Martin Harper: Voice Of The People?

He’s writing to the union on your behalf whether you like it or not!


If you’re an ordinary level-headed person who realises there are bigger issues in the world today than what clothes people wear to an end of year party, you probably haven’t noticed the fuss a few students have been kicking up over the UBU Summer Ball.

Rather than re-hash the entire boring affair, here’s the Spark Notes version. Classics student Martin Harper wrote to UBU President Paul Charlton, accusing the people behind the ball of “misrepresentation and false advertising”.

Martin Harper: not a fan of critically acclaimed art rockers Everything Everything

Martin, “writing on behalf of most of the student body”, demanded a formal explanation from Paul and the rest of the organisers as to why the Summer Ball would be taking place in a field headlined by a “sub-par” band (Everything Everything) when it could be more like the Goldney Ball, which takes place in a field and would have been headlined by a different sub-par band.

Proving sarcasm and wit still have their place in student politics, Paul’s response did a brilliant job of reminding Martin Harper of his place in this world: “As large as your mandate is as President of our Classics and Ancient History Society, it would be unwise to suggest that you are therefore in a position to speak on behalf of all of our members”

Plenty has already been written elsewhere about whether the Summer Ball will be brilliant or a catastrophe so we’re going to leave that question to one side and address a far more important issue. Is it possible Martin Harper is the voice of the people? Could this white man from London be our true representative?

To find out, we broke out the ol’ Facebook-stalking kit to see what we could learn about this self-described “disaffected student and irate customer”.

Lesson 1: Martin is aware of viral videos from 7 years ago

If you’re old enough to remember MySpace you probably remember those inane quizzes which would get passed around between you and your friends which would help you find out how much of a badass you are.

What you may not remember is they briefly hung around on Facebook too. In July 2007, Martin took the “I’ve done — out of 132 stupid things” quiz and posted it to his Facebook profile. We can only assume Martin isn’t aware this is freely viewable to everyone. Either that or he’s okay with the world knowing he once cried himself to sleep.

Here are a few more “stupid things” younger Martin Harper claims to have done: made prank phone calls, climbed a tree, believed in ghosts, cheated on a test, licked someone, sang karaoke, witnessed a crime.

Thinks the Summer Ball will be crap yet willingly goes to Syndicate…

Paul Charlton may have mocked Martin for not being able to represent the majority of Bristol students, but who amongst us hasn’t done at least one of those things? Maybe his claim as voice of the people isn’t too ridiculous after all.

Surely, the only way we can know for sure is to get every Bristol student to take the same test to find out how many stupid things we all have in common. That includes you Paul.

Or as I said at the start we can just be ordinary, level-headed people who realise there are bigger issues in the world today. Your call Bristol.