New week, new divisions in OULC with attempt to purge membership.

Yesterday night the Corbynist wing of OULC demonstrated the openness, inclusivity and willingness to debate that characterises the “New Politics”… by depriving their enemies within the club of the ability to vote in future TGMs.

The proposed motion originally demanded that ALL members of other student political societies; including OULD, OUCA, OSWEP and others, be ineligible for membership, implying that current students, including many former exec members, would be thrown out of the club.

University policy (and, one would hope, common sense) meant that the motion had to be amended to allow members and supporters of the Labour party itself to vote, regardless of society membership – although this still excluded a sizeable minority of left-leaning or independent members (who are often engaged in multiple societies), most of whom have paid membership fees of £20 for the privilege of voting at TGMs.

Debate on the motion created an atmosphere as vicious as it was febrile. Points about how the motion would have excluded such Labour greats as Harold Wilson (then a treasurer of the Oxford Liberal club), its undemocratic nature or the simple fact that it is entirely unenforceable were shouted down or interrupted by constant POIs.

Meanwhile the proposition’s claims that the general public disliked politicians because they went to the same debating societies were met with rapturous applause and frenzied finger clicking. Tories were repeatedly denounced, to a similarly cultish rapture from the audience, despite the fact that there were only 2 who could vote in a room of around 50. One of them found his name mysteriously absent from the membership lists when he went to vote, despite having signed up well in advance of the TGM.

Despite hard-fought resistance, including that of some on the left of the party, there was the 2/3 majority needed for a change in the constitution; completing the purge of independent members the club’s radical minority supermajority have long contemplated.

Elsewhere in the TGM the battle against discussion and engagement continued, with a motion to bring back a “Beer & Bickering” style event debating being defeated. The event – and discussion groups in general – were condemned as ableist and sexist; with the uncomfortable fact that a roomful of men agreed that women couldn’t handle debate slipping beneath the irony detectors of those present. The possibility of a crewdate with OUCA was denounced as “distasteful” by incoming Co-Chair David Parton, not that they’re missing much, OULC did vote down a motion stating they are ‘fun’.

Former Co-chairs were attacked on two occasions; once when a joke about David Klemperer being appointed as a “purge officer” was greeted with near hysterics, once when a mention of the good work they had done was drowned beneath a chorus of POI’s and interruptions.

Ex-Treasurer Louis McEvoy told VERSA “OULC has degenerated into a cultish hotspot of intimidation, jeering and infantile Tory-bashing; however such behaviour is no longer confined to the periphery. It is now part of the very constitution”.

From this meeting,  former Social Secretary and BME Officer for Hillary term and Disabilities Officer Elect, Brahma Mohanty, resigned from his posts. In his resignation letter, Mohanty stated that  “I cannot in good faith carry out my duties in promoting access and engagement with a club that I feel is projecting itself in the complete opposite manner” in light of the move to support Israeli Apartheid Week and the “purges” of OULC membership.

Antisemitism was not mentioned at any point during the meeting, which lasted for over three hours and continues on Wednesday. It’s almost like they were avoiding the topic…

This article has 5 comments

  1. Theodora Dickinson

    OUCA have restrictions on people who are members of other parties.

  2. If maximum membership fees are 20 pounds how do you pay in excess of that to join?

  3. Crikey I hope nobody finds out about my drunken anti-Semitic chanting, it might endanger my birthright of a safe labour seat somewhere oop north!

  4. Oh this is delicious 😀 I’m enjoying the demise of Labour and its assorted spastics

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Optionally add an image (JPEG only)