Union Line-Up Revealed
Ed Byrne, Roy Hodgson, Alan Ward, and Laura Bates all grace the Chamber this Michaelmas. Oh, and they’ve even bagged the cast of Geordie Shore
With big names across politics, sports, comedy, ethics and reality TV, Michaelmas is lining up to be a real treat at the Union. Read on for our guide to the cream of this term’s Union line-up. The new year kicks off with a timely debate on Oxbridge’s presence in the world, followed by internationally-renowned Irish comedian Ed Byrne taking to the stage. After a successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe and three sell-out UK tours, you’d be a fool to miss this one.
Professor Peter Nolan is another strong early signing. Named in the 2009 New Years Honours for his work in developing British and Chinese business relations, Nolan was described by the ‘Financial Times’ as knowing “more about Chinese companies and their international competition than anyone else on earth, including in China”. Following the prior success of hosting Made in Chelsea stars, the Union has (sadly?) gone one step further and recruited Gaz, Vicky and Scott from Geordie Shore. Despite, or perhaps because of, it’s reputation as borderline pornography, Geordie Shore remains one of the most popular reality TV shows in the UK, with over a million viewers. They’ll be answering questions on alcohol, clubbing and reality TV life. Just don’t bring them to Cindies.
On a more serious note, the Union will host a flourish of hard-hitting topical discussions throughout term. From the glorification of WW1, the deployment of troops to defeat Isis and the right to be forgotten, the Union is the place to be this Michaelmas for the best in current affairs and debate. Week 4 presents the bold motion ‘Putin is a serious threat to global stability’. Having led Russia into three wars, Putin remains at the centre of ongoing geopolitical controversy, and eminent speakers including Peter Hitchens, who received the Orwell prize for outstanding political writing, and Luke Harding, the Guardian foreign correspondent expelled from Russia in 2011 for his criticism of Putin’s regime, will provide what is sure to be a fascinating evening of debate.
On 22nd October, Chairman Mike Rogers, who heads up the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, will provide an unrivalled insight into US intelligence operations. Having described Obama’s foreign policy as being “in absolute freefall”, he has made a name for himself as a staunch critic of the President’s foreign policy, and remains one of the strongest supporters of military action in defiance of ISIS. On the same evening, a (slightly) less influential world figure enters the Chamber in the form of England football manager, Roy Hodgson. Hodgson has come under criticism following a disappointing World Cup, but remains as fiery as ever.
Other speakers include Sir Alan Ward, journalists Nick Davies and Michael Crick, and economist Martin Wolf. Cambridge University Women in Leadership Society will also be hosting the Women in Leadership series. Speakers include Natalie Bennett, Leader of the Green Party, and Laura Bates, renowned feminist writer and founder of the Everyday Sexism Project. Union President Tim Squirrell commented on the line-up, “This is really going to be a fantastic term, and everyone at the Union is very proud of the programme of events we’ve put together. “We’ve done our level best to make sure our debates are as hard-hitting and topical as possible, covering a vast range of issues and giving every one of our members something to be passionate about.” And that’s not all – there are whispers that the Union has even bigger speakers lined up that it has yet to reveal. Keep an eye on The Tab over the next few days…