Election Night Special

Sheer electoral excitement caused this voter to go over-the-top with her nail varnish.

Election fever has gripped Sussex like never before. The bunting is up, the posters are out and the gloves are off. (That’s enough meaningless idioms. –Ed.) Gabrielquotes has sent reporters out into the field to take a close look at what’s going on. But there was nothing much happening in the field, so they came back onto campus almost straight away.

On the blog this week:

So get scrolling and enjoy!

Elections: Chapter the First—An Election Hotly Contested

Well, the candidates to become Full-Time Officers of the University of Sussex Students’ Union are possibly an interesting bunch, although you wouldn’t know it from their campaign literature. They all seem prepared to spout meaningless cliches ’til the cows come home.

Alongisde some stirring election slogans and taglines such as, “Developing, supporting and improving Sussex activities,” and, “University is more than a degree!” sits, rather awkwardly, Ryan Foster’s motto:

To be fair, there are also some serious policies being discussed. Tuition fees, class sizes and spending cuts are all hot topics. And Indi Hicks, standing for the position of Welfare Officer, has made it her life’s work to…

…although that particular policy is a bit bog standard. (One more joke like that and you’re fired. –Ed.)

There are also a lot of depressingly poor banners and posters about, along the lines of Vote X for Position Y. For example…

Why would I do such a thing? I’ll grudgingly admit that he’s pretty good with Photoshop, but I know nothing about him or his policies. For all I know, he could be the National Front candidate. The banner may as well say…

And all the candidates are doing it, which dilutes the effect even further!

Student politics. You can’t beat it, eh.

But I notice that none of the candidates came up with an idea quite as unusual as the Christian Union did yesterday: “We’re offering to come round to your flat between 12-3 on Tuesday and do ALL you WASHING UP for FREE!!!!! Nothing else you have to do – just let us in and we’ll do the rest!”

I wonder if they also change fuses, mend cupboards, deal with silverfish infestations, fix boilers and sort mail: if so, they could become the next Porter!

For Huhne the bell tolls

The Crown Prosecution Service has announced that they will be charging Energy Secretary Chris Huhne with perverting the course of justice, for forcing his (now ex-)wife Vicky Pryce to accept a speeding penalty on his behalf despite her not having been present at the time. The offence took place after Mr Huhne’s flight landed at Stanstead and he was driving home.

He has resigned from his job as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change because, by his own emission (What did I tell you about the puns? –Ed.), having to defend himself against a maximum sentence of lifetime imprisonment “would be distracting.”

Simon Danczuk, the Labour MP who reported the matter to the police, made the following very logical comment: “It is difficult to see how she could have been driving the car if she was having dinner in central London.” Full marks, Simon.

Anyway, Chrissy H has very generously donated some of his precious remaining time as a free man to write Gabrielquotes a little song and the lyrics are here.

Elections: Chapter the Second—An Election Shamefully Neglected

In the Students’ Union elections, 22 people are contesting seven positions. In the University of Sussex Jewish Society elections, four people are contesting six positions.

Enough said.

Corruption in the body Sussex

Very few people can have the following entry on their official biography: “Areas of expertise […] Bribery and corruption.” But Dr Robert Barrington does. He’s the Deputy Director of Transparency International, an anti-corruption NGO, and when he came to give a talk at Sussex, he began with an intriguing disclaimer: “Although I am a doctor, I’m an academic of Venetian art. I’m not an academic of corruption. I’m a practitioner.”

At one point, he mentioned that one of their European offices had received hate mail. Dr Hough cut in to ask which office it was. The Deputy Director of Transparency International replied, “No, I can’t tell you that.”

He also described how his organisation had identified the 7 most corrupt companies in the world. We asked what they were. Reply: “I can’t tell you that. Transparency International took a deliberate decision not to publish that information.”

He rounded off with the interesting mixed metaphor, “I come across very few cases of corruption because I sit in a feather-bedded desk in London.”

‘Transparency’ International indeed. All seems very Yes Minister.

This photo was taken on Sunday. But the essential elements are still there now!

“After you finish debating World War Two, you’ll have a chance to attack your opponents’ position.” [Seems very appropriate in the circumstances…]

“China, Japan, North Korea and South Korea. These are the three countries I’m going to focus on.”

“This is a map of East Asia. But what countries can’t we see? We certainly can’t see Mexico.”

“Green party theory is essentially very grassroots.”

“There is no such thing as the killer fact. OK?”

“India and Pakistan have both carried out public nuclear tests.” [On what public did they test them…?]

[Excuse of the Week…] “Unfortunately, due to a set of circumstances, Rabbi Dr Deborah Kahn-Harris will not be joining us at the service on Saturday.”

The news in briefs

“Off with your head!”

Former RBS chair Fred Goodwin has lost his knighthood (perhaps it slipped down the back of the sofa?) on the recommendation of the Honours Forfeiture Committee, leaving him with only a £16m pension fund to sustain him in his old age. He was knighted in 2005 for disservices to banking.

The Honours Forfeiture Committee, which is responsible for stripping honours from disgraced individuals, consists of the following impartial members: Sir Bob Kerslake KCB, Sir Jeremy Heywood KCB CVO, Dame Helen Ghosh DCB and Sir Peter Housden KCB. Be afraid, Sir George Campbell. Be very afraid.

And finally, a police camera in Little River, Texas, this week spotted a meteor streaking across the sky. A spokesperson for the meteor said that it was not driving at the time.

Meanwhile, Israel wins the Douglas Haig Award for Incisive Military Analysis:

And the ‘No way!’ Prize for Incisive Social Commentary goes to Women’s Aid, whose latest report came to an unexpected conclusion:


Gabrielquotes has just received an email from Chris Huhne. It turns out that he actually didn’t write the song above. His wife did it.

In the back
In tonight’s episode, the song lyrics were actually written by Gabriel Webber, and the pianist was Sir Stephen Willis KCB ♫ CVO. Kit is probably not associated with the National Front. Nor is he associated with Dr Shipman. And furthermore, Dr Shipman isn’t associated with the National Front. The shady anti-corruption activist was played by Dr Robert Barrington. The Dark Knight was played by Sir (now ‘Mr’) Fred Goodwin. The course of justice was perverted by Chris Huhne. This was an Gabrielquotes production.


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