The Sphinx’s perpetually grumpy editor gives his two cents on another SRO campaign…

Before we get into the gritty details of the people who have been parading themselves up and down in front of you in a desperate, clawing bid to stay in Liverpool for an extra year, take a second to check out how many of them there are. Go on, have a count.


Nineteen lunatics ran to be your Guild President.

I mean, we’re told often enough how competitive the market is for graduate positions, but really? That many people wanted Alex Ferguson’s job? Look at what it does to the average man! Alex used to be a full-on trendsetter; now he just sits in that Perspex prison all day dressed as a Nordic fisherman, telling sagas about whaling and months at sea with nothing but his beard and a crew of sinewy Swedish twenty-somethings for warmth.

It takes a special sort of neurotic to want to be a student representative officer, and I’m in no mood to be nice to any of them; I’ve spent the week ill, in bed, and doing essays, and nineteen of the swine chose this week to run for election. It took me ages to even find their bastard manifestos; they were so well signposted on the Guild’s website that at one point, in a fit of desperation, I Googled ‘Liverpool Guild are useless fuckers’ (in case you were interested, the results threw up a stand-up review from 2007, several Liverpool footballers, and the website of John Cooper Clarke). So here it is chaps, everything you possibly needed to know about the people trying to con, uh, persuade you to vote for them. By the time you read this, voting will have closed. Trust me, it’s for the best. All democracy ever did was create politicians too feeble to seize power in a military coup, which makes a case for it being the worst idea anyone has ever had.

George Trier

George is a thoroughly upstanding chap; a handsome stallion of a man, frequently seen around town building shelters for the homeless with his bare hands. They say he once killed a leopard that had attacked a Burundian orphanage with a deft raise of his left eyebrow; others say that rather than kill it, he took it back to his private island, tutored it in the ways of compassion and righteousness, and then released it back into the wild, such is his love of endangered wildlife. The Leopard now lectures in theology at St. Andrews, whilst George is running to be SRO, so that more people can be like George. If you don’t vote for George Trier, you should probably just fuck off and join the Tories, you evil stoat.

The Sphinx would like to take this opportunity to thank George Trier for the generous donation he recently made to fund the committee’s end of year knees-up.

Louise Donkor

Louise is promising to introduce a free shuttle bus in addition to the 699. The Sphinx likes the sound of that, as the bus services in Liverpool are famously expensive, slow and infrequent. The council evidently thought it was a smart move employing fascists to drive them, yet somehow they never run on time. I don’t want to be the one to shatter her dream by pointing out the huge cost of laying on a free bus service, let alone the fact that it would have to use the same congested roads as the other buses, so I challenge you instead, Louise, to think bigger. Why stop at a shuttle bus? Why not… a monorail? I know a man who sold monorails to Brockway, Ogdenville and North Haverbrook, and by gum, it put them on the map!

She’s also pushing for a more ‘vibrant’ undergraduate and postgraduate community. I don’t know what that means… but I’m told yellow is very ‘in’ this season? Will wearing that make us more vibrant?

Fenghui Li

Fenghui pledges to be responsible for her job, have a good attitude and listen to students’ opinions. There’s honestly no way I can spin this, it’s exactly what you want someone to do in any job. Her slogan ‘stay hungry, stay foolish’ is sensible advice, too; without a balanced diet your brain capacity will diminish. I’m struggling to mock you. Well played, Fenghui. Well played.

Siobhan Griffiths

I find her pledges to create more social study spaces on campus disturbing; study is, and always should be, a solitary, melancholy experience, consisting of dim candlelight, turtlenecks, classical music, Modafinil and regular psychotic episodes. That’s the natural way, and frankly, it’s dangerous to tamper with it by creating ‘social’ study spaces. No, what we need are more antisocial study spaces. Where is the candidate pledging these?

Her plan to create better communication between societies, meanwhile, is a good idea; I’ve been trying for weeks to let Femsoc know exactly what I think if them, but a lack of firewood has disrupted my smoke signals. Now they just think I’m calling them members of the Christian Union, and despite those guys’ view on abortion, I’m not sure if that’s a big enough insult.

James Sage

In his featured image, James is wearing a skinny tie. Never, ever trust a man in a skinny tie. Skinny ties are worn by liars, and are only useful for acts of restraint during mild BDSM and auto-erotic asphyxiation. I can tell you this from experience; I wore one once and later that day a former girlfriend started calling me a lying bastard, and tried to garrote me with it. Granted, it was nothing to do with foreplay and everything to do with forgetting a birthday, but it was certainly the most pleasurable part of the evening.

He also claims to be able to make the Guild nights bigger and better. From this we can deduce that he is a dangerous fantasist and should be sectioned. Preferably before he reads this and comes after me.

Harry Moore

Harry wants to shine a ‘limelight’ on the Guild and student mental health, to find out what the Guild is ‘fighting for’ and to end the stigma around mental health.

Well Harry, the Guild aren’t fighting for anything. They are the least pugnacious bunch of people you’ll ever find. I mean, Emma Sims once bottled someone for spilling a drink on her at Fiesta Bombarda (allegedly), and a few years ago something called Maev McDaid tried to pick a fight with the Commonwealth by banning the sale of poppies for the British Legion, but apart from that? They fought the LMSS once. The LMSS gave them a black eye and ran off into the night, swearing bloody revenge. That’s about the sum of it.

As for the mental health thing, I’m all in favour of addressing the issues faced by students today and reducing the numbers of students affected by them. Why don’t we start by cutting the number of students at university altogether? That way there’d be fewer people to diagnose! Fool-proof policy, Harry. You’re welcome.

Yasmin Gasimova

Benedict Spence has been prohibited from talking about Yasmin Gasimova by the Sphinx’s committee, and after consultations with our legal team, his piece on her has been removed.

Hannah Gale

Hannah wants more microwaves on campus. Is it an attempt to improve the catering options for all of us here at the university, or part of a nefarious plot to COOK STUDENTS ALIVE? Has anyone bothered to ask her? Why are we not vetting candidates more thoroughly?

She also wants to improve seminar rooms and other teaching spaces. I wonder how this could be done? Perhaps the university could start building new classrooms, or repairing the old ones? How has no one thought of this before? Oh, but wait, that would mean less money and space to build expensive accommodation for international students.

Oh well kids, guess you’re stuck with those crumbly old classrooms for now. Though if Hannah’s volunteering, we could always cough up for her hard-hat and some mortar.

Xinxin Cao

Xinxin is back! The candidate who, last year, spoke the least English, but the most sense! Well, here she is, for one final crack at the whip, and her policies include badgering the university into providing workshops to teach skills beyond those limited to academia. Now Xinxin, I know you mean well, but come on, they don’t even teach us skills related to academia. You’re fighting a losing battle.

She also wants to create new ways to improve communication between domestic and international students, and I for one think this is a good thing. There is, frankly, too much segregation and casual racism towards international students, especially towards the Chinese, on campus. Plus, learning Mandarin will be useful for English speakers *** **** *** ******* ********* ******* ***** ******* ** *******, *** ****** ** ********* ** *** *** ***************. *, *** ***, ******* *** *** ******* *********. Does anyone know Mandarin for ‘gender neutral lavatory’?

Ananda Mohan

Ananda is a well-spoken chap, with a dazzling smile and appalling trousers. His manifesto, if you read it, seems to revolve around the idea of improving our experiences of housing, study and socialising, mainly by trying to get the university to charge you less for things. Which is a noble thought, a bit like that wildlife campaigner who tried to live with grizzly bears a few years ago to highlight how endangered and misunderstood they were. It all went well until the bears ate him, and I suspect that is what will happen here. Not that Janet Beer will eat Ananda per se (probably) but if he gets the job, he will try to talk to them like they’re people, and find out too late that the university is in no way, shape or form interested in charging people less money. That’s the exact opposite of what they want to do, and if they do have to eat poor Ananda to get his money, then so be it.

He does, however, mention something about creating a giant humans v zombies roleplaying game on campus to foster more community spirit. I like this idea. Nothing would improve my spirit more than twatting someone dressed as a Zombie in Abercromby Square with this textbook on the Kingdom of Jerusalem I paid too much money for. It would be great fun. Then someone would probably get it banned on the grounds that pretending to be a Zombie is ableist. Or cultural appropriation.

Lea Ben Said

Lea’s main points include improving library facilities and increasing contact hours. She sounds infinitely too sensible to be running for Guild president. Come on Lea, give me something to work with? You don’t want to ban something outlandish? Build a solid oak statue of yourself dressed as Augustus in University Square?

Oh wait, no, there it is, you wanted Independent Liverpool, a group that manages to persuade hard-up small independent businesses to give you discounts… to give you even more discounts. There’s always one.

Michael Sonne

The man has some boring policies, and also used the word ‘inclusivity’ without, seemingly, trying to be funny. He wants to increase awareness of underrepresented career choices – a whole new field in the Oppression Olympics which has yet to be explored by the nutters that participate in it – and wants greater involvement of students in the running of their academic departments.

He has, however, been walking around campus dressed as a fried egg, claiming to want the Guild ‘Sonne side up’. At the very least, this clears up the pronunciation of his surname.

Jerome Daniels

Jerome lives in a brightly coloured children’s tent, and has evidently fallen on hard times. He needs that sweet Guild salary more than any of the other candidates. If that wasn’t reason enough to vote for him, however, he’s promising to host fortnightly events in the Cellar involving board games and to promote ‘unity’. I’ll never understand why the Guild ever opened a night time venue based on Joseph Fritzl’s extensive set of hobbies, but apparently it’s a good place to meet new people!

Jerome is treading a fine line, however, with his plans for a ‘culture fusion’ event, which sounds great, until you realise that it has the potential to descend into a melee of shrieking voices and flying Indian headdresses, sombreros, and accusations of cultural appropriation. Here’s an interesting aside – you never, ever hear Italians complaining about appropriation of their culture by the English, and after the awful, awful things we have done to Italian food, fashion and culture in this country, they have more right than anyone else. I mean, what the fuck is Jamie’s Italian about, anyway?

Sean Turner

As will become apparent to you, dear reader, the further I delve into the bubbling morass that are this years’ SRO manifestos, I have largely given up. It was all just too dull. None of these people inspire me any more than the tepid piss served up by the Green Party or Lib Dems have ever done. How can I make ‘will make sure societies feel appreciated by the Guild’ funny? Insinuate he’ll give out handjobs to committee members if he’s elected?

To Sean’s credit, though, look at that face. I feel pregnant just looking at it. Well, at any rate, I feel tubby.

Mike Edwards 

Mike wants to introduce a loyalty card for students for their volunteer work in the Guild, and for when they spend their hard earned/loaned dollar in the bar. From this we can assume that Mike would be a weak and feeble president; a strong president would roam through town burning down and looting rival establishments, enslaving all those who crossed his path, and in doing so, create a monopoly on bars, negating the need for a loyalty card, solve the volunteer labour problem, and ensure his subjects’ loyalty through terror. But no, Mike, you want a loyalty card scheme, because you are deeply unimaginative and unambitious.

He also wants to increase the number of core textbooks in the library as apparently there just aren’t enough. No doubt, if given power, he will buy you the textbooks, but seriously, Mike, the Aldham Robarts library is just waiting for a Liverpool Guild president to put on his helmet, rally the clan and ransack it. Why not you?

Oba Akinwale

I’ll be honest. I want Oba Akinwale to win. It’s not because he’s an incorrigble flirt who makes men question their sexuality and women conveniently drop pencils en masse as he passes. It’s not because of that jawline so exquisitely pointed out in the Tab. It’s not because of his wonderful choice of footwear that he sports every damn day. It’s not even because his biography (should it ever be written) could be called Oba the Dread. 

It’s entirely because he shares a name with Akinwale Arobiek, and if he wins, I’ll get to use the headline ‘Liverpool elects President Aki.’

Craig Harris

Craig Harris don’t need no damn photograph! Craig Harris don’t need no damn manifesto! Craig Harris don’t need no damn votes! Craig Harris sure as hell don’t need you.

Here endeth the lesson.

Danielle Hawkins


In all seriousness though, if you don’t vote for her you’re essentially voting against a puppy room. Even Hitler had a puppy of his own. Even evil people don’t vote against puppy rooms. Why do you hate puppy rooms? Are you worse than Hitler? Why didn’t you vote for Danielle, you uber-Nazi bastard?

There is another side to this lady’s campaign; her overtly suggestive slogan, that the Guild ‘needs the D’ could lead to the hilarious set of circumstances whereby, should she win, the Guild is forced to ‘call out’ its own president for sexually harassing it.

Mike Wroblewski

Mike walks around campus dressed as Mike Wazowski, and even quotes the cyclops in his manifesto. He pledges to improve the shambolic Liverpool Life system, responsible for exam result catastrophes and timetable cock-ups aplenty. He is a champion of environmental causes, and of volunteer work. ** ** ********? Or has he found a way into our collective hearts, channeling the inner spirit of my 7th favourite childhood Pixar character?

The votes are in! Aaaaand…

Nope, *** *******. If this weren’t a campus, he’d be locked up. If this were America, someone would have shot him by now.

I do like the idea about promoting artistic talent among students with exhibitions in the Guild, though. I suppose the only problem, what with this being the bottom ranked Russell Group University, would be finding any talent!

Benedict Spence denies all responsibility for the content of this article, and asks that you direct any complaints you may have to Mr. James Coe.

Elements of this article were additionally edited or removed upon request of the LGoS on Thursday 17th March 2016 at 17:25.