After Liz Truss’ resignation, I went to the Politics Society’s social to watch the chaos unfold
Tensions were bound to be high
I was initially kind of worried about attending the event organised by the Politics Society, “Parliamentary Piss Up”. It was an event attended by all the political parties within the university: GU Conservatives and Unionists, GU Labour, SNP Students and members of the Green Party. Those who were unaffiliated also chose to come.
I had some concern as I knew that tensions were bound to be high at the event – it being one of the most significant days in politics. Would the atmosphere be too tense? Would the sort of talk be too explicit to be published? These were some of the worries I had before attending.
Interestingly enough, this event was organised long before Truss had resigned – we were just very lucky it happened to coincide with the day of the event. I knew that whatever happened, the conversation was going to be interesting for sure.
As one attendee told me, “You can’t not go to a political event on the day of Liz Truss’ resigning.” So true.
The event was held at the Tennent’s Bar, in the basement. Upon arrival, there were only four attendees. My first impression was that this small turn out wouldn’t make so interesting an article… But as the night went on, more and more people arrived, helping to create the event what it was.
I circled the room, speaking to as many people as possible: from a Labour councillor to an older GU Conservative alumni, there was a huge range of opinions on offer in regards to Liz Truss’ resignation. It was important to speak to at least one representative from each political society, so as to get the greatest idea of people’s views.
The first person I spoke to was Joe, a fourth year Politics and Philosophy student. He was with the Politics Society. He said, “There are too many things that happened that meant she couldn’t come back.”
Joe went on to talk about “the recent allegations of MPs being bullied in the voting lobbies”. Joe then said that a “new leader would stabilise things more. No matter what Truss did, from the perspective of the public her image was already tainted and I think it would be very hard for her to improve on the impression she has given to the public – there was no other option.”
Rosie, a second year History and Politics student said the situation “was a bit of a joke really.” The Green Party student went on to describe it as “comedically bad”.
She said: “I have been very entertained by her at the end of the day. An absolute shit show and an international embarrassment.”
Thomas, a fourth year History and Politics student, was also Treasurer of GU Conservatives and Unionists. He said that he was going to “continue to support the party really. I don’t really know what else to say at this point.” He continued, “I went to the council elections and campaigned and I’ll do so next time. She was the leader of the party and we backed the party.”
Euan was there from SNP Students. He said that “Her time as PM has been utter and utter chaos. Absolute failure at a time when people are struggling at a scale we haven’t seen in decades. We need a government that can help those that need it most.”
“How broken the Westminster system is in delivering to people in Scotland, students and young people. I don’t think whoever her replacement is going to do a good job having heard the names floating around. None of them will have any mandate from the people of Scotland.”
“The people have not voted for the Conservatives under any leader since 1955 and not expecting to anytime soon.”
“The people of Scotland have a lifeboat in the form of independence.”
Drew, a first year Computing Science and Politics student, was representing the Green Party. He said that the Tory party was “a joke at this point.” He went on to talk about how damaging the policies were and talked of the “suffering people are having to go through at this point.”
“Fundamentally whatever leader comes next – there are the same policies that hurt people. The policies are bankrupting and ruining peoples lives.”
Angus, a first year History student, told me he was Unaffiliated. In regards to Liz Truss’ resignation, he said, “She did a wee experiment that didn’t go to plan and the Conservative society need to look in the mirror. They need to do undo their mess. They are a totally aimless party, they need to take a step back and figure themselves out.”
Jack, a third year History and Politics student, was there to represent Labour. He said that he had “not much to say.”
“She was a shambles. She was a failed experiment.”
He then offered me a drink if I could find three who supported Liz Truss.
Hannah told me that she found the current situation “very funny”. She expanded to say that it was “nice that we’re seeing some chaos in the political news fare.”
She said that Liz’ resignation didn’t come as a shock and that she had been waiting for it.
Hannah continued, “I am personally critical of the main political parties. Though I quite like SNP.”
Jeevan, a second year Law and Politics student, said that her resignation was “inevitable”.
“The way she was governing was… A sign of chaos happening in Downing Street. There’s no functioning government and there hasn’t been for months now.”
He said that he didn’t support a political party as “critical of most the UK government – especially the Westminster government.”
It was refreshing to see that not everyone at the event was a student. Amongst us we had an alumni of GU Conservatives and Unionists.
Wishing to remain anonymous, he said he had, “Seen similar situations in the past.” He went on to say that, “So many people have opinions” and that “social media made it a lot more than it is.”
His opinion of Truss was that she was “out of her depth”.
“We have to move on and next week will be interesting.”
The final person I spoke to was Labour Councillor, Jamie. He was a third year Politics student. He said that it was “a total shambles” and that the Tory government was “completely out of touch with what is happening in society what with the cost of living crisis.”
He told me that we needed a “serious government in serious times. It’s time to go back to the people and go back to a general election. We need a general election, we need the people to decide. The mini budget showed that the Tory government is out of touch with working people.”
“Keir Starmer will deliver – he is what this country needs.”
I also asked for an official statement from the political societies.
GU Conservatives and Unionists gave us a brief statement: “GUCUA will continue to support the Conservative Party, as we have done since 1836.”
Meanwhile, Labour said: “Good riddance Liz, we always knew the lettuce would win.”