Listen up politico-freshers. Whether you are an aspiring hack, a wannabe-activist, or simply enjoy spouting ill-informed platitudes whilst binge-drinking, VERSA has just the thing for you: the definitive guide to debating-drinks in Oxford. 

Port and Policy (Conservative)

Undoubtedly the most established of the politico piss-ups, P&P is nothing less than an Oxford institution. Held every Sunday in St Giles Church Hall, the OUCA event has found a niche as the spiritual home of white tie, port-fueled debauchery and 17th-century opinions on political legitimacy. Expect the debate to be raucous and interspersed with frequent outbursts of ‘SOUND’, ‘SHAME’, and ‘THE EROSION OF TRADITIONAL ENGLISH LIBERTIES’. Comes highly recommended to anyone who owns a pair of red chinos.

Ayes: With unlimited port for a fiver, P&P offers the chance to get as smashed as Churchill in his opposition days

Naes: It is something of a hack shark-tank, particularly around the Union elections in 7th week

Spirited Discussions (Lib Dem)

Proceedings for OUCA’s ex-coalition partner are a little more chilled out; Oxford’s 8 or-so Liberals just huddle in some small college room to console each other and drink away their electoral sorrows. The level of discussion, however, can be relatively high, and all shades of wise-OULD opinion are represented, from social democrats to Randian libertarians. More importantly, Spirited Discussions is probably the most drunken of the political drinks and makes perfect pres for a wavy night at Cellar’s ‘Burning Down the House’ – that is where Liberals go, right?

Ayes: You can’t get this drunk for so little anywhere else in Oxford

Naes: You have to spend time with a good number of Lib Dems – be careful or they might rub off on you

Beer and Bickering (Labour)

Times really are changing in Oxford. Under the leadership of David Klemperer and Kate Welsh, the socialists have finally decided to be sociable. However, the relative inexperience of OULC definitely shows. Not only did they run out of drink on their first meeting, a lot of B&B attendees actually want to have a nuanced policy discussion. They’ll soon learn not to take it so seriously.

Ayes: Solid Monday night procrastination

Naes: Slightly depressing to witness the erosion of leftist opinion as the Blairites and Corbynistas maul each other

Rum and Rights (Oxford Students for Liberty) 

Held each week of term in Balliol, Rum and Rights is Oxford’s premier non-partisan debating-drinks, catering to people of any and all political persuasion, from classical liberals to anarcho-socialists. Despite the ideological mix, proceedings are generally not too confrontational and the standard of debate is pretty high; more of a discussion group than a social occasion, Rum and Rights covers one topic in depth every week instead of the usual three.

Ayes: Rum…

Naes: Quite a niche event, probably not the most fertile ground for young hacks

Alcohol and Activism (Green)

Rumor has it that the bad-boys over at Oxford Student Green Party originally named their weekly drinks event ‘Absinthe and Activism’, but later changed this because absinthe was too expensive (and food-dyed vodka is cheating). I can’t say much more about the event, however, because I have never actually attended and no-one I know has ever attended – to be honest, I’m not entirely sure it’s really a thing.

Ayes: The first-choice name is a statement of intent from the Greens

Naes: Not sure it actually exists

Butterbeer and Banter (Harry Potter Society) 

By far the most intellectually rigorous of the debating drinks, Butterbeer and Banter offers Potter fans the chance to grapple with some of humanity’s most pressing issues: is Snape evil? Should love potions be decriminalised? Does the sorting hat create division?. To be honest, this event looks severusly good…

Ayes: Apparently they really do drink butterbeer

Naes: The whole Harry Potter franchise is over-rated, especially when compared with the richness of Pullman or C.S Lewis

VERSA wishes all of Oxford’s incoming politicos success as they whore themselves out to the various ideological factions in search of votes, BNOC-status and liver disease.

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This article has 34 comments

  1. We’re flattered you think we have 8 members, thanks Phil!

  2. Not even nick clegg returns our calls anymore

  3. I went to P&P once but it was full of zionist mayo saxons. They were lucky I didn’t cut them.

  4. Publius vergilius maro

    Omnia vincit ouca

  5. If I come to 8th week p&p can I have my cup back please? I need it to beg for money for my appalling policies when I become PM

  6. I am so cross

  7. thank you for including us 🙂

  8. I do not approve of this article

  9. though OUCA has plenty of port,
    and Labour has several good sports,
    if you want debates clever
    and good liberal measures,
    then OULD are your sort

  10. Sorry old boy.

  11. there once was a young man named Jan,
    with legions of young Tory fans,
    but for holding strong views,
    his drinks were refused,
    and from WomCam the young Tory ran

  12. Madalena 'I hate fun' Leao

    I find Beer and Bickering deeply problematic. Don’t you know that political discussion and debate is inherently misogynistic?

  13. Wait…P&P isn’t just on in 7th week?

  14. omg, this is so unfair. We have at least 9 members!

  15. Find "90 seconds" Lees

    I go to spirited discussions and draw cocks on the window because I am a Fucking child who hasn’t grown out of communism yet.

  16. Why are these events not live-captioned? Just like singing, this is a major accessibility issues!

  17. Pingback: The Real Riot Clubs: Versa's Guide to Drinking Clubs - Part 1 VERSA

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