Author: Oliver Cox

Interview with the next Guild President: Harry Anderson

When asked how it feels to have been elected as President of the Guild, Harry replied that the victory hadn’t quite sunk in, though that after the bureaucracy begins he would probably wake up to it. Harry Anderson, Guild President Elect, had taken a few minutes off his studies to come and talk to me in the Sydney Jones coffee shop. Dressed casually, he was energetic but I could see that work had caught up with him. Policy Most people should recall Harry’s three main policies: to have lectures uploaded to VITAL as audio, to keep Wednesday afternoons free and to develop the Guild building as a place for socialising. Before I asked my first question I mentioned that he had probably forgotten speaking to me outside the library a few days before, ‘No, I remember.’ he said, sagely. Harry responded to some concerns that I raised about the feasibility of keeping Wednesday afternoons free – he informed me that this was already guild policy, and that he would continue it. Moreover, he wanted to extend the policy, encouraging the University to keep the Wednesday mornings free, too. Harry added another tentative proposal, that he would seek to have LSRadio played in more locations – this is not as firm a promise as his manifesto points. Likewise, he wants to provide more funding to nurture the University’s Ellipsis magazine...

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A proposal for the sanitisation of language

The use of certain offensive words significantly contributes to the oppression of many groups of people in the UK. I propose, therefore, a system which, if created, would provide for an environment in which offence through language would be reduced to a minimum. There are some people who claim that potentially offensive words, such as racial slurs, are only offensive if they are directed at a particular individual. I fundamentally disagree – the history of the word and the personal experience of many people means that it is only necessary for them to hear or read the word in order for them to be offended. Thus, I propose that any word which could potentially be used as a slur against any grouping of people should not be used in any circumstance. ‘However’, the reader may comment, ‘there are many instances in which groups have reclaimed a previously offensive term to make it their own!’ – This is very true and is a useful way in which people can fight opposition. As such, I propose a heritage checking system, which can be used to establish the background of a certain person and then to identify whether they qualify as part of the group at which the offensive term was used and whether they should be allowed to it. It should be relatively simple via family history or DNA to establish...

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Masturbatory fallacies: The federal government shutdown

One of the most deliciously nihilistic ways in which the cordial creeps of political populism and political egoism unite is in the use of the legislative machine for ideological masturbation. In some ways this is worse than the extortion of the state – this behaviour enriches no one, not even the politicians. Healthcare in the USA is a locus for this sort of narcissism, on an admirably bipartisan level. Democrat enthusiasts for a Single Payer healthcare system (publicly funded, privately delivered) in California twice passed their bill through the state legislature, knowing that Governor Schwarzenegger would give it his Presley sneer then bin it; this is legislative time nothinged. Seed-spilling like this is, however, totally outdone by the Republicans. They have attempted to repeal Obamacare 37 times, knowing that the president can veto any such attempt. Considering all the innovative laws which remain untried and the bad laws which remain unrepealed, this waste of law-making time would be tragic were it not so hilariously pathetic and indicative of a severe lack of imagination and ironic understanding. Most recently, the Republicans demonstrated that they would prefer to shut down the federal government than to tolerate the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Of course, Democrat Senators could have averted the shutdown had they accepted the House Bill which would de-fund Obamacare for a year, though, of course, politically they couldn’t be...

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