Brian Blessed: Best of a Bad Bunch?

It doesn’t matter if Brian Blessed becomes Chancellor, whoever gets elected will have little sway in the day-to-day running of the University. And besides, we already have two Sainsbury’s in Cambridge.

After 40 years, Prince Phillip has decided he’s had enough of donning paraphernalia and being led up and down Senate House like a donkey on the seaside. Apparently this means we have to care about who replaces him.

Undergrads, and indeed the majority of postgrads, don’t give a shit about the Chancellorship. This election will have practically no effect on our university lives. After all, the Vice-Chancellor is the one who holds the power to influence our academic future. His election should have caused a media ruckus – not an election that will ultimately determine whether Prince Vultan or Lord Nectar Points gets to wear a silly hat.

When it looked like Lord Sainsbury was going to stand unopposed, there was uproar in the Senate. It was bad enough having two Sainsburys in Cambridge, but what message would this send to the private sector? That we were culpable to a capitalist take-over of town and gown? This alone, was supposed to send us into a fury. But it didn’t. Unless you’re a researcher for BBC Breakfast.

My favourite candidate: Brian Blessed

The only reason this election has a trace of excitement about it is Brian Blessed. Although his candidature was a rebellious joke at first, it has metamorphosed into a respectable campaign. Lest we forget, not only is Brian Blessed a mountaineer, a Shakespearian actor/director, and has a voice loud enough to stun small mammals, he is also common. A university keen to shed itself of it’s elitist and privileged past will surely jump at the chance of taking someone whose father was a coal miner. How quaint!

Despite my cynicism, I believe Blessed is the best candidate. He’s a popular figure (even if you haven’t heard the immortal line: “Gordon’s alive!), he has experience of being in the public eye, and he understands that science is not the only money-spinner for universities.

As for the other two candidates, one’s a local shop-keeper and the other’s a city lawyer. Their names? I couldn’t be bother to look them up, which sums up my overall apathy towards this election. I can’t vote in it, and chances are you can’t either. If you want to get excited about the running of the University, hang around for another six years and stir up some trouble for the Vice-Chancellorship.

Personally, I would vote for Victoria Wood.

Click HERE to go back to Debate and vote for who you think should be Cambridge’s next chancellor.

Illustration by Olivia Vane

University of Cambridge brian blessed chancellor chancellor of cambridge emily alldrit lord sainsbury olivia vane