he’ll be this happy to be in Oxford…

ThursDr. Tristram Hunt MP, rising star under Ed Miliband and recently famed for his resignation in protest at Corbyn’s victory, comes to speak to OULC. Don’t hold the fact he’s a Tab against him, he might actually be worth your time.

 

7th week:

Thurs – OUCA’s termly dinner hosts Baroness Stowell of Beeston who steered equal marriage through the Lords and now sits in cabinet.

Dates to be confirmed:

The President of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, is coming to the Union. How on earth did the Union sign that one?

Ruth Davidson, a brave Tory in Scotland and fierce campaigner for the union at OUCA.

Harriet Harman’s favourite ginger rodent and high profile victim of the SNP surge, Sir Danny Alexander, will speak at OULD.

Thatcher’s successor as leader of the Conservative party comes to speak to OUCA. That’s Major.

Controversy everywhere: VERSA approves. Start finger-painting those placards now.

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