The Drury Diaries: #I’mwithher(Brenda)
“You’re joking? Not another one.”
Having spent most of my time since May’s Tuesday announcement sat in my dressing gown absorbing a delicate balance of commentary and cappuccinos, my sympathies are perhaps most with Brenda from Bristol, who went viral after reacting to the news with, “You’re joking? Not another one!” And it seems I am not alone, as Brenda has become an unlikely hero of those feeling the strain of enfranchisement. She is right, of course: it has indeed been a lively few years for democratic participation. By the time I finish my degree, I will have voted in two General Elections and a referendum, as well as twice casting my Police and Crime Commissioner ballots for Batman and voting in the usual rounds of locals. This feels a little excessive, and something the Reformers would never have intended is excess. It’s nice to be asked, of course, but it would also be nice if they just got on with it for more than a year like they used to. If this current trend gets much worse, you shall see me on the streets campaigning for a reintroduction of direct rule from Her Majesty.
There is much to be excited about, though. Most of all, I hope that the election marks a departure from a Brexit discourse that is becoming increasingly boring and vacuous. Everybody feels like they should be talking about Brexit, but nobody has anything to say: Newsnight now resembles geriatrics playing squash, blindly swinging at a ball they can’t see.
Corbyn hasn’t been idiotic enough to carve his 10 Pledges in stone, but even on the website they shunt Labour decidedly into the unelectable territory. I have always been of the mind that a captain going down with his ship is honourable, so there’s something I can respect him for. I’ll be releasing a full prediction in due course, but for the moment anticipate moderate Conservatives gains (+c.40) from Labour (-c.40), and a climb of a seat or two for the Lib Dems. I’m also convinced that the SNP will lose at least one seat to the Tories.
Let us not be remiss, though, and forget that our own Lords and Masters convene next week in NUS Conference, voting on motions such as abolishing the monarchy and making what looks like endless solidarity statements. At least most of us don’t have to vote in those ones.
So we have turned the corner from Easter proper to Easter Term, and this wouldn’t be a Tab column without some dramatic reference to the concomitant woes. It’s probably going to be tough, which is why it is vital that you make your room a home. Whether you’ve a set or a glorified cupboard, a room with empty walls is drab and depressing. You want a space you can come back from the Library to really relax and host in, rather than just exist. To that end, raid charity shops for framed pictures, acquire burnt-down candles, invest in an extra lamp and up your soft-furnishings game. I found it particularly useful to give up sport, which freed up the equipment for decorative purposes. It’s also nice to have personal things, like pictures drawn by the illustrator of the Magic Key series and your school arms.
Corbyn mustn’t win. In his speech accepting the Election challenge, he set out that he wants an end to ‘doffing your cap to powerful people’, which is shocking not just because it’s a clear policy statement. If pigs fly and he does move into Number 10, I hope he doesn’t have time to enact this ban before graduation as I am rather looking forward to doffing my cap to our Head Porter, who most certainly qualifies as a powerful person.
I had no idea that the anti-fur lobby had managed to exercise such a complete grip on academic dress that it is now seemingly impossible to find a BA Hood in real fur. I’ve always found acrylic fur rather naff, but retailer after retailer tells the same story, that shop insurance for fur is too expensive and the risk of molotov cocktails too great. But let me be very clear – I am not cruel and I don’t particularly want an animal to needlessly die; one that is already dead and turned into a hood will be perfectly fine. If you have any idea where I might acquire a real hood, please email [email protected].