A day in the life of: The Labour Club
Who knew student politics could be so fun?…..
Given the bedlam of the upcoming CUSU elections (voting open today), it’s easy to forget that there will be an actual proper real Government election happening two weeks into next term.
With that in mind, The Tab has decided to take a look at the day-to-day lives of some of our home-grown Political Societies before the Parliamentary Hustings/Battle to the Death takes place on March 6th at the Union.
We start off with the Cambridge University Labour Club.
8:00- wake up- another day closer to the General Election! Read the Morning Star in for some start-of-the-day socialism!
8:15- chew bacon sandwich. It’s what Ed would’ve wanted. (Lol obvs not: I only eat organic muesli, yah).
8:30- queue motivational montage from Netflix’s own House of Cards. Remind self “how quickly poor grades are forgotten in the shadow of power and wealth” (thanks, Kevin Spacey).
9:55- cycle to Sidgwick at speed approaching mach 6 after spending too long deciding which corduroy shirt works best with these delightful geometric print trousers.
11:00- frantically message any and all Cambridge Labour members to listen to today’s minor shadow cabinet visitor giving “radical” and “bold” talk on Labour’s lichen and moss policy or something equally fascinating.
11:30- Like a scene from The Thick of It, undertake Malcolm Tucker-esque sprint out of the History Faculty library to answer phone: maybe it’s the policy unit wanting my opinion on- oh no wait…
11:32- …the shadow cabinet minister for lichen, moss and paint drying times has cancelled because they were “just not really feeling it this morning, you know?” I HOPE YOU LOSE YOUR SEAT YOU JUMPED UP PARISH COUNCILLOR.
12:00- meet with CULC exec committee. Fend off at least three twitter-based coup attempts. Argue the merits of a comma or semicolon in our latest leaflet. Speak only in acronyms: CLP VID OBG PLP CULC NOLS? (shout out to anyone who gets that).
14:00- hit the #labourdoorstep to enlighten all the grateful voters about the #costoflivingcrisis and #onenationlabour. Get told to #fuckoff.
…//Rest of day: assorted Machiavellianism//…
23:10- en route to fez #aintnopartylikealabourparty: bump into CUCA and a (the) student Lib Dem (originally wrote their acronym; realised no one knows what it refers to).
CUCA: Do you know who we are? (No. No one knows).
CULC: Watch me pre-distribute your limbs all over this street!
CSLD: Let’s see who wins and then adjust our views accordingly!
Everyone: Oh piss off you wet liberals.
Running CULC is at points weird, frustrating, exhausting and (when campaigning in January) really cold. It’s also about the best thing I’ve seen at this University, from the raw competitiveness of elections, to refined policy debates punctuated with gossip and rumour-spinning, to the pride of organising fifty people to get out and campaign of a weekend.
People turn up with varying degrees of commitment and interest. What I like about CULC is that people of quite different views rub along happily because we’ve built an atmosphere that prioritises getting stuff done and constructive dissent over pointless fallings out about minutiae of dogma. While ideas and interests should and do clash, pragmatism is a virtue and politics is about more than gestures. We make genuine, tangible change – just ask the college, university, and council workers who are now on Living Wage contracts partly due to the campaigning work of CULC.
I’m Labour through and through; this party is the only way to secure an equal balance of power in British society. Doesn’t mean it’s perfect, and it’s hard work putting in the hours campaigning after a particularly crap week of policy or media relations from Labour HQ. The Labour Party is a bit like that friend who makes you want to pull your hair out, but who you’d do anything for. If it’s purity you want then the latter-day Thomas Mores in other parties may appeal; I’ve always preferred Tom Cromwell anyway.
Cambridge Universities Labour Club campaigns every week and is holding a film night at Newnham on Friday 6 February. Contact [email protected] for info. If you have to.