Why We Should Celebrate Sainsbury’s Success

Lord Sainsbury is the new Chancellor of Cambridge University and when compared to the other candidates, it is difficult to deny that he deserves this prestigious title.

abdul arain brian blessed chancellor of cambridge election lord sainsbury Sainsbury's Senate House Union

It’s official: Sainsbury is taking over Cambridge. And no, I don’t mean the supermarket – I mean the Lord. He may not be your first stop for cheap booze and frozen pizza but, as the most deserving candidate for Chancellor, Lord Sainsbury’s triumph is a reason to celebrate.

Lord Sainsbury: ‘delighted and honoured’ by the result

Many students have expressed disappointment at the result. After all the excitement of the first contested election for 164 years, the university’s official candidate won by a mile. But it is difficult to deny that Sainsbury is worthy of his new title, especially when compared to the other candidates:

Brian Blessed. A zealous and hairy Shakespearean veteran, he was the students’ favourite. But, realistically, his campaign for Chancellorship was ridiculous. When asked at the Union how he would improve access, he responded that he didn’t know. I think we can all agree he is more at home in the Globe than in the Senate House.

Michael Mansfield. Fiercely ideological, he agreed to run for Chancellor as he believed he could ‘sow the seeds’ for an agenda change. His aims to ‘embrace the sacred principles of independence and diversity’ were honourable. And for this reason, it is a blessing he didn’t become Chancellor. His passion would be wasted on a purely ceremonial role.

Abdul Arain. Flying the flag for the town, this local shopkeeper was an unexpected candidate. Brave to go for a role that has has previously been held by the Duke of Edinburgh and a string of other dignitaries. Brave… but ultimately stupid.

So, Lord Sainsbury it is. As an alumnus of King’s College he has a strong affiliation with the university, and his generous donations have funded a new research centre for the students.

Who cares if the university ‘reminded’ academics that he was their first choice? The Sainsbury dynasty has delivered everything from three-pound wine to million-pound facilities. And there is no better way to show our appreciation than granting Lord Sainsbury the role of Chancellor.

READ: The full election story here.