The News From The Dark Blues

It’s that time of the week. TIM WIGMORE is back with a run down the news from Oxford: tortoises and trauma after a tiddlywinks trashing.

Brasenose david and goliath eric grumby anderson Harry Potter Oxford patten tortoise

You Cambridge folk have probably been basking in the glory of it since May 1st, but the fallout from Oxford’s humiliating 99-13 defeat in the Inter-Varsity Tiddlywinks continues. After their loss, the Oxford side wrote a letter to the University Chancellor Chris Patten, “to apologise for our shameful defeat, the worst since records began”. Patten responded by lamenting: “you have all been spending far too much time in the library!” Clearly Oxford are unrivalled in the banter stakes.

As if wasting money on their ball wasn’t enough, members of Brasenose have found something even better to blow their cash on: £500 on a clay bust made in the likeness of its ex-JCR President (really). The purchase, almost too incredulous to believe, went ahead although the student whose idea it was admitted “we did propose the motion as a joke.” Not all students are pleased, with one exclaiming: “£500 to massage his ego? You could have hired a whole masseuse for that. We could have spent that all on a massive party. Or even charity.”

My attempt to hare through the Oxford week has been sidetracked by tortoises. This weekend saw the annual tortoise race. It was quite a sight, to watch the eight critters fighting to reach the finishing line, where they were rewarded by lettuce, and lots of it. The racecourse, of only a few metres, was won by the tortoise from Jesus, who, despite being the smallest competitor, overcame the others in David and Goliath fashion.


There’s also been a bit of a ho-ha over a deliberately sensationalist talk made by a visiting Sociology lecturer. Professor Eric Grumby Anderson was hosted by Oxford’s LGBTQ society, and, after beginning by stating “My intention is to offend you” he lived up to his billing, saying: “When I die I hope my tombstone says: his greatest joy was sex with boys.” Anderson was highly damning of religion, branding Islam “homophobic, awful” and Christianity “the most disgusting” of the lot. Jesus.

Finally, we are all looking forward to Obamarama this week, when the First Lady comes to give a talk on Wednesday. Amidst concerns that evening meals at Christ Church would be disrupted, the Dean assured students that “Provision is being made to ensure that everyone is fed.” Lets hope the college in which large swathes of Harry Potter was filmed can magic food out of somewhere.