CUCA doesn’t know what Cuntry Living is and CULC thinks student politics is like House of Cards

CUCA vs CULC: Interviews with Cambridge’s student political societies

Cambridge cambridge students conservatives corbyn cuca culc labour political engagement politics



If the acronym of the other society stood for something else, what would it be?
CULC: Corbyn’s Unstable Labour Cronies CUCA: Crushing Unions Creates Anarchy? Cambridge University Clowns Anonymous?
What’s worse: a red flag or red trousers?
That depends on who is waving the flag, and wearing the trousers. The worst in each case would be champagne socialists and ‘hipsters’. We are divided on which of those is worse but we would probably go for the trousers. That is our identity you are appropriating. Red Flag- socialist chic. Red trousers- Jacob Rees Mogg chic. I’ll let you make your own mind up.
Ironically, this is a photo of Durham's red chinos society. Yes, really. Presumably they're trying to look like us

Ironically, this is a photo of Durham’s red chinos society. Yes, really. Presumably they’re trying to look like us

What’s the best thing about Jeremy Corbyn?
The Santa comparison is more than skin-deep: much like with Christmas, we know the date of our next major celebration, and how good it is going to be. Bring on the champers for 2020. He isn’t Tony Blair. Or that he’s helped make Labour the largest political party in Western Europe.
What’s the best thing about Theresa May?
Her transparent plan for Brexit, which we understand means Brexit, by the way. She isn’t David Cameron.
Why does student politics have a cliche of backstabbing and sneakiness?
Because there is no smoke without fire. Because it’s normally true. Student politicians love to sit around watching House of Cards, and then act it out. Luckily in CULC, we go for Jeremy’s ‘Kinder, Gentler Politics’ sort of thing. So we don’t stab each other in the back, we just have annual leadership elections and then threaten to deselect each other.
Ideologically, how distant is CUCA from CULC?
CUCA is a broad church; to understand us as having an ideology would be to miss the point. Unlike certain institutions we have never been known to purge those who disagree with us. However, we do have very firm views on tearooms: see our Directory. I can’t speak for CUCA, but CULC is all about socialism, equality, inclusivity and campaigning on issues we care about. We don’t sit around, dining on Port and Policy – we get out and do things. Come and see for yourself.


CULC campaigning for the Living Wage back when it was a Labour policy

Give a poetic summary of the ethos of your society.

We’re for Thatcher, not for Marx;
We drink port, but not sambuca.
And who are we? We hear you ask.
We’re known in town as CUCA.
To the left, to the left. To the left, to the left.

– Beyonce.

If your society was an alcohol, what would it be?
Fosters. Smooth and you could end up getting lots of head. Liam Byrne once described Jeremy Corbyn as the ‘craft ale of politics because he is authentic and has strong flavours.’ I’d drink that.

Much protest

Are Cambridge students engaging with politics in the right ways?

Since we haven’t won our seat since 1987, it is far from us to say how Cambridge students should be engaging with politics. I think too often our conversation is too inward facing and narrow. There are loads of legitimate issues inside the university, but we rarely go out into the wider world. In CULC, we pride ourselves in having an active engagement with Cambridge beyond Mill Road, and have friends and links in the whole city. Student politics in Cambridge sometimes takes the ‘Town/Gown’ rubbish too seriously, something we in CULC are keen to avoid.
Tell a joke about the other society.
 Why did CULC give up their allotment? It was a Blairite plot. Go onto their Facebook and have a look at their ‘Direc-t=Tory’ Freshers Guide. It literally describes their events as ‘lubricated by port’…..


Are online forums such as Cuntry Living and Race Matters more of a help or hindrance to how students discuss issues?
Although we were not aware of these groups, having done some cursory research, they seem to be a place for some individuals to discuss their ideas with likeminded people. Help, 100%. This sort of new social media has given people a voice that previously didn’t, which is no bad thing. For organisations like CULC it challenges us to confront old thinking and reach out in new ways. Cambridge should be a hub for radical and progressive groups, including members of Cuntry Living and Race Matters.◊
Would more grammar schools result in higher application rates to Universities like Cambridge?
For too many talented young people, ambition is seen as a dirty word. We hope that the reintroduction of grammar schools will encourage, and enable, students of all backgrounds to be as successful as they can be in whatever they choose to do. For some, we expect this would be manifest in applications to top universities. Grammar schools are such a terrible idea; even the government is rowing back on them after a week. Here in Cambridge- the bastion of educational inequality- we should be saying loud and clear that we don’t want them back, and will do everything we can to oppose them.
What isn’t the government funding enough?
This question will probably find a vast array of answers from our members. In short, we, as Conservatives, are committed to as high a level of funding as the nation can afford for all of our crucial public services, both in real terms and in removing waste and unnecessary bureaucracy. Everything? To give an example, look at mental health. Since 2010, demand for mental health services has gone up by 20%. The Tories response? To cut the mental health services budget by 8% in real terms. They see that as ‘austerity’, but in reality it’s been devastating for people who depend on those services. Good mental health services should be a basic in any decent society- something the government doesn’t seem to quite grasp.

Making America Great Again, one tiny-handed wannabe-leader at a time

What do we have to learn from Donald Trump?
Your intelligence doesn’t determine your ability to succeed. No doubt reassuring advice for all in the midsts of essay crises. That you can have tiny hands and still make it in politics…..or that racism is still alive and kicking in the 21st centry, and anyone who says otherwise is probably a racist themselves.
Brexit: good or bad?
What do we mean by Brexit? Well, Brexit means Brexit, which means Brexit, which is defined as Brexit. CUCA was neutral in the Brexit debate. We are confident, however, that the Government will deliver a Brexit package which ensures the best possible outcome for the nation. While Labour struggles to agree on the colour of an orange, the Conservatives are united behind making Brexit work for everyone. CULC was officially against Brexit, and most of us campaigned quite hard. But what matters now is what sort of Brexit we have. It’s clear that Theresa May wants Brexit to be an opportunity to do the things Margaret Thatcher only dreamed of- undercutting workers rights, disengagement from European investment programmes, rolling back the frontiers of the state even further. The British people didn’t vote for this ‘Hard Brexit’, and won’t tolerate it. CULC will campaign to make Brexit a progressive moment- I know that sounds counter-intuitive, but it can be done. Look at the achievements of Sadiq Khan in London, and you can see the sort of society we want to create.
If your committee went on Britain’s Got Talent, what would its act be?
Shit. We would all eat a bacon sandwich while singing The Red Flag.

CUCA can be found hosting ‘Port and Policy’ events, while CULC is continuing the alliterative theme with ‘Pizza and Policy’.