THE WEEK THAT WAS…
In his last bow, Sir Bernard summarises election week…
As the dust settles and the scars begin to heal from the most controversial and high profile SU Elections in Warwick history, Sir Bernard Spilsbury returns to give his final views on a week that shone a dim light on the seedy world of student politics…
The week started innocuously enough, with the Monday morning, 9am start leaving campus littered with coloured cardboard and the various campaign helpers sporting Primark t-shirts, often 5 times too big and butchered with paint.
Hordes of students took up the chance to have a ‘Brew with Frew’ and enjoy a free caffeine fix in exchange for a brief assault to the ears and expressions of outrage at Nigel Thrift’s pay packet.
One glaring error of Frew’s was his decline of an offer from 2nd year Economics student, Jeremy Steele, who had asked to go for a ‘Poo with Frew’ whilst discussing his favourite policies. A failure to connect with voters like Steele may help explain Frew’s poor performance at the polls only a few days later.
As the Monday dusk fell, the mood soured. The SU Atrium, as under heated as it was under crowded, played host to the one and only presidential debate of the campaign. This was the moment the election was dragged into the mire.
A question from the floor, perhaps planted by one of Swain’s rivals, perhaps not, asked the candidates for their views on the ‘Sexism Scandal’. None of the candidates spoke about the specific video.
Aaron Bowater, the people’s champion, referred to the question as “low skulduggery” and by Tuesday the story resurfaced itself, this time in the Daily Mail. The election had become a national affair.
Yet as the story went viral and the fallout of ‘who leaked it’ continued, one man flew in under the radar. Whilst Aaron Bowater ran his hilarious video campaign, clocking up just short of 40,000 views on YouTube, Mohammed Ali was giving away exclusive interviews and Frew and Swain were ever present around the library, one man was going about his business in the background. Mr Ben Sundell.
This was a true rags to riches story. Where was Ben Sundell this time last year? He didn’t have a single foot in the door of the Warwick political establishment. He only became Welfare Officer following Ben Hodges’ decision to pull out of the job. And now? He finds himself as the most powerful man in Warwick SU.
Even during the campaign, the battle of the Bens became a real David Vs Goliath clash. On the last night of campaigning, Frew led a team of 40 around campus. Sundell merely had his team of 5, yet, against all odds, they marched to one of the most convincing presidential victories in recent years.
Whoever said that nice guys always come last?